One of few places where the Indian River Lagoon mingles with the Atlantic Ocean, Sebastian Inlet is the central feature of Sebastian Inlet State Park, which protects the tips of both barrier islands.
Location: Sebastian Inlet
Fees: $4-8 per vehicle. Boat ramp fee additional $4.
Open: 8 AM until sunset daily. Museums open daily 10-4.
In 1715, a fleet of Spanish galleons foundered in a hurricane and crashed into the rocky shoals offshore Sebastian Inlet. Ever since the first archaeological discovery offshore, the glimmer of gold has attracted divers looking for their own buried treasure. Along A1A inside the park, the McLarty Treasure Museum showcases finds from dives on the treasure fleet, most notably the Atocha.
The Sebastian Fishing Museum, also inside the park, features the history of fishing in this region -- and some fine fishing it is. Anglers cast off a lengthy pier reaching out into the pounding Atlantic Ocean, hoping for snook, redfish, and Spanish mackerel. Surfers ride the waves, which seem to never end, thanks to the swift flow of water through the inlet.
The islands are slender here, so the boom of the waves echoes throughout the park. A large campground sits along the calm waterfront of the Indian River Lagoon, with easy access to launch a kayak.