DISCOVER THE FUN OF FRIENDLY AND AFFORDABLE SEBASTIAN, FLORIDA
It’s all about enjoying things to do in, on, along and above the water
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. (November 26, 2019) – Cozily nestled on the east coast of the Florida Peninsula near Vero Beach, Sebastian is a lesser-known gem of the Florida Treasure Coast. With its fishing village history – Sebastian emerged as a small fishing village in the late 1890’s -- it offers visitors an “old South” hometown ambiance and laid back lifestyle; yet it’s also convenient to the metropolitan accoutrements of Orlando and West Palm Beach. In Sebastian you won't find traffic jams, congestion or over-development. You'll find high quality of life at a reasonable price point, and as the city's self-effacing slogan promises "friendly people and six old grouches."
Sebastian is special and different because of its character and amenities. For example, it is home to "Pelican Island," America’s first National Wildlife Refuge, designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. Pelican Island is located in the Indian River Lagoon, with the wider Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge extending out from the island encompassing around 5,400 acres of protected waters and lands. Boat and kayak tours are offered by local operators. But note: because nesting birds are easily disturbed, visitors are not allowed to get too close or to disembark.
Sebastian Inlet State Park provides fishing from both its Atlantic Ocean and Indian River shores; and fishing jetties extend from both sides of the inlet into the ocean. Other activities include: swimming, enjoying the water views, camping, bird watching and treasure diving. Located on the North Side of the Sebastian Inlet State Park check out the shallow tidal pool teeming with tropical fish, crabs, starfish, shrimp, squid and Florida lobster. A small rock jetty encloses the pool with a 200 ft. wide opening into the inlet. Manatees are also frequently seen swimming in the pool, as are families and snorkelers.
Wildlife is also abundant in the park, which offers more than 22,000 acres of backwoods to explore via horseback, bike or hiking on dedicated trails, where eagle-eyed visitors can spy ospreys, egrets, herons among the many species of shorebirds. Sea turtles also nest in the park, and during the summer reservations can be made for nighttime tours to observe nesting turtles.
Along the waterfront visitors enjoy all manner of water sports, including world class surfing, plus miles of beaches, boat docks/moorings, and deep-sea fishing via a direct outlet to the Atlantic Ocean from the Indian River/Intracoastal Waterway through the Sebastian Inlet. The Sebastian River Area offers the avid fisherman a variety of challenges from fresh water fishing to deep-sea adventures. The Sebastian Inlet is considered the premier saltwater fishing spot on Florida's east coast. Fishermen flock to the pier at Sebastian Inlet to catch snook, redfish, bluefish, flounder, snapper, grouper, sheepshead, permit, whiting, blues, Spanish mackerel, and various species of shark.
The most popular fish to catch out in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Sebastian are: dolphin/mahi mahi, tuna, swordfish, grouper, snapper, wahoo, sailfish, cobia, barracuda and amberjack.
There are quite a few inshore and offshore fishing experts that anglers can hire for private charters. For those preferring to go with a group, there are also few party and head boats for deep sea fishing. To reel in a recommended fishing guide visit:
https://visitindianrivercounty.com/item_category/fishing/. During the summer months, there are also numerous inshore and offshore fishing tournaments. Oh, and kayak fishing has also become very popular in the Sebastian River Area.
Sebastian is in the final process of completing its "Working Waterfront" facility in the heart of Indian River Drive showcasing the rich cultural history of the fishing industry. This quaint, working riverfront and walkable area serves up a smattering of water-based activities, restaurants and boutique lodgings. Capt. Hiram’s Resort, the most prolific destination on the riverfront, offers daily eco-tours on their River King, a 45-foot Sightseer. Passengers can take in Sebastian’s gorgeous scenic water highway — the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway — which stretches all the way from Titusville to Wabasso Beach and includes Fellsmere and the entire Sebastian River area. During the tour, guests will spot bottlenose dolphin, waterfowl and pelicans. After, quench your thirst and hunger at Crab-E-Bill’s Seafood Market which is 100 percent sustainable. Most all of their yummy seafood is locally sourced from across Florida.
Sebastian Inlet Park also contains two museums: Sebastian Fishing Museum which tells the history of the area's fishing industry; and Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum, named after the renowned treasure hunter. This homey museum and gift shop located on the Indian River contains a theater, dioramas, photos, dive site maps, and lots and lots of treasure and artifacts pulled from Spanish shipwrecks of the 17th Century. From gold coins and silver bars to candle sticks and rosary beads, this attraction offers a lively look back into a particularly swashbuckling period of Florida history and explains why the area is today known as Florida’s Treasure Coast. 322 US Hwy 1, Sebastian, (772) 589-9875.
The city also operates an 18-hole municipal golf course http://www.sebastiangolfcourse.org and even a world-renown skydiving school/facility. Skydive Sebastian’s planes fly far above the Atlantic, affording their passengers a chance to drop into Florida's eastern edge near the picturesque swimming cove of Sebastian Inlet. The company's hangar and flock of professional skydivers—some of whom boast more than 16,000 jumps––await flights at a 7-acre facility, where they host first-time tandem skydivers and operate a skydiving school for beginners interested in learning to skydive on their own through the Accelerated Freefall course. Meanwhile, experienced skydivers with a passion for the sport of skydiving can receive independent coaching to keep free-fall skills sharp. www.skydiveseb.com.
And there’s a calendar of festivals and events:
Artists and musicians come together at Riverview Park and along the Sebastian riverfront for an interesting and lively event January 18-19, 2020 during the Sebastian Riverfront Fine Art & Music Festival. Paintings, jewelry, ceramics, glass blowing, wood carving, photography, pottery and metalwork are on display.
Pelican Island Wildlife Festival - This March 7, 2020 festival honoring the area’s natural resources is also a birthday party for the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. At this 28th annual event, visitors will celebrate a day (10am-4pm) devoted to the environment while enjoying pontoon boat tours, live wildlife shows, jaw-dropping photography displays and non-stop family fun in Sebastian.
Taste lionfish deliciously prepared while learning about the lionfish invasion and how to prepare the fish safely at home during the 5th Annual Sebastian Lionfish Fest which will be held in June (date TBD). The Lionfish Tourney and Lionfish cook-off take place at Capt. Hiram’s. Proceeds benefit coastal programs.
Sebastian Clambake – This “lagoon festival” celebrates the recreation, beauty and food which is the life-blood of the community since the pioneer days. There’s exceptional eats, soul-stirring music, historical re-enactments and plenty of family fun. Feast on linguine with red/white clam sauce, succulent shrimp, hearty clam chowder, fried fish and clam strips, steamed clams, crab cakes and more. This annual festival has raised more than $600,000 since 2002 which is distributed to local nonprofit organizations. The clambake takes place at Riverview Park, 600 US 1, Sebastian in November.
About Indian River County: Situated along Florida’s Treasure Coast on the Atlantic Ocean, the communities of Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmere are the geographical starting point for the Florida tropics, with winter temperatures rarely dipping below 70° (21°C). The county is centrally located 70 miles south of the Kennedy Space Center and 135 miles north of Miami. The destination resides at the intersection of green and glamorous, with 100,000 conservation acres, 26 miles of pristine beaches and a treasure trove of cultural attractions. Hotels and resorts with rooftops no higher than swaying palm trees support the destination’s motto “Sunrises, not High Rises,” contributing to it earning such rankings in 2018 among: The Cutest Beach Towns in Florida/Oyster.com, and America’s Happiest Seaside Towns/Coastal Living. Road trippers can easily access the destination via I-95, the Florida Turnpike or Route 60. It is also convenient to Orlando International; Orlando-Melbourne International, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, and Miami International airports. Vero Beach Regional Airport is served by Elite Airways with direct flights from Newark, N.J., and Asheville, N.C. https://visitindianrivercounty.com/. Follow, Share and join us on our never-ending journey via social media @VeroBeachCVB. Tag the town you’re visiting: #LoveVeroBeach #LoveFellsmere #LoveSebastian