Getting a spot with lagoon/inlet view to this campground was not easy especially if your days are not flexible. One day when I was web surfing the Florida State Parks website and saw the opportunity that I can be at site # 10 in this campground, I did not waste time but booked it right away. This was back in April when I was lucky enough to find this availability. It was a perfect spot right across the water with a tree on the side to provide the necessary shade.
From Lakeland, we took Bartow Road to Route 60 all the way to Vero Beach, then a few turns and miles and we were on Highway A1A. The last few miles were very beautiful and scenic.
The park is actually very long and narrow, it covers both sides of the inlet north and south and is in 2 counties (Indian River County and Brevard County). The museum, campgrounds and boat launch are located in the southern part, and beach, tidal beach, and fishing pier are in the north.
We arrived at around 3:30, checked in at the Ranger’s Station and headed along the Inlet towards the campground and our spot. We already were seeing the beautiful sights this park is so famous for. The campground roads were very narrow, and our site, number 10 was right on the water, with only a road between us and the inlet. Backing in was easy thanks to their being a wide grassy area across the way from our site. The water and electric were close (no sewer hookup here), and the ground was a crushed shell composition which was fairly level. I could tell by the rake marks on the ground that they serviced the sites between each user.
Many comments online claim that Sebastian Inlet State Park has a big noseeum problem. Knowing this ahead of time was the main reason we wanted a site right on the water to get a good breeze and be as far away from the mangroves as possible where they like to breed in saltwater marshes and freshwater swamps. Come prepared and bring your insect repellent, long sleeve shirts, long pants and limit your exposure when they are most active during dusk to dawn. We were lucky and had a nice breeze most of the time we were there. We barely felt them.
Sebastian Inlet State Park has the well-deserved reputation of being one of the best in Florida. There is so much to do and see, one problem was that not all the things we wanted to do here were dog-friendly. Knowing this ahead of time, we booked a dog sitter nearby to take care of our fur babies for a few hours on Saturday so we could do things without them restricting us.
There were several that we found nearby using the internet, but one, in particular, caught our attention and gave us a good feeling so we went with her, Lisa Roux (contact #207-651-2100). We highly recommend her.
We dropped the dogs off early Saturday with Lisa and set out to enjoy our freedom. We booked a boat tour of the Indian River Lagoon and went back to the Park to explore the less dog-friendly amenities. We went to the Tidal Pool, fishing Pier and of course the beautiful beach on the north side of the inlet, then headed back across the lagoon to catch our tour boat ride.
The tour we chose was Captain Hiram’s River King Cruises located in Sebastian right on the lagoon. We had a great time, the captain was very professional, the first mate was very personable and entertaining, the ride was fun and educational.
We saw manatees, dolphins several different species of birds, and we also were able to see our camper from the water. We also visited another campground Long Point Park, which we like so much that we came back later and booked for a future stay. After the ride, we ate at the Sandbar Restaurant which was located right at the boat dock where we started our tour. They offer 20% off your entree to River King guests. There was a live entertainment, the food was good and price was very reasonable.
Late afternoon, we picked up the dogs and headed back to the campground. Along the way, we saw a couple of places that caught our attention as possible places to explore for the next day.
Saturday evening was a little breezy with a mostly clear sky, so we started a campfire and waited for the sunset. We got a couple of good photos then went inside to keep away from any noseeums.
On Sunday we decided to explore some of the dog-friendly sites of the campground and check out a few places we saw on the way that sparked our interest. Just down the road from the campground were the boat ramp and pavillions. These were both good places to exercise your dogs, also the other way toward the ranger station were places to sit along the inlet and watch the boats coming and going.
We passed a gravel road called the Jungle Trail, along A1A just before Sebastian Inlet that looked interesting it turned out to be the road to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge. We headed north past our campground and toward Melbourne to see what it looks like up there, a lot of beautiful homes along the beach.
I highly recommend this park for its overall beauty and so many things to do nearby.