Often overlooked in favor of its more famous southern neighbors, Stuart has long been a hush-hush destination for sporty millionaires and their gleaming yachts. Fishing is tops here, which explains Stuart's nickname: 'Sailfish Capital of the World.' It wasn't until the late 1980s, however, that Stuart got its first exit off I-95, which is when the wave of rich folk, leaving places like Boca, started coming by in earnest.
Though Stuart's retro, sherbet-colored downtown has some cute restaurants and boutiques, the real draws of the region are the adjacent beach areas of Jensen Beach and Hutchinson Island. Jensen Beach, on the mainland facing the Indian River Lagoon, caters to fishers and arty types, with a tiny downtown lined with craft shops and tackle stores. Just across the water by the bridge, narrow Hutchinson Island is where visitors go for sun and fun.