John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

The only state park in Palm Beach County is an "island in time" preserving the lush and diverse subtropical coastal habitats that once covered southeast Florida.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, nestled on a barrier island, encompasses 325 acres, which includes mangrove fringed estuary, coastal hardwood forests, nearly two miles of beach and shallow near shore reefs.

Park visitors can participate in a variety of recreational activities, including kayaking, fishing, bird-watching and snorkeling.

Open daily, the Nature Center offers displays and live animals to enhance your knowledge of the park along with a video and friendly park staff and volunteers to answer your every question. Don't forget to shop in the Nature Center for just the right souvenir, or sunscreen and a beach towel, before you ride the tram back across the estuary to the beach.

Many special events are offered in the park throughout the year, including children's programs, guided snorkeling adventures, recreational skills lessons, MacArthur Under Moonlight concerts, summer day camps, and special holiday celebrations to name just a few.

Park Wildlife
The park is filled with wildlife. Take a few hours and observe and you will be amazed at what you will see. In the area, we will help you become familiar with the many kinds of birds, reptiles, fish and marinelife, small mammals and other wildlife frequently seen by visitors to the park.

Park Plants
Florida contains more kinds of plants and animals than any other state, except Hawaii. What plants are found in the Park is determined by many factors such as climate, soil, hydrology and fire frequency. Plants that are not native to Florida are considered "exotics". The Park has an extensive, continuous program of removal of these often invasive "guests". If you would like to help in our efforts to keep the Park natural, please consider becoming a volunteer.

Natural Communities
Except for Hawaii, Florida contains more kinds of plants and animals than any other state. Plants and animals found living together in the same area form a community. The park contains four main natural communities or habitats. What plants and animals inhabit these communities is determined by many factors such as climate, soil, hydrology and fire frequency. Habitats provide food, water and shelter to the animals that live there.

Pew Family Natural Science Education Center
The excitement mounts as the new Pew Family Natural Science Education Center is taking shape. Due to the success of our cost-free programs, and our need to expand and extend our existing facilities, the construction of the new Center began in December with the removal and transfer of native plants.

The park is located in northern Palm Beach County along Jack Nicklaus Drive in North Palm Beach.

The park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.

The entrance fee is $5.00 per vehicle, maximum of 8 people.

Park Guidelines

  • For your safety, please do not feed or attempt to touch any animals.
  • Intoxicants and firearms are prohibited
  • Pets are not allowed on the beach the board walks, restrooms or in the Nature Center. They may be kept on a six-foot hand-held leash in other areas.
  • Fishing is not allowed on the boardwalk
  • There are no beach lifeguard services
  • The park is ADA accessible.
  • Picnic tables and grills are available
  • Pavillions are available for groups.
  • Open 8 am until sunset 365 days a year.
  • Nature Center is open 9 am to 5 pm daily
  • An entrance fee is required