Hutchinson Island, the barrier island east of Stuart and Fort Pierce, is best known for its miles of unspoiled beaches.
But in hot and humid September, it's a good place to visit for a pair of captivating air-conditioned museums -- one preserving something very old and one featuring something very new.
The old: Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge, a lovely 1876 wooden cottage, which tells a little-known story of Florida's system to save shipwrecked sailors. It also is located on a stunning beach with coquina rocks and a shipwreck you can snorkel 100 yards off shore.
The new: The Elliott Museum, rebuilt three years ago with an innovative museum exhibit, where visitors use a...