Treasure Coast Insider

Helping you understand the real estate market, as well as how to best navigate it are our top priority. We'll share tips on every aspect of successful buying, selling, and investing. Learn what's happening on the Treasure Coast. You'll find everything from local real estate market statistics and home values, to community events, restaurants, beaches, golf, and much more. That’s because we care about our communities and want to help you find your place in it. As your Treasure Coast Insider blogger, and local resident for over 30 years, you'll find an abundance of information for all age groups and interests. 

If you want to know where the best local dog-friendly parks are found, or the only-known-to-locals beaches hide, you'll find them here. The best golf courses, marinas, festivals, rodeos, playhouses, senior living activities and dancing are all shared here. If state and local parks interest you, learn what each offers in amenities and uniqueness to our beautiful area. Even restaurant discounts can be found on Treasure Coast Insider.

If you're thinking of selling your home, your first step should be obtaining the current market value of your property. For an instant valuation, complete your address below...

Instant Home Valuation


For a free, customized, in-depth, Comparative Market Analysis, call us at 772-530-6131.

Mona Leonard is your Treasure Coast Insider Blogger. 

June 7, 2022

It's A Sellers Market

It's A Seller's Market

It's A Sellers Market 

It's a sellers market when the amount of homes on the market is low and days on market (DOM) is low. This can mean bidding wars and homes selling for well over the asking price... a seller's dream. It's a sellers market when the DOM is less than 6 months. The less the DOM, the stronger the seller's market.

The benefit for sellers can be extremely advantageous. If interest rates are low and banks are lending, demand goes up even more creating a buying frenzy, a situation that's fun for sellers and frustrating for buyers. This occurs due to low real estate inventory.  

With historically low DOM in 2021 in the Stuart, FL area, sellers are able to name their price so to speak. With a median time to contract being 9 days, seller's barely have time to get photos completed before qualified buyers begin making offers. The key is in pricing your house to sell with a market value listing price. 

It's a great time to sell when the lack of supply of homes gets extreme. The more the supply diminishes, the higher the sale price. This is a basic supply and demand scenario.

Luxury Oceanfront Stuart Houses For Sale

Surviving a Sellers Market If You're Buying

If you're hunting for a home in a market where inventory is low, there can often be a bidding war for properties in your price range. Follow these tips to maximize the chance you'll close.

1. Treat your hunt seriously

House hunting must be your priority, not your weekend hobby. Check new listings regularly, be prepared to drop everything to view a home when it hits the market and be ready to make a quick decision.

2. Bring paperwork, not promises

Want to be taken seriously by the seller? When you visit homes, bring a mortgage pre-approval letter and a proof of funds form from your bank showing you have enough to cover the down payment. 

3. Consider waiving what-ifs

Home buyers often include contingencies when making an offer so they won't lose their deposit if, for example, the home doesn't pass inspection. Waiving contingencies could help you close a deal, but this definitely is not a move for the faint-hearted. To gauge your risks, consult your Realtor.

4. Don't play hardball

This isn't the time to try to low-ball on price. Bid aggressively while keeping within the parameters you've set for purchasing. 

5. Broaden your search

You'll increase your chances of finding a property if you're willing to consider homes outside your ideal neighborhood and houses that may need some remodeling or renovations.

Now you know it's a sellers market when DOM is less than 6 months. Know the market you're in before listing or buying. Knowing the market helps you achieve your real estate goals to obtain the best value for you!


For more information on this and other topics, contact Treasure Coast Insider Blogger, Mona Leonard at




Posted in Selling Tips
June 7, 2022

For Sale By Owner

For Sale By Owner Stuart Houses For Sale

For Sale By Owner

If you're considering going the For Sale By Owner route, consider these real estate facts. According to the National Association of Realtors, the assistance of a professional Realtor provides not only a higher selling price.  In the Stuart, FL area, it also may mean tens of thousands of dollars more for you. Although on it's surface, For Sale By Owner may seem the smart way to save on the commissions, but in reality, it can be a poor decision full of heartache if you're not versed in all aspects of real estate.

Let's see what it means to try to sell your home yourself. When selling a house, consider these factors. 

1. Negotiating is tough

The most difficult part, as a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) seller, is having to negotiate your own sale price, especially if your not skilled in real estate valuation and negotiation. Relying on your own skill to finalize a contract, opens the door to potential legal problems and a smaller profit on closing day.

2. Online marketing looks easy... when professionals do it 

Without extensive knowledge in online marketing, your efforts as a FSBO may yield little in the way of results. Over 90% of buyers start their search online. To get the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and proper audiences, a skilled Realtor can blast your property to hundreds of sites exposing your home to the largest possible group of buyers. 

A yard sign, for example, will only draw the people who see it or are told about it. A DIY approach conveys an unprofessional, unknowledgeable seller... a buyer automatically thinks they're going to get a deal. In other words, buyers discount FSBOs.  

An agent will give you a wide exposure through marketing, multiple listing services, professional photography, and advertising to name a few. A good Realtor may have a database of thousands of buyers, directly showcasing your home. An agent also has the means to share with other agents, so they can share with their clients.

When you list your property with an agent in the Stuart, FL area, your getting over 40,000 agents helping you sell your house. FSBO sellers would have to shell out big bucks for these benefits and still might not reach the most important audience.

3. Determining the best asking price

Those who put their homes on the market as a FSBO typically set a price from online assessment tools or the opinion of a friend or neighbor making claims to high offers (boasting). These methods will likely put the listing price way off.

There’s no substitute for actual market knowledge and assessment. Your Realtor brings all that knowledge and experience to the process. Pricing strategies from a seasoned agent can earn you much more money upon sale.

Overpricing can cause a listing to go stale on the market, and buyers wonder why, even if you lower the price later. Buyers are likely to pay a lower price for a stigmatized property... a home that has been on the market a long time. 

A real estate agent provides an accurate home value, based on a comprehensive market analysis, to help you arrive at the right listing price. The goal is to make sure you’re pricing your home in the sweet spot—not too high so that you are turning off potential buyers, and not too low so you are leaving money on the table. 

The most bang your home will get is when it first comes on the market. Blasting it out everywhere through all means possible can get you multiple offers and a bidding war …  garnering a well-above-asking sale price!

4. Estimating how much money to spend prepping

Overestimate, and you waste money. Underestimate and you end up selling for less. Objective assessment by sellers can be difficult.  

Sometimes, it's the small things that count the most. An amateur paint job, broken light switch or an overgrown yard might be the one thing that causes buyers to walk away. Then again, spending money on items that don't improve the value of the property can mean tens of thousands of dollars or more wasted by over-improving.  

A professional Realtor has an eye for detail to advise on simple, budget-conscious improvements or repairs. Agents know how to spend the least amount of money to get the best outcome by creating the best home presentation possible. Properly staging the property to appeal to the largest audience is a big plus too.


Home Staging Stuart Houses For Sale

5. Showings are a drag

FSBO sellers don’t realize how draining it can be to set up showings. In addition to potential buyers, you have to deal with both "looky-loos" (gawkers with no intention of buying the house) and “sharks” (investors looking to flip your house for a profit). These buyers may not be capable of buying and have not even spoken yet with a lender. 

Sellers who advertise their FSBO will quickly be inundated with calls from real estate investors who are looking to save the same commission the seller hopes to save. Unfortunately, these offers are typically very low and could likely lead to no sale.

How an agent can help: Your agent will handle all the scheduling and staff the tours for you, so all you have to do is quickly tidy up and vacate. Buyers can get uncomfortable with a seller hanging around during the showing. If you're selling a second home, investment, or inherited property, showings can become very difficult to achieve long distance.

Agents also weed out unsuitable offers and collect feedback that potential buyers might be unwilling to share directly with the seller. This feedback can be invaluable to the transaction.

6. Preparing your own paperwork 

Leave the paperwork to the pros. The closing process can entail more than 20 pages of complicated paperwork, including the contract and addendums designed to cover all of the situations that could go wrong.

For example, houses built before 1978 require an addendum regarding lead-based paint. Having a background in law or contracts may be the only exception. A do-it-yourself approach may cost much more than money should the outcome result in litigation.

House selling has nuances that, if overlooked, can cost you at closing. Did you know some properties have difficulty getting flood insurance? When selling a house, be sure to know the age of appliances, A/C and hot water heater before you list. 

Your agent will take care of all property disclosures and corresponding documentation to avoid future liability. Realtors follow a strict Code of Ethics and compliance for federal, state, and local laws. All aspects of transaction coordination are handled by your agent.  

7. Knowledge of service providers

Realtors can refer you to their network of top-quality lenders, lawyers, inspectors, appraisers and repair people to make sure you get the best result in every stage of the selling process. 

8. Understanding commissions

Realize, if you go the FSBO route, most Realtors won't show your property to potential buyers because they think they won't get paid.  Decide up front if you're willing to cooperate with agents assisting buyers, and expect to pay a percentage of the sale in commission fees. If you're not willing to cooperate with buyer's agents, you'll lose the leverage of over 40,000 agents in south Florida assisting buyers. 

Additionally, buyers mentally shave off whatever commission they think you'd have paid to a Realtor. Is all of the hassle of selling you home yourself worth it? Will you negotiate a better sale price than a professional? Statistically speaking, no. According to the National Association of Realtors, you'll likely end up with less money for all your trouble.

House selling can be fun if you're informed, and a nightmare if you only think you know what you're doing. Don't risk thousands of dollars in a higher selling price because you think the commission is too high. It's well worth hiring an agent according to the National Association of Realtors. Statistically, you'll get more money at closing when you work with an agent. 

For more information about For Sale By Owner, contact our Treasure Coast Insider Blogger Mona Leonard at 772-530-6131 or email




Posted in Selling Tips
June 7, 2022

Stuart Area Marinas

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews Sailfish Marina

Stuart Area Marinas 

Several Stuart area marinas are located in the Manatee Pocket, an area protected from the elements in Stuart. Known to locals as Salerno, this entire area was a fishing village for many decades. Many fishermen still live in the area today. Just a few minutes to the inlet, these Stuart area marinas offer everything the angler in you wants or needs for boating and fishing. 

Pirate's Cove Resort And Marina Salerno

Pirate's Cove, in Stuart is a long time favorite area for boating, hanging out, dancing, great restaurants and fun. Stay at the Pirate's Cove Resort and Marina and capture old Florida charm with all the amenities. Newly updated rooms for that extra special feeling while enjoying the amenities. If you live here, this is a great place to recommend when folks visit from out of town. With a full service marina, bait and tackle, restaurant and banquet facilities, laundry, limited pet friendly rooms, swimming pool and showers, it's the perfect place to relax.

Shrimpers Grill And Raw Bar is a favorite for stopping in on your way home or to relax after boating. With great happy hour drinks and delicious appetizers, it hits the spot. You can pull right up to the restaurant in your boat (depending on size). The menu makes my mouth water. A little secret, it's near some of the best snook fishing on the Treasure Coast. Manatee Island Bar and Grill is another favorite. With some of the best restaurants on the coast, the Pocket, as we locals call it, is alive with lots to see and do.

Pirate's Cove Resort And Marina

Waterway Marina Stuart

Waterway Marina has slip spaces for rent on a daily or monthly basis and is located just north of the Old Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart. If you're delight is river cruising, you can choose the north or south forks of the St Lucie River, or capture the breathtaking views from the Indian River Lagoon. Both are full of wildlife. 

A short walk across the bridge takes you into Old Downtown Stuart. The lovely boutiques, restaurants, antiques and the Lyric Theatre make it a special area along Flagler and Osceola. Memorial Park, a few blocks away on East Ocean has grassy spaces, foot paths, a pond and a bridge for beautiful photos. It's a favorite for wedding ceremonies and on the other side of the Old Courthouse stands a beautiful gazebo ready and waiting for the next bride and groom. 

Waterway Marina

Fort Pierce Inlet Marina

Fort Pierce Inlet Marina offers beautiful apartments and is walking distance to restaurants and shopping. Very close to the inlet, you'll be on that beautiful Atlantic Ocean in just a few minutes. Downtown Ft. Pierce is great for exploring. Much of the area has been gentrified in recent years and there's lots to do. Stuart area marinas are full of amenities.

Sailfish Marina of Stuart

Sailfish Marina of Stuart is the closest marina to the St Lucie Inlet. Wet slips and dry boat storage are available, as well as a boatyard, charters, and more. The outstanding selection at Fish Heads of Stuart is close by for all your bait and tackle needs. Several waterfront restaurants are just a few blocks away. 

Sailfish Marina of Stuart

The Jib Club Jupiter

Jupiter Inlet to the south has many great marinas to choose from. The Jib Club on Jupiter Island provides wet and dry slips including transient storage, and a ship store, for last minute items. Close to the inlet, you'll be trolling or deep sea fishing in no time. About two minutes from the Atlantic, this intracoastal waterway marina is close to the ocean. There's great fishing in the inlet.

Jupiter Island is chock full of great beaches and one of the most scenic drives in Florida. Check out Blowing Rock Preserve on the island while taking in the view. Toward the north end is Hobe Sound Beach, where you can take a picnic, fish and swim. Restrooms, showers and a covered pavilion make it a want-to-see oceanfront beach. Ample parking except during peak season.

Jib Yacht Club

The Black Pearl Marina

The Black Pearl Marina located north of the Jupiter Inlet has accessibility 24/7 with free ice, and a waterfront patio with outside bar and grill. Close to the Jupiter Inlet, this marina provides the necessities for a day on the water. 

Carefree Boat Club

Carefree Boat Club in Ft. Pierce offers waterfront dining, laundry, dock carts, free Wi-Fi and cable, a fitness room and heated pool. There's something for everyone at this outstanding marina. 

Carefree Boat Club Ft. Pierce

Visit the live webcam of the St Lucie Inlet for weather and boat traffic info.

For more information on Stuart area marinas, contact Treasure Coast Insider Blogger, Mona Leonard at 772-530-6131.


May 30, 2022

Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie


City By The St. Lucie


Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie

Among other endearing nicknames, Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie happened to be the chosen one for this adorable 1964 travelogue from the chamber of commerce. Much of Stuart was still a small town when I moved here from Palm Beach County in 1978.

The Palm City Bridge was still a wooden swivel bridge and Martin Downs was only a dream. Cow pastures everywhere and horse trails throughout the town. Click on the photo above for a 1964 Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie video. 

This 1964 clip is worth the time taken to dance down memory lane for those of us that have been fortunate to live here for decades. Many of these clips show much has changed and many things have stayed the same.

Our Loggerhead turtles still nest right here on our beautiful, pristine beaches. The fishing is still wonderful, and the House of Refuge still stands awaiting visitors to share her past. The Martin County Fair still draws large crowds and livestock competitions.

Boating is still a favorite pastime for many residents, and we still have spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Witham Field Airport is still small even though we have a major air show here every November. 

In this adorable Chamber of Commerce travelogue video from 1964, the 1st National Bank had over $1,000,000 in capital. They were proud of that fact. Today, that would barely be considered a bank.

The former Outrigger Restaurant, now the Dolphin Bar and Shrimp House was owned by Francis Langford, an actress during the 1940's and her husband Ralph Evinrude, the original owner of Evinrude boat motors. They docked their yacht, the Chanticleer, right next to the waterfront restaurant. They were both local celebrities for many years.

Their huge estate was sold after they passed away and the area is now known as Langford's Landing, a waterfront development in Jensen Beach, FL.

They always had peacocks on the property and Francis loved them. Now, peacocks can be seen throughout the quiet areas of Jensen Beach.

Rookeries provided the most amazing aquatic life and Stuart got its moniker, the Sailfish Capital of the World. To this day, residents and visitors alike enjoy deep sea fishing, water sports, great restaurants, theaters, pristine beaches and lots more.

Stuart FL City By The St. Lucie is still a spectacular place to live. 

Stuart FL City by the St. Lucie


For more information about Stuart FL City by the St. Lucie and living in Stuart FL, contact Treasure Coast Insider Blogger, Mona Leonard at 772-530-6131 or



May 29, 2022

Reasons To Work With A Realtor

Stuart Houses For Sale Luxury Home

Reasons To Work With A Realtor

There are many reasons to work with a Realtor when selling your home. Although it might be tempting to try and sell it yourself, consider the negative consequences because they may be numerous. The falsehood that you'll make more by selling a property yourself because you'll save commission expenses is a misconception many home sellers fall into. The reasons to work with a Realtor far outweigh the benefits you might think you'll gain by buying or selling yourself.

According to the National Association of Realtors, sellers actually sell for less when they try selling on their own. That's because of their lack of knowledge in negotiation, law, property valuation and lots more. These are legitimate reasons to work with a Realtor.

The same is true when buying. You need someone in your court to protect you from fraud, unscrupulous sellers, inspection issues, repair problems and costs. A very important part of a buyer's agent's job is property valuation. This is critical and prevents you from overpaying for a property, something every buyer wants to avoid. 

Here are many reasons to work with a Realtor you'll want to consider. 

Your agent...

 1. Negotiates terms of sale or purchase, including concessions or repairs 

 2. Pre-qualifies prospects for safety and to protect customers' time and personal property

 3. Assists, coordinates and delivers the contract to seller/buyer

 4. Completes a Comparative Market Analysis to accurately price the home

 5. Lists your property in multiple MLS boards for maximum exposure

 6. Conducts virtual and in-person open houses to get your home sold

 7. Accompanies buyer to the final walk-through

 8. Gives property preparation suggestions for the highest sale price

 9. Lists your home in numerous listing portals and online publications

10. Markets your property through social media, video, networking, and pitch sessions with other Realtors

11. Offers information on local amenities, local market research and HOA/Condo Association governance guidance

12. Provides and coordinates all access to homes with your favorite features 

12. Analyzes comparable home sales and assists you in making an offer on your new home

13. Provides support throughout the process and after closing. 

14. Creates a list of available homes and schedules viewing appointments (virtual and physical)

15. Coordinates all requested inspections and provides access to others as needed

16. Coordinates closing with lender, title company, customer and all parties in a transaction

17. Adheres to a strict code of ethics


If you're wondering whether a Realtor can earn you a higher sale price than you can on your own...


According to the National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers


For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Statistics


FSBOs accounted for 7% of home sales in 2020. The typical FSBO home sold for $260,000 compared to $318,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

FSBO methods used to market home: 

None: Did not actively market home: 34%

Yard sign: 26%

Friends, relatives, or neighbors: 23%

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) website: 18%

Social networking websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.): 14%

Open house: 14%

Online classified advertisements: 5%

Video: 4%

Virtual Tours: 3%

For-sale-by-owner websites: 2%

Print newspaper advertisement: 1%

Direct mail (flyers, postcards, etc.): 1%

Television: 1%


Most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers:


Preparing/fixing up home for sale: 17%

Getting the right price: 14%

Understanding and performing paperwork: 11%

Selling within the planned length of time: 5%

Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale: 5%

Attracting potential buyers: 3%

Helping buyers obtain financing: 3%


Source: 2021 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

For many more reasons to work with a Realtor, call your Treasure Coast Living Blogger, Mona Leonard, at 772-530-6131, or email her at

Posted in Selling Tips
May 29, 2022

Remodeling Projects That Hold Value

Deck Stuart Houses For Sale

Remodeling projects that hold value have the greatest return yield through improved living for you now, and when you sell, you'll get cash back for you trouble. Below are the estimated returns on investment (ROI) for home improvements. As the numbers decrease, so does the resale pay-off. Remember, there are many different reasons for remodeling. Your sheer enjoyment is valuable. If you'll be happier by remodeling, that's priceless! Steer clear of expensive improvements showing no promise of a decent return and take on the remodeling projects that hold value. 

If you're thinking of selling soon, these remodeling projects with the greatest return can guide you in deciding whether or not you want to invest the time and money, or sell without making changes. Selling a home for more may mean some updating. Here is the return you'll get on your investment if you decide on home improvement before selling.

Manufactured Stone Veneer 94%

Garage Door Replacement 93.8%

Siding Replacement (fiber-cement) 80.5%

Deck Addition (wood) 77%

Kitchen Remodel (minor) 76.3%

Siding Replacement (vinyl) 76%

Window Replacement (vinyl) 73.2%

Window Replacement (wood) 68.2%

Entry Door Replacement (steel) 67%

Deck Addition (composite) 66.6%

Roofing Replacement (asphalt shingle) 60.7%

Bath Remodel (midrange)60.1%

Kitchen Remodel (midrange) 58.7%

Roofing Replacement (metal) 56.1%

Bath Remodel (upscale) 54.8%

Master Suite Addition (midrange) 54.7%

Major Kitchen Remodel (upscale) 53.9%

Bathroom Addition (midrange) 53.1%

Bathroom Addition (upscale) 52.8%

Master Suite Addition (upscale) 47.7%

Once you're clear on whether or not your dream kitchen (or other remodel) is worth the investment, you'll be free to make an intelligent decision. Remember, home improvement is emotionally expensive too. When factoring expenses, design, materials and more, be sure to include how much it will cost if you don't make the improvements. Your happiness and peace of mind are also valuable commodities, and in many cases, it's difficult to put a price on that. 

Holding to remodeling projects that hold value make you a more savvy real estate investor. and a smarter seller. That will pay off in dollars and cents down the road when it's time to put the property on the market.

For additional information on remodeling projects that hold value, Contact Us or visit our website at

Posted in Selling Tips
May 27, 2022

School's Out For Summer 2022

School's Out For Summer 2022!

Martin County High School Graduating Class 2022!

Martin County High School Graduating Class 2022!


According to the Martin County School District:

Earlier this month, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that more than 7,500 Florida students earned an entrepreneurship and small business (ESB) certification this school year.  The Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification validates individuals' understanding of core business principles, including the essentials needed to launch and maintain a successful business.

Supporting access to ESB certifications is part of Florida's goal to be the best state in the nation for workforce education by 2030.

In alignment with this statewide focus on workforce education and development, the Martin County School District prioritized entrepreneurship as part of its career and technical education (CTE) course offerings this school year.  Using funds awarded as part of the Florida Department of Education's Entrepreneurship Education & Training Grant, the District has accomplished the following:


107 student ESB certifications earned at Jensen Beach High School

128  student ESB certifications earned at Martin County High School

41 student ESB certifications earned at South Fork High School

8 CTE staff ESB certifications earned


Students enrolled in the District's CTE programs are not only prepared with practical and technical skills relevant to their chosen career pathway(s) but now also with the entrepreneurial mindset and skills to successfully develop and manage a business. The District plans to equip additional teachers with the foundational principles of entrepreneurship to help even more students become prepared to earn their ESB certification.

Congratulations to ALL Treasure Coast children for the eagerness to be productive and educated members of society! 


May 25, 2022

Stuart Area Festivals And Art Shows

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews the Downtown Stuart Art Festival

Stuart Area Festivals and Art Shows

Stuart area festivals and art shows are in full swing during "season." All along the Treasure Coast, there's something for every attendee. Whether it's jewelry, paintings, wood-working, sculpture or clothing, the beautiful surroundings and weather make for an extraordinary day. Check out these Stuart area festivals and art shows. 

Downtown Stuart Art Festival 

As a personal favorite, the Annual Downtown Stuart Art Festival offers a large variety of art and attracts artists from all over the country. This February event on East Ocean Blvd typically benefits from beautiful temperatures, with lots of sunshine. With Memorial Park and it's lovely grounds as a backdrop, and free admission, it's a great opportunity to see (and perhaps buy) some amazing art and jewelry. This February event has free admission.

Hobe Sound Art Festival 

When I first moved to Martin County at the age of 20, Hobe Sound was my first choice. It's quieter than Stuart or other cities and towns to the north. It's much less traveled than south of Hobe Sound on the Treasure Coast too.

The first home I built was in the Soundings in Hobe Sound. The "wet side" was not yet completely built out, so I was fortunate to buy a canal-front lot on Hawksbill Way. We built the house in 1987. 

Hobe Sound Art Festival is a top quality show and runs a quarter mile near the tracks on A1A. Beautiful Jupiter Island is just east of the famous Banyan trees on Bridge Rd, a stone's throw from the festival. After the festival, enjoy a relaxing day at Hobe Sound Beach, or a drive along the famous coastline. Home to golfers Tiger Woods and Greg Norman, Jupiter Island's secluded drive along A1A is breathtaking. Blowing Rocks Preserve is toward the south end and is a great place for photos or a walk. It's easy to make a day of it with the festival and a drive. This February event has free admission.

Under The Oaks, Vero Beach

Under the Oaks vero Beach

A personal favorite is Under The Oaks in Vero Beach. World-class artists with amazing, high quality pieces among huge live oak trees in Riverside Park on Vero's barrier island (Orchid Island). This March event is a stage set for success. Advance tickets, $10, $15 at the door. Children under ten enter free.

Sunfest Music Festival, West Palm Beach


Held rain or shine, Sunfest Music Festival along the intracoastal waterway in West Palm Beach, draws 150,000+ people annually. This family-friendly four day event has tickets available beginning at $152 for a single day. Previous performers have included Keith Urban, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Tears For Fears to name a few. The schedule is packed with back-to-back performances for hours... and days! 

Sunfest is typically held in late April. Along Flagler, between Banyan Blvd and Lakeview Ave., you'll enjoy food and wine pairing events, floating bars, the battle of the bands, a 5k event, and plenty of shopping. Fireworks are on the agenda too. 

Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival 

Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival

The Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival has become a local tradition with live entertainment, art and scheduled events. Named for the pineapple plantations that covered the landscape 100 years ago, there's fun for everyone. This 30+ year old November event has concerts, arts, crafts, street performers, bands and a midway. A delegation from the island of Eleuthra, Bahamas brings the heart-pounding sounds of Junkanoo to the festival.

Several other Stuart area festivals and art shows take place in this idyllic location including ArtsFest. Located in Memorial Park, this festival boasts culinary delights, beautiful fine art. This well-attended event began in 1988 and has grown each year.  Art in the Park, a November event is another great fine art show. Admission for either is $10.

Okeechobee Events

Okeechobee Speckled Perch Festival and Parade

Okeechobee Speckled Perch Festival

The Speckled Perch Festival and Parade is one of my favorites. If you Southern cooking, this is a fun and delicious way to spend a day. There's lots to see at this March event, including beautiful beading, leatherworks and more. The speckled perch is outstanding, and you better get there early because they've been known to run out.  

This event dates back to 1965 and is in honor of the fishing industry for the livelihoods they provided. It's in Flagler Park and you can almost feel the history. Check it out... easy day trip from anywhere on the Treasure Coast.

Top of the Lake Art Fest

Top of the Lake Art Fest hosts some amazing artisans. The quality of the works will keep you craning into each booth. This juried event has some real talent. Usually, this is a February art festival. 

To learn more about Stuart area festivals and art shows, contact Mona Leonard, your Treasure Coast Insider blogger. She can be reached at 772.53.6131

May 25, 2022

Stuart Area Dog-Friendly Parks

Stuart Area Dog Friendly Parks

Stuart Area Dog-Friendly Parks

Stuart area dog-friendly parks are all around if you know where to look. With lots of space to enjoy our beautiful area, these parks are close by with easy access. Whether you want to head to the beach, or stroll through our beautiful savannas, these Stuart area dog-friendly parks are enjoyable for the entire family.

Shepard Park, Stuart

Enjoy this family pet friendly park in downtown Stuart on the south fork of the St. Lucie River. With a boat launch, grills and fun for the whole family, it's an easy, convenient location for a few minutes of peace, or an afternoon on the water. Just a few blocks south of the Roosevelt Bridge on Federal Hwy, it's a favorite. Park typically closes at 10 pm.

Flagler Park, Stuart

Dog parks in Stuart, FL, include nearby Flagler Park. It's just a two minute walk from downtown Stuart, watering holes, marinas, great food and entertainment. This pretty green space expanse has a full schedule of activities and can accommodate hundreds of people (and dogs). Right at the north and south forks of the St. Lucie River, it's a beautiful downtown waterside park.

Flager Park

Haney Creek Dog Park, Stuart

Want a park you can get some exercise in while walking your best friend? To keep you both in shape, Haney Creek Dog Park is a great place to stretch it out. A beautiful green space with room to roam, the park is conveniently located just north of the Roosevelt Bridge along Green River Parkway and Baker Rd. This park is for all dogs that like to run.

Haney Creek Dog Park

Walton Rocks Beach Dog Park, Jensen Beach

Another Stuart area dog-friendly park is this off-leash dog park, on the Atlantic in Jensen Beach. It has 24 unspoiled acres of fun. With picnic tables, pavilions and bathrooms, it's a great getaway from the bustle of in town parks. For the Lab lover in all of us, it's a perfect spot for retrievers that love the water. Bring the family for a day of sunshine, swimming and lots of fun. Hours are subject to change. Closes at 6 pm.

Walton Rocks Beach Dog Park

Savannas Preserve State Park-Hawk's Bluff Trail, Jensen Beach

Just north of the Jensen Beach Causeway, this dog-friendly park is perfect for picnicking, fishing, trails, canoeing and lots more. The trail itself is a loop that's just under a mile and the scenery is unbeatable as you wander through the "old Florida" savannas. Where wildlife and water birds abound, Savannas Preserve State Park is another favorite. 

Savannas Preserve State Park

Peck Lake Park, Hobe Sound

Peck Lake Park is a little known secret nestled in Hobe Sound just off Gomez Ave. With a spectacular boardwalk to the Intracoastal Waterway, it's sure to appeal to the most curious of our canine buddies. For a more quiet approach to taking your dog to the park, this gem is peaceful and the views of the Intracoastal Waterway are beautiful. 

Peck Lake Park

Jupiter Off-Leash Dog Beach, Jupiter

Just north of Juno Beach, Jupiter Off-Leash Dog Beach is a great place to spend the day, or for some quick exercise. With beautiful blue-green Atlantic Ocean water, it's a place to unwind and let your pet have a blast. This dog beach is one of the prettiest beaches around. In northern Palm Beach County, there's lots to enjoy afterwards at some of the dog-friendly waterfront restaurants in the area. 

Lyngate Park and Dog Park, Port St. Lucie

For the best variety of dog areas, Lyngate Park and Dog Park offers three great choices, with mazes, water stations, and waste bags. Just off US1 in Port St. Lucie, there's plenty of places to sit while your dog explores. You'll leave smiling when your "best friend" is exhausted and ready to go home.

Lyngate Park And Dog park

For more information about Stuart area dog-friendly parks, contact Mona Leonard, your Treasure Coast Insider blogger at






May 24, 2022

Stuart Area Theatres and Playhouses

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews Stuart Area Theatres and Playhouses

Stuart Area Theatres and Playhouses

Many Stuart area theatres and playhouses have a long and interesting history. Each one is unique in its feel, intimacy, acoustics, and services. Below are several Stuart area theatres and playhouses.

The Lyric Theatre

Stuart offers plenty of plays and entertainment at the Lyric Theatre located downtown. Drawing top performers and musicians, this historic theatre is loved by many Martin County residents. The theatre also offers free movies in the summer. 

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews The Lyric Theatre 

Sunrise Theatre

The oldest of the Stuart area theatres and playhouses is the historic Sunrise Theatre at 117 S Second St in Ft. Pierce, this Mediterranean Revival Style theatre was built in 1923 and as the largest theater on Florida's East Coast between Miami and Jacksonville. The first movie shown was Charlie Chaplin's silent 1923 hit "Vagabond." After renovations made by the St. Lucie Preservation Association in 1997, the theater hosts outstanding performers and musicians. 

Mona Leonard Reviews The Sunrise Theatre

Barn Theatre

Similarly, the Barn Theatre on East Ocean in Stuart is smaller than the Lyric Theatre and the Sunrise Theatre in Ft. Pierce. It's intimate theater of just 169 seats make it cozy and more interactive. You'll see lots of local talent and some cleverly chosen plays. 

Pineapple Playhouse

The Pineapple Playhouse is nestled in an unsuspecting location on Weatherbee Rd in Ft. Pierce. The Pineapple Playhouse has ample parking, great plays and a more intimate experience (100 seats) than larger playhouses. A playhouse tradition, meeting the cast after the show is a true delight. You may get hooked on a more interactive experience at the Pineapple Playhouse than other playhouses.

Riverside Theatre, Vero Beach


Riverside Theatre

Maltz Jupiter Theatre

The Maltz Jupiter Theatre, once owned by Burt Reynolds, draws talent from around the world. Famous for their mysteries, this dinner theatre is well-loved by many local patrons. Located in the hustling entertainment district of Jupiter, it's sure to wow you.

Kravis Center

Located in West Palm Beach, the Kravis Center is a more regional theatre experience. This beautiful venue draws performers from across the globe. This theatre attracts the best in music, comedy, plays, and other performances. It can also be reserved for graduations and other activities. You won't want to miss The Nutcracker during the holidays. It's a delight for all fortunate enough to attend this annual tradition. 

Mona Leonard Realtor Reviews The Kravis Center

Area Movie Theaters

The Regency 8 Theater in Stuart has a great selection of recently released movies. With lots of restaurants close by, it gives a whole new meaning to date night. Located in the Treasure Coast Mall, the Regal Treasure Coast Mall boasts 16 theaters and amazing recliners so you can kick back and watch the show. 

For more information about Stuart area theatres and playhouses, contact Mona Leonard, your trusted Treasure Coast Insider blogger.