submit to reddit GoNOMAD Travel          Instagram

Orlando Florida Hotel Reviews
Read more about Florida on GoNOMAD

Vero Beach and the rest of Indian River County Florida are a far cry from the fashionista-laden, self conscious show-off atmosphere that can make Miami a bummer. And the beaches are just as nice, even if they're not topless.

The boardwalk at Vero Beach, which was destroyed in hurricanes in 2004 and was rebuiltThe boardwalk at Vero Beach, which was destroyed in hurricanes in 2004 and was rebuiltOk, ok, there are those who love Miami's hipness. That cool South Florida feeling, those many Cubanos, and that sizzling nightlife. Contrast that with 'Zero Beach,' as some locals jokingly referred to the city of 21,000. Here the lights go out at 10 pm, and there's more emphasis on outdoor activities like kayaking or early morning beach strolling.

Our day began on a hot Vero afternoon, driving the long and straight Highway 60 from Orlando, past endless traffic lights til we reached a big bridge. We looked down and followed sailboats lazily navigating the calm waters below.

We were entering Orchid Island, a barrier island with the intracoastal waterway flowing on one side and the wild Atlantic on the other.

Boris Holds Court

Our accommodations were with Boris Gonzalez, whose family is well-known here for the large land holdings and Cuban roots.

With his partner Elizabeth Kennedy, Boris has created a cozy boutique hotel called The Caribbean Court, which stands out for its cool decor and updated ambience.


Boris Gonzalez , proprietor of the Caribbean Court a boutique hotel in Vero Beach, Florida.

One of the first things we did upon arrival was sit for some strong Cuban coffee and meet Boris, who was born in Havana and educated and raised in Spain and later the U.S. Elizabeth also runs a busy catering company in Vero.

This dynamic pair has created a big buzz on the sleepy island with their Havana Nights piano bar, a compact little bar with mojitos on the menu and a hip clientele.

It's packed on the weekends. Elizabeth told us that Vero is called by some 'the Hamptons of Miami,' where big-city folk come to relax and unwind. Vero is a two-and-a-half-hour drive up the East coast, but really a world away, she said. READ MORE



Apalachicola, Florida from the air. Click to return to the story.
A surf skipper running on the beach in Vero Beach, Florida - photo by Max Hartshorne
a restaurant for canines only? While I was traveling to research my upcoming book, Fido's Florida
Natural North Florida By Shady Hartshorne AWay down upon the Swannee River far, far awayAA
Haulover State Park, South Florida: A Day at the Nude Beach By Max Hartshorne Every winter, many
Gainesville is home to the Florida Museum of Natural History. Shown here are the skeletons
of Florida The International Sand Art Competition took place for the first time last year, Dan Belcher from
A Digital detox at a farm called Paradise in South Florida. Mary Nelen photos. Florida Natural
An Unforgettable Cycling Trip in Florida The route we took. ByA Dennis Lawrence The 160-mile
. Sarah Robertson photos. Florida in Citrus County By Sarah Robertson As the manatee capital
Camping the Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico An unusual visit to Florida The third level of Fort
Miramar Beach Chairs in South Walton Florida. In Search of the Old Florida A traveler ruminatesA
A Skipping the waves on Jasmin Island, in Vero Beach Florida. Photos by Max Hartshorne
A A posse of ATV riders in Croom ATV Park near Tampa Florida. photos by Peter Sacco

Tags: storySection: Tripadvisor Hotel Reviews
Location: Florida
New Travel Articles