Vero Beach Journals

Snowbirds in the Slow Lane

Best of IgoUgo

A December 2003 trip to Vero Beach by Idler

Here a conch, there a conch Photo, Vero Beach, Florida More Photos
Quote: A sampling of car license plates heading south on I-95 in December: Ontario, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, and Quebec. What gives? Last winter, we joined the southbound flock to discover the quiet charms of old Florida for ourselves.

Snowbirds in the Slow Lane

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Brown pelicans at Sebasian Inlet State Park Photo, Vero Beach, Florida
Quote:
You can take the boy out of Florida...but you can’t take the Florida out of the boy. At least, that’s the case with my husband, who grew up there. I consistently pooh-poohed the idea of a Florida vacation until he offered the ultimate bait - a Christmas trip. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse, providing the perfect excuse to dodge holiday obligations. Going CoastalDefined by water, Florida flaunts a string of "coasts" that vie for attention. There’s the Space Coast, the Gold Coast, the Emerald Coast, and the Sun Coast, just for starters. We settled on the Treasure Coast for its low-key appeal and proximity to serene beaches, wildlife refuges, and recreational...Read More

Sebastian Inlet State Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Sebastian Inlet State Park Photo, Vero Beach, Florida
Quote:
Some places are justifiably popular. Sebastian Inlet, which attracts over 700,000 visitors annually, is one such place, but don’t let the prospect of crowds keep you away. There’s plenty of room in this 775-acre park, and visitors have their choice of fishing on the jetties, surfing at one of best spots on Florida’s Atlantic coast, snorkeling, or swimming in a protected cove; kayaking among the mangroves, cycling or hiking along nature paths, camping or picnicking in well-maintained facilities, or bird-watching near the nation’s first wildlife refuge (Pelican Island). Plus, there are two museums for history buffs – a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 13, 2004

Sebastian Inlet State Park
9700 South A1A
Vero Beach, Florida 32951
(321) 984-4852

Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Jonathan Dickinson State Park Photo, Vero Beach, Florida
Quote:
The Loxahatchee, Florida’s first designated "National Wild and Scenic River," wends its quiet way through Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The banks of this languid, black water river are dense with mangroves and cypress trees, while the land beyond contains scrub pine flats, hickory forests, and other diverse habitats. I’m always amazed that I can get off the interstate in Florida, drive a few miles to a park entrance, and within minutes be in a world that seems as remote and timeless as any distant wilderness. Endangered species, such as sand hill cranes, bald eagles, and gopher tortoises make their ho...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 13, 2004

Jonathan Dickinson State Park
16450 SE Federal Highway
Vero Beach, Florida 34947
(772) 546-2607

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Photo, Boynton Beach, Florida
Quote:
"Look! It’s an alligator!" We had just launched our kayaks into the Hillsboro Canal at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and were paddling alongside the levee, when I spotted the telltale snout, head, and back of a sizeable gator. We kept a respectful distance, having read all the posted advisories discouraging visitors from approaching or feeding alligators. Still, it was something of a thrill, realizing that we were paddling through alligator territory.A five-mile canoe trail run...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 13, 2004

Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
10216 Lee Road
Boynton Beach, Florida

One of thousands of tiles collected by Waldo Photo, Vero Beach, Florida
Quote:
Meticulous types put off by minor flaws such as a loose tile in the bathroom or a few stray ants wending their way harmlessly across the kitchen counter are forewarned: this is not your kind of place. Those not given to white-glove inspections, however, may be charmed by the Driftwood Inn’s one-of-a-kind touches and laissez-faire charm. This is the beach, baby. Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s All About Waldo The original owner and builder of the Driftwood, Waldo Sexton, may have died in 1969 but his spirit presides over this Sextonian vision of a Florida beach retreat. Some even claim he haunts another of his establishments nearby, the Ocean Grill. Sexton, wh...Read More

About the Writer

Idler

Idler
Poolesville, Maryland