By Kris Hundley
Vero Beach is a speck at the mid-point of Florida’s Atlantic Coast, the place where east-west State Road 60 runs into the water. But for cruisers, the city is known for its municipal marina, which ranks among Florida’s best.
1. A protected harbor right off the Intracoastal
Vero Beach City Marina is tucked in a cove just north of the Merrill Barber Bridge (Highway 60) on the eastern side of the Indian River Lagoon. Mind the channel markers and you’ve got 7 to 10 feet of water inside.
2. No-hassle staff, inexpensive slips and downright cheap moorings
Transient slips cost about half the going rate in south Florida and mooring balls are less than $14 a day. But space is limited, so advance reservations are encouraged. Marina staff offers help, not hassles.
3. Above-average showers and restrooms
Some municipal marinas have showers and restrooms with moldy tile, broken latches and beat-up toilet seats. Vero Beach keeps the facilities clean and in good condition, with plenty of hot water and even blow dryers that work.
4. Free bus service throughout Indian River County
The free, county-run service stops twice an hour at the marina. Head east to Vero’s beaches and the shops and restaurants along Ocean Drive. Take the bus west over the bridge for groceries, marine and other supplies. Transfer to alternate routes to get just about anywhere in Indian River County.
5. Short walk to art museum, parks, waterfront restaurant
Walk past the dog park and under the bridge to get to the Vero Beach Museum of Art and Riverside Theatre. The museum has two sculpture gardens and enthusiastic docents. (Be sure to check out the sunflower made from chopsticks and plastic forks.) On weekend evenings, there are free concerts on the theater’s patio.
Start with Part One.