Vero Beach, See It Like A Native

I guess you could say this is a tale of two cities.  I did the post about Vero Beach titled Far from the maddening crowds of south FloridaThe post showed you the town through the eyes of a tourist and now I’m going to show you another side through the eyes of a native.

Our son lives in Vero and we always spend a few days visiting. When we first arrived in Vero he was on a cruise so we stayed at the Vero Beach Hotel and Spa. After checking out, we moved to a lovely bed and breakfast. It is small and exclusive…so much so that it is by invitation only. Yes, we stayed at our son’s home and it was wonderful.

A beautiful room, hand made chocolates by the side of the bed and fresh flowers in the bathroom.

Our B & B

Bedside Chocolates

Lovely Flowers In The Bath

Don’t you wish you were family and could have an invitation? Of course when you live in Vero Beach, you know what is happening nearby and all the local hangouts.

We went to car show at the beautiful McKee Botanical Gardens which was established to preserve an 80 acre tropical hammock along the Indian River in Vero Beach. Communing with nature, hotrods and classic cars made me and my husband happy.

Car Show At McKee Botanical Gardens

Fresh Indian River Ruby Red Grapefruit

On the way back to our B & B we stopped at Hale’s for fresh Indian River Ruby Red Grapefruit.

Little Moir's Food Shack

Now only a native would think of driving down the coast 60 miles to Jupiter for dinner. “Don’t worry…it’s only an hour but worth it”.  Little Moir’s Food Shack is located in a nondescript shopping center but that doesn’t stop the crowds…less than an hour wait is what we were told. We waited next door at their separate little bar that serves beer, wine, and snacks. A special snack was the Scotch eggs with jalapeño.

Scotch Egg With Jalapeño

Boniato, Peanut & Scallion Crusted Yellowtail Snapper

Fresh seafood is what this restaurant is all about and that is what we all had for dinner.

Brunch was on the agenda for the next day in Fellsmere, Florida 20 miles northwest near the Blue Cypress Conservation area. The Marsh Landing Restaurant is in a historical building. The restaurant bills itself as serving  “Florida Cracker” old fashioned home cooking.

Marsh Landing

Swamp Water Cocktail

Shrimp and Grits

You might want to be adventurous and have a Swamp Water cocktail and shrimp and grits with a homemade biscuit for brunch.

After brunch we went for another little ride to Sebastian about 10 miles away. Cocktails before dinner were had at Capt. Hiram’s Sandbar right on the river.

Capt. Hirams

You feel as if you could be in the Bahamas or at least the Keys… with the live music and sand at your feet.

As you can see, a native does know the little out of the way places where you can have a good time. If you don’t have family or friends in the area you are visiting, be sure to ask the locals what their favorite places are.

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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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74 Responses to Vero Beach, See It Like A Native

  1. Those chocolates are works of art. I can’t believe you found a car show, hee, hee!

  2. lulu says:

    Boy, your son does know all the right spots it seems. It’s been quite some Time since I’ve been to Florida’s east coast so it’s been fun traveling along with you.

  3. It is always great to see the side of an area that the locals see–the out of the way places where local flavor is on your plate and in the atmosphere. Sounds like your son really took care of you. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judy, Thank you for your comment. There are so many little treasures wherever you travel…it is finding them that is the adventure. We always enjoy the local places when visiting.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    Great chocolates, though I’d rather have the snapper! You are having an amazing trip ;-)

  5. Gloria says:

    What nice look all I want the chocolates, perfect and delicious but love prawns too! all delicious!! nice post!

  6. I loved reading this post Karen. Wherever you go, it’s great having a few insider’s tips. Your son certainly took you to some great places. I haven’t been to Florida but Vero Beach looks like fun!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenny, Thank you for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoy the travel tips. If you ever plan a trip to Florida, I think you would really enjoy Vero Beach.

  7. Sue says:

    Sounds like your son can provide a wonderful place to stay. The chocolates are gorgeous-I’m sure they were absollutely delicious! But, gee, Karen, aren’t you getting a little homesick for snow and cold—-LOL!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, We are slowly heading north and my husband is excited…but not about the snow and cold. At the end of any trip, he always looks forward to getting back to the real world. I never get tired of traveling and could live out of a suitcase forever.

  8. niasunset says:

    WOW! You almost carried me into this beautiful place and hotel… I loved your photographs too… They are so nice and colourful… The flowers in the bath fascinated me so much. Thank you for sharing with us dear Karen, have a nice week, with my love, nia

  9. A_Boleyn says:

    From those exquisite chocolate to the ‘swamp’ cocktail with the cute frog, to those luscious shrimp and grits, everything looked wonderful. You’re so fortunate to have stayed at such an exclusive B&B as well. :)

  10. Gary Lum says:

    That scotch egg looks delicious.

  11. I have serious holiday envy :(

  12. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge says:

    Beautiful, I love all of the photos – they really take you there, but my eyes always fix on the pics of the food you have. I’ve been wanting to try making Scotch eggs, by the way. :)
    What a nice place to be.
    Thanks for sharing. :)

  13. Oh I am sure we are related somewhere along the line…
    How perfect everything was for you – awesome! :-) Mandy

  14. Kristy says:

    Handmade chocolates?! Wow! How great is that! Looks like a wonderful trip was had by all. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristy, The trip has been wonderful. We have enjoyed visiting with family and friends. The food has all been great. The handmade chocolates were really delicious. Happy, happy, happy!

  15. David says:

    What a trip! Makes me tired just reading about it! All the good food and your son’s hospitality! Very envious in drab Chicagoland

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, Thank you so much for your nice comment. I absolutely love visiting Chicagoland. It is a wonderful town with so many great restaurants. Don’t be envious…we have had rainy weather most of the trip.

  16. First of all, your son, while obviously loves you, must be confident that you will leave to go back to NH because if I did a spread like that, my parents would not. I do show them how to operate the AeroBed in an efficient manner (just kidding–they get their own room and bath). Second, I won’t be demanding any recipes this time but I would like a crate of those red grapefruit. Thirdly, since your husband has a thing for cars, you will need to meander my way some day to visit an awesome car museum…I promise it will impress. ~~Bliss

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bliss, I have been waiting for my chuckle of the day and yes…you made my chuckle. We have never stayed more than three days so I don’t know what would happen if we said we would love to stay a week (no…I really do. I would have more chocolate). The grapefruit were so beautiful and very sweet this time of the year in Florida. I would love to meander your way. Your museum has to be great but meeting you would be even better.

  17. Yes, yes…I want to be family! :)

  18. The bedside chocolate looks amazing! I thought they were carved “something” (like soap or decorations) at first.

    The scotch egg looks very tasty!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for your nice comment. The chocolates were really little works of art. The Scotch egg was very good…made with chorizo sausage and jalapeño.

  19. The only place I have visited in Florida is Disney World. Hope to go back some day and see some of that beautiful scenery for myself. We love seafood and would like to try some of the tasty dishes you showed us. What a treat to stay in such a beautiful room.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, I’m the opposite…I haven’t been to Disney in years. I think you would enjoy the Vero Beach area…very different than the west coast. Our son always makes sure that we have a lovely stay…that everything is perfect.

  20. ChgoJohn says:

    Blue skies, warm sands, seats overlooking warm waters, sunny days, and plenty of citrus. The best that Florida has to offer. You’ve the added pleasure of wonderful accommodations and a fantastic holiday is the result. Good for you!

  21. jt10s says:

    Are you SURE your son didn’t just set up your room so that you could take gorgeous pictures for your blog!?!? Great photos and text. Love the dreamy quality of it all!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jimmy, Thank you for your visit and comment. I know that you are kidding…our son does this every year. I appreciate you nice compliment about my post. I look forward to your return.

  22. Your personal bed and breakfast really does look inviting! The chocolates were quite a lovely touch :-) I do think it is a delight to visit friends and family and enjoy the little hidden spots only a local would know to recommend. And may I just say that I love the way you travel and enjoy such special meals! You do it in style! :-) Debra

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, Thank you so much for your nice comment. I do a lot of research before we travel. Loyalty programs make hotel rates good. Food at a well known restaurant usually costs the same as one that has an average, rating believe it or not. We really have enjoyed this trip visiting friends and family.,

  23. Tandy says:

    your private B&B accommodation looks fantastic! How nice even if you are family, to have special treats waiting for you :)

  24. Oh my, this place looks like something out of my dreams. Stunning!

  25. Sissi says:

    You son certainly knows how to make his family happy! The room looks extaordinary. I think I could move in forever. The chocolates, the bar and the restaurant, everything sounds perfect. I love the way swamp water cocktail looks :-) I would certainly taste it too!

  26. Larry says:

    You guys seem to be having such a great trip and your photo documentation of it is super. You’d be really disappointed at our B&B – no candy, or flowers, or toiletries, but fesh towels and sheets (most of the time) :-),

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Larry, for your nice compliment. Fresh towels and sheets are wonderful…besides I know there is good food to be had if we stopped by your
      B & B.

  27. TasteFood says:

    What a fabulous trip. It really is best to travel like a local.

  28. spicegirlfla says:

    Karen, I LOVE the Food Shack!! I will drive one hour + to get there and wait one hour for a table!! They make the best combination of dishes – I like to sit at the bar to watch them cook!! You visited one of my very favorite places!! I’ve even written to Food Network – Diners, Drive Ins and Dives to recommend them!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I can’t believe that we go to so many of the same places. The funny thing is…we may have sat near each other sometime and not have known it. We definitely need to get together next year at one of our favorite restaurants.

  29. Karen, once again I am longing for a bit of South Florida sand between my toes….I can hear the surf now….enjoy

  30. Ann says:

    It looks like you had a wonderful time in Vero Beach and your son is an excellent host! I hope you are well….

  31. Joanne says:

    I would have been sold on Vero Beach from the first second I saw those chocolates. But everything else looks pretty amazing also. I love not doing super tourist-y things when I visit places. Sometimes you see the best of a city that way.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Joanne, I agree with you about doing touristy things. There are so many undiscovered things to do that the locals can suggest wherever you travel.

  32. Is that a mural at Hale’s? I like the look of that.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sharyn, Yes…that is a mural at Hale’s. I’m sure it was painted many years back. One of the true find’s of old time Florida. And the fresh fruit at great prices makes it a wonderful stop if you are in the area.

  33. Carolyn Chan says:

    They have to be the fanciest bedside chocolates that I have seen !

    • Karen says:

      Our son knows my love for chocolate. Every time we visit, he has beautiful chocolates waiting by the bed under a little glass dome.

  34. So fun to see pictures where you live! I worked at the mall in Vero for years, now in Melbourne so still close, my son still works in Vero…. love that little shack in Jupiter too… thanks for your visit today so glad to see these photo’s very cool! What a coincidence :) Claudia @Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine

    • Karen says:

      Hi Claudia, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. What a coincidence is right. We really love that area of Florida…I know you must enjoy the area.

  35. cabinet stew says:

    Wow – really wonderful to see another side of Florida! You have yourself a wonderful “travel blog” going ;-) On another note I think a long but beautiful drive to a great restaurant really makes it an event and besides the drive home gives you time to digest.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol, I’m glad that you are enjoying our trip. We did have time to digest and we also had a designated driver which made it even nicer.

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