About Fort Pierce

Message from the Mayor!

Top Ten Reasons to Choose Fort Pierce to live, work, learn and play, year-round:

Location:  On Florida’s southeast Atlantic Coast, Fort Pierce is the county seat of St. Lucie County, the heart of the Treasure Coast.  Our beautiful Indian River Lagoon is wide, our beaches are uncrowded, pristine and plentiful and our waters are clear and clean.  The Port of Fort Pierce is one of Florida’s 14 deepwater ports, set to be a hub for mega yacht repair and retrofit operations (MRO) and operated by Derecktor Shipyards. The Treasure Coast International Airport (TCIA) is on track to be a thriving aviation MRO. The customs experience is ranked # 1 by private pilots.  

Fort Pierce Inlet: The Fort Pierce Inlet celebrated its100 year anniversary in 2021.  It connects the Atlantic Ocean with the biodiverse Indian River Lagoon. The City Marina has been restored and enhanced and is now protected by a unique waterfront island protection and water cleaning system.  With additional docks, enhanced marina amenities, dinghy docks for day-trippers and recently-dredged channel for larger vessels, the Fort Pierce City Marina is a boater favorite.   

Parks:  Throughout the city, our parks have been enhanced and improved, including Moore’s Creek and Inlet Linear Parks, Causeway, South Beach, and Jetty Parks, Maravilla Park (including a dog park), Dreamland and Pioneers Parks. Marina Square, Old Fort Park, Veterans Memorial and Indian Hills Restoration and Recreation Parks.     

Redevelopment:  Incorporated in 1901, Fort Pierce has redeveloped and beautified our historic Downtown, the Avenue D corridor and South Hutchinson Island. A seven-acre site located on Moore’s Creek is ready for redevelopment as Kings Landing.  Fisherman’s Wharf will soon be redeveloped with uses that create a buffer zone between Historic Edgartown and the Port of Fort Pierce. The Melody Lane Fishing Pier is a new addition for residents and visitors to take advantage of the enhanced fishing created by the islands in the Lagoon.  

Culture: The Sunrise Theatre, a 1200 seat performing arts venue has been restored. The Highwaymen Heritage Trail features 26 African American speed-painters of Florida landscapes who sold their art from their vehicles along the highways of South Florida.  The Zora Neale Hurston Dust Tracks Trail, commemorates the noted author and anthropologist who lived her last years in Fort Pierce. Recently, the City acquired historic school property, Means Court, now a center for neighborhood improvement.  Additionally, a new Highwaymen Museum has been identified, along with continued support of the Lincoln Theatre restoration. Our museums include the A, E. “Beanie” Backus Museum and Gallery, and the St. Lucie Regional History Museum, with its satellite Adams Cobb Cultural Museum in the P.P. Cobb Building. 

Clean Water:  The Fort Pierce Inlet keeps the waters of the Indian River Lagoon clean and adds just the right amount of salinity from the Atlantic Ocean.  Marine research is conducted by the Smithsonian Marine Station, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution and the Ocean Research and Conservation Association. The Indian Hills Restoration and Recreation Area cleans the water before it enters the Lagoon, as does the Veterans Memorial Park. The multiuse Sun Trail opened its first segment in 2022 connecting the city-owned and operated Indian Hills Golf Course to south of Savannah Road.  

Attractions:  A popular tourist attraction, the National UDT Navy SEAL museum, commemorates the birth of the Navy frogmen here in Fort Pierce, and chronicles the evolution of this military unit to today’s Navy SEALs.  Nearby Port St. Lucie is the Spring Training home of the New York Mets.  Private and public golf courses are plentiful, including the world-renowned PGA courses in Port St. Lucie as well as St. Lucie County’s Fairwinds Golf Course and Indian Hills.  The highly-rated Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers Market is a Saturday Morning Tradition at Marina Square along with the Green Market every Wednesday afternoon.  

Education: School graduation rates improved to 94.5% in 2020-2021.  Fort Pierce has excellent private schools, including St. Anastasia and John Carroll Catholic schools and St. Andrews Episcopal Academy lower and upper schools.  We are proud to be the home of Indian River State College ranked highest in affordability in Florida.  In 2019, IRSC won the Aspen Prize for community college excellence, making it the #1 community college in the nation.     

Medical Care:  Fort Pierce is the home of Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, a Level II Trauma Center hospital with many unique services.  Lawnwood is a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and a Pediatric Emergency Care unit.  Lawnwood is known throughout the region for its experienced cardiac and pediatric services. Lawnwood has embarked on a $100 million investment at the Lawnwood campus.  The newly-completed Ardie R. Copas State Veterans’ Nursing Home is located in nearby Tradition.          

It’s your turn to find your own reason.  Here’s a hint:   The City of Fort Pierce offers small town atmosphere, year-round ideal climate and no metropolitan hassles.  Just in case you miss that big city allure, visit Orlando, Tampa and Miami, all a mere two hours away. 

Welcome, 
Linda Hudson, Mayor 

MORE REASONS TO LOVE FORT PIERCE:

The Sunrise City

Fort Pierce, often called the Sunrise City, has been the hub of St. Lucie County, Florida for over 100 years. Situated on the “Treasure Coast,” named after the famed sinking of a Spanish treasure fleet in 1715, Fort Pierce is one of the oldest communities on the east coast of Florida. Incorporated in 1901, the city grew from 300 pioneers to over 45,000 residents today and encompasses approximately 31 square miles. Our city is a diverse, yet neighborly, community that embraces both the richness of our heritage and the promise of the future. In Fort Pierce, you’ll find a historic, small-town lifestyle in a picturesque slice of paradise, with miles and miles of unspoiled shores. Fort Pierce is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets -- a place with fascinating research centers and museums, excellent community services, and a wealth of cultural and recreational attractions.

FROM DESTINATION TO STAY-CATION:

Fort Pierce is famous for being a quaint fishing village, but take a closer look and you will find a treasure trove of activities. As one of the most diverse communities on the Treasure Coast, Fort Pierce has the cultural excitement to rival any “big city” atmosphere. With weekly and monthly events and premier shows at the Sunrise Theatre, visitors never run out of things to do or people to meet. Fort Pierce is located on the pristine Indian River Lagoon with one of the best all-weather inlets in the state of Florida. Even though Fort Pierce is known for its world-class fishing, some visitors would rather take an eco-friendly motorized kayak down the Indian River or dolphin watch on a tour boat. Paddleboarding and horseback riding on unspoiled beaches is also a hit among tourists. Fort Pierce’s natural beauty is world-renowned.

Features & Diversity

Our city is a diverse yet neighborly community, embracing both the richness of our heritage and the promise of the future in St. Lucie County. Downtown has retained its old Florida charm and scale, as it has welcomed new development and revitalization. The historic waterfront downtown affords residents contemporary shopping, dining, great fishing, and a range of entertainment and activities from the Farmers Market, Friday Fest, Jazz Market, and the city-owned and operated historic, 1,200 seat Sunrise Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Education

Fort Pierce is home to educational and research facilities, like the top-ranked Indian River State College, Smithsonian Marine Station, Manatee Observation and Education Center, and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution at Florida Atlantic University. Furthermore, Indian River State College has earned a statewide and national reputation for excellence. Dedicated to the success of each student, IRSC offers over 100 programs leading to Bachelor’s Degrees, Associate Degrees, Technical Certificates, and Applied Technology Diplomas. Continuing a 57-year tradition of responsiveness to community needs, IRSC is committed to advancing the educational, cultural, career training, workforce, and economic development of its surrounding area. In 2019, Indian State College was awarded its highest honor, the Aspen Prize, for Community College Excellence. The college was selected from more than 1,000 state and community colleges following a rigorous review of data, strategies, and outcomes related to student learning, degree and certificate completion, high rates of graduate employment, earnings for graduates, and exceptional access and success for minority and low-income students. During the 2017-2018 academic year, IRSC’s graduating class—3,951 students—was the largest in the College’s 58-year history. 94% of IRSC graduates find employment or continue their education, typically earning more than twice the average entry wage in the four-county area. IRSC is designated as the 3rd Most Affordable College in the U.S. by the Department of Education, with no tuition increase in six years. 

ST. LUCIE PUBLIC SCHOOLS POINTS OF PRIDE

B Rated District with No Failing Schools

66% Are “A” and “B” Schools

Top 3 for Academic Achievement

Top 10 for Graduation Rate

93.2% Overall Graduation Rate

An Award-Winning City

Fort Pierce was awarded the 2005 City of Excellence Award by the Florida League of Cities for overall excellence in city government and in 2011 and Main Street Fort Pierce, Inc. received the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in beautiful downtown Fort Pierce.

Most Idyllic and Historic Main Street

In 2015, Fort Pierce was named one of USA Today's Most Idyllic and Historic Main Streets in America.

USA Today applauded Fort Pierce’s downtown in its Aug. 11, 2014, edition in an article headlined, “Idyllic and historic main streets across the USA.” Here is the entry that appeared in the newspaper: Fort Pierce, a Treasure Coast “Old Florida” town, cooled by breezes off the Indian River, won the 2011 Best Main Street designation from the National Trust. Swaying palm trees line the sidewalks, and the atmosphere evokes the early 1900’s when the city came into its own. Period Spanish architecture punctuates the downtown area, the star of which is the historic Sunrise Theatre. The Saturday Farmer’s Market is a must.

Read more in Fort Pierce Magazine.

No. 1 Best Small Town Main Street in America

Also in 2015, Fort Pierce’s downtown Main Street was named No. 1 on a consumer-advocacy group’s list of “50 Best Small Town Main Streets” in America. The honor was given by Top Value Reviews, which ranked Fort Pierce top among cities with a population of 60,000. Fort Pierce was one of only two Florida cities named on the list and it beat out notable quaint small towns such as Nantucket, Mass., and Steamboat Springs, Colo. “It was a surprise to us and what an honor to be chosen over 2,000 other Main Street programs across the country,” says Doris Tillman, who has been executive director of Main Street Fort Pierce Inc. for the past 24 years. “It is not about the people who run Main Street. It is about all the people who have so much belief in bettering ourselves. It is the community and the city and the people always ready to support and help you.”

Read more in Fort Pierce Magazine.

 

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