by Marc D. Thompson

Our history relies heavily on our foliage and wildlife. Among those is the amazing stretch of pine trees on North A1A. In 1992 North Ocean Boulevard (State Road A1A) in the Town of Gulf Stream was designated as a State Historic Scenic Highway to preserve the last remaining Australian pine canopy and the original character and beauty of the 1920s A1A in Florida.

State Road A1A through Gulf Stream is one of the earliest, most scenic and most important north-south highways in Palm Beach County and was officially opened in 1916 in this area. In the 1920s, Australian pines were planted on both sides of the road in South Florida, up to the freeze line, to act as a windbreak. Being a fast growing species, a canopy over A1A soon developed, adding greatly to the beauty, charm and character of the area.

This canopy has been destroyed with the exception of that remaining in Gulf Stream. Ironically, Australian pines are now too prolific and are not as welcomed in some areas as they once were. Yet the Town has protected the canopy and has obtained authority from the State to restore it, which is gradually being accomplished. Take a scenic drive on A1A past Gulf Stream to view our beautifully canopied street.

Sources: The Town of Gulf Stream and the Florida Department of State.

Marc D. Thompson, owner of VirtuFit® & VirtuGen, is a prominent fitness trainer, personal coach & professional genealogist with a background in medicine, exercise physiology & family history research. He has pioneered virtual training and teaches via webcam one-on-one and group classes. He also combines traditional genealogical research methods with cutting-edge internet surfing while using multiple computers to produce the fastest, most accurate results. Along with over 25 years of experience in both fields, he draws from thousands of exercises, fitness disciplines, sports psychology techniques, nutritional principals & research techniques to teach & empower each individual client. His published works have appeared in Fighting Chance Magazine, Love’s Chance Magazine, Northern Stars Magazine, Offerings, Poetry Motel, Suzerian Enterprises and The Pink Chameleon. He currently pens blogs at and