The Indian River Lagoon System is a 156 mile long body of brackish water that forms part of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway along Florida's east coast.
It begins at Ponce Inlet north of New Smyrna Beach and extends south to Jupiter Inlet.
This historic estuary provided transportation to the pioneers in the days before highways and railroads.
In it's modern incarnation it is known as the "Indian River Lagoon" to more accurately describe it as a salt water estuary rather than a free flowing river.
PONCE INLET is a village on the north side of the inlet that officially begins the Indian River Lagoon waterway. It has a historic lighthouse that visitors can climb.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH was an early plantation settlement but is now noted for its fine white sand beaches, great shopping, dining, and life style.
EDGEWATER is a small community that has been surrounded by the Florida Shores lot sales program. Other lot sales communities along the route include Port St. John, Port Malabar, and Port St. Lucie.
OAK HILL is a fishing village and former citrus town on the Mosquito Lagoon portion of the Indian River Lagoon. Goodrich's is a famous local seafood restaurant in this town.
MIMS was a thriving citrus service town and the scene of a tragic Christmas day explosion.
LA GRANGE was one of the earliest communities established along the Indian River Lagoon. The founder of Titusville, Col. Titus, is buried here along with other pioneers.
TITUSVILLE was a boom town during the early days of NASA's space program. Now it is redeveloping and is an access point for Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island National Wildlie Refuge, and Canaveral National Seashore.
PORT ST. JOHN is a community that began as a lot sales program on the Indian River between Titusville and Cocoa. Other lot sales communities along the route include Florida Shores, Port Malabar, and Port St. Lucie. Click on photo for more info about lot sales towns.
COCOA has a quaint downtown area known as Cocoa Village and is close to Orlando and Port Canaveral. It is connected by bridge across the river to Merritt Island.
CAPE CANAVERAL is on the barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Banana River on the other. It is a town that grew up with the space program and was founded in 1963.
COCOA BEACH is on the barrier island between the Banana River and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a resort town that has grown to 11,000 people since Gus Edwards began developing it in the 1920s. The town has a beach vibe and Ron Jon Surf Shop is a tourist magnet.
ROCKLEDGE is adjacent to and just south of Cocoa. It has a beautiful two lane road along the Indian River that hasn't changed too much since the postcard below. It is a pleasant reminder of Old Florida.
MERRITT ISLAND is between the Indian River and the Banana River. It his home to Kennedy Space Center and was once a thriving citrus center.
SATELLITE BEACH was founded in 1957 on the barrier island between the Indian River Lagoon and ocean. It is known for its fine beaches and strong sense of community.
INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH is a modern town on the barrier island between the Banana River and the Atlantic Ocean. It was founded in 1955 by W. Lansing Gleason and others. It was a professionally planned city, and is primarily residential. It is connected to South Merritt Island by the Mathers Bridge.
INDIALANTIC is a small village on the barrier island between the Indian River and Atlantic Ocean. It was founded in the 1920s by Ernest Kouven-Hoven, who connected his town to Melbourne by building a wooden bridge across the Indian River.
MELBOURNE is one of the largest towns on the Indian River Lagoon. Home to Florida Institute of Technology and several high tech businesses. Has a neat redeveloped downtown area.
MELBOURNE BEACH is a historic town on the barrier island between the Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean. It is the closest town to miles of great beaches all the way down to Sebastian Inlet.
PALM BAY is a small town that became large due to the Port Malabar lot sales program. Other lot sales communities along the route include Florida Shores, Port St. John and Port St. Lucie.
SEBASTIAN and its famous inlet are known for great fishing and surfing. There are many restaurants there and marinas because of its proximity to Sebastian Inlet.
WABASSO is a village on US-1 connected to A1A across the Indian River by a high rise bridge to the barrier island Disney's oceanfront resort. The old bridge was salvaged by Disney, renovated, and is in use on the Magic Kingdom railroad. Click on photo to read more about the old Wabasso Bridge.
VERO BEACH is where the tropics officially begin. Well, maybe not officially but the vegetation is certainly more tropical than it is only a few miles north. It has some beautiful beaches too.
FORT PIERCE has redeveloped its downtown and waterfront, including a new marina. It also has a neighborhood on the barrier island with great beaches, and an inlet to the ocean.
PORT ST. LUCIE is a large community that began as a lot sales program between Fort Pierce and Stuart. Other lot sales communities along the route include Florida Shores, Port St. John, and Port Malabar.
JENSEN BEACH is a historic town dating back to 1881 when John L. Jensen started a pineapple plantation. One of the most popular places in Jensen Beach until recent years was Frances Langford's Outrigger Resort. Click on the photo to learn more about the Outrigger Resort.
STUART and nearby St. Lucie Inlet offer some of the best sail fishing in the world. It is also on the St. Lucie River that heads west toward Lake Okeechobee.
PORT SALERNO is a fishing village and is part of the Stuart area. It has its own distinct personality and waterfront. It has become a major service and storage center for large yachts.
JUPITER and Jupiter Inlet are at the southern end of the Indian River Lagoon. It's home to a historic lighthouse. Some of Florida's most luxurious neighborhoods are in this area.
You can see individual scenic routes with maps on this website at Central East Florida Day Trips.