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Overview

In the 1880s, Henry Gifford started a settlement on the bluffs above the Indian River in a tangled jungle that was tamed to be one of the largest producers of citrus in the United States. Henry’s wife suggested the name “Vero” (Truth, in Latin) for the new post office, and the name stuck. Orchid growers established nurseries on the barrier island, dubbed Orchid Island, where the nation’s first National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt to preserve brown pelicans. Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge remains one of Florida’s hot spots for birding, where sightings of roseate spoonbills are not uncommon. ...

In the 1880s, Henry Gifford started a settlement on the bluffs above the Indian River in a tangled jungle that was tamed to be one of the largest producers of citrus in the United States. Henry’s wife suggested the name “Vero” (Truth, in Latin) for the new post office, and the name stuck. Orchid growers established nurseries on the barrier island, dubbed Orchid Island, where the nation’s first National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt to preserve brown pelicans. Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge remains one of Florida’s hot spots for birding, where sightings of roseate spoonbills are not uncommon. In the 1920s, the Florida boom hit Vero embodied in one Waldo Sexton, a speculator with big dreams that transformed the city, establishing a hotel, restaurant, and the McKee Jungle Gardens, a portion of which remain today as a lush tropical botanical garden showcasing Florida and Caribbean species. With plenty of outdoor recreation between two rivers and the sea, Vero Beach is a fascinating destination for birdwatching, paddling, and fishing, or just soaking up the sun on lightly-used beaches.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Sandra Friend for Triporati

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Climate

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