Gifts by the Sea: A Few of My Favorite Things

compiled by Sherry Nist

Mele Kalikimaka has always been my favorite Christmas greeting though I did not have the fortune to grow up in Vero Beach or any beach town for that matter.  I think it stems from my early love for the ocean, nurtured by my Father and by watching Lawrence Welk with both my Father and his Mother.  Most of those performers bored my young self to death EXCEPT Don Ho & his Ukelele.  The gift of Tiny Bubbles & Mele Kalikimaka had me hooked. 

Well, the spirit of that gift is alive and well in Vero during the Holiday season (and year round).  And while giving doesn’t have to mean material gifts, it is a gesture of caring about others. With that in mind, I give you, Vero, some of my favorite Vero things.  Whether you chose to give or receive these suggestions, enjoy the spirit of giving.


Gifts that Keep on Giving

Give the Gift of Food:  Shining Light Garden Foundation

Donate 1 or many avocado or mango tree(s) and feed many Indian River County residents for years into the future.


Give the Gift of SafetyVero Beach Lifeguard Association (VBLA)

Donate funds or services to the NEW Humiston Park House of Refuge (Lifeguard Station).  Better yet, fund the whole project and your name shall be associated with this state of the art building for ever more.



If Fishes were WishesLive Like Cole Foundation

Give to the Cole Coppola Memorial Fishing Pier to be built at Riverside Park.  The pier will provide a new safe place for the public to fish in the Indian River Lagoon & create a new marine habitat for fish and other marine life to thrive.  The memorial pier will also serve as a place of remembrance for loved ones.  Why not donate $300 to name an engraved pier tread?


Catch the Big One


Charters, Gear, Live or Artificial Bait & the BEST Fish Stories:  Vero Tackle & Marina

Gift the love of fish from our Indian River Lagoon by booking a charter with the experts at Vero Tackle & Marina.  The guides and staff are arguably the best in local fishing techniques and more importantly, where to find the “big one”.  They are the only tackle shop on the water and the location was once a Fish Camp and has been part of local fishing history since anyone can remember.




Absolutely Everything for Sun & Beach Fun:  Shark Bait Beach Gear Rentals

Shark Bait provides high quality beach chairs, umbrellas, sail shades, kayaks, paddle boards and more directly on the beach.  Their service & knowledge is outstanding!  Scott (owner) prides himself on a concierge level of service & is happy to relay his expert knowledge of all things beach, reef and ocean in Vero.



Sunrise Qi Gong at South Beach:  The Cloudwalker, John Wolcott

Vero’s South Beach offers a daily dose of spectacular sunrises so why not combine that with Qi Gong to start you and your loved one’s days off on the right breath?  Believe me when I tell you that Qi Gong is amazing and life changing.  Qi Gong and many other classes are also offered year-round at Vero’s Intergenerational Rec Center off Oslo Road.


Beauty & Baubles


Festive Gifts for the Women in your World on Ocean Drive:  Sara Campbell

I have window-shopped Sara Campbell for several years now and decided to stop in the other day.  Let me tell you, their selection of women’s clothing and accessories is simply magical.  There are selections ranging from luxurious cashmere & silk ready to wear to unique, yet affordable totes and clutches.  I picked up a hot pink “Bag of Tricks” clutch that cost me less than $30.


Smart, Unique & Fabulous Footwear on Ocean Drive:  Charleston Shoe Co.

As an Alum of the University of South Carolina, I will admit I am partial to anything from my adoptive home, but let me tell you, I would love this shoe salon even if I had zero South Carolina ties.  Charleston Shoe Co. offers an affordable, comfortable and versatile shoe for the modern woman. Their cobblestones-to-cocktails styles are geared toward ladies who need to be on their feet and stay fashionable all day long!  Walk and shop Ocean Drive by day then dance the night away in a pair of shoes that won’t let you down. These shoes are custom designed with comfort & style in mind and their sturdy construction will last years. Most of the shoes are MACHINE-WASHABLE, including  “espadrille” styles that won’t unravel &  “cork” styles that won’t flake!


Entrepreneurial Spirit & Amazing Finds for the Women in your World on 14th Avenue:  Seahorse Lane Boutique

Audrey started Seahorse Lane Boutique in 2012 from a bedroom in her parent’s house on Seahorse Lane.  Flash forward to December 2017 and Seahorse is my absolute favorite store in Vero.  The Vero logo on their hats and shirts are not only their creation but proceeds from each and every sale go to a different local charity each month.  The mix of women’s clothing and accessories is truly unique and appeals to women of all ages.  True to their entrepreneurial spirit you can even shop them on Instagram!


Unique, Personal & Healing Jewelry:  Sara LuNa Jewelry

Sara started making bracelets to be productive during long and stressful IV treatments for her chronic illness.  It was her concern with the base metals & toxic materials used in most wrap bracelets, that led her to find alternatives for her jewelry.  She is motivated by an innate creativity & the desire to inspire joy in herself and others during times of hardship. Her materials are sourced from natural gemstones, sterling silver, gold vermeil & Thai Hill tribe silver.  The healing elements and symbolism behind the gemstones is important to Sara so she includes material details for all her creations.  Each bracelet is a unique original.



Inspire the Artistic Soul


Create a Masterpiece with your Friends while Sipping Good Wine:  Vero Beach Museum of Art

Is there any better way to celebrate friends & the season than with a bit of wine and a bit more creative competition?!  Vero Beach Museum of Art does everything well.


Gift  a “We Owe Us” Certificate to your Loved Ones for a First Saturday:  Vero Beach Museum of Art

Enjoy ALL this world-class museum has to offer without paying admission.  Don’t forget to visit the Museum Shop for some possible post-Holiday bargains!

View Full Exhibit Gallery


Gift Tickets or Gift a Sponsorship:  Vero Beach Food, Wine & Music Festival

This is a big deal, First Annual Food, Wine & Music Festival that has been five years in the making and is bringing big names and fabulous array of events to Vero for 3 days in February 2018.  Get those tickets before they disappear!



Pampering the People


Sit Back, Close your Eyes & Melt your Stress Away:  Salt

Salt is a unique and incredibly relaxing way to detox & melt your stresses away.  Your experience involves kicking back in an ultra-comfy recliner, covered by warm blankets & an eye mask whilst salt ions work their magic.  Unlike a massage, you are fully clothed.  An added bonus:  zero tipping!


No Appointment Hand & Foot Heaven with a Side of Wine:  Foxy’s Nails

Foxy’s is my go to nail salon for so many reasons.  While their location is super convenient, I continue to return for the sweet staff, quick service, amazing attention to detail and okay, a glass of wine.  The massage chairs and included hand & feet massages makes a mani-pedi at Foxy’s feel like a top-notch spa day.



Feed your Loves

Gift the MOST Authentic Mexican Food at Unbelievable Prices:  Tres Hermanos

 Tres Hermanos is a Mexican Grocery & Food store on 14th Avenue directly across from Vero Beach High School’s Football Stadium.  They are open 7 days a week and their tacos are not only wildly inexpensive but out-of-this world!  If you are lucky enough to be there on a day the ladies prepare Chicken Mole, you will eat the BEST Mole outside of Mexico.  Fact.


Tutto-Bene & Buon Natale in Vero’s South Beach:  Trattoria Dario

I admit I have an undying love for Dario, just a shell’s throw from South Beach.  There are so many reasons but ultimately it is the FOOD.  Best Italian in Vero Beach as far as I am concerned.  Warmest & friendliest atmosphere as well.  I cannot recount how many times I have had fascinating conversations with both locals and people from around the world while eating or sipping in the lounge at Dario.  I don’t even mind dining alone as Dario and the staff make you feel right at home.  The great selection is endless but might I suggest:  Lasagna Bolognese, Dover Sole, Masami Ranch Wagyu NY Strip Steak, Margherita Pizza, Sauteed Spinach, Gingerbread & Watermelon Martinis & any of the Fine Italian Wines.



Ahi Lollipops, Stone Crab, Lion Fish & Those Views:  Crab E Bills

Take a field trip to Sebastian for a Holiday lunch, brunch or to bring some of the freshest seafood home for the Holidays.  Crab E Bills is an institution and a visual delight on the Lagoon in Sebastian.  Take time to soak in the photos of fishing past as well as the artifacts & exhibits telling the tales of Sebastian’s fish house history.  Make sure to look for the trophy fish photos of Papa Hemingway back in the day when reeling one in might have taken days.


Eat Local, Eat Healthy, Be Friendly:  LaTabla Local Food & Juicery

La Tabla happens to be both my & my daughter’s favorite places to be in Vero.  The food is simple yet filling, healthy & delicious.  Their breakfast, lunches, coffees, juices & kombucha are the absolute best I have had anywhere in the U.S. (and that includes NYC)!  And while I often hang out where I can “WiFi”, I love going to LaTabla so I cannot lose myself online.





Sherry Nist