The Traveling Steve's

Weekend at Vero Beach

Steve (DOS) and I went to Vero Beach on Saturday to visit my former neighbors Kenny and Mary, who had moved here this past summer.  As their kids were grown, Kenny and Mary moved to a 55 and older community, something we’ve considered over the last couple years. 

We drove down to see their new place, and stayed with them overnight, having dinner in the evening, Sunday Brunch, and a fun whirlwind tour of Vero Beach in the meantime.

DOS and I have stayed at Vero Beach before, but in a hotel a couple years prior to Kenny and Mary moving here, but we didn’t know much about the area.  Like Sarasota, Vero Beach is a quiet beachside city with class, and full of retirees.  The drive to Vero is only and hour and half or so from our place in Orlando, and we arrived there in the early afternoon.

We were first welcomed by Kenny and Mary at their home, which we loved!  It is a one level home, with an open floor plan, combining the kitchen, living room, and dining areas into one huge room, but sectioned off per the furniture and huge kitchen island.  The open floor plan gave it a spacious feeling, which combined with high ceilings, made for a relaxing and comfortable home.

The 55 and older community they live in (like  almost all of these type communities) has an HOA, governing the rules of the neighborhood and house exterior details etc.  Their home is not on the beach itself, but is a short 15 – 20 minute drive away. The development is still being constructed, and they are up to the completion of phase 2 out of 4 phases. 

The community has a nice clubhouse within walking distance of their home, which is available to all of the residents of the community.  The large clubhouse has a huge living room area, complete with open bar (BYOB) at the far end of the room.  They even have individual lockers for your wine or booze for storage next to the bar!

Next to the living room area are separate rooms for games/cards, large gym, dance studio, community mailboxes and info center, outdoor pool and self service pool-side grille. 

There was also a separate room with a modern cooking kitchen ‘set’ like something you see on a cooking TV show.  It was quite impressive, and had cameras over the large preparation island allowing fellow ‘audience’ members to see what was going on.  I could see DOS and myself teaming up with a resident who does the cooking, while we explain the wines to compliment the meal.  Really cool idea for the clubhouse!

Later the four of us Uber’d to downtown the downtown Vero Beach area for a late afternoon lunch and later dinner, with in between pub-hopping along the beachfront.  We went to Mulligan’s restaurant and pub, which is located directly on the beach. We had a late lunch and drinks and enjoyed catching up with our former neighbors.

Mary’s sister-in-law Kathy joined us for lunch and later dinner that evening.  Kathy and her husband moved down to Vero Beach several years ago from upstate New York and love it there. Here’s a couple pics of our beachfront lunch at Mulligan’s.

This weekend (daylight savings time ends at 2am Saturday night/Sunday morning) was the 100th anniversary of Vero Beach, and there were lots of celebrations along the beach.

There were bonfires (controlled and watched over by the local fire department) on the beach, outdoor bands, tents on the beach selling beer, wine, and snacks. 

Unlike other beach towns, Vero is quite civil and orderly, sleepy little beach town if you will, and you don’t see a bunch hell raising young party-goes in something out of an MTV video special. It was quite classy and refined, mostly folks like us and older having a good time!

We pub crawled to a couple beach bar areas, the first one at Costa de Este Resort, owned in part by Gloria Esteban.

After this we went over to the Vero Beach Hotel and hung out there a bit listening to the beach band and watching the bonfires.

Finally for dinner, we had a late dinner around 8:30pm (cioser to 9pm by the time we ordered) at Ocean Grille Restaurant, also on the beach.  We’ve eaten there before on previous visits to Vero Beach, and always enjoyed it. It has a “Haunted Mansion” type look when you enter, (similar to Bern’s Steakhouse in Tampa), and was perhaps decorated a bit more than normal as it was just past the Halloween weekend with the spooky animated “Butler”.

We had a wonderful and fun meal, and later we Uber’d back to Kenny and Mary’s, while Kathy didn’t join us for dinner and Uber’d home from the Vero Beach Hotel.

The next day, Kenny and Mary showed us around the Grand Harbor Beach Club, which is part of the Grand Harbor Country Club, where Kathy and her husband Jimmy own a vacation rental townhouse. 

They have a separate home in another Vero Beach community, but rent this townhouse out from January to March, and keep it the rest of the year for the country club perks, and for guests visiting from out of town.  The Grand Harbor County Club and community is about 15 minutes from the beach, but this beach Clubhouse area (available to guests who join and have a membership in the club), sits on a nice and quiet (private-like) beach, and provides hotel/country club amenities to it’s members. 

While we didn’t have lunch there, we did tour the Beach Club a bit, and admiring all that it has to offer.

After touring the Beach Club, we drove to the main Grand Harbor Country Club itself; a short 20 minute drive away.  Here we toured Kathy and Jimmy’s furnished (and vacant) townhouse, which was two levels, and is in a gated community.

We had Brunch reservations at the Country Club, and while Kathy couldn’t attend the Brunch, Kenny and Mary, and DOS and I had a wonderful meal and time.  After Brunch we walked around the Country Club for a while, before heading back to Orlando.

It was  a quick but fun-filled weekend at Vero Beach, and has both DOS and me wondering where, when, and what we are going to do and live when I retire in the near future.  We really enjoy the lifestyle at Vero Beach, (as well as his home in Sarasota) and the 55 and over community, but we will have to evaluate our options.  In any event, we had a wonderful time and it’s definitely got ‘the wheels turning’ for the future!

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