Far From The Maddening Crowds Of South Florida

In less than three hours driving time, you can be far from the maddening crowds of south Florida and enjoying the white sands and turquoise waters of Vero Beach, Florida. This small oceanfront community has all the sophistication of the Hamptons or Nantucket without the crowds. It is laid back enough that a pair of chinos, a polo shirt and boat shoes will get you into most restaurants. Sounds good, doesn’t it.

Vero Beach Hotel And Spa

Beachfront

Heated Pool

Add a beautiful oceanfront hotel, decorated in a West Indies style, with a heated outdoor pool and a lovely spa and you might think that you died and went to heaven. That is exactly what I thought when I first arrived at the Vero Beach Hotel and Spa. We have stayed at several of the Kimpton Hotels and this one has everything that you could wish for. As a matter of fact, I could live at this hotel.

Can you imagine staying in a suite (remember my tip about joining loyalty programs) with a beautiful bedroom, living and dining room, full kitchen, den and two baths. Add two balconies and you can understand why I thought I was in heaven.

West Indies Style Bedroom

Living Room

After sharing a glass of wine with other guests at the free happy hour in the lobby, we ate at the hotel’s restaurant…Cobalt. Delicious food and a nice choice of wines by the glass.

The next day we set out on a short drive to Ft. Pierce in search of fresh seafood. We wanted to find a little spot on the water like the restaurants we went to when we lived in Key Largo…a laid back little place with Jimmy Buffett music in the background and a good fish sandwich. We found the perfect place named, On the Edge, because of its location right on the water.

On The Edge Waterfront

On The Edge

Nothing fancy but a totally fun spot…even had fried pickles and smoked fish dip on the menu.

Smoked Fish Dip

Fried Pickle Chips

Fresh Tile Fish Sandwich

And yes, a fresh tile fish sandwich. We couldn’t have been happier.

Back in Vero, we discovered that a new restaurant had opened since our last visit to Vero Beach.  Their motto, “life is short, eat good food” inspired us to make a reservation for dinner. Citrus Grill is a lovely restaurant with an oceanfront porch for lunch or dinner outside.

Citrus Gril's Open Kitchen

We decided to eat inside and watch the action from the open kitchen.

linguine With Pancetta, Sweet Onion, Tomato, Butter And Parmesan

Fresh Crab Salad With Spicy Avocado And Red Grapefruit

The food was delicious, especially the pasta and crab salad.

The next morning with gentle breezes and sunshine (hooray), we decided to have breakfast outside on the terrace of Cobalt restaurant.

Shrimp and Chorizo Cake Eggs Benedict

Pelicans Flying Overhead

What a lovely way to end our stay at the hotel as we watched pelicans flying overhead and waves lapping the shore. Vero is a town that I could return to each and every year.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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100 Responses to Far From The Maddening Crowds Of South Florida

  1. Remember my last bossy request? Could we add on the the “shrimp and chorizo cake eggs benedict” to your recipe replicating repetoire? (say that 3x fast).

    The hotel looks amazing! Now I am longing for white beaches and turquoise waters–so gorgeous. And yes!–I would like to know where ARE the people? I would think in the very least there would be snowbirds crawling (or more accurately, golf cart trawling) around there like mad.

    • Karen says:

      My first chuckle of the day, Bliss. I’m definitely going to try to replicate the shrimp and chorizo cake benedict. It is really amazing that this is a very quiet area of Florida. I guess it is not hip and happening enough for the “in” crowd. I guess you know where that leaves me.

  2. Those crab and chorizo cakes look very interesting!

  3. Sue says:

    Pelicans! My favorite!!
    Glad you finally got your sunshine…..it’s Gorgeous!!
    And please don’t forget–Sue IS available for adoptiion! :D

  4. What a dreamy post, Karen! Vero Beach sounds wonderful. I love a place that is laid back enough to be relaxing, but popular enough to have great hotels, shops and restaurants. I have to say that Shrimp and Chorizo Cake eggs benedict sounds amazing. I need to recreate something like that…oh my. Sounds like you are enjoying your trip!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Becki, Thank you…we are enjoying our trip. Vero Beach has such great amenities without being crowded. Perfect in my way of thinking. I’m definitely going to recreate the shrimp and chorizo cake.

  5. spicegirlfla says:

    So that is what Vero Beach looks like!! My daughter has stayed there several times as a close friend’s family has a 2nd home there. She never quit described it as you have because if she did, I would have made a trip there myself! It is a nice break from South Florida’s madness!! I like traveling a bit up North for a change of pace and lifestyle! What a nice trip you’ve been on – was this like a 2 week trip? That breakfast has inspired me to make something similar – like crab cakes with a poached egg & hollandaise sauce….I love eating out to find new ways to make dishes!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, Thank you for your nice comment. By the time we are back home, it will be a three week trip. We got to spend some quality time with our children and friends and are now working our way back to our winter wonderland. Delray and Vero are two of favorite spots away from the south Florida area.

  6. Next time you go on holiday, do let us know as we don´t want those extra bathrooms to go to waste! We´ll sleep in the den….Am so pleased for you that you are having such a great trip and great food.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tanya, Thank you for your comment. You and Big Man would have had a great time with us. The den had a pull out sofa and a 48 inch flat screen TV. The trip has been great and the food even better.

  7. lulu says:

    I see the weather has improved as you head up the coast and you are able to use your camera to advantage. Are you headed back north?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lulu, Thank you for you comment. Yes…we are headed back north. We had the first real sunshine on the whole trip in Vero Beach. This was so unusual for this time of the year. I felt so bad that I couldn’t take beautiful photos to share with everyone…so many grey days.

  8. I can see why you could live there – beautifully written and photographed. :-) Mandy

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    Good to see there are still quiet little places to visit in Florida. Better still to hear that you found one! That tile fish sandwich looks delicious but that pasta really caught my eye — as if you didn’t know that it would. Glad to hear your trip is going so well. May the good times continue …

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, Thank you for your comment and wishes. The fish sandwich was delicious but you are right…the pasta dish was delicious. We do love our pasta, don’t we.

  10. Monique says:

    The lap of luxury:) Looks beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Monique, It was the lap of luxury at the price of a regular room. I do encourage everyone that travels to become members of hotel loyalty programs. After a few stays the benefits are wonderful.

  11. Mad Dog says:

    That shrimp and chorizo cake did it for me too – do post the recipe if you can replicate it ;-)

  12. Wow, everything looks so great, the food and the views.

  13. Larry says:

    I got relaxed, sun burned, and hungry reading this post. What a nice vacation you are having. Being a breakfast person, like you, the shrimp cake benedict looks like something I’d like to try. Great post.

  14. Charles says:

    Aaah, golden sandy beaches, and pickle chips! Two things I suddenly have a strong urge to experience :D The hotel and restaurants look lovely Karen. Can’t believe there were so many pelicans as well – I don’t think I’ve ever even seen one in real life! Do they make noise?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charles, Good question about the pelicans. We used to live in Key Largo and there were lots of pelicans there as well but I don’t remember them making any noise. They seem to float in the sky on their large wings or sit silently on pilings waiting for a school of fish.

  15. I love the hotel! I could live there, too! Gorgeous photos, and even Southern California doesn’t look this warm and beautiful right now…everyone is envious! Lovely vacation, and you’ve shared it so well! Debra

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, Other than a couple of hours of sun in Ft. Lauderdale, Vero is where we have had the first true sunny weather. Certainly not the normal for the “sun and fun capital” as they like to say. I’m happy to know that you have enjoyed the posts.

  16. Kristy says:

    This all looks so delicious! And your suite does sound like heaven!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristy, Thank you for your nice comment. Vero Beach was wonderful all the way around. Not only a great place to stay but really good food as well.

  17. Hello, thanks for sharing this. I’ve never been to Florida but plan to go in the not so distant future, it’s always nice to hear about good places to visit. Especially as over in the UK unless I really researched I wouldn’t have come across this area! Hotel looks lovely!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. I am happy that you enjoyed the post and hope that it is useful if you travel to Florida. I don’t think you would be disappointed with any of the hotels or restaurants that we went to on our journey through the state.

  18. lvaletutto says:

    Looks and sounds like you’re having a blast… and all that fresh sea food, you can’t beat that! Soak up some rays for me. It’s been pretty cold and rainy here in Köln, Germany lately. Oh and happy Karneval!

  19. Amy says:

    Man, I’m seriously jealous of all your travelling!!! I’ve never tried fried pickles but want to so badly :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, Thank you for your nice comment. We visit our children in Florida every year but this trip really felt like a vacation. I have had fried pickles twice on this trip but never before. Once these chips and the other time were spears. I have to say that I liked the chips better. Much crunchier.

  20. A_Boleyn says:

    The sun, the food … paradise indeed. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Boleyn, Thank you for the comment. Paradise indeed…just should have been a cheeseburger instead of a fish sandwich and Jimmy Buffett would have approved.

  21. Sissi says:

    Fried pickle chips??? Shrimp and Chorizo Cake Eggs Benedict??? I must put these down and urgently look for recipes! Both sound too good to be true! It’s getting warmer here now, but your beautiful photos make me feel at least 20 grades more :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sissi, I’m really having fun with the food. So many things I haven’t tried before. I used the pickle chips instead of crackers for the smoked fish dip and it was delicious. You always have to keep an open mind when it comes to food.

  22. That does it! Now I’m officially craving crab salad and smoked fish dip…and another trip to south Florida. Glad you’re having such a good time!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bits, We are having a good time…thank you. I’m eating as much fresh seafood as I can. I don’t know why smoked fish dip isn’t very popular in New England…it is so good.

  23. I’m glad you had some sunshine after all your cloudy days! and the Tile Fish sandwich looks great, I’ve never heard of it before

    • Karen says:

      Hi Claire, Thank you for your very nice comment. We were so happy to have sun…this has been a most unusual trip weather wise. At least we have been out of the cold and visiting family which is wonderful.Tile fish is found in very deep water and is a firm, mild flavored fish.

  24. Michelle says:

    Oh, my mother and I took a girls’ vacation to Vero Beach when I was (I think) 15 while my father and brother were hunting in Canada. I hadn’t thought of that in years. Thanks for reminding me, and thanks for sharing your travels.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Michelle, for your nice comment. I’m happy to know that I brought back memories of good times with your mother. A girls vacation in Vero Beach must have been a lot of fun.

  25. Candace says:

    Oh, how I would love to be there!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Candace, I know what you mean. My husband and I really hated to leave Vero Beach. Our time with family was wonderful but we have to start our trip back up North.

  26. Ann says:

    Sounds heavenly! I love traveling with you….and this hotel is just lovely! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your trip back home!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Ann, for your nice comment. I love that you enjoy following along on the journeys that my husband and I take. We will be home before we know it and then I will have to start getting rid of the pounds that I have collected on this trip. Not exactly the best souvenir to acquire on a trip but I don’t think I would give up one of the wonderful meals we have enjoyed.

  27. Tandy says:

    I too would be in heaven, and not only for the room! The food all looks amazing. I have to try those pickle chips :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tandy, Thank you for your nice comment. I had heard of fried pickles but didn’t really think I would like them. Boy was I wrong…they were great.

  28. OMG would I love to be ther right now, great photos

  29. I love Vero Beach! It’s so peaceful and relaxing. Exactly what I’m looking for when I visit Florida.

  30. spree says:

    Oh Karen! Would you just look (well, you are) at all that sun, and sky, and stretch of sandy beach! And all that gorgeous food laid out before you, like royalty you dine! What a beautiful spot you’ve found. Happy to be in your suitcase, traveling along. Continue to enjoy, and we will, vicariously!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Spree, Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m happy that you are enjoying the trip with us. Thank goodness for a little sunshine in such a lovely spot.

  31. I can see you ARE in heaven, Karen, that hotel is gorgeous. We’ve got a Kimpton booked for NYC in May and thanks to you, we joined their loyalty program (they are one of the more generous programs). Thank you so much for the suggestion.
    That breakfast looks like it could be enough for two, do you mind if I pulled up a chair, I have my own fork?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eva, We have never stayed at the Kimptons in NYC. The Kimptons loyalty program is indeed generous and they do everything to make your stay nice. You will have to let me know how the hotel was. My husband had to help with the breakfast…very large portions.

  32. trixfred30 says:

    Shrimp and Chorizo cakes look fantastic!

  33. Caroline says:

    These gorgeous photos are making me depressed…makes me want to take a vacation!!! Wish I could be traveling with you. And oh gosh, all of the food! I wouldn’t mind a large bowl of that linguine right now!

  34. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge says:

    Really beautiful :)

  35. Purely.. Kay says:

    The food, the adventure, and the food lol. I love it. I love these photos and that fish sandwich is definitely calling me right now. I haven’t had a great fish sandwich is such a long time.

  36. beti says:

    it seems like you really had a great time, the place looks amazing and all the food looks delicious

  37. Can I just pretend like I am there sipping a nice fun drink and basking in the sun? Great photos

  38. Mary says:

    There is no need to ask if you are having a good time:-). Your photos tell it all. Have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  39. South Florida despite the crowded places, Miami..is still home to many small communities that have that old Florida feel and that is what makes Florida one of the best states in the Union to visit. All along it’s vast coastline there are those little forgotten or not-yet-discovered towns where life is easy and quiet. Have fun and eat more good food!

  40. This look absolutely fabulous!!!!
    Those crab cakes and the pickles fritters are screaming my name…
    Absolutely gorgeous place….

  41. Fantastic place, looks like a great time. And great food, everything looks delicious!

  42. You make me homesick for my home state:) Thank you for sharing your travels!!

  43. This looks idyllic. I wish I could be transported there right now! I hope you do get back many times in the years to come.

  44. hotlyspiced says:

    What a great destination. I would love to go there. It’s just a long way away.

  45. Pingback: Vero Beach, See It Like A Native | Back Road Journal

  46. Wow! Need to add this place to my list to visit! I don’t think I would want to leave.

  47. Carolyn Chan says:

    Wow your travels are making me wish I wasn’t sitting in front of a computer all day….Vero Beach looks so picturesque !

    • Karen says:

      Vero is our favorite town on the east coast of Florida. Beautiful and not crowded. Your blog always makes me want to buy a plane ticket to your part of the world.

  48. cabinet stew says:

    Wow that was a dreamy post! As a card-carrying parrot-head I hope to make it somewhere in Florida other than Orlando area someday! As for the fried pickles – yum. There is a restaurant right here in Lynn, MA that basically claims to have invented these, I have had them a few times but the ones you had looked much better. Maybe it was the surroundings!

  49. Pingback: Crab And Avocado Salad With Citrus | Back Road Journal

  50. Tiffany Jobi says:

    I just booked a stay here to do “nothing” after our hectic Disney/Universal madness the week before. I’ll be trying your recommendations (all of them). Thank you for sharing with the world!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post and it was helpful to your planning a vacation. I hope you have a great trip.

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