Discover Vero's Oceanside
| Vero Beach has something for everyone. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida complimented by well maintained parks, delightful boutiques, refreshing spas, beauty experts, an oceanside farmers market, world class restaurants, boating, fishing, golf, tennis, free concerts, theater, art, history, gardens, wildlife and fabulous hotels making it a top spot to vacation and a favorite get away to some celebrities.
If you decide Vero Beach is the place for you permanently, we have host of real estate professionals, banks, attorneys, accountants, CPA's, title companies, and appraisers who can help you make your dream a reality.
Vero Beach is home to some of the best wellness/medical professionals around. They can help you maintain and enhance your well being while you enjoy residing in our little piece of "paradise".
Historic Vero Beach
The Driftwood (left) & The Ocean Grille (right) See below for more information.
Vero Beach was originally known as The Narrows, and Johns Island was the
earliest settlement in The Narrows founded in 1880. Mr. Laroche, a
civil war survivor, relocated his family from John’s Island in
Charleston, SC to the Narrows after Charleston was devastated during the
war. The Johns Island cemetery is particularly historical, with the
first marked grave being 1889.
In 1891 a civil war soldier from Iowa, Mr. Dawson, established the
first general store and library in Indian River County boasting
somewhere around 2,000 books. Unfortunately, the expansion of the
intercoastal waterway destroyed some of the old buildings, but it is
thought that the old library still possibly exists as part of the Frank
Forster Reserve, a walking trail in North Vero Beach that cuts from the
Indian River across AIA and straight to the beach.
The Bethel Creek House of Refuge
Along with shipwrecks, Vero Beach’s Jaycee Park was home to the Bethel
Creek House of Refuge. Built in 1875, the refuge was the first location
selected for construction in Florida and provided shelter and relief to
at least 34 shipwrecked vessels before it burned down in 1917.
It was rebuilt by the Coast Guard in 1927 and closed again in 1929.
Towers were then built on the site to lookout and guard the coast from
German warships. The foundation of the Bethel Creek House of Refuge is
still visible at Jaycee Park today.
There are countless shipwrecks of Florida’s beaches, and Vero Beach is
no exception. The Breconshire, built in 1883 was a three masted, iron
hulled steamer traveling from New York to Tampa on the night of April
29th, 1894 when Captain Robert Taylor ran the vessel aground in 20 feet
of water due to faulty navigational charts. The Coast Guard, responding
to the call of distress, attempted to tow the steamer off the reef, but
the Breconshire began taking on water. On April 30th, the order was
issued to abandon ship. No lives were lost, and at low tide, the boiler
of the ship is still visible from Humiston Park.
Today, the Breconshire is a popular location for diving in calm
weather due to the abundant marine life and historical value.
The Driftwood & Ocean Grille
Owned and constructed by Waldo Sexton, a Vero Beach visionary from
Pinhook, Indiana, The Driftwood and The Ocean Grill have a colorful
history. The Driftwood was originally built in 1932 as a vacation home for
Waldo Sexton’s family. Reports say that he built the Driftwood without
blueprints, simply shouting orders at construction workers in order to
get the job done. The breezeway building is still the oldest
construction on the property. Waldo Sexton collected antiques and
oddities such as bells from ships, cathedrals and locomotives, as well
as paintings, maps, cannons, statuary and more. Eventually The Driftwood
was converted to a hotel because so many travelers would ask to stay
the night and examine Waldo Sexton’s collections, many of which are
still present today.
Mr. Sexton contracted the same architects who designed the Biltmore
Estate, to construct what is now known as the Ocean Grill in 1932. He
then rented it to local businesses beginning with The Hot Dog Stand. It
then became Gus and Emma’s until German-born Gus and his wife had to
leave town because residents believed he was a German spy. Next, it
became Club Mac, owned by Alex MacWilliam, who turned it into a local
hot spot for the naval soldiers and officers of WW2. After the war, it
became the Tropics Bar and Restaurant, which is rumored to have been a
favorite of infamous Chicago gangsters, until finally it became the Ocean Grill.
Visitors today can step back in time and still see much of the original