8 Unique Things To Do in Indian River
Unlike some other coastal destinations, Vero Beach has managed to preserve its charm and local flavor. Though celebrities frequent this Treasure Coast town, it stays just enough under the radar that it doesn’t attract a raucous, partying crowd. Rather, Vero draws vacationers looking for beautiful beaches, a vibrant food and culture scene, and most importantly, quiet.
Vero Beach, photo by Tracy Kaler
Vero Beach affords far more than a string of lazy afternoons filled with sun and sand. At the seat of Indian River County, which includes nearby areas Fellsmere and Sebastian, the resort town rests on the Atlantic while the peaceful Indian River Lagoon runs through it. A perfect spot to relax, shop, or participate in endless outdoor activities, this town of about 15,000 people proves that good things can come in small packages. You won’t find the typical high-rise architecture that’s common in other Florida seaside hamlets, either, four story-construction is the maximum, leaving plenty of sky and sunrises for your viewing pleasure.
Get in touch with your adventurous side as you climb aboard this airplane-engined boat, built and operated by Vero Beach native, Captain Lawrence. You’ll be lifted out of your seat on this narrated trip as the vessel dashes across the St Johns River marshes, only to discover an untouched parcel of Indian River County. While the warm wind whisks across your face, capture photos of blooming lotus lilies and other exotic plants, and momentarily, you’ll spot alligators, ospreys, and various wildlife species. Ask questions throughout this fun-filled ride through one of Florida’s most impressive natural habitats.
Welcome to the newest Wine & Ale Trail in the Sunshine State! The Treasure Coast area gives visitors and locals a unique craft beer experience with 9 breweries, one winery, one cidery, one meadery, and growing. From small nano-breweries to larger breweries, the Treasure Coast Wine & Ale Trail will introduce you to a vibrant, diverse group of entrepreneurs who are helping redefine the character of our Coast, one perfect pint at a time.
3. Sunset Sail
Leave all of your problems behind when you hop on the Moonraker for a spectacular evening excursion. Relax on the water and gaze at a stunning sunset while Captain Bruce Jackson takes the helm. Cruise on the “Narrows of Vero,” a popular yet peaceful section of the Indian River Lagoon where you might spot dolphins and manatees. Bring your own snacks and beverages, which the crew will serve during your sunset sail. Opt for a short post-dinner cruise, spend a full day on the lagoon, or soar clear to the Atlantic Ocean.
Opt for a sunset sail on the Moonraker, photo by Tracy Kaler.
4. Sea Turtle Nesting Tour
If you choose to travel to Vero Beach in June or July, you might get lucky enough to watch a sea turtle nest on a dark, deserted beach in Sebastian Inlet State Park while stars shoot through the midnight blue sky. Patience will be your best friend while you allow nature to run its course as a mammoth mama turtle emerges from the sea, only to carefully prepare the nest, lay over 100 eggs resembling ping pong balls, and then camouflage those eggs in the sand before returning to the ocean. A miracle? Not quite, but certainly worth the wait.
An afternoon of kayaking on the Indian River Lagoon is a must for nature-lovers. Choose from a solo kayak or tandem if you have a partner, as you coast through one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in the Northern Hemisphere. Don’t let a dolphin sighting catch you off guard, you’ll likely run into one, or other sea creatures, as the Indian River Lagoon houses more than 3,000 animals and plant species.
Nature-lovers can kayak on the Indian River Lagoon, photo by Tracy Kaler.
6. Vero Beach Museum of Art
Located in 26-acre Riverside Park, this art museum boasts more than 880 works including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography, and more. Browse collections from the early twentieth century to present day; take an art class, or participate in one of the museum’s humanities programs such as the International Lecture Series and the Children’s Art Festival.
Sebastian boasts one of the most spectacular skydiving views in the world! Both tandem and experienced jumpers travel from all over the world to plunge from an altitude of 13,500 feet and experience the breathtaking view!
8. Oceanside Shops and Restaurants
A definite shopper’s heaven, the six-block district on Ocean Drive and Cardinal Drive between Flamevine and Conn Way is brimming with one-of-a-kind boutiques, day spas, eateries, and art galleries. Shop beach-inspired finds and artifacts at M. Maison (3403 Ocean Drive); hunt gals’ casual clothing, resort wear, and costume jewelry at Treasure Lane (966 Beachland Blvd), and stop for a bite to eat at The Tides (3103 Cardinal Dr). Spoil yourself with a massage or facial at Kimpton’s Vero Beach Hotel and Spa (355 Ocean Drive), and complete your seaside adventure with an ice cream at Kilwin’s (3001 Ocean Drive). Opt for a pleasant afternoon of buying, browsing, dining and drinking, but not before you’re caught up in a picture-perfect view of the Atlantic Ocean.
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