Vero Beach is a hidden gem on Florida’s east coast, known for its gorgeous beaches, luxury resorts, and quaint downtown area. But beyond the popular attractions, there are plenty of lesser-known activities that locals love. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path in Vero Beach, here are 10 hidden gems that you won’t want to miss.
1. Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge – This 5,400-acre National Wildlife Refuge is located just across the Indian River Lagoon from Vero Beach. It’s home to more than 30 species of protected wildlife, including manatees, dolphins, and alligators. Visitors can hike, bike, or kayak through the refuge to spot these incredible animals in their natural habitat.
2. The Vero Beach Museum of Art – This stunning museum features works from some of the world’s most renowned artists, as well as rotating exhibits from local and regional artists. The museum also offers classes and workshops for all ages, making it the perfect spot for a creative retreat.
3. Environmental Learning Center – This 64-acre nature center offers guided tours of the Indian River Lagoon, educational exhibits, and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. Learn about the local ecosystem and spend the day exploring the beautiful natural surroundings.
4. The Ocean Grill – This historic restaurant has been serving up delicious seafood and cocktails since 1941. Grab a seat on the oceanfront patio and watch the waves roll in as you indulge in some of the best seafood in Vero Beach.
5. The Dodgertown Golf Course – This classic golf course has been a local favorite for over 50 years. It’s located on the former spring training grounds of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and features 18 holes of challenging golf in a beautiful, manicured setting.
6. The McKee Botanical Garden – This 18-acre garden is a hidden oasis in the heart of Vero Beach. It features a collection of rare and exotic plants, as well as stunning sculptures and water features. Visitors can also take a guided tour to learn about the history of the garden and its many unique features.
7. The Vero Beach Farmers Market – Held every Saturday morning, this bustling market offers fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious food from local vendors. It’s the perfect place to stock up on goodies for a picnic or to try some of Vero Beach’s best culinary offerings.
8. The Manatee Observation Center – This unique attraction offers a chance to spot the gentle giants of the sea up close. Visitors can watch manatees swim and play in the Indian River Lagoon, and learn about the conservation efforts to protect these beloved animals.
9. Riverside Theatre – This award-winning regional theatre offers a diverse lineup of shows, from classic plays and musicals to contemporary productions. With both indoor and outdoor theaters, there’s always something exciting happening at Riverside Theatre.
10. The Vero Beach Polo Club – This exclusive club offers a chance to experience the thrilling sport of polo up close. Visitors can watch matches from the sidelines or participate in polo lessons with experienced instructors.
Vero Beach may be a small town, but it’s filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in this charming seaside community. So why not take the road less traveled and explore all that Vero Beach has to offer?