Head To This Quiet Little Beach Town Near Orlando, Florida For A Calm Tropical Escape

Little explaining is needed to see why Orlando, Florida is a tourist hot spot. Out-of-towners flock to this epic city for the likes of Walt Disney World Resort and Discovery Cove, amongst other notable theme parks. Orlando may appear to have it all, but it does lack a quintessential Sunshine State feature: a beach. If the chaoticness of a theme park vacation does not appeal to you, venture to Vero Beach in Indian River County. It's located less than two hours away from Orlando and is considered a hidden gem on Florida's East Coast.


As such, this destination is home to various breathtaking Treasure Coast beaches off-the-beaten-track including Round Island Beach Park (also known as Round Island Oceanside), Golden Sands Park, and South Beach Park. All three feature radiant cerulean water and powdery white sand. In addition, they provide an array of amenities for beachgoers including picnic tables, grills, and restroom facilities.

Note that Round Island Beach Park is located adjacent to Round Island Riverside Park, known for its manatee sightings. For those interested in viewing these mammals, Get Up and Go Kayaking offers a two-hour clear kayak tour of Round Island. This is all to say that Vero Beach, which has year-round tropical weather, is an underrated spot for your next Florida getaway. And off the sand, there are a plethora of activities fit for a mellow Vero Beach itinerary.


Laid back attractions in Vero Beach

We can't blame you if you want to spend your entire vacation in Vero Beach sunbathing or swimming. However, there is much more to experience in this charming seaside city. Nature enthusiasts must visit McKee Botanical Garden, open Tuesday through Sunday. Top-rated on Tripadvisor, it's home to an array of flora and fauna, and there's a great little cafe on site.


Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is the place to go for a hike in Vero Beach. As one reviewer on Tripadvisor explained, "The trails and overlooks are beautiful, wildlife abundant, and access is easy. A can't miss when in the area, we visited three times in one week." Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to sunset and there is no cost to visit. For quintessential Florida fun, book a tour with Capt. Bob's Airboat Adventures. The educational excursion traverses the Blue Cypress Conservation Marshland.

One unique attraction in Vero Beach is the McLarty Treasure Museum dedicated to the 1715 Fleet that sank near Vero Beach. It includes relics and more from the shipwreck and is open Wednesday through Sunday. For art lovers, there's also the Vero Beach Museum of Art (VBMA), which houses works made with various mediums and features revolving exhibits. VBMA is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and hours and admission prices vary.


Beachside resorts in Vero Beach

Although Vero Beach is a little over 100 miles from Orlando's Walt Disney World Resort, visitors can still find some of the theme park's magic in town thanks to Disney's Vero Beach Resort. This four-star establishment provides a variety of amenities for a perfect seaside vacation for both kids and adults. This includes direct beach access, a heated pool, onsite bike rentals, mini golf, eateries, and much more. As for accommodations, villas, studios, standard rooms, and cottages are available.



Disney's Vero Beach Resort is probably the most low-key Disney resort I've ever been to. Very chill and relaxing vibe that doesn't scream Disney. About 2 hours drive from Disney World. Worth a visit for a short weekend getaway or overnighter! Prices are very reasonable too! I've seen rates as low as $202 a night during the off-season on Priceline. Cast Member discount is also offered. #disneyresort #verobeach #disneyparks

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Not into Disney? Then stay at the highly-rated Costa d'Este Beach Resort & Spa, owned by singer and icon Gloria Estefan. Yoga classes, watersport rentals, and more are offered to guests. There is also a pool that faces the ocean and an onsite restaurant, the Wave Kitchen & Bar. The eatery primarily serves seafood dishes such as paella and ceviche. In addition to standard rooms with a king bed, there are ocean-front suites and a penthouse. If you want to bring along your fur baby, Costa d'Este Beach Resort & Spa is exceptionally dog-friendly. Prices start at under $300 a night. Keep in mind that if you are planning a vacation in Vero Beach, the closest airport is Melbourne Orlando International, located about an hour away. For more Florida destinations, check out Delray Beach — a fun-filled paradise with beaches, parks, and art.