Vero Beach, FL is located about halfway down the state's east coast. It's population is roughly 77,000. It's biggest employer is Indian River Memorial Hospital. There is also nothing to do within 40 miles. Vero Beach is located approx. equidistant between Orlando (to the north-west) and West Palm Beach (to the south-east). The problem is, you have to be willing to drive 1.5 hours to get to either one.

Vero Beach has a small mall, with a Sears, JCPenney, Burdines, and Dillards. There are malls that are slightly larger (but are still small by most standards) in Melbourne (north) and Jensen Beach (south). The town consists almost entirely of housing communities, most of them gated. These communities usually have names like "Winding Oak Estates" or something like that. It is basically a mixture between a yuppy hellhole and a retirement community.

There is a sense of tradition here as proven by the city's building code which does not allow any buildings more than 3 or 4 stories high. Also, buildings can only be painted in pastel or muted colors. The beach is nice but there is no boardwalk. According to the people who have lived here all their lives, the town was only orange groves until a decade or two ago. In addition, Vero Beach is also home to Piper, a flight school and airplane manufacturer.

A good place to dry out, mellow out, hide out and/or fade out. Despite the invasion of the upper class prefab homes, there are some fairly interesting areas, albeit they are very far apart. Let's start west and work our way east, since you are probably coming in on Route 60 from that direction. First, you've got the mall. Nothing really interesting, but the interesection on the mall is where just about all commerce resides in this town. Anything you need, i.e. food and some moderately inexpensive clothing, you can find it here. Go a little further and you will see a Big Lots and the Humane Society Thrift Store, which usually has more than it's fair share of bizarre office electronics and trenchcoats. Now, to you east is almost all suburbs and the local schools. Avoid them. If you hook a left on 20th ave and then a right on the first stop sign you see, you are headed straight for the upper bend of US 1 through our little town. There's a library, and on your left the Women's Center and, a few blocks later, the Heritage Center. They might be having punk concerts there at night, wait until sundown and look for a mass of punks, goths, etc. It won't cost more than seven dollars to get in and blow a few hours in the AC.

Past all of this, there is US 1. It is just over the tracks. You will be on the stretch that heads East. It slowly takes a right and you end up headed south. Here, you've got two options. You can take a u-turn and a right as soon as the highway bends south, then head until you see a big plaza on your left. There you will find Goodwill and Jackson Electronics, which has to be the most hardcore electronics store I have ever had the luck of encountering. They'll help you out with anything as long as you know what you are looking for. At any rate, after you've picked up your electronics and goodwill clothes, you can head out east and you will, regardless of the direction you choose, see a bridge that leads to the beach. Take it. The beach is really all we have here. After that, get on A1A, in either direction, and get the hell out of town. You've seen just about everything there is to see here.

Now let's say we want to go south on US1 instead. Instead of taking that u-turn mentioned in the previous paragraph, keep heading south on US1. You can hit Ft. Pierce within fifteen minutes or so.

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