Whisper the word Florida on a busy train and the people around you will automatically start imagining all sorts of preconceived ideas of what this place is like. Some will think of it as a tacky tourist trap, others will jump straight to Miami Vice and others will think about the claustrophobic overdevelopment that has resulted in loads of high-rises, all of which is fair.
That is what makes Vero Beach such a stunning juxtaposition – a literal breath of fresh air. Part of that is because it feels more like a seaside village than a bustling city (which is because the law says no building can go above four floors), and part of it is to do with the charm and legacy surrounding this area.
So, if you ever catch yourself dreaming about life in the Sunshine State, ignore the cliches and the horrors and go straight to buying a flight here, to Vero Beach, and here is why:
Life’s A Beach
If a perfect beach is white sand, people-free and full of pelicans and turtles, then Vero Beach is perfect. Seriously. Over a fourth of the world’s sea turtles come here to nest, which means you are definitely going to have your breath snatched from your lungs.
This is definitely a place for the seafood-lovers out there because the freshest dishes get served up here on a daily basis, some of which you won’t heard of before and others that simply aren’t allowed in other parts of the nation. We’re talking scrummy groupers, tripletail, unicorn filefish and pampanos. Now, this is hard, but if we had to pick one restaurant then it would probably have to be The Tides. Yeah, definitely The Tides. Go and you’ll see why.
The two coolest dreams in the world are a) winning the lotto and b) becoming a treasure hunter, which is why you need to visit Vero Beach. There are treasures that have never been found here, such as the legendary Spanish Treasure Fleet, which is believed to be worth over $100 million today. So, if you are taking a beach stroll and see a twinkle in the distance, don’t take it for granted.
City Of Culture
It doesn’t matter which way you sway – theatre, music, fine art, opera, cinema, anything – Vero has absolutely everything you could hope to immerse yourself in. Most of this is in the historic and fabled downtown, especially the galleries. But it is well worth exploring the entire city because there are plenty of gems to stumble across unwittingly and, let’s be honest, what better way is there to stumble across a gem than unwittingly.
Shop Til You Drop
If you’re imagining cheap tourist shops full of tack then you need to erase your thoughts and start over because this part of Florida is more like Palm Beach. It’s uptown boutiques and elegant shopping villages, which is what every secret shopaholic wants to hear. We want to treat ourselves to a little luxury, not a five-minute outfit.