McKee Botanical Garden#3 in Best Things To Do in Vero Beach
Price & Hours
Vero Beach appeals to travelers who have an appreciation for art and nature. If you have an interest in both, then you'll want to visit McKee Botanical Garden. Occupying 18 acres by U.S. Route 1, this outdoor oasis showcases a diverse collection of foliage native to Florida, plus top-notch sculptures by acclaimed artists like Hans Godo Frabel and Seward Johnson. The property also houses several restored buildings, which helped it earn a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
According to previous visitors, McKee Botanical Garden's gorgeous garden, knowledgeable staff and interesting sculptures make it a can't-miss attraction in Vero. Many were especially impressed with the property's Children's Garden, which was added in January 2020 and offers interactive, educational features like a music maze, a splash pad and a pirate-themed climbing structure. However, a few bemoaned the main garden's small size and lack of shade. To see some of the property's best plants – its 80-plus kinds of waterlilies – in bloom, several reviewers recommended visiting during the summer months.
The botanical garden can be found on the mainland less than 3 miles southeast of downtown Vero. On-site facilities include a parking lot, restrooms, a cafe and a gift shop, though the cafe is currently closed and the gift shop is only open by appointment due to the coronavirus. The cafe is expected to reopen in fall 2020. The property welcomes visitors Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays between noon and 5 p.m. Admission costs $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and kids ages 13 to 17, and $10 for members of the military and children between 2 and 12. Kids 1 and younger get in for free. You can purchase your tickets in person or in advance online. Keep in mind, ticket sales end at 4 p.m. Visit McKee Botanical Garden's website to learn more.
More Best Things To Do in Vero Beach
#1 Round Island Oceanside Park and Round Island Riverside Park
One of Vero Beach's main draws is its beautiful beaches, and many consider the town's best to be the beach at Round Island Oceanside Park. Located 8 miles southeast of downtown Vero, this beach park offers everything you need. You'll find covered pavilions with grills, a playground and restrooms, among other amenities. Plus, the wide shore offers plenty of space for stretching out, even when there are sections blocked off to protect sea turtle nests.
But what sets this beach apart from others is its proximity to the Indian River Lagoon. When you want a change of scenery, you can walk across state Road A1A to the beach's sister park: Round Island Riverside Park. This park's amenities include a 400-foot-long boardwalk, nature trails, a fishing pier and an observation tower. Climb up the tower to look for manatees, or go paddleboarding or kayaking to see the gentle creatures up close. Water sports equipment rentals are not available on-site, so remember to bring your own gear or arrange equipment delivery if you want to get out on the water.
Explore More of Vero Beach
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.