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“Onestop Sun, Fun and History”

Palm Beach Maritime Museum
Attraction details
Boynton Beach, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Onestop Sun, Fun and History”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

I visited Peanut Island which was originally created in 1918 as a result of material excavated when the Lake Worth Inlet was created and was originally only 10 acres. Today the island is 80 acres with camping, picnicking, fishing and swimming lagoons. If you don’t have your own boat, private water taxi services are available at the marina.

The name Peanut was given to the island when the State gave permission for use of the island as a terminal for shipping peanut oil. Plans for this enterprise were abandoned in 1946, but the name was retained.

While visiting Peanut Island I saw the original boathouse and Coast Guard Station and the fascinating Cold War artifact, the President John F Kennedy bomb shelter available to him and his entourage during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the SeaBees secretly and very quickly built the bunker for JFK, who spent a lot of time in Palm Beach. It’s relatively small. It was constructed about 100 yards away from the Coast Guard Station, and concealed in the woods, underground, but above the water table.

With the exception of a presidential seal, the declassified bunker is very close to the original. The structure is covered with earth and many layers of concrete and rebar. Entry is via a blast-hardened tunnel, with a 90 degree angle to minimize shock effects from a possible nuclear explosion. Then you enter through a secure decontamination area, which is interestingly made of plywood. This is a thought-provoking exhibit to stand where President Kennedy might have run the U.S. during the first hours or days of a nuclear attack.

It was a very worthwhile adventure, from the moment I stepped onto the water taxi. I advise taking a cooler with snacks and blanket/swimsuits if you visit.

Visited March 2013
4 Thank twilbur2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
North Palm Beach, Florida
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Tiny museum, nice location.”
Reviewed March 2, 2013

The boat ride to and walk around Peanut Island is pleasant. There is a shallow lagoon with very clear water and some colorful fish. There are wading birds to watch. A lovely walkway around the island is just over a mile in length. The museum tour is a brisk 30 minutes total, which includes a boat house (and t-shirt shop), the old Coast Guard station, and a fall-out shelter built for President Kennedy. The so-called "Kennedy Bunker" is pretty interesting, but with it being just one big room, ten minutes in there is enough. The volunteers are nice and the setting peaceful. There are adirondack chairs set up outside with a view of the Palm Beach Inlet and you can buy cold drinks. It's a good way to spend an afternoon with out of town guests. (Captain Joe's water taxi from the Riviera Beach Marina is super convenient, by the way.)

Visited March 2013
1 Thank Lisa J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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