If you’re on the lookout for a Florida trip with out the hustle of massive, touristy seaside cities however with a lot to do and see, then make plans to go to a real hidden treasure on the Florida Atlantic Coast — Indian River County.
The Indian River is positioned between Cape Canaveral and West Palm Seaside and is a part of the Treasure Coast, an space the place many shipwrecks — some courting again to the early 1700s — sank with their helpful cargo nonetheless on board.
The county really lives as much as its moniker of “Shoreline, Not Excessive Rises” with miles and miles of white sand seashores, surf, and the quintessential tropical foliage and vibe that provides it its different moniker, “Gateway to the Tropics.”
Listed here are seven causes to make Indian River County your subsequent trip vacation spot.
1. Surf’s Up
Indian River County is the proper place to catch the waves and perform a little browsing. The placement is underneath the radar of most surfers who would somewhat flock to Cocoa Seaside and Miami’s South Seaside.
A favourite vacation spot is Sebastian Inlet State Park. The park boasts over 3 miles of shoreline with ample uncrowded entry to the crashing waves. The standout spot known as the Monster Gap, which is definitely a shoal shaped by a artifical sandbar that serves up 10-foot waves.
Different good surf locations within the county embody the Vero Seaside Pier, the place sandbars on either side of the pier supply good waves throughout excessive tide, and Wabasso Seaside Park.
There may be an $8 per car day-use price charged to enter the park.
2. The Path Of The Paddle
Indian River County is the house of a number of traditional Florida kayaking experiences.
Convey your kayak or lease one and paddle Blue Cypress Lake. The lake is lined with spectacular bald cypress timber, their knees jutting out of the water and their limbs draped in majestic flowing Spanish moss. Alongside the 21-mile-long shoreline, numerous ospreys and their nests will likely be seen in addition to the gorgeous red-hued roseate spoonbill and an occasional alligator holding a watchful eye on you.
One other not-to-miss vacation spot is the paddle into the Indian River itself on the Jungle Path. This journey begins on the Jungle Path Kayak Launch on the Pelican Island Nationwide Wildlife Refuge and leads you thru mangrove flats earlier than reaching the open water of the Indian River, the place you possibly can paddle for miles to discover a number of islands together with Egret, Roosevelt (named after Theodore Roosevelt) and Pelican Island itself.
3. Snorkeling To A Shipwreck And Treasure Looking
One of many really enjoyable experiences you possibly can have in Indian River County is scuba diving, however you don’t should don air tanks to see an unbelievable sight — the wreck of the SS Breconshire, an English-built steamer that sank in these shallow waters in April 1894 on its approach from Tampa to New York. You possibly can truly snorkel to it.
Situated solely 200 yards offshore and 20 ft beneath the floor, the motion of the currents has taken its toll on the 300-foot vessel, having been damaged up by the battering of the waves, however there’s nonetheless a lot to see.
The majority of the ship continues to be very a lot alive, having turn out to be a limestone reef that performs host to a wonderland of sea life — angelfish, stingray, sea urchins. Over 400 species of marine life will likely be discovered right here. You might even be joined by a swish loggerhead sea turtle passing by.
The right time to go to the wreck is when the water is clearest between Could and July. You need to carry alongside and deploy a diving flag to be protected and let boaters know you’re within the water.
Indian River County is a part of the Treasure Coast of Florida, an space the place over the centuries many shipwrecks have occurred with their helpful cargo misplaced at sea.
Treasure hunters have dived to the wrecks to get their share of the bounty, however we landlubbers should still discover a couple of cash and shards of pottery alongside the shoreline. So carry alongside your steel detector and take a look at your hand at it.
Certainly one of your finest bets is to scan the seaside alongside the Sea Grape Seaside Path in Vero Seaside. Simply keep in mind that treasure searching is barely allowed on seashores from the excessive tide mark to the low tide mark.
4. Image Good
If you’re into pictures, then seize the digicam bag and head to Indian River County. The landscapes, nature, sunrises, and sunsets are really magnificent.
Begin your day with an excellent dawn and perform a little seaside and ocean pictures at Sebastian Inlet State Park. The park options over 3 miles of seaside with crashing surf alongside the north jetty and sea oats gently waving within the breeze alongside the dunes.
Then head over to discover America’s first wildlife refuge, Pelican Island Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. The 5,400-acre refuge was established in 1903 close to Sebastian, Florida by President Theodore Roosevelt and has a number of trails that take you thru stunning mangrove habitats and salt marshes. One of the best time to go to is from November by means of April when you should have your finest likelihood at snapping pics of migrating white pelicans, nesting brown pelicans, river otters, and lots of extra.
Wrap up your day with a cease in Vero Seaside at Spherical Island Park. Nature trails lace the island, main you thru groves of palms and seagrass to a spectacular sundown from a tall remark tower.
As soon as once more, there’s an $8 per car day use price to enter Sebastian Inlet. The opposite websites are free. Pelican Island affords free ranger-led excursions each Wednesday from November by means of March.
5. Artwork For Artwork’s Sake
Artwork lovers are in for an actual deal with in Indian River County. The county is famend worldwide by artists for its tropical ambiance which might solely encourage creativity.
The hub for arts and tradition is the historic artwork district in Vero Seaside that has a plethora of galleries together with The Laughing Canine Gallery and Gallery 14, which options juried reveals and their annual Summer season Squared Exhibit and Sale.
You possibly can even discover your individual artistic aspect on the Vero Seaside Museum of Artwork’s Cork, Canvas & Firm occasion. Every Thursday, you might be invited to carry your individual wine and light-weight hors d’oeuvres and native artists will information you as you create your individual masterpiece. Artwork provides are supplied.
The theater world shouldn’t be overlooked. Get your tickets and catch a play on the largest small city skilled theater in America, the Riverside Theatre.
6. Visiting Citrus Groves
Touring down certainly one of Florida’s interstates or backroads, you will note lots of of indicators promoting native companies promoting Indian River citrus, and there’s a purpose — the candy and juicy citrus grown in Indian River is world-famous.
To actually admire the candy taste of their legendary honey bells, pink grapefruit, and recent squeezed orange juice, it’s worthwhile to get it proper from the supply at one of many county’s remaining citrus groves.
In 1950, touring salesman Henry Schact determined he wished to start out a citrus grove. His Schact Groves continues his dream immediately with fairly the number of citrus of their Citrus Store and native treats and greens on the Farm Market.
Peterson Groves is among the oldest within the county however has expanded to incorporate domestically produced honey, jellies, and gourmand sauces.
In the meantime, Countryside Household Farms has taken the roadside citrus market a step additional by internet hosting their annual Fall Competition and Maze. Held each October, the occasion has all the things you’ll anticipate in a fall competition proper right down to the rubber ducky races and hayrides.
7. From Informal To Advantageous Eating
After a full day of exploring and having enjoyable within the solar, you can see that Indian River County has fairly an eclectic array of eateries certain to please each palate.
On the informal aspect, attempt Squid Lips Overwater Grill. Because the identify implies, this fabulous restaurant sits on the water on the finish of a pier at Fins Marina. What makes their dishes particular is that they’re cooked over an open oak wooden fireplace that seals of their juices and offers them a slight trace of oak taste. You’ll love their bacon-wrapped scallops and smoked fish dip.
Then there’s Capt. Hiram’s Sandbar Restaurant. Described as “the essence of Florida enhanced with a Bahamian beat,” the Sandbar is positioned proper on the seashores of Indian River. You possibly can’t assist however really feel the tropics as you dine on mouthwatering sandwiches, seafood, and pasta dishes among the many palms. High your meal off with an grownup beverage just like the Roxy Rita or Painkiller.
For one thing with loads of Caribbean taste, attempt the Zafem Caribbean Restaurant, which serves up the spicy flavors of the islands like conch creole and sauteed pink snapper Thursday by means of Saturday evenings.
On the fantastic eating aspect, an amazing alternative is Vero Prime. Patrons name the restaurant Vero Seaside’s premier steakhouse, however it’s greater than that. With its intimate setting excellent for a romantic night, Vero Prime serves up probably the most unbelievable rack of lamb with rosemary demi sauce and my favourite, shrimp scampi angel hair with roasted garlic, arugula, and diced tomatoes, all dripped in a white wine butter sauce.
When visiting the seashores of Indian River, please keep in mind that the sand dunes assist defend communities from the consequences of storms and are additionally prime nesting grounds for migratory birds and sea turtles. Use the designated walkways when heading to the ocean and keep off the dunes.
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