Heron Island




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Heron Island is an unincorporated community located in Florida’s Santa Rosa County, approximately 12 miles west of Moore Haven. The island is accessible only by water and provides a rural retreat for residents and guests. The island boasts a natural salt water lagoon that has been designated a National Wildlife Refuge, as well as freshwater marshes, pine trees, palmetto scrub, and hardwood hammocks. Though the island has been developed for residential use, it still maintains its natural environment.

Heron Island


The island was uninhabited until the late 1800s, when a small fishing community began to develop. In 1927, the Heron Island Development Company was chartered and began to purchase the island for residential development. The company built two villages on the east and west coasts of the island: New Heron Village on the eastern side, and Old Heron Village on the western side.

In 1941, during World War II, a naval air base was established on the southern end of the island. The United States Navy operated out of “Fort Pierce”. In 1947, over 1,000 residents were living at Heron Island.

During World War II and following shortly after, residents built Admiral Scott’s Mission which served as a Coast Guard station from 1941 to 1960.


Heron Island enjoys a subtropical climate, with mild winters and hot, humid summers. In 2012, the waters of Heron Island’s fabled lagoon were a subject in on-going legal battles between Florida Power & Light and environmentalists; FPL had been using several large pumps for many years to keep saltwater out of the once brackish water lagoon so that it could be used as irrigation and hydroelectric power.

The generators supplied electricity to most Floridians along with agricultural operations all around Central Florida. But the loss of mangrove forests has robbed Heron Island’s lagoon system of an important measure of protection from rising sea levels. In 2013, Florida Power & Light agreed to voluntarily stop pumping salt water back into the lagoon and supplement it with fresh water drawn from Lake Okeechobee; the new arrangement will allow salty waters to cover rather than flood a larger portion of the land area on that end known as The Cabbage Patch.


The island has a small, but active, arts community. The Heron Island Arts Association sponsors the annual Heron Island Art Festival. In 2013, festival organizers announced that they were planning to move the event to a new location on the island in order not to burden taxpayers with costly security and maintenance expenses. The move prompted the “Pinellas County Property Appraisers Association” to release an official statement opposing the change of venue.


The political affiliation of island residents is generally unknown.

The Heron Island Volunteer Fire Department provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the island. The department has three stations, each with a minimum staff of two firefighters and one EMT. Heron Island has two boats: the .75-HP aluminum fiberglass trimaran and a canoe. While both are emergency responders, they do not have other capabilities such as life saving equipment.

Government services

Heron Island is policed by the Florida Highway Patrol. The United States Postal Service operates a bulk mail facility on the island. The USPS is hindered by lack of road access and movement of palletized freight between mainland locations at times when normal air service cannot be established. Communications

The hamlet has a NOAA Weather Radio station K25RN near the Electric Boat Dock. Several full power stations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades provide television, radio, cellular telephone service to Heron Island residents.



The recent discovery of sea turtles nesting on the island has enhanced its tourist appeal. The island is also popular for fishing and birdwatching. The three-mile Great White Shark Warming Pool and training facility at the South Florida Museum allows visitors to swim with great white sharks. The is located adjacent to Three Mile Bridge, 1 mile east of I-75 on U.S. 27 North or US 98 North between Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale beach on Heron Island.



The island is served by the Miami-Dade County Public Transportation System. There are no bridges or ferries connecting the island to mainland Florida. In the absence of roads, it is accessible by boat and egress dates vary according to weather conditions. Heron Island has three jettys: Western Jetty () at 1°33.628’N 80°10.761’W; Eastern Jetty (), just off South MM-323 Road (Mile Marker 323), I92 Exit 70 at Alameda Avenue in Port Everglades; and Causeway (). It also has five boat ramps from which 10 coral-sand barges can be chartered to reach the island (). It has no airport, although Heron Island Airport is proposed for construction.



The island’s cuisine is based on fresh seafood. Local favorites include jerk chicken, conch salad, grouper tips in garlic and butter, roasted whole red snapper with mango salsa yucca fries and frog legs in garlic. Five Award-winning Beach Bistros and Lodge Restaurants on Heron Island serve fine gourmet cuisine.

Qualifying events are held annually at the island’s massive international golf course, rated as one of Florida’s best by Golf Digest magazine in 1993 (the 22nd time it has been awarded that honor).


Heron Island is a 5-hour flight from Johannesburg, South Africa and was once a stop on the Safari Route. Now, this luxury resort is a popular spot for adventure seekers and nature lovers. With pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush rainforest, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Heron Island.


What Is The Climate Like On Heron Island?

The climate is warm and humid all year round. The average temperature ranges from 78⁰F (25⁰C) in winter to 82⁰F (28⁰C) in summer. There is an annual rainfall of 36 inches (910 mm).

Can I Bring A Pet With Me To Heron Island?

Pets are not allowed on the island, due to sensitive wildlife and environmental issues. If you wish to bring your pet, it is advised that they fly as an alternate method of travel rather than using land transportation.

Does Heron Island Have Wifi ?

No…although there are some hotels on the island with internet, activation costs extra with no additional benefit beyond that of hotel access points in any given area (meaning Wi-Fi could be poor). The only areas which do offer free Wi-Fi are the airport, one of the cinemas and most bars.

Do I Have Access To Electricity ?

No… though there is a generator on island that can power AV equipment such as laptops, it will be turned off overnight to save on cost. The technical staff at Heron Island do not recommend using Blu-Ray or DVD players plugged in with AC adapter (unless you really want them) as they can cause overheating and damage to the units.

What Is Check-In And Checkout Like?

Check in at Heron Island Resort for guests who will be staying overnight starts from 13h00 on Friday until 20h00 on Sunday, with ceremony going off at 16h30 (followed by a late night disco). Check out time from Heron Island Hotel is 10am unless stated otherwise .

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