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Recreation in Vero Beach

With an average balmy daily temperature of 74 degrees, recreational activities in Vero Beach and surrounding areas of the Treasure Coast are vast and endless. Every day of the year can be spent comfortably enjoying the outdoors, Vero Beach will never disappoint.

By land or water, sports and leisure activities run the gamut in Vero Beach. The Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway provide enthusiasts to every endeavor imaginable. From boating, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, to surfing, kite boarding, jet skiing, diving and snorkeling, the surrounding waterways are a playground like no other. There are also several public pool facilities with lifeguards, waterslides, fountains, springboard diving areas, locker rooms and snack bars to boot. Swimming, diving, water aerobics and aquanautics programs and instruction are also available.

For landlubbers, the opportunities and facilities are also plentiful. Tennis and golf are readily accessible at numerous public and private clubs. Hiking, walking, bicycling and inline skating can also be enjoyed at several national wildlife preserves and parks, and other ecologically-oriented sites. Vero Beach is also big horse country and home to many riding facilities and stables.

This small seaside town boasts as residents a handful of celebrity-status athletes whom spectators can also enjoy watching up close and personal in tennis exhibitions, baseball games, polo matches, golf tournaments and surfing contests.

So what is available for the aqua enthusiast? The 26 miles of unspoiled beaches will entice anyone with a surf board, skim board, kayak or fishing rod. Whether you’re looking for a quiet stretch of secluded sand or a full-service recreation area with picnic facilities, snack bar, restrooms, showers, volleyball courts and a playground, there are 12 such public access beaches in Indian River County.

The Sebastian Inlet State Park is one of the best surfing sites on the U.S. eastern seaboard. Located off State Road A1A on both sides of the Sebastian Inlet (7 miles north of the Wabasso Causeway), the 587-acre park has fishing jetties, campground, picnic tables, grills, pavilion, restrooms, showers, boat ramp, hiking trails and playground. Canoe, kayak, surfboard and boat rentals are also available from nearby outfitters, with lessons and instruction if needed.

Surfing contests are held here throughout the year providing spectators an exciting show and attracting the worlds best to the waves and showcasing the up and coming local talent. The McLarty Treasure Museum is also located here, displaying its history of treasures and artifacts from the 1715 Spanish Galleon shipwrecks by which the Treasure Coast gets its name. The museum is open daily and also offers turtle nesting tours during the season.

Humiston and Jaycee Parks are both located on Ocean Drive in Vero Beach, with all of the facilities a beachgoer needs. And if you want to take a break from the sun and sand, a stroll down the boardwalk with an ice cream cone may be in order, or a shopping experience at the many wonderful stores, galleries and boutiques on Ocean Drive might suit you better. There are also wonderful waterfront restaurants and hotels to enjoy after a day on this stretch of beach.

Heading south on A1A near the Indian River County/St. Lucie County line is Round Island Beach Park with all of the necessary amenities and a dune crossover for catamarans. Across the street from the beach is a boat launch into the Indian River, playground, restroom facilities, grills, docks, bridges and walking trails. Manatees often gather in this lagoon-type area that leads to the Intracoastal. Kayaking and canoeing from here is fantastic. As you paddle around checking out the bird life you will more than likely encounter a manatee munching on the mangroves that surround the spoil islands.

Before heading away from the water to enjoy some golf or tennis, residents and visitors of Vero Beach also have access to outstanding boating and fishing opportunities, as well as world-class diving and snorkeling. Protected from the Atlantic by the barrier islands, miles of calm water on the ICW allow boaters to enjoy cruising, waterskiing, fishing or pulling up on one of the hundreds of spoil islands for a picnic.

If you don’t own a boat, there are charter companies that can take you deep sea fishing in the ocean or in the river. Boats and other watercraft are available for rent at various locations and leisure cruises along the ICW also operate from several marinas and waterfront establishments. If you have a boat that is not kept in the water, there are places in Indian River County that provide free launching ramps and parking spaces.

Vero Beach and Indian River County have some of the most unique places to dive and snorkel. Great diving sites extend from the Sebastian Inlet south to Round Island Beach Park, including coral and artificial reefs and the site of the 1715 wreck of a Spanish galleon in the south end of Vero Beach. You may even get lucky and find treasure hidden in the sea bottom from one of the shipwrecks.

After getting your sea legs back on firm ground, the links may lure you to the lush, green, manicured landscape and talk you into a round of 18 holes. Vero Beach is home to some of Florida’s most exclusive private golf clubs. They include John’s Island, Red Stick, Grand Harbor, Hawk’s Nest, Quail Valley, Riomar Country Club, Bent Pine, Orchid Island, Grand Harbor, Windsor, Indian River Club, Vero Beach Country Club and others, as well as challenging public courses such as Sandridge Golf Club, The Links at Pointe West (semi-private) and the Sebastian Municipal Golf Course.

Tennis facilities, both public and private, are plentiful in Vero Beach, many of them located within the private golf communities. In addition, public courts can be found on Memorial Island near the Riverside Theatre and at Pocahontas Park in downtown Vero. Other private facilities include the Vero Beach Tennis Club, The Boulevard Village and Tennis Club and the Village of Sea Oaks Tennis Club.

On the rare cold or rainy day in this tropical hamlet, a few indoor activities will keep you content until the sun shines through. Check out the new Vero Bowl with its beautiful $2 million renovation; strap on some wheels to your feet and try the Skate Factory; bored kids that need to let out some energy? Crazy Frogs is an indoor inflatable playground.

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