Why Sebastian Inlet State Park Needs to be on Your Family Fun List

Updated: Oct 11

Florida State Park Favorite: Sebastian Inlet


There are tons of State Parks in Florida, (175 to be exact) but how many can offer you such a wide variety of beauty and activity? Have you noticed its great location? The fishing here is a big deal, as are surfing, snorkeling, wildlife watching and camping. Where the Indian River Lagoon meets the Atlantic Ocean there is a channel well known for it’s challenging route, and picturesque scene of cat walks and walkways giving front row seats to watch as the two waterways collide. A fixed highway bridge crosses the inlet with a vertical clearance of 37 feet. But, talk about fun at the park? You're in the right place.

Sebastian Inlet is centrally located on the East Coast of Florida boarding Brevard and Indian River Counties. This state park offers a host of recreational activities for water sports enthusiasts and naturalists. Surrounded on both sides by Sebastian Inlet State Park (one of the most visited parks in the Florida), the inlet supports one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America. Many studies and tons of research have been conducted here. The inlet is not only vital to the ecological health of the Indian River Lagoon, but it is also an important economic force for the region with a $200 million economic impact annually, being one of five navigable channels that connect the Indian River Lagoon to the Atlantic Ocean. Meaning: manatees, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, and many more creatures, gather here. And this channel is no joke. Many inexperienced boaters have washed into the jetties lining the waterway, often with a crowd of onlookers.


The park occupies 755 acres on the barrier island on the coast of Brevard County, at a point where a channel links the Indian River intracoastal waterway with the Atlantic. Part of the park is south of the inlet on North Vero Beach in Indian River County


Why is this park great for small kids?

The Cove. Also known as the Tide Pool.

Because of the shape and layout of the land here, there is a separated cove area for swimming. This is protected from the waves by rocks jetties, and lined by a rope to indicate shallow/ deeper water. This area is perfect for smaller kids learning to swim or explore the water. It’s also frequented by manatees and dolphins who enjoy the shallow area themselves. Learning to snorkel? Perfect spot. There are cool things to see while staying close to the shore. The sandy beach is often lined with sand castles and children just playing on the shore line, beside the local birds.


Those who prefer the surf can set up camp on the other side facing the Atlantic Ocean. (Most days we toggle between) A great place to boogie board, wave jump, surf or just enjoy the view.


Snorkeling & Scuba Diving

Exploring under the sea can be very rewarding! At Sebastian Inlet, snorkeling and scuba diving give you a view of sea life that those who don’t brave putting their head under water miss out on. The rock reefs stretch for miles giving you hours of fun for exploring. Snorkel along the rocks and it's experience what it's like to be in an aquarium with all types of small tropical fish. People walk out onto the rocks, and jump in, allowing the current to drift them down so they can scan the bottom of the sea for treasures. Mostly they find fishing lures and observe the colorful fish, but this area has been known for treasures! Scuba divers and snorkelers must be within 100 feet of a dive flag for safety.

Fishing

Two jetties extend over the Atlantic and the Channel giving you access to saltwater fishing. Perfect for all ages, the jetties are also ADA accessible so everyone can enjoy the sport of fishing! A saltwater fishing license is required for those 16 and up. There is a fishing bridge next to the cove. It runs under the 35 foot overpass, making it shady and generally offering a nice breeze. A short walk along the channel will bring you to the large fishing pier. Shark fishing is a sport out here, but there is a fisherman posted for every type of fish that swims by. The marina is right there providing bait and a wealth of insight for the novice.



Camping

Offering both tent and RV camping, Sebastian Inlet is a perfect spot for those who enjoy the outdoors, morning, day, and night. With 51 RV campsites that have water and electrical hookups, restroom facilities, and a dump station, you can comfortably enjoy your camping setup.Having access to both the Ocean and the LAgoon from multiple entry points there is unmatched marine wildlife viewing. This is one of the hardest sites to book in the state due to popularity and snow birds. Sites have easy access to the water and the general location makes it a hit. Publix and shopping with in a few miles, and all of the essentials available with in the park make this a local favorite. The boat launch seals the deal.

Camping and cabin reservations can be made using one of the following methods:

• Online - Reserve.FloridaStateParks.org.

• Call center – 800-326-3521 or TDD 888-433-0287 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

• At a park – Visitors can contact the park directly to make reservations for primitive sites, primitive group camps and developed group camps.


What a Project!

In May of 1919, the Sebastian Inlet District was formed with a charter of maintaining the navigational channel connecting the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. While recently celebrating it’s 100-year existence, there have been several upgrades and maintenance projects not just maintain the systems in place, but also to enhance the overall experience for visitors. Just ask anyone who has fished off the pier, eaten at the Surfside Grill, (their concession shop has boomed) or walked the Hammock Trail which has plants identified and labeled. Their bathrooms are recently remodeled and clean!