The Getaway
15 Things to do in Vero Beach

America is full of charming beach towns, and you really can’t go wrong when choosing one to visit. However, if you’re looking for an underrated locale that is bursting with charm, history, and local culture, Vero Beach should be your next destination. Nicknamed “The Gateway to the Tropics,” this gorgeous area sits on the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean within Florida’s Treasure Coast. For anyone looking to get the most out of this beautiful area, the best time to visit is from March to May. While you may have a few rain showers here and there, they are usually brief. Crowds are also far more manageable. The summer months are often a bit quieter and cheaper, but you have to deal with far higher temperatures and worse humidity.

Advertisement

01 Getting to Vero Beach

As of 2023, your travel options for getting to Vero Beach have improved thanks to Breeze Airways providing flights from the Vero Beach Regional Airport. Alternatively, you may be able to get less expensive options through slightly further away airports like Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB), which is about 40 miles away from Vero Beach. You can either take a shuttle from the airport or rent a car and drive down US Route 1 or I-95 S. The city is served by GoLine Bus Routes for public transportation.

02 Top beaches in Vero Beach

South Beach Miami, Florida

As part of Florida’s Treasure Coast, Vero Beach has some beautiful beaches to choose from. The three largest are South Beach, Humiston Park, and Jaycee Park. Each of these areas is ADA accessible and features gorgeous picnic areas—including covered sections with tables—and lifeguards on site. Both Humiston and Jaycee have playgrounds should your little ones get tired of playing in the water. Another major beach, Turtle Trail, is one of the best locations in Vero Beach if you’re interested in seeing lush greenery surrounding a cozy beach with nesting sea turtles. Nesting season is from March 1 to October 31, so time your visit appropriately if you’d like to see the majestic creatures.

Advertisement

03 Water activities

It wouldn’t be a beach vacation if you didn’t enjoy the many water activities available to you. For people who prefer to enjoy things at their own pace, Vero Beach is full of fishing opportunities. Round Island Oceanside Park has a great fishing pier, and Sebastian Inlet State Park has great jetties for fishing. Sebastian Inlet is also home to some gnarly swells for more adventurous options like surfing, while its calm lagoon is ideal for kayaking. If that’s not enough for you, consider zooming across the water with a boat from Airboat Wilderness Rides or trying some guided fishing with Chasing Tides Fishing Charters.

04 Cultural attractions

Vero Beach isn’t just a destination for people who love the deep blue sea. It’s also home to some incredible cultural attractions. The Vero Beach Museum of Art is proud to show off a permanent collection of art from the last two centuries, including over 900 pieces. The museum also features many different exhibitions that focus on specific art periods, foreign cultures, and pieces with historical significance.

If you’re someone who prefers your art to be a bit more mobile, the Riverside Theatre offers everything from contemporary theater to opera and even ballet. Perhaps the city’s most important cultural area, however, is the historic Dodgertown. What once began as a U.S. Naval Air Station soon became the training facility of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball teams. MLB has plans to renovate the area and refocus it to honor the late Jackie Robinson.

05 Outdoor adventures

Anyone who itches to see the great outdoors will be spoiled for choice in Vero Beach. Hiking and biking trails weave throughout the most beautiful sections of the area. The eight-mile Historic Jungle Trail is arguably the best, however, thanks to its bordering lush vegetation and traveling along serene waterways.

Hoping to catch a peek at some of the local wildlife? Consider swinging by the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. This escape from the civilized world offers over 5400 acres with ample opportunities to spot fish, sea turtles, alligators, migratory birds, as well as manatees and dolphins. As you might expect from the name, there are more than ten types of pelican nests here. The Environmental Learning Center may clock in at a smaller 64 acres, but it is definitely worth a visit. The lagoon island offers many different events, like STEAM immersion programs, fire meditation and yoga, and even an academy for learning about all the local critters.

06 Dining in Vero Beach

Of course, no travel destination is complete without ample dining opportunities. Vero Beach has a range of offerings, from casual eateries to fine dining. Make a reservation at the Ocean Grill to enjoy fresh stone crab a mere stone’s throw away from lapping ocean waves. Alternatively, consider swinging by Mrs. Mac’s Fillin’ Station for some old-fashioned classics in a restaurant that honors the idyllic days of old. And, if you’re hungry right when you arrive, C.J. Cannon’s is a homey spot right in the Vero Beach Regional Airport.

07 Shopping and leisure

Along the streets of Vero Beach, you’ll find a variety of boutiques, unique stores, and shops offering antique treasures. Over 20 locally-owned stores line the streets next to the ocean, so you’re sure to find anything you could want. Patchington is great for contemporary classics, and Maus and Hoffman are perfect for anyone looking to dress up a bit. The Wildwood Antique Mall contains 35,000 square feet of antiques, collectibles, vintage items, and other highly desirable finds. Once the sun sets over the waterline, head to the Kilted Mermaid for a laidback night in a pub or hit The Stamp Bar for live music and a high-energy vibe.

08 Family-friendly activities

When you’re traveling with family, it can be a struggle to find a destination that has something for everyone. Vero Beach is one of those rare locations that truly does have anything you could want, regardless of age. The McLarty Treasure Museum is a perfect opportunity to educate adults and children about the massive fleet that led to the eventual birth of the town of Vero Beach. Once again, the Environmental Learning Center has plenty to do, including classes and activities that could keep kids busy for an entire vacation stay. Safari Mini Golf and Games is also sure to put a smile on your and your children’s faces.

09 Accommodations in Vero Beach

One of the first things most travelers want to know about their chosen vacation spot is where they get to stay. Thankfully, Vero Beach has options to accommodate everyone, whether you’re looking for a high-class resort, a cozy RV camp, or a beachside vacation rental. Disney Vero Beach Resort is an elegant, old-fashioned hideaway perfect for families. Encores’s Sunshine Travel RV Resort is a great choice if you’ve made your journey to Vero Beach a road trip adventure. Vacation rentals can also be perfect for visitors looking for something a bit more private. Places like Beach and Beyond offer short- and long-term options, so you can stay as long as you like.

10 Vero Beach for nature lovers

Despite the attention on Florida’s—admittedly incredible—beaches, the state’s greenery doesn’t fall far behind, especially in Vero Beach. The McKee Botanical Garden is a tropical paradise that appeals to anyone with an appreciation for art and nature. From its 80-plus types of waterlilies to a music maze to dozens of perfect sculptures to 18 acres of diverse Florida foliage, the Garden is unforgettable. Plus, they regularly host events that add even more sparkle to this already gorgeous gem.

11 Events and festivals

Regardless of when you choose to visit Vero Beach, you’ll be able to fill your days with all sorts of events and festivals. Enjoy an art gallery stroll in the Downtown Arts District or vibe to concerts in Riverview Park. However, the biggest event in Vero Beach might be the sea turtle nesting tours that Disney’s resort hosts every year. Take part in the Tour De Turtles and listen as teams of researchers from the Sea Turtle Conservancy track female turtles and explore their nesting patterns. Plus, as an extremely important location for MLB, there are plenty of baseball and other sporting events throughout the spring and summer months.

12 Day trips from Vero Beach

Just because you’re visiting one location doesn’t mean you have to stay there for your entire vacation. Vero Beach is conveniently located near several other fantastic cities, parks, and reserves, so you can simply make a day trip and have completely new experiences. Up and down the Treasure Coast, you’ll find unforgettable kayaking, plus scenic natural parks and reserves. Jonathan Dickinson State Park is a short drive south of Vero Beach and features a diverse ecosystem that you need to see before heading home. For a slightly longer drive, consider heading up to Cape Canaveral for a look at its mind-blowing Space Force Museum.

13 Budget-friendly tips for Vero Beach

With prices on pretty much everything reaching all-time highs, traveling without breaking the bank is more important than ever. Thankfully, Vero Beach has plenty of opportunities for fun that don’t require you to drain your wallet. Beyond the classic options like museums and wildlife viewing—which are low-cost or even free—many of your food options are quite affordable. Coffeehouse 1420 is a fantastic cafe that has far lower prices than you would expect for the quality available. Local places like Filthy’s Fine Cocktails + Beer offer happy hours that can dramatically bring down your tab. Plus, before you embark on your trip, you can look for travel packages that have massive discounts on accommodations and transport.

14 Luxury experiences in Vero Beach

On the other hand, maybe you’re a traveler who doesn’t care about spending money on luxury experiences. After all, you are on vacation. The most luxurious place you can rest your head in Vero Beach is the Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa. With its private ocean-view balconies, full-service spas, and other upscale amenities, it’s one of the best beach resorts in Florida. You can also schedule private tours with places like Gator Bait Airboat Adventures or the Peanut Island Sandbar Tour.

15 Wellness and relaxation in Vero Beach

Ultimately, a vacation is a way to get away from your worries and unwind. While Florida and Vero Beach have their fair share of adrenaline-pumping activities, they also have many ways to relax. Level Yoga is the premier location for yoga and pilates in Vero Beach and is definitely worth a look if you need to stretch it out. Vero Beach also has many wellness retreats with services ranging from simple massages to full-on mental health counseling, should you need it. Ayurveda Health Retreat and Restorative Wellness Vero both offer mindful events with stress-relieving activities like sound baths and yoga workshops.

Share

Scroll Down

for the Next Article

The Getaway Badge
Sign up to receive insider info and deals that will help you travel smarter.
Advertisement
Advertisement