Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Logo
The Dune Trail boardwalk at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park winds through the trees. A roseate spoonbill wades through the water of the park's estuary. Volunteer Bruce Kay leads a guided kayak tour inside the park. The sun sets in shades of purple, gold and rose over the boardwalk crossing the estuary to the beach.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
A nesting loggerhead sea turtle enters the ocean after depositing her eggs.

History and Culture

The 325-acre park is named after the previous owner, John D. MacArthur, who wished to preserve it for future generations to enjoy. In the 1970s, after a university study revealed that the property was a biological treasure, he donated a section for use as a public park. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation contributed additional funds to develop the park and Nature Center.

In this 1940s photo, cars drive along what is now the park boundaries.

Driving Through Park

Motorists drive within the park in the late 1940s. Folks were even able to drive on the beach and across a causeway to Munyon Island.

An aerial view of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park taken in the early 1980s.

Pre-Park Ownership

This aerial view of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park was taken in the early 1980s. The park had recently opened and was accessible from one entry on the southern end of the park. The land for the park was given by philanthropist John D. MacArthur, who saw its biological value and sought to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

An aerial view of the beach at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park taken in 1989.

Aerial View

This aerial view shows the coastline at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. Noticeably absent from the photo are the boardwalks, built in the late 1980s, crossing Lake Worth Lagoon to the beach.

An aerial view of the quarter-mile boardwalk at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park taken in 1989.

Estuary Boardwalk

This view shows the construction of the quarter-mile estuary boardwalk crossing Lake Worth and leading to the beach. The photo was taken on January 4, 1989. Throughout the years, the boardwalk has become a focal point of the park.

This aerial view shows the construction of the park nature center, in 1989.

Park Construction

This aerial view of the park shows the construction of the park's nature center parking area, toll booth and entrance road. The photo was taken on January 4, 1989. These facilities were opened to the public that same year.