Searching for exciting things to do in Vero Beach, Florida? You’ve arrived to the correct location!
It’s referred to as a “sunny frame of mind” here. And it perfectly defines picture-perfect Vero Beach.
Vero Beach is the seat of Indian River County on Florida’s Treasure Coast, located about 34 miles south of Melbourne and 108 miles southeast of Orlando. Vero Beach, unlike the southeast Florida metropolis of West Palm Beach-Fort Lauderdale-Miami, is a refreshing and soothing retreat from the crowds.
The spectacular and uncrowded windswept beaches, wealth of natural ecosystems, and unique Old-Florida ambiance are what make this wonderful coastal hamlet so remarkable. No rooftop can be taller than its swinging palms, and there are no high-rise hotels to be found along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Vero Beach seemed to have blended the glitz with the plain and uncomplicated. And we fell head over heels for this stunning beach find.
These are our top picks for things to do and see in Vero Beach that will make your visit both exceptional and unforgettable.
Visiting other places in Florida? See our other guides:
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- 10 Must-Try Restaurants In Palm Beach Florida
- 13 Best Disney Springs Restaurants
- 7 Must-Try Universal CityWalk Restaurants
- 20 Best Restaurants In Universal Studios
- 1 The 9 Greatest Activities in Vero Beach, Florida
- 1.1 Hotel Kimpton Vero Beach & Spa
- 1.2 Park at Wabasso
- 1.3 National Wildlife Sanctuary on Pelican Island
- 1.4 McLarty Treasure House Museum
- 1.5 Landscape Painting Gallery by Florida Highwaymen
- 1.6 McKee Botanical Garden (McKee Botanical Garden)
- 1.7 Environmental Education Center
- 1.8 Investigate Downtown Vero Beach
- 1.9 Vero Beach Disney Resort
The 9 Greatest Activities in Vero Beach, Florida
Hotel Kimpton Vero Beach & Spa
Ocean Drive (772) 231-56663500
Sure, I’ve heard that the view doesn’t important since I don’t spend much time in my room. But that’s not my credo, particularly when I’m in a beautiful seaside town like Vero Beach.
Kimpton has won multiple distinctions, including being named one of the Best 10 Resort Hotels in Florida by a prominent journal. Its central position on Vero Beach’s main avenue makes it ideal for shopping and eating. Yet, it completely offers for calm isolation away from the rush and bustle of local life.
The magnificent ocean views, heated oceanside pool, award-winning spa, gorgeous rooms and suites, and exceptional service distinguish this premium boutique hotel. It’s the ideal spot to unwind, recover, and recharge. Particularly if you prefer stargazing on the beach or curling up next to a toasty bonfire.
Kimpton’s two on-site restaurants, Cobalt and Heatons, are remarkable and provide amazing food as well as breathtaking vistas. Here is a spot where you may stroll the beach, listen to the air whisper through the palms, and watch the dawn.
Park at Wabasso
There is no phone number recorded for 1820 Wabasso Beach Road.
With 26 miles of pure white sand along the bright ocean coast, it’s almost hard to select a favorite beach here. Wabasso Beach Park, though, is our personal favorite.
What we like most about this enticing stretch of sand is its distant position and popularity among surfers and treasure seekers. The beach has lovely sand dunes, coastal vegetation, and is a popular nesting site for sea turtles. It’s also difficult to top a boardwalk that leads to the beach while tucked under a canopy of lush sea grapes. If you’re searching for some peace & quiet, this seaside jewel is the place to be.
National Wildlife Sanctuary on Pelican Island
Wildlife Way (772) 581-55574055
If you’re going to Vero Beach, don’t forget to bring your binoculars. More than 100,000 acres of outstanding protected animal habitats and state parks are available to tourists in this area.
Our day excursion to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge was one of the nicest outdoor activities we had. President Theodore Roosevelt designated Pelican Island as a bird sanctuary in 1903, making it the country’s first National Wildlife Refuge. The goal was to rescue one of the remaining brown pelican rookeries on the east coast and to save egrets and other birds from becoming extinct as a result of excessive plume hunting.
The refuge, located inside the picturesque Indian River Lagoon, is the most ecologically diverse estuary in the United States. The refuge is a wildlife lover’s paradise, with over 30 different bird species as well as sea turtles, manatees, and, yes, alligators. Paved walkways make it simple to move about, and there are various overlooks for photos and seeing more of nature’s wonders.
McLarty Treasure House Museum
(772) 589-2147, Sebastian Inlet State Park (772) 589-2147
This museum packs a punch, has a lot of substance, and is rather amazing for its size.
The museum is located on the location of the ill-fated 1715 Spanish galleon fleet, which was destroyed by a storm close to shore. It displays the gold, silver, copper, and other treasures recovered from the 11 ships that perished in these Atlantic seas. Authentic relics from the galleons and their sailors are on exhibit, including weaponry, equipment, and personal goods. Visitors may even touch (but not remove) a gold nugget worth over $500,000.
Salvagers are still scouring offshore more than 300 years later, hoping to retrieve more of the riches from these lost boats. Mel Fisher, the visionary and international leader in historic shipwreck recovery, was unquestionably the king of treasure seekers. We enjoyed the exhibits and images that highlighted this famed and daring man’s many years of successful treasure seeking. Is it any surprise that this area is appropriately titled the Treasure Coast?
Landscape Painting Gallery by Florida Highwaymen
14th Avenue (772) 321-28021935
In the 1950s, a group of 26 African-American painters, including one female, defied accepted art convention by painting lovely landscapes in their own distinct manner. When local galleries declined to sell their art made from the most basic of materials, these self-taught entrepreneurs marketed their wares along Florida’s roads. As a result, the name.
Happily, these one-of-a-kind and breathtaking sculptures have withstood the test of time. These painters’ expressive paintings, now in their seventies and eighties, depict an important chapter in Florida’s historical and cultural history.
Roy McLendon, a second-generation painter whose father Roy Sr. was one of the initial group of painters, owns the Florida Highwaymen Gallery in Vero Beach. We were able to stop in the gallery and see Roy work intently on a new landscape artwork. This art is undoubtedly one of the region’s finest treasures due to its distinctiveness.
McKee Botanical Garden (McKee Botanical Garden)
1350 US Highway 1 (772) 794-0601350 US Highway 1
I must confess that I adore botanical gardens. And when I got the opportunity to visit McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach, it proved to be an unforgettable experience. With the history and wonderful displays on show inside the grounds, this was a day full of surprises and delights.
McKee Jungle Gardens was the name given to the property when it was bought in 1922. By the 1940s, it had become one of Florida’s earliest and most popular attractions, attracting more than 100,000 visitors each year. But, as Central Florida grew and expanded, the gardens’ attractiveness declined. McKee shut down in 1976 and went into hibernation.
But, in 1994, this magnificent facility was rebuilt and reopened to the pleasure of botanical garden enthusiasts worldwide. The grounds are 18 acres in size and include beautiful ponds, waterfalls, streams, pathways, and an excellent collection of water lilies, orchids, and other natural plants. We spent two hours walking the magnificent gardens and wished wed arranged more time here to explore. That really is that lovely.
Environmental Education Center
589-5050255 Living Oak Drive (772) 589-5050
The Environmental Learning Center was founded in 1988 by a group of environmentally aware pioneers in order to preserve the gorgeous, untouched 64-acre Indian River Lagoon Island. Their aim was, and continues to be, to educate, inspire, and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their personal well-being.
Visitors to this non-profit organization are in for a treat, and they should make time to experience both the interior and outdoor parts of the 64-acre site. The lagoon is home to a diverse range of flora and animals and is a popular spot for bird viewing and wildlife observation.
If you like kayaking, the center provides guided excursions through the mangrove paths as well as pontoon rides for those who want to explore the lagoon in this way. Among the many additional activities offered at the Center are bike tours, strolling meditation in the butterfly garden, and a moon forest treatment walk.
Investigate Downtown Vero Beach
Vero Beach (772) 643-678214th Avenue-Main Street
Any coastal town should have a downtown as charming as Vero Beach’s. The walking neighborhood is packed with restaurants, intriguing galleries, fascinating boutiques, and vintage stores.
The Vero Theatre (also known as the Florida Theatre or Theatre Plaza) was erected in 1924. The architecture of the venue is in the Mediterranean Revival style. In 1992, the theatre was listed to the National Register of Historic Places. It is still used as a live performance venue today.
The Heritage Center and Indian River Citrus Museum, built in 1935 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers an intriguing peek into Vero Beach’s history. The museum features an exhibit about Indian River County’s long-standing citrus industry.
Vero Beach Disney Resort
9250 Island Grove Terrace (772) 234-2000
Several Disney lovers have been to Walt Disney World in Orlando. But, not everyone is aware that you can experience a little Disney magic right here in Vero Beach.
Along Florida’s picturesque Atlantic Treasure Coast sits Disney’s magnificent Vero Beach Resort. The picturesque resort pays tribute to the old-fashioned hideaways that formerly drew tourists to Florida’s eastern seaboard’s warm dunes and stunning turquoise seas.
It is certainly worth a visit to see this beautiful resort, whether you stay here, stop in for a beverage, dine at one of its seaside cafes, or stroll the picturesque coastline. It’s also worth noting that Disney’s Vero Beach Resort shares property with the Loggerhead Sea Turtle breeding grounds. Every year, the moonlight functions as a lighthouse, securely directing the hatchlings to the ocean waves. As a consequence, there are no outside lights facing the sea, and the east-looking windows are tinted to reduce the influence of inside illumination. That in itself is a lot of magic!
Finally, I adore beachy stores, and one adorable shop in Vero Beach’s Ocean Drive featured a gorgeous wooden sign that read Life Leads You Along Many Roads, But My Favorite Lead to the Beach.
I absolutely agree, and if you like beach communities, Vero Beach should be on your trip itinerary.