Sebastian Inlet State Park
Enjoy a whole host of activities in this state park that has something for everyone. Sebastian Inlet State Park is 10 miles south of Melbourne Beach in Florida and lies on both sides of the Sebastian Inlet. This area forms the boundary between Brevard and Indian River counties and was acquired by the state of Florida in 1971. The park is known as a surfer's paradise but has so much more to offer, with its stunning natural environment.
Rich in flora and fauna
The park is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, housing many types of shorebirds and migratory species. Located on the tip of two barrier islands and surrounded by water, over 180 species of birds flock to the area during the course of a year. Juvenile green sea turtles feed can be seen in the seagrass beds of the Indian River Lagoon, while there are also regular sightings of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, manatees and Right Whales, one of the most endangered species in the world. Meanwhile, raccoons, opossums, bobcats, alligators, and river otters also make their home in the area. Enjoy a relaxing walk down the Hammock Trail. This mile-long nature trail skirts along the fringe of the mangroves and gives an insight into the unique species of this glorious natural habitat.
Take a boat through the Indian River Lagoon, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Sebastian River and the Atlantic Ocean, or hire a canoe and paddle it past mangroves and islands. Anglers will love the ample fishing opportunities offered by the park, and fantastic catches can be found on the beach, river or on the ocean. The three miles of Atlantic beach is famous for some of the best surfing on the East Coast. For the best surf spots, head for Sebastian Inlet's first peak, located next to the north jetty, or Monster Hole, on the south side of Sebastian Inlet. It's also a great place to swim, scuba dive and snorkel, with rock reefs stretching out for miles south of the inlet. For less strong swimmers, The Cove north of the inlet is the ideal place for a gentle paddle.
A wealth of choice
The State Park is also the perfect place for many other activities. There are three mountain biking trails in the State Park. Cruise over off-road and paved courses that take in sandy and swampy flatland, beginning and ending in the Bayside Marina. Visitors to the park can also enjoy diverse hobbies such as geocaching or stargazing on clear, winter nights. The area has ample picnic areas and a modern playground facility overlooking the Lagoon, making it the ideal place to spend a day with the children.
For those wanting to learn more about the area's history, head to one of the two museums. The McLarty Treasure Museum features the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet which became shipwrecked in the area, while the Sebastian Fishing Museum chronicles the history of the area's fishing industry.