Planning a road trip through Florida? Make sure to find a few days to do all the best things to do in Vero Beach, Florida. Located in Indian River County, Vero Beach sits at the heart of Florida’s Treasure Coast.
Explore the barrier island of Vero Beach by lazing on the sandy beaches or swimming in the turquoise water. Not only are there endless beach activities, but Vero Beach is also full of cultural attractions and opportunities to explore Florida’s wildlife.
Not sure what to do in Vero Beach? Plan the perfect trip to this coastal Florida city with this complete guide to all the best things to do in Vero Beach, FL.
Must-see places to visit in Vero Beach, FL
McKee Botanical Garden
To see one of Florida’s most diverse and largest botanical collections, head to McKee Botanical Garden. Meander through the gardens on a self-guided tour to learn about the native plants that call Florida home.
Take the kids to the children’s garden for educational exhibits. Fun characters are ready to welcome your kids and teach them how to plant a garden, take care of plants, and even learn how to tell different flower species apart. When you’re done gazing at the different species of plants, you can head to the garden cafe for fresh juice or other healthy snacks.
Make sure to check out the special events calendar before going. From time to time, McKee Botanical Garden has special exhibitions with exotic plants or nightly events with live music and food.
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the coolest places to see in Vero Beach. While the wide range of brown & white pelicans attracts most people to the refuge, there are plenty of other outdoor activities at the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, too.
Bring some comfortable shoes and plan to do some walking on a guided tour through the refuge. The park rangers and volunteers will whisk you through the refuge’s history and the preservation programs at the wildlife center. You’ll then have a few hours to yourself to check out the pelicans and see them in their natural habitats.
The refuge also rescues other animals, including baby birds and raccoons. Learning how the center takes injured animals and nurses them back to health is education for the entire family.
Humiston Beach Park
Situated right along Ocean Drive, Humiston Beach Park is one of the top tourist attractions in Vero Beach. With the park’s direct beach access, you can walk down to the beach with your hammock or beach chair and have a relaxing afternoon in the sun.
Pick up a few subs or picnic food on your way to the beach and enjoy it under one of the shaded pavilions. The kids will be endlessly entertained with volleyball and tennis courts as well as several playgrounds.
Humiston Beach Park is within walking distance of many of the town’s most popular hotels. You can go for an evening in the park before heading back to rest. Boutiques and restaurants are also right along the boardwalk.
Vero Beach Outlets
Most Florida beach towns are known for having some kind of a shopping strip or outlet mall. Vero Beach is no exception. Hit the Vero Beach Outlets for constant sales and events. The outdoor setting is laid-back and lets you soak in the Florida sunshine while getting a new swimsuit or some souvenirs to take home.
Along with popular clothing stores, you can also hit up the home good collections and shoe stores. If you happen to be in the area during Christmas time, Vero Beach Outlets has some of the best sales for the holidays in the Southeast U.S.
Even if you just want to window shop, this outdoor mall is a nice place to hang out with the family. The nearby restaurants and ice cream shops also give you some fuel to keep shopping.
Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Got a soft spot for sea turtles? To keep up with the conservation of this threatened species, check out the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge Center, one of the largest turtle rescue centers in the United States. Located in nearby Melbourne Beach, Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge Center is a must-visit if you want to learn more about how you can protect and preserve the loggerhead turtles of Florida.
The main activities are found at the Barrier Island Sanctuary Management & Education Center inside the refuge. Peruse the exhibits to witness turtle nesting or participate in one of the environmental education programs. End your tour in the auditorium with a nature film. Hit the gift shop for some cool turtle souvenirs before heading out.
If you feel like getting active on your visit to the Archie Carr Refuge, strap on some hiking shoes and trek the 3/4 mile long trail. The refuge’s lagoon launch is also an easy place to go kayaking or canoeing.
Wabasso Beach Park
For a simple day at the beach, take your beach chairs down to Wabasso Beach Park. It’s a small beach with little to do, but it’s a great spot to relax—especially if you’ve spent the last few days touring museums or walking around Vero Beach.
The parking lot at Wabasso Beach Park is small. Head there early in the morning to secure yourself a spot. After the day crowds leave, you can also easily find a spot in the evening to watch the sunset.
You’ll enjoy basic amenities at Wabasso Park, including outdoor showers, restrooms, and picnic tables. The grills are free to use if you want to whip up some hamburgers for a family gathering.
Want to see a show or performance after lounging on the beach? Located on Riverside Park Drive, Riverside Theatre should have a top spot on your list of activities in Vero Beach. Take the family to a theatre show or musical. On educational nights, this favorite attraction also has lecturers on a variety of topics.
Comedy nights are the most popular events at the Riverside Theatre and get booked quickly. Make sure to make advance reservations. Note that some of the comedy shows are not family-friendly.
Check the event calendar before you head to Vero Beach to buy tickets to events at Riverside Theatre. Feel free to join in on a dance or music class here while you’re in town, too!
McLarty Treasure Museum
If you want to take a few hours away from lounging on the beach and search for sunken treasure, head to McLarty Treasure Museum. Take a short tour of the museum to learn about the 11 Spanish ships—filled with gold, silver, and copper—that sunk in the 18th century.
Most of the treasure around Vero Beach has still never been found. Witness one of the many salvagers who work offshore still working in hopes of trying to find the jewels.
The McLarty Treasure Museum only takes a short time to explore. Afterward, you can head to nearby Sebastian Inlet State Park for hiking, wildlife viewing, or birding.
Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area
Located off Oslo Road, the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area is located on the Indian River Lagoon and features beautiful views of Florida’s wildlife. On your trip to the conservation area, you can choose from one of the many hiking trails to explore. Strap your canoes and kayaks to the top of your car before heading here: There are several different launch areas where you can paddle through the lagoon.
All the walking trails at Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area are shaded by huge oak trees and magnificent hammock canopies. For a true adventure, spend the entire day venturing further into the park to reach the coastal wetlands. At the end of the trail, you’ll reach the observation tower and platform for spectacular vistas over the area.
Stroll along the Hammock Loop and see woodpeckers, songbirds, and hawks. You might even see an armadillo or a possum hanging out here!
Sandridge Golf Club
Whether you’re an amateur or casual golfer, the Sandridge Golf Club is one of the area’s top public golf courses and a wonderful place to play a round.
Choose between one of the two 18-hole golf courses. The first course, the Dunes Course runs up the east coast with stunning views of the ocean. The Lake Course, on the other hand, has some of the toughest holes in the state.
While all golfing levels are welcome, the Sandridge Gold Club might be better for people with some experience under their belt. After a long game of playing in the sun, head to the clubhouse for cold drinks.
Vero Beach Museum of Art
Located in Riverside Park, Vero Beach Museum of Art offers one of the largest collections of local and national art in Florida and has exhibitions showcasing art from all over the world.
Browse the permanent collections of paintings, sculptures, and photography. During weekends in the summer and fall, Vero Beach Museum of Art has lecture series and film events to keep you entertained during your stay at the beach.
To support the local art scene, you can purchase tickets for the community gallery. All the artwork is from the faculty of the art museum, students from the area, or local community art organizations.
After seeing the galleries, head to the sculpture garden. If the kids are getting restless, you can drop them in the interactive kid’s room and explore the galleries solo.
South Beach Park
Located along Ocean Drive, South Beach Park is one of the top places to go in Vero Beach for a walk on the soft sand or a daytime swim. The park doesn’t have many facilities including no restrooms or picnic pavilions; it’s just a basic beach that doesn’t get very crowded.
You’ll love hanging out at South Beach Park, enjoying a quiet day in the sun and warm water. There are also several wildlife trails nearby. Bring some comfortable shoes and a change of clothes for after swimming.
As your leisurely stroll along the trails, you’ll see a large variety of birds. If you have a fishing license, try your hand at snagging the catch of the day from one of the fishing piers.
Golden Sands Beach Park
One of the best beaches along the Treasure Coast, Golden Sands Beach Park is one of the more well-equipped beaches in the area, featuring a playground, showers, and picnic pavilions. With direct beach access, Golden Sands Beach Park is a perfect place to set up your beach tent and chairs for the entire day.
Outside of the main swimming area, you can go fishing at Golden Sands Beach Park. Surfing and scuba diving are also permitted from the dock area if you have your own equipment.
Not interested in being the water? Sunbathe under the palm trees or have a picnic in the shaded pavilions. Use one of the BBQ grills for a family cookout by the oceanside.
Hallstrom Farmstead is a 93-acre historic farmstead operated by the Indian River County Historical Society. Once a pineapple plantation, the estate is now it’s a hotspot for tourists and residents in Vero Beach.
Take an intimate tour through Hallstrom House with a tour guide. As the guides only take small groups, you can ask as many questions as you want to learn deeply about the history of the owners and the plant cultivation.
Each room of the Hallstrom House is filled with specially crafted antiques and historic artifacts, representing the culture and the people who first lived there. Enjoy the sunset from the rocking chairs on the front porch after your tour.
Piper Aircraft Factory Tour
Interested in airplane manufacturing or engineering? The Piper Aircraft Factory Tour offers a unique experience that goes over 80 years of airplane crafting and aviation. The tour of the factory only takes a few hours. You take the family here for a break from the area’s beaches and state parks.
On the Piper Aircraft Factory Tour, you should plan to do a lot of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a stroller or carrier if you have small children. All the tours are guided by a professional who’s worked in the aviation industry. They’ll explain all the airplane equipment and the processes used to build them.
Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival
To experience a cultural event on your Treasure Coast trip, try to squeeze in the Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival, taking place every August and September. Whether you’re a sommelier or just enjoy wine a few times a year, you’ll love the festival’s wine education sessions and the free samples.
Film lovers can enjoy award-winning films from the Sonoma International Film Festival and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. After the festivities, the festival hosts meet-and-greet events with the film producers. Some of the actors even make appearances! If you’re interested in the after-parties, make sure to purchase the private pass.
Round Island Beach Park
Round Island Beach Park is one of the loveliest beaches around Vero Beach. With its fewer crowds and a secluded location, you’ll feel like you’re on your own private stretch of sand when you visit this beautiful beach.
There are a few nature trails nearby including the Vero Beach Fitness Trail. You can take a short hike down several paths next to the water.
Manatee sightings are common at this Atlantic beach. Pelicans often lounge around the piers and docks near the kayak and canoe launch. The dock closest to the parking lot is also a boat dock. Boat rentals are a great option to see manatees and dolphins in the wild.
Recommended places to stay in Vero Beach for sightseeing
Located four minutes from South Beach Park, this inn offers superb value for the area. Besides the cozy rooms, you’ll love cooling off in the hot Florida sun at the outdoor pool or soaking up the sun on the rooftop terrace.
Soak up the beach vibes with a stay at the Costa d’Este Resort. Owned by singer Gloria Estefan, the resort boasts luxurious amenities including a beautiful outdoor pool area and two on-site restaurants.
For the ultimate in relaxation, book yourself into this eco-friendly resort & spa. Guests will love luxuriating in the full-service spa, including massage therapies and other relaxing body treatments. Hit up the heated outdoor pool and hot tub to chill out at the end of a day of sightseeing.