If you are a “must travel with dogs” kind of adventurer, put Vero Beach, Florida on your destination schedule. There are at least two hotels on the ocean that allow pets. It is an old town that boomed with preppies and Palm Beach immigrants when the elite island became overpopulated.
On the second Friday evening of each month, there is an outdoor concert, perfect for everyone who loves light-up hula-hoops. Beachside dining becomes magical when waterspouts and rainbows appear a mile offshore. The day ends with ice cream and play time at the local park. Expect lazy days on the beach, unless you dare to enter the reckless ocean. The waves crash a few feet from the shoreline. They are dangerous and hide hungry sharks.
The most spectacular characteristic of Vero Beach, is the moon. It sits high above the water and shines a bright pathway across the waves like a street lined with gold. People gather on the beach and on the numerous boardwalks to watch it appear with the same intensity as a sunrise. Numerous hotels provide outdoor bands and bonfires. A few condo owners light fireworks even when there’s no holiday.
The second most amazing feature about Vero Beach is when the sun rises. Groups show up to meditate on the beach. Couples set up chairs and silently watch the tangerine sky spread across the horizon. Individuals take long walks. The atmosphere is calming and otherworldly.
One time while walking my dog on the beach, he squatted in front of some people meditating. Even though their eyes were closed, they all laughed, so maybe instead they are cheerfully basking in the early morning, purifying rays. Every time I take a sunrise walk, I meet new people.
The third majestic feature is a porous rock design, apparently created by the entire community. A winding arrangement of rocks that wash ashore is high on the beach, surrounded by vegetation. Strong storms wash the rocks away, but if you are patient, the scrolled artwork slowly reappears.
Vero Beach has the worlds best kiddie bookstore. It is on the mainland and linked with an adult bookstore. It’s not that they have books you can’t find anywhere else, but there is something about the nostalgic style of toys and puppetry décor that makes entering resemble walking into a fairytale land.
A Veteran’s Memorial Island Sanctuary tributes holidays with ceremonies. City parks provide dance festivals and rowing demonstrations. Sailing is huge in the area. The city marina and a private yacht club invite visitors to spend time in the intracoastal waterway. A Disney resort is close by and even if you don’t stay onsite, you can mingle with Disney characters.
Vero Beach is one of my favorite family weekend destinations in Florida. No matter how often we visit, as soon I cross over to the island, a sense of peace and safety sweeps oner me.