VERO BEACH, FLORIDA

July 12, 2021

Vero Beach, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Vero Beach, Florida is on the Atlantic Ocean about 8 miles east of I-95 on State Road 60.

It's about an hour and a half north of West Palm Beach.  

Vintage Postcard Vero Beach Oceanfront with Old CarsVintage Postcard Vero Beach Oceanfront with Old Cars

HISTORY OF VERO BEACH, FLORIDA

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.  

Vintage Postcard Driftwood Inn, Vero BeachVintage Postcard Driftwood Inn, Vero Beach

Most people think the name came from his wife, Sarah. 

She suggested the new town be named Vero from the Latin word for "to speak the truth."

Liberty Park Downtown Vero Beach in 1925Liberty Park Downtown Vero Beach in 1925

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.

Read about the early families, Vero Beach Man, the Brooklyn Dodgers, Piper Aircraft, Johns Island, and more at our page on the  HISTORY OF VERO BEACH, FLORIDA


VERO BEACH, FLORIDA TODAY

Travelers on Interstate 95 think the intersection of that superhighway with State Road 60 is Vero Beach.

Someone driving on US Highway 1 comes to what they believe is Vero Beach.

People who stay along the ocean on State Road A1A come to what they believe is Vero Beach.

They are all correct, all of these places are Vero Beach.

VERO BEACH,  FLORIDA:  THREE NEIGHBORHOODS

The city has three distinct areas:

  • Beach Side Vero on the oceanfront barrier island.  This has some of the most expensive homes and resort properties that enjoy the beautiful beaches and tree canopied streets.  

  • Old Downtown Vero on the west side of the Indian River Lagoon.  This area is concentrated around the intersection of US-1 and State Road 60.  Many of the older homes and businesses are located in this neighborhood.

  • West of Downtown all the way out to I-95.  This is a newer commercial area that includes a large regional mall and a factory outlet mall.

BEACHSIDE VERO BEACH, FLORIDA

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.

Atlantic Ocean at Vero Beach FloridaAtlantic Ocean at Vero Beach, Florida

The only high rise on the ocean I know of in Vero Beach is the Village Spires

It was built in 1973 against the protests of much of the Vero Beach population.  They passed ordinances to limit the height of future buildings.

Village Spires, the last of its kindVillage Spires, the first and last of its kind in Vero Beach

Although the project was extremely unpopular with Vero Beach residents back when it was built, today it is a well maintained complex of upscale condominiums.

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.

The Narrows on the Indian River at Vero BeachThe Narrows on the Indian River at Vero Beach

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 beach neighborhood is on the barrier island separated from the mainland by a section of the Indian River Lagoon called "The Narrows."

DOWNTOWN VERO BEACH, FLORIDA

This historic downtown neighborhood is around the intersection of US Highway 1 and State Road 60.  These were the historic main north-south and east-west roads into Vero Beach.

Mural in Downtown Vero BeachMural in Downtown Vero Beach

The downtown area of 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.

Historic Vero Beach Train DepotHistoric Vero Beach Train Depot

There is a large park in the heart of downtown and many historic businesses and apartment buildings.

Vero Beach Florida Apartment BuildingPocahontas Apartments, Downtown Vero Beach, Florida

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 Harbor.

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.

Vero Beach Florida Antique StoreYesterdays Antiques, Vero Beach, Florida

The 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 River County.

Most business activity other than Piper is tourism or citrus based. Vero Beach's busiest tourist season is from December through April.

OUR FAVORITE VERO BEACH RESTAURANTS

Italian Grill, 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 too.

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.

SOME VERO BEACH 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, 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 Museum of ArtVero Beach Museum of Art

OUR FAVORITE VERO BEACH 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. 

We have included a link to Booking.com at the end of this page, but we also have a couple of favorites we recommend.

The two places I recommend below are both in 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. 

Vero Beach Florida Caribbean CourtCaribbean Court, Vero Beach, Florida

The Driftwood Inn3150 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.

It's 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.

Driftwood Inn, Vero Beach, FloridaDriftwood Inn, Vero Beach, Florida

Disney's Vero Beach Resort

North of Vero Beach on the barrier island near Wabasso is Disney's Vero Beach Resort.  

It is directly on the ocean and offers Disney's guests visiting Florida an authentic beach experience.

 It opened in 1995 and has been successful from its earliest days.

Disney's Vero Beach ResortDisney's Vero Beach Resort

Some other local history is at these links:   

Old Wabasso Bridge is now at Walt Disney World

Winter Beach:  Boom Time Town Lost to History



INTERACTIVE MAP OF VERO BEACH, FLORIDA



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