Vero Beach, Florida is about 8 miles east of I-95 on State Road 60. It's about an hour and a half north of West Palm Beach.
Atlantic Ocean at Vero Beach, Florida
Most people think the name came from Vero Gifford, the wife of an early pioneer settler, John T. Gifford.
Vero Beach was founded in 1919 and its slogan back then was "Where The Tropics Begin." It's not officially true, but the vegetation certainly looks different here than it does in the towns just to the north.
The motto today is "Sunrises, Not High Rises", a sentiment that reflects the zoning laws and community attitudes against the mega oceanfront development so typical of much of the rest of Florida.
The town is at the intersection of US-1 and State Road 60. This area is almost like a separate town. And beach side Vero - another separate neighborhood - is at the intersection of
State Highway A1A and State Road 60.
Although there are several ways to get there, you will enjoy your visit to Vero Beach no matter which route you take.
BRIEF HISTORY OF VERO BEACH, FLORIDA
Historic Vero Beach Train Depot
The modern history of Vero Beach, Florida begins with its establishment as a citrus shipping point.
Henry T. Gifford started the first post office in the area in 1891 and used the name Vero. Most historians think he named it after his wife, Vero. The Beach was added to her name in later years.
There are other theories about how Vero got it's name, but this is the one we like because how many women do you know named Vero?
Old Downtown Vero on the west side of the Indian River Lagoon
West of Downtown all the way out to I-95.
The beach side area of Vero
Beach looks subtropical, with abundant lush vegetation and fine Florida
mansions. The central beach area has its own little shopping district
in the area where State Road 60 meets the ocean.
Vero Beach has
wonderful beaches. The main beach is accessible from the Central Beach
Business District. Many nice restaurants are in this district, along
with a couple of motels and quite a few condos.
You will find the beach
area of Vero Beach to be more laid back and not as touristy or junky as
many other Florida beach side towns.
The Narrows on the Indian River at Vero Beach
Downtown Vero Beach, on the mainland, is more typical of small
Florida towns with the old railroad station and a lot of small retail
businesses and antique shops.
The area west of Vero Beach
straddling State Road 60 has a large regional mall and an outlet mall
and many new sprawling subdivisions.
Modern Vero Beach is home to
some of the most exclusive golf and marina oriented residential
developments in Florida including Johns Island, The Moorings and Grand
Pocahontas Apartments Vero Beach, Florida
Vero Beach is reportedly home to more retired Fortune 500 CEO's than any other location in the world and has the fourth highest concentration of wealthy households in the U.S. Most of these residents live on the exclusive barrier island that is divided from the mainland by the Indian River Lagoon.
Many of them refer to Vero Beach as "The Village". This designation as "Villagers" does not please some of the old time Vero Beach natives.
These wealthy transplants have helped to finance and create many cultural opportunities in Vero Beach.
Yesterdays Antiques, Vero Beach, Florida
Vero Beach Theatre Guild started in 1958. The Vero Beach Concert
Association began presenting concerts in 1966. Riverside Theatre opened
in 1974, and the Center for the Arts in 1986.
Vero also has
several entries in the National Register of Historic Places including
the Vero Railroad Station, Driftwood Inn, McKee Jungle Gardens and the
Old Palmetto Hotel.
Piper Aircraft Inc. has been
building Piper airplanes in Vero Beach since 1957 in a plant at the
municipal airport. Piper is the largest private employer in Indian
Most business activity other than Piper is tourism
or citrus based. Vero Beach's busiest tourist season is from December
VERO BEACH FLORIDA RESTAURANTS
2180 58th Avenue, Vero Beach FL 32966. 772-567-6640. Out west between
downtown and I-95 near the big regional mall. Great pasta and other
Italian dishes, fine Italian dining, good wine selection, nice ambience.
I love their grilled chicken and sausage. Pizza appetizers are good
Ocean Grill, 1050 Sexton Plaza, Vero
Beach Florida 32963. 772-231-5409. This restaurant has beautiful views of
the ocean and the food is better than average but not quite great. I
have eaten there for 40 years and never had a bad meal. It is a must
place to visit in beachside Vero.
VERO BEACH FLORIDA ATTRACTIONS
McKee Botanical Garden,
350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach FL 32962. 772-794-0601. This place is
famous for its 18 acre subtropical jungle hammock. This dense and
diverse botanical garden also includes several restored architectural
treasures. The garden is listed on the National Register of Historic
Places and is a historic Florida landmark.
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Vero Beach Museum of Art, 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach FL 32963. 772-231-0707. This museum is the main visual arts venue in the entire Indian River region. Its neoclassical structure is located in beautiful Riverside Park on the Indian River Lagoon. It has numerous exhibitions, collections, gallery tours, studio and classroom art and humanities education for youth and adults, cinema, community events, lectures, seminars, concerts, dramatic performances and cultural celebrations.
VERO BEACH FLORIDA HOTELS
The area round the I-95 interchange at State Road 60 has several decent chain motels, including Country Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, and Howard Johnson Express.
These motels are 8 miles away from downtown Vero Beach, however, and I prefer the places below closer to town. The two places I recommend below are both on beachside Vero.
The Caribbean Court, 1601 S. Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32963. 772-231-7211. This 18 room place has beach access and a heated pool. It is located in the choice beach area of Vero Beach. Antique furnishings, hand-painted tiles and original artwork give the room a Caribbean feel. Enjoy live music, tapas and spirits at Havana Nights Piano Bar and the extraordinary cuisine of Maison Martinique Restaurant.
Caribbean Court, Vero Beach, Florida
The Driftwood Inn, 3150 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32963. 772-231-0550. This is a time share resort with rooms available to rent. It is built entirely from ocean-washed timbers and planks, housing some of the world's most beautiful art objects, antiques, and artifacts. Its located in the central beach district, directly on the Atlantic Ocean. The Driftwood offers casual dining either inside or poolside at Waldo's Open Air Deck, named after Waldo Sexton, the unique pioneer responsible for building and furnishing the place.
Pinellas County beaches are among the best in the world.
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