Nestled between Jupiter and West Palm Beach is Juno Beach Pier, formerly known as Juno Beach Fishing Pier. Built in 1950 by Bessemer Properties, it was the only pier between Cape Canaveral and Palm Beach at that time. It was later purchased by Wally and Penny Sheltz in 1977.
“I loved the beach and thought it would be a fun business. We remodeled the two-story building, which sold admissions, some food and drinks, bait and tackle, with bathrooms downstairs and an apartment upstairs,” wrote Penny Sheltz about the Juno Beach Pier. “We had fathers bringing their kids to fish and telling us about the days they fished the pier with their dads. Generations grew up on the pier, and wives would bring their husbands’ ashes and asked to throw them off as requested because of all the good memories there,” she wrote.
The pier was open year-round. Mostly in the summer season, pier-goers, residents, fishermen and anglers gathered around the pier rail to catch a variety of fish— whiting, snappers, snook, kingfish, barracudas, and other hefty gamefish, such as sharks. However, throughout the years, the pier’s structure began to deteriorate and in 1984, 20-foot storm waves destroyed the center of the structure. Efforts were made to save the pier, but after unsuccessful attempts, the pier was sold. Later in 1985, during a training exercise, the town’s fire department burned down the two-story entrance building, and a year after, the pier was dismantled. In 1999, Palm Beach County rebuilt the pier into a 990-foot, t-shape pier spanning magnificently into the Atlantic Ocean.
Today, the $2.2 million iconic landmark is a popular local fishing and recreational attraction owned by the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department and managed by Loggerhead Marinelife Center, welcoming guests to enjoy great saltwater fishing and wonderful scenic views. The full-service Pier House features a friendly guest services team, snack bar, gift store as well as a variety of fishing tackle, including rental poles and bait.
Juno Beach Pier is part of the Responsible Pier Initiative, providing educational workshops on responsible fishing practices. Other educational programs offered include the Kids Fishing Program, where participants learn basic fishing techniques and skills and how to reduce their impact on marine life, and private fishing lessons with expert anglers for adults and children ages 8 and up.
Juno Beach Pier is located at 14776 U.S. Highway 1, Juno Beach. For information on the Juno Beach Pier experience, including hours of operation and admission fees, visit www.marinelife.org/pier-experiences.