Excursions in and around Vero Beach
What to do for a day, a weekend, a week. Check on the attractions listed below. See what's being launched at the Kennedy Space Center
1916 Grant Historical House & Fisherman's Park
The Grant Historical House is a restored cracker home that was moved to the Indian River in 1916. This scenic 7.48-acre community river park, located off U.S. Hwy 1 adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon, is a perfect wayside park for travelers and a convenient site for community events. The shaded pavilion and grill with restrooms nearby, the 2,000' walking path, and the 630' riverfront boardwalk invite picnics and leisurely strolls. While a 200' fishing dock accommodates fishing, and although boat launching is not allowed, boaters may tie up to the dock to access the restrooms and picnic area. The Grant Historical House is open 10am-4pm, Tuesday through Friday; the park is open from sunrise to sunset. 5795 US Hwy 1, Grant, FL 32949 (321) 723-8543.
Environmental Learning Center
If you are interested in getting out on the Indian River Lagoon, there are a number of ways to do it. Take a guided canoe trip to explore “off the beaten path” canoe trails. Paddle a kayak up the St. Sebastian River, one of Florida’s only remaining natural coastal rivers. Enjoy a pontoon boat trip on the St. Sebastian River or on a scenic excursion to Pelican Island. There are a number of guided nature walks available. Discover the flora, fauna, and history of the 110 acre Captain Forester’s Hammock Preserve by walking with a nature guide. Take a 2 mile guided hike in the St. Sebastian River Preserve. www.DiscoverELC.org. 772-589-5050
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, Inc. (HBOI) is one of the world's leading not-for-profit oceanographic research organizations dedicated to exploring the earth's oceans, estuaries and coastal regions, for the benefit of mankind. (772) 465-2400. They are located at: 5600 N. US Highway 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34946.
Indian River Citrus Museum
The museum traces the history of the local citrus industry from its beginnings, from Spanish explorers through today's high-tech processing and marketing techniques. See historical photographs, old farm tools, tools, antique citrus labels, industry archives, original harvesting equipment and gift shop. There are also guided citrus tours. Inside the Heritage Center at 2140 14th Ave., Vero Beach, FL 32960 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. ( 772) 770-2263.
McKee Botanical Garden
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, McKee Botanical Garden is an 18-acre subtropical garden. Its unique hammock supports a dense and diverse botanical collection as well as several restored architectural treasures. The Gardens are located at 350 US Highway 1, Vero Beach, FL 32962 (772) 794-0601. Closed Mondays. Tues-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 12pm-5pm. Admission: $9 adults; Seniors (65+) $8; Children (5-12) $5 and under 5 free. Members: free. Visit the McKee Botanical Gardens.
The McLarty Museum offers displays of items taken from the shipwrecked Spanish Plate Fleet of 1715. Through audio presentations and dioramas, museum visitors learn about Spanish ships and their cargos: gold, jewelry, silver, pewter, dyes, spices, silks, and minerals. An observation deck built like a Spanish galleon was recently added. A 45-minute movie, "The Queen's Jewels and the 1715 Fleet," chronicles modern salvaging efforts. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is $2. Children under 6 are free. The McLarty Museum is located at 13180 N. SR A1A, Vero Beach, FL 32963 (772) 589-2147.
Manatee Observation and Education Center is a waterfront wildlife observation and nature education center located on Florida's east coast in downtown Fort Pierce. The Center lies just west of the Atlantic ocean and overlooks the nationally recognized Indian River Lagoon, a saltwater estuary and Moore's Creek, a freshwater creek and historical resting spot for the Florida manatee. The Manatee Center is located at 480 North Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce, FL 34950. Phone (772) 466-1600 ext. 3333, Admission: $ 1.00 per person; Children under 6 free with Adult; Members free.
A 298-acre park located east of US 1 on Oslo Road. The rustic trails, observation towers and platform and canoe dock at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area are open to the public from dawn to dusk each day. Trained nature guides share their knowledge of history, flora and fauna during special guided walks which begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the park entrance on the north side of Oslo Road, east of U.S.1 behind the Vero South Shopping Plaza.
Sebastian Fishing Museum
The museum is devoted to educating the public on the rich cultural history of Sebastian's fishing industry. Inside the museum are replicas of a fish house and dock, the traditional heart of the industry. A 24-minute video presentation explores the history and vast diversity of the wildlife within the Indian River. The Museum is located at the Sebastian Inlet State Park, south side of the Sebastian Inlet Bridge off SR A1A. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Museum is free. Park admission fee of $8 per car (up to 8 people) applies.
Sebastian Fishing Museum Talks
Come to the Sebastian Fishing Museum for an interpretive program. You might learn about sea turtles, land crabs, seabeans, or wildlife rescue from a park ranger. You might learn how to fish for snook or flounder, how to smoke your catch, or how to make a castnet. You might take a walk with a ranger along the beach or through the hammock. Programs are free with normal park entrance fee. Call (321) 984-4852, (772) 589-9659, or (772) 388-2750 to find out about this week's program! Day of the week and times vary. Call park for information.
Smithsonian Marine Station
The Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) is a research center specializing in marine biodiversity and ecosystems of Florida. Research focuses on the Indian River Lagoon and the offshore waters of Florida's east central coast, with comparative studies throughout coastal Florida. The Station is a facility of the National Museum of Natural History and is a part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. For more information call (772) 462-0977 or visit the SMS Web site. Address: 701 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, FL 34950.
St. Lucie County Aquarium
St. Lucie County Aquarium featuring the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit. Feeding Frenzy tour daily at 10:30am; snack time tour daily at 2:30pm. Behind-the-Scenes tour Saturday at 2:00pm. 772-462-3474. 10am - 4pm. Tuesday through Saturday. $3-$4. Free first Tuesdays. www.sms.si.edu/smee.
Navy SEAL Museum
On the original training site of the first U.S. Navy Frogmen is a showcase that honors Naval Combat Demolition Units (NCDUs), Scouts and Raiders, Underwater Demolition Teams (UDTs), and Sea, Air, Land Teams (SEALs). Many outdoor displays from a Vietnam era Huey helicopter to SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) and even Apollo training space capsules are available for visitors for an up-close view. Inside the unique museum is a theater that runs films of the very tough SEAL training and other frogman operations. History and world geography comes alive in the context of the wars and conflicts in which America's most extraordinary fighting men were involved. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children 6 - 12, free under 6. Open 10 to 4 Tuesday - Saturday, 12 - 4 Sunday. 3300 N. A1A, N. Hutchinson Island, Ft. Pierce, FL 34949 (772)595-5845 http://www.navysealmuseum.com/ The Navy SEAL Museum is next to Pepper Park which has a lovely ocean beach. Bring the family and spend the whole day!
Vero Beach Museum of Art
This renovated and expanded 55,412 sq. ft. arts facility features five art galleries, sculpture garden, and education wing that includes seven studio classrooms, an art library, seminar rooms, and a 3,800 sq. ft. outdoor studio and foundry, a 250-seat state-of-the-art auditorium, museum store, and exceptional public spaces for art installations and public programs. The CFTA is located at 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963 (772) 231-0707. For more information, visit Vero Beach Museum of Art.
Vero Beach Railroad Station Exhibit Center
The museum has a permanent model railroad display depicting a journey through Indian River County and other changing displays. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. No admission fee. 2336 14th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960 (772) 778-3435.
Within an Hour
Brevard Museum of Art & Science
The Brevard Museum of Art and Science features exhibitions by internationally and nationally known artists as well as Florida artists representing a variety of styles, periods, and media. The Museum complex includes the Harris Auditorium, two Museum Shops, the Foosaner Educational Wing, Science Center and Art Museum. Located in Old Eau Gallie, one of Brevard County's historic districts and one block from the Indian River. 1463 Highland Avenue, Melbourne, FL 32901 (321) 242-0737. Visit their web site for exhibitions and calendar of events. Museum Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Blowing Rocks Preserve
is a magnificent 73 acre barrier island sanctuary located on Jupiter Island, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. Blowing Rocks protects a variety of natural habitats, including beach dune, coastal strand, mangrove wetlands, tropical hammock and oak hammock. The Preserve is located on Jupiter Island - South Beach Road (CR707) - and is open to the public from 9:00am to 4:30pm daily except major holidays. For directions call: (561) 744-6668. Please visit their website.
Situated on 56+ acres, the Zoo has over 460 animals representing 119 different species from Latin America, Native Florida, Asia and Australia. Open 10:00 am-5:00 pm daily. 8225 N. Wickham Road (Wickham Road exit off I-95. For more information call (321) 254-9453 or visit the Brevard Zoo website.
Florida Ranch Tours
Tours of a 60-year old, 20,000 acre, working cattle ranch and citrus grove. Located 12 miles west of I-95 off Orange Ave (SR 68), Fort Pierce, FL 34950. Call for reservations. (772) 467-2001.
Forever Florida Ranch
The Crescent J. Ranch, a working cattle ranch and nature preserve, offers wilderness tours, horseback riding, overnight trail rides and petting zoo. Tours are 9am, 12p, 3p, and 6p seven days a week. The Ranch is located on 441, Kenansville, FL 34739. Just south of route 192. Call 888-957-9794. Or visit their website at Forever Florida Ranch.
Fort Pierce Jai Alai
The world's fastest ball game, Jai-Alai originated in the Basque Country of Northern Spain. The game was played outdoors using the church walls as the first playing courts.
Jai-Alai in America originated in Miami and has been in Ft. Pierce since 1973.
1750 S. Kings Highway, Fort. Pierce, FL 34950 (772) 464-7500. Website
FPL Energy Encounter
Hands-on exhibits show how energy is produced. For overview, marine-life programs, and calendar of events visit the FPL Energy Encounter website. 6501 S. State Road, A1A, Gate B., South Hutchinson Island, Fort. Pierce, FL 34950 (877) 375-4386. The College of Sea Turtle Knowledge is open through June 4 from Wednesday and Sunday from 10am-3pm. Summer hours (June 10-Aug 1) are 10am-3pm Tuesday through Friday.
House of Refuge - Stuart
Built in 1875, oldest structure in Martin County built as a haven for ship-wrecked sailors and travelers. Model ship collections, tropical and native fish aquariums, changing exhibits relating to the colorful history of the structure and the Florida coast. 301 SE MacArthur Blvd, Stuart, FL 34994 (772) 225-1875.
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum
Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum offers climbing tours of the landmark 1860 lighthouse. The waterfront Museum in the restored WWII building exhibits Five Thousand Years on the Loxahatchee and outdoor exhibits include the Oil House, Tindall Pioneer Homestead, Pennock Plantation Bell, Seminole Chickee and Early Native American kiosks. Also available are the museum gift shop, Station J Café snack shop, educational programs for children and adults, sunset tours, weddings, receptions and special events. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the 126 acre federally designated, Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area. Check for hours and programs at www.jupiterlighthouse.org. Operated by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 500 Captain Armour's Way, Jupiter, FL 33469 PH: 561-747-8380,
Melbourne Greyhound Park
Melbourne Greyhound Park is open year round 7 days a week. Live greyhound racing is here November thru April. The best in simulcast wagering is always available. Bet on Greyhounds, Thoroughbreds, Harness Racing and Jai-Alai. Located just a short drive from all major Florida Attractions. The park is located at 1100 N. Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32901 (321) 259-9800.
Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Station
The Kennedy Space Center website gives information on launches, ticket prices, tours, exhibits and press information. (321) 452-2121.
Marine Life Center of Juno Beach
The Marinelife Center is a non-profit education and conservation facility dedicated to the conservation and preservation of our marine environment. 4200 U.S. Hwy 1, Loggerhead Park, Juno Beach, FL 33408 (561) 627-8280. Admission is free, donations are suggested.
New York Mets/St Lucie Mets (Tradition Field)
Thomas J. White Sports Complex, 525 NW Peacock Blvd, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986 (772) 871-2115
Spring training during March. St. Lucie Mets home games, April - August.
Valiant Air Command - Warbird Museum
6600 Tico Road, Titusville, FL 32780 (321) 268-1941.
Historic military aircraft and memorabilia museum. Warbird Airshow in March.
Things To Do > Excursions
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Vero Beach, FL 32961
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Voted "Best Eco Tour on the Treasure Coast for 2014", Stumpknocker Airboat Tours offers the most educational, exciting, humorous, and informative tour on the beautiful, pristine headwaters of the St. John's River. Capt. Steve Hayes is the only Certified Florida Master Naturalist through the University of Florida that provides these tours, established in 1988, and one of the most popular attractions on the Treasure Coast, hence "THE GRANDDADDY OF 'EM ALL". Bring a camera and let's create some memories. It is fun, entertaining, and educational for all ages.
Vero Beach, FL 32963
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The Vero Beach Museum of Art, the largest cultural arts facility of its kind on Florida's Treasure Coast, is a precious cultural gem that is admired and appreciated by residents and tourists alike. Situated on 7 acres of Indian River County's 26 acre Riverside Park on the east bank of the Indian River lagoon, this accredited art museum and educational institution provides cultural leadership and enrichment for the public through a wide variety of educational, studio art and humanities programs; a diversity of quality exhibitions; and the collection, preservation and presentation of important American and international works of art.