Vero Beach is a small barrier island nestled in the ocean, with the Atlantic on one side and the Indian River on the other side. For some, living in Vero Beach, Fla., is a dream come true.
Because of the luxurious beaches and other community attractions, you might be considering moving to this area. While there are certainly plenty of reasons to move to this beautiful area, there are also some downsides.
So, we’ve decided to weigh both the pros and cons of living in Vero Beach. You can read through them below and decide for yourself if this is where you want to settle down.
1. Pro: Historical Sites
Let’s start on a positive note! When it comes to living in the Vero Beach area, there are tons of things to see and places to visit. Here are just a few examples of the many historical sites you can check out in this city:
- Driftwood Inn
- Maher Building
- Old Palmetto Hotel
- Old Indian River County Courthouse
- Vero Theatre
- Vero Railroad Station
- Old Community Building
These locations display the rich history that this city has to offer. For example, the Driftwood Inn, established in 1937, is on the U.S National Historic Registry as an official historic place. While it was once a private beach, it is now a popular resort featuring Waldo’s Restaurant: the last of the great American Hangouts.
Likewise, the Old Indian River County Courthouse was constructed that same year by architects W.H. Garns and James T. Vocelle. It was the Courthouse Executive Center then, and it is now a part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places that you can visit.
It’s safe to say, if you’re a fan of history, you would have a great time exploring this area.
2. Con: Hot, Humid Climate
Many people love to visit Florida on vacation because of the beaches and the warm, sun-shiny weather. It can be a great getaway during the winter months in the north – there’s no doubt about that.
However, some people have a hard time living in the Vero Beach area all year due to the high temperatures and the rampant humidity.
During the summer months, Vero Beach can see high temperatures in the upper 80s. Records show that some days can reach almost 100 degrees, which is often unbearable for some people.
Additionally, because the weather gets so hot, air conditioning is a must. The hot, humid climate tends to lead to large electricity bills, which some people simply cannot afford.
Like the temperatures, the humidity tends to be on the high side as well. The average relative humidity can fall anywhere between 57% and 83% throughout the year.
High humidity can have negative impacts on people’s lives. It can worsen asthma symptoms, increase the growth of bacteria viruses, and bolter allergens like mold and dust mites. Furthermore, it makes it harder to sweat to evaporate, so it’s more difficult to get cool.
3. Pro: 26 Miles of Beaches
Perhaps the top reason someone might consider moving to Vero Beach is due to their long stretch of gorgeous, public beaches. With 26 miles of beaches available in this city, you have tons of options and plenty of places to visit to mix things up.
For example, Round Island Park is a public beach located right next to what is known as the best manatee viewing spot in Indian River County. It’s an excellent place for anyone looking to soak up some sun and experience ocean life. The beach includes lots of parking, covered pavilions, a playground, and restrooms nearby.
If you’re looking for a quieter place to rest and relax, you might check out Ambersand Beach. This coastal spot is located out of the way and sits close to the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, including 248 acres of designated, protected habitats for sea turtles.
A few other popular beaches include:
- Humiston Park
- Seagrape Trail Beach
- Treasure Shores
- Sexton Plaza Beach
- Jaycee Beach
- Turtle Trail Beach
The list above just names a few of the many beaches you can visit in Vero Beach. Most of these spots provide restrooms, lifeguards, and pavilions, and some are often used for surfing. You can also find tons of great beaches right near local restaurants to make your experience a well-rounded one.
Related: Pros and Cons of Living in Cape Coral, Florida
4. Con: Unwanted Reptiles
Because Florida is surrounded by water and has a hot, humid climate, it is full of swampy areas. While these locations are easy enough to avoid, you can’t always avoid what’s lurking within: alligators.
Did you know there are over one million alligators currently living in the state of Florida? Although their habitat of choice is the swamps, they tend to roam. Alligators go wherever they want, in fact, and are often spotted in residential areas all over the state.
Alligators may sport tons of sharp teeth and can run surprisingly fast, but they aren’t naturally aggressive towards humans. However, they have been known to invade homes. If an alligator gets into your home, it can cause some serious damage. Some have even attacked and killed family pets in homes and yards.
These reptiles have also been known to hang out on golf courses, which can make your favorite sport a little intimidating to play. If the weather has been nasty and rainy, you will probably find displaced alligators on roads, in pools, and yards.
5. Pro: Golf Courses
Do you enjoy a good game of golf first thing in the morning? Or do you prefer to wrap up your afternoon with the sun setting over some beautifully maintained greenways?
Either way, Vero Beach is the place for you. With 23 golf courses spanning the city, there are plenty of options for you to practice your game and take your friends for a spin in the golf car.
These 23 courses are a mixture of public, municipal, and private – so take your pick at which you prefer. These are just a few of the best courses and clubs in the area:
- Sandridge Golf Club
- BigShots Golf
- Vista Plantation Golf Club
- John’s Island Club
- Vero Beach Country Club
- Riomar Country Club
- Indian River Club
There are plenty more golf locations beyond this list, including about ten others right outside of Vero Beach, but this is just to get you started.
The Sandridge Golf Club is a public golf facility, making it a great place to visit as a tourist. The pro shop offers excellent professionalism and is highly helpful. Likewise, the restaurant is equally as ideal, along with the lessons offered.
Because Vero Beach is a popular retirement location, the pace of these clubs is often relaxed and enjoyable. Many of them are located near restaurants and other attractions, making it easy to plan an entire day around your tee time.
These well-maintained golf facilities are something to put on the pro list.
6. Con: Lack of Seasons
If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, then Vero Beach, Fla. probably isn’t the ideal home for you. Some people wish it were warm all year round, while others like to see the change in the seasons.
From summer to fall and winter to spring, the varying temperatures, changing leaves, and even snowfall are important components of the year to people who like the distinction. Unfortunately, Vero Beach doesn’t see these changes.
Peak records show temperatures of almost 100 degrees in the summer, but in the middle of December, the highs are still in the mid-70s. You may see drops down to 50 degrees, but it’s unlikely that the weather will get any colder than that.
And, certainly, you will not have a white Christmas in Vero Beach!
7. Pro: McKee Botanical Garden
The McKee Botanical Garden is one of the most popular attractions in Vero Beach. With tons of seasonal events and exciting exhibits, you don’t have to be a gardener to enjoy this site – there’s a little bit of something for everyone who comes to visit.
For example, one of the most recent events held at McKee was the Nature Connects exhibit. At this exhibit, the garden demonstrated images from nature made from Lego bricks. Other exhibits featured sculptures, while various events celebrated waterlilies.
While you’re at the botanical garden, you can also visit the Garden Cafe for some yummy treats and drinks. After you fuel up, you can check out the classes and programs offered at this location. Some programs include a lecture on the trees of Florida, children’s yoga, and even an orchestra musical series.
You can always read up on what the McKee Botanical Garden is doing by signing up as a member and receiving their seasonal newsletter. There’s always something new going on, so living in Vero Beach gives you access to ongoing adventures in the garden.
8. Con: Poor Driving Skills
If we’re honest, people in every state in America have negative things to say about drivers from every other state. So, it’s hard to tell which state has the worst drivers.
However, surveys say that Florida really does have some of the worst drivers in the country.
While we don’t know exactly why people make this statement, we can try to make some assumptions. For starters, the median age in Vero Beach is 54 years old. So, it’s safe to say that there are many elderly drivers on the road who may not be as sharp as they once were.
Additionally, many people coming to Vero Beach are likely there to either vacation or retire. Neither of these groups is likely to be in any sort of rush when going from place to place, and that lack of urgency may seem inconvenient to some drivers.
Plus, between the vacationers and the retirees, there’s bound to be a diverse group of drivers from many different states. Overall, that would lead to a melting pot of driving styles that just don’t mesh well when sharing the same road.
9. Pro: Independent Living Facilities
Vero Beach is a popular destination for those entering retirement. Many individuals from the senior population find Vero Beach a great place to live due to the significant number of independent living facilities in the area. You can find dozens of great locations, and at least 50 of them have partnerships with A Place for Mom.
Below are just a few of the independent living facilities ranked at four stars or better near Vero Beach:
- YourLife of Palm Beach Gardens
- The Carlisle Palm Beach
- Glenbrooke at Palm Bay
- Grand Villa of Delray West
- Balmoral Assisted Living
- Discovery Village at Melbourne
- Atria Villages of Windsor
These retirement communities are age-restricted to 55 and older, so anyone looking for a peaceful, quiet neighborhood can certainly achieve that. They often provide organized activities, meal services, and even transportation to give residents a full schedule and plenty of access to the city.
Independent living facilities in Vero Beach have been recorded as costing slightly lower than the state average. They are also located close to local hospitals and medical facilities, making it easier for seniors to access healthcare.
In or near Vero Beach, elderly folks can retire quietly with a peaceful atmosphere, lots of activities, and nice, warm weather for a fair cost.
10. Con: Potential Weather Threats
We have already touched on a couple of different aspects of the island’s average weather, but there’s one more thing to address: the potential threat of seasonal hurricanes. Florida, in general, is at risk for hurricanes, but Vero Beach, in particular, is considered extremely high risk.
In fact, since 1930, Vero Beach has seen 73 hurricanes – the largest of the group being Hurricane Frances in 2004. Hurricane Ana also hit Vero Beach in 2015, along with a host of other major storms like Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Hurricanes can cause devastating damage. They can flood homes, destroy roofs, and completely wipe out electricity and resources. Between the high winds and the significant rainfall, hurricane season in Vero Beach can be incredibly dangerous.
The recovery from all of this destruction can also be very costly. Residents may even have to find a temporary place to live if the damage is bad enough.
11. Pro: Museums
We already know from our first pro that Vero Beach is a very historic town, but you might still be surprised by how many museums this area has to offer. The city is known for its arts and cultural scene, so you can’t miss out on the great museums like the following:
- Vero Beach Museum of Art
- The National Navy UDT SEAL Museum
- Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum
- Indian River Citrus Museum
- Smithsonian Marine Station
- The McLarty Treasure Museum
Of course, the Vero Beach Museum of Art is one of the most popular attractions from the list above. This museum is the largest cultural arts facility of its kind on the well-known Florida Treasure Coast. It sees tons of visits every year from both tourists and residents.
A nationally accredited art museum, this location has lots of galleries, a store, a cafe, and an interactive Art Zone that’s perfect for kids.
The galleries feature national and international exhibits along with their permanent collection. The museum includes tours from trained docents and features hands-on facets that make it a truly unique and educational experience.
The other museums on the list offer elements of the culture of Vero Beach, such as information about the Spanish treasure fleet, history on the U.S. Navy SEALs, and rich education concerning the Ais Indians and Pelican Island.
12. Con: High Cost of Living
Compared to other areas in the United States, the cost of living in Vero Beach is pretty high. On a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the most expensive, Vero Beach comes in at a 2 on food cost, according to the Economic Research Institute. This includes groceries, fast food, and average restaurant costs.
Likewise, Vero Beach also sees high transportation costs, including gas prices and health expenses.
While other areas, such as housing, are more affordable in Vero Beach, general expenses tend to be on the higher end – especially in tourist locations. Since tourism is at the heart of the city’s income, it’s not entirely surprising that these facets would cost more money.
Additionally, while housing may be more affordable, residents of Vero Beach pay more in property taxes and insurance rates than they might in other cities or states.
13. Pro: Tons of Restaurants
If you’re a foodie who loves to try new restaurants and eats out a lot, you would undoubtedly enjoy the restaurant scene in Vero Beach. They offer a wide range of food options for everyone, but the area is especially known for its high-quality seafood.
In this area, you’re likely to find excellent dishes, including all kinds of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. However, you can also track down some incredibly delicious Asian Cuisine, Italian food, and Jamaican meals.
Looking for a few specific places to jot down and try while you’re there? Keep an eye out for these local favorites:
- Southern Social
- Riverside Cafe
- Kilted Mermaid
- Ocean Grill
- The Tides Restaurant
- Casey’s Place
- Scampi Grill
The Kilted Mermaid is a quirky place specializing in fondue and beer, while the Riverside Cafe is ideal for the perfect Sunday brunch. But if you’re in the mood for a rustic atmosphere and handcrafted cocktails, Southern Social is the place to be.
14. Con: Moderately High Crime Rates
Over the last five years or so, Vero Beach has seen a steady decrease in its crime rates. While overall, this is a very good thing, the crime rate in this city is still higher than about 64% of cities in the United States.
Many of these crimes are attributed to theft and burglary, with some offenses classified as assaults, auto thefts, and robberies. Thankfully, few of these crimes have been determined to be murders, rapes, or arson.
Additionally, 180 registered sex offenders reside in Vero Beach as of this year, making the ratio of residents to sex offenders 92 to 1.
Higher crime rates can be a reason for caution for some individuals considering living in Vero Beach. While the number is continuing to drop over the years, it’s still something to take into consideration.
One good thing to take from these stats is that Vero Beach employs 73 full-time law enforcement professionals. This works out to 2.97 officers per 1,000 residents, which is a bit higher than Florida’s average law enforcement numbers.
15. Pro: Plenty of Shopping
Given the rich history, blossoming arts, and cultural vibes that Vero Beach has to offer, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it also has some great shopping experiences.
To start, you can visit the Indian River Mall, which houses an impressive 70+ stores. You can find hidden gems in this mall, along with national favorites like Dillard and Macy’s.
Vero Beach also has its own outlets where you can find designer stores and products for a discounted rate. On a nice day, the outlets make for a fun and exciting activity.
Finally, the Ocean Drive Farmers Market opens up every week. Here, you can find a wide selection of food, fresh produce, baked goods, and locally-made gifts.
As you can see, there are many different pros and cons to consider when deciding whether or not Vero Beach is the best place for you to live.
Living in Vero Beach can offer you year-round warmth and sunshine, everyday access to the beach, and tons of different attractions and restaurants. However, it also means missing out on the snow, dealing with seasonal tourism, and potentially coming face-to-face with an alligator in your own backyard.
But now that you have all the information, you can decide for yourself. Do the pros outweigh the cons? Only you can say. If you see anything we’ve missed or want to see more content like this, let us know in the comments below!