Vero Beach Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge

Best Beach Towns To Retire In Florida

For nature lovers, Florida is a great place to settle down. The Sunshine State has beautiful beaches, swamp lands, forests, lakes and vibrant nature preserves. If you appreciate wildlife, there are areas throughout the state to explore native habitats, where you'll find birds, fish, bobcats, otters, dolphin and manatee. One of the top spots for animal watching is Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge, with 5400+ acres of protected land and waters.

Located in Vero Beach, the refuge is spectacular, and just one of the attractions to this part of Florida. This area has lots to offer, including golf, fishing, magnificent boating, and affordable beach homes, making Vero Beach one of the best beach towns to retire in Florida.

As the nation's very first wildlife refuge, Pelican Island is a significant piece of American history. Designated in 1903, it has been a federally protected preserve for more than 100 years. Today the little green island sits in Indian River Lagoon, and is home to a diverse community of native Florida species. Here you can see pelicans, bobcats, rabbits, sea turtles, manatee, and mangrove crabs, as well as more than 140 species of native birds.  As a visitor, you can take a guided wildlife tour (November thru March, every Wednesday 8 a.m. - 10. a.m.), or hike seven miles of nature trails that wrap around the island. Visitors can also enjoying fishing in Indian River Lagoon, and hook trout, red drum, black drum, snook, tarpon, flounder and more.

While visiting Pelican Island, and spending time in Vero Beach, many discover its one of the best beach towns to retire in Florida. And so they go in search of Vero Beach luxury homes, or venture along the coast in search of affordable beach homes. Needless to say, this area has plenty of beautiful coastal homes to choose from. Here are three gated communities on the barrier island in close proximity to Pelican Island Wildlife Refuge:


Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club is a top spot in this area for golf and relaxation. Its 18-hole championship golf course is a lovely sight to see, with historic oak trees, superior grasses and lush landscaping. The community features private beaches for residents and guests, as well as a swimming pool, a Tennis and Fitness Center, and exclusive dining venues. If you want to live a life a comfort, fun and luxury, this is where you'll find the finest Vero Beach luxury homes. The average home price is $1.4 million.


Set on Vero Beach's barrier island, Sea Oaks is a place to find affordable beach homes. Residents here enjoy a life of outdoor fun while soaking up the sun, with tennis, swimming, nearby golf, and a private fitness center. If you like boating, Sea Oaks has its very own Marina and Yacht club, with dockage and kayak storage on The Indian River. Here you'll find town homes, Vero Beach oceanfront condominiums, and single family homes with stunning water views and private beach access. Tennis villas can be found in the low $200k's and oceanfront condos from the mid $300k's.


Located just north of Vero Beach, The Island Club is a quiet, private oceanfront community, with exclusive access to the beach as well as The Indian River. This beautifully landscaped, modernly constructed, gated community includes 252 single-family affordable beach homes. Amenities include a tennis court, a magnificent pier on the river, and an accommodating entrance to the beach with beach chairs. Residents also enjoy two heated swimming pools, as well as a large and small clubhouse with meeting areas. This is a wonderful place to live in one of the best beach towns to retire in Florida within walking distance of the beach. 

Summer is the perfect time to visit Vero Beach, and to explore the wild, natural habitats of Pelican Island. Almost 100,000 people go to the island every year, and many them fall in love with Vero's world-class beaches. If you choose to live here, you'll find good people, great schools, thriving arts and culture, and excellent healthcare for families and retirees. Whether you prefer a gated community with affordable beach homes, or spacious Vero Beach luxury homes, there are plenty of home styles and amenities to choose from.

If you're exploring Vero Beach for the first time, be sure to ask for our free Vero Beach relocation information to help you find your way around.

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