For a Truly Romantic getaway, think Vero Beach, FL because not only is Vero Latin for True, it offers romance for couples on many fronts. For “foodies” it might be a beachside candlelit dinner, for thrill-seekers it could be a tandem sky dive, and a pirate just might want to wander with his wench in search of sunken treasure.
As Vero Beach sits at the intersection of green and glamorous, along Florida’s “Treasure Coast,” a romantic encounter can be found around many corners as well as with toes in the aquamarine sea. Beachgoers can expect 26 miles of well-preserved waterfront — a place where sea turtles call home, couples get engaged, and others find their bliss.
Seeking a spot to “pop the question” or rekindle romance in a decades-long marriage this Valentine’s Day? Here are some of our favorite picks for stoking the flame in Vero Beach:
McKee Botanical Garden is an 18-acre tropical paradise where native plants and exotic botanicals combine with Old Florida charm. The Garden boasts the largest collection of water lilies in the state. Located at the southern gateway of Vero Beach, it also features trees, waterfalls and historic structures, each with their own story and perfect for picture taking. The McKee Botanical Garden hosts a variety of cultural programs, including art exhibits, educational programs and special events. https://www.mckeegarden.org/
Blue Cypress Lake, part of the Blue Cypress Conservation Area in Fellsmere, is a magnificent body of water roughly seven miles long and three miles wide, with 21 miles of shoreline wrapped in 29,000 acres of marshes, swamps and cypress forests. The lake is one of the top osprey nesting sites in Florida. A kayak trip promises magical moments, along with up-close views of osprey nests and cypress trees up to 130 feet tall.
Got that chemistry like Bogey and Bacall, or want to stir it up? Southern Social in downtown Vero features handcrafted cocktails from Hollywood’s golden era, along with its chef-driven menu. Its slogan: Where rustic meets refined. Here’s looking at you kid.
Riverside Café is the only restaurant on the west side of the barrier island, overlooking the Indian River Lagoon. It has the advantage of offering romantic sunsets. The atmosphere is fed with formidable food, a bustling bar, live music (country star Jake Owen got his start here) and DJ dance nights. It also features a dock for those who prefer to cruise in by boat.
Search for treasure at Sea Grape Trail Beach, where there’s a wreck so close to shore that after storms you may find shards of pottery and small coins washed up. One wreck sunk with 70 pounds of emeralds on board. Only three pounds have been recovered. (Got your snorkel gear handy?). Or maybe just visit the McLarty Treasure Museum or Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum, where salvaged treasure is on display, some of it for sale.
For sophisticated art aficionados, the Vero Beach Museum of Art is a cosmopolitan museum situated in the heart of Vero Beach. Two outdoor sculpture parks, with stunning metal statues peppering the grounds, beckon couples to discover the exhibitions within. Upon entering, guests can explore five art galleries, an art library, the museum store and café. The Vero Beach Museum of Art offers traveling exhibitions, group tours, and daily activities to engage. Art events such as “Cork, Canvas and Company Night,” art seminars and guided tours to learn about the museum’s permanent collection are enlightening. Free admission on Saturdays.
Vero’s Downtown Arts District is just a few miles west of the Museum of Art. It’s rich with uncommon eateries, boutiques, street festivals and a bounty of art galleries featuring the work of brilliant local artists at affordable prices. On the first Friday evening of every month, the Downtown Arts District opens its doors (and runs a trolley) for the public to stroll and explore its many offerings. Think an old fashioned trolley ride isn’t romantic? Think again!
Where to stay if coming into the Treasure Coast from elsewhere? Costa d’Este is Gloria Estefan’s swanky beachfront hotel. Nearby is the Bali-inspired Kimpton Hotel. The Drifwood Hotel is literally made of driftwood and boasts amazing Atlantic views. There are chain properties and even the Disney Vero Beach. Remember, none are higher than the tallest palm trees, promising you fabulous “sunrises, not high rises” when you awake in the morning.
Oh, and let’s not forget, at Skydive Sebastian you can tandem skydive over the Florida coastline and have video and still photos taken to commemorate the experience too!
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.” 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., White Plains, N.Y. and Asheville, N.C. Finalist in Coastal Living Magazine’s “Happiest Seaside Town in 2018.” 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