The Treasure Coast of Florida – so called because a Spanish ship sank offshore with its treasure in the 1700s – is home to Vero Beach, a cultural gem for several reasons.
This town welcomed us with beautiful, natural beaches, delighted us with its relaxing, small-town ambiance and surprised us with its diverse and active arts scene.
Quiet Beaches and Beach Town
Vero Beach is unlike many beaches you’ll find on Florida’s Atlantic Coast with their crowds and major hotel developments. If you seek a more relaxed, natural experience, you’ll love these tranquil beaches where you’re likely to see many birds. It’s the perfect beach to bring a book and sit under a palm tree gently rustling in the sea breeze. A short walk from the beach, you’ll find a charming beach-side shopping area on Ocean Drive that’s elegant yet unpretentious. The boutiques here offer fashionable clothing and trendy gifts, and the restaurants serve a variety of formal and family fare.
Relaxing in the McKee Botanical Garden in Vero Beach
Active Visual Arts Scene
The Vero Beach Museum of Art is considered the premier museum of the Treasure Coast. The facility offers some big-city caliber exhibits in a variety of media: glass, photography, sketches, painting and video. There is also a fantastic sculpture garden outside that allows you to take in these unique works under Florida’s famously sunny sky. The exhibits change frequently, so check ahead online to see the current offerings. What I perhaps enjoyed the most about this museum is just how active it is – there are art classes taking place every week for children and adults, opera studies, film studies, jazz concerts in the garden and more. This is not your typical stuffy museum!
If you’re a fan of the visual arts, you might want to plan your visit around the Under the Oaks Art Show, which takes place across from the museum in Riverside Park. This world-renowned exhibition generally spans three days in March and draws about 80,000 people from all over the state. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get up close to the art and meet the artists.
Outdoor sculpture exhibit at Vero Beach Museum of Art
We witnessed even more of the locals’ creativity at the Riverside Theatre. You might not expect to get Broadway quality at the beach, but that’s exactly what awaits you. Whether you’re coming to see a famous musical or for comedy night, come early and relax with a cocktail on the veranda.
The Riverside Theatre facility is also home to the Riverside Children’s Theatre, a unique organization that promotes arts and musical education for youths. The Children’s Theatre puts on many special events and performances throughout the year, including the annual Festival of Trees in November to mark the start of the holiday season.
As you can see, Vero Beach and Indian River County in Florida offers more than just a beach. You’ll come home refreshed, enriched and perhaps even inspired for your own artistic endeavors.
Inside the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach