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Accessibility
Florida State Parks are in various stages of accessibility, and are working to improve access to services and facilities. Should you need assistance to enable your full participation, please contact the individual park office as soon as possible. Sometimes as many as ten days may be needed to schedule a particular accommodation.



Hours of Operation
Florida state parks are open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year.



Pets
Pets are not allowed in camping areas, on bathing beaches, in concession areas and may be restricted in other designated areas of the park. Where pets are allowed, they must be kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash and well-behaved at all times. Service dogs are welcome in all areas of the parks.



State Park Guide
To discover and experience all of the Real Florida at Florida's 145 state parks, ask a Park Ranger where you can pick up a copy of the Florida State Park Guide, or call 850/488-9872.



PROGRAMS, ACTIVITIES, CONCESSION SERVICES AND SPECIAL EVENTS

A wide variety of topics are covered by the interpretive programs offered. All programs are free of charge. For information and reservations call (407) 984-4852. Two Volkssport Association 10K walking trails begin at Sebastian Inlet. There is also a mile-long nature trail that leads through a palm-oak hammock and a mangrove forest. The park concession offers guided tours on the Indian River Lagoon aboard a 49-passenger boat. These ecotours are narrated by a park ranger. Call (321) 724-5424 for information or reservations.

Breakfast and lunch are offered at the food concession, which is open 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Gifts, T-shirts and beach supplies are available at the gift shop. All your fishing needs, including licenses and rental equipment can be found at the Inlet Bait & Tackle shop. For more information and the latest word on what is biting, call the Inlet Bait & Tackle at (407) 768-6621 any time between 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.. The Inlet Marina offers short and long term slip rental, canoe, kayak and motorboat rental and basic boating supplies. For more information on the marina and equipment rental call (321) 724-5424 or visit their website

National and local surf contests are held monthly, except June and July. The March for Parks Walk-a-Thon is held every April. Make a reservation for a chance to view a loggerhead sea turtle on a ranger led Turtle Walk program during the months of June and July. Reservations for all June turtle walk programs are taken on May 15, starting at 8:00 a.m.. For turtle walk reservations and information on these and other special events call (321) 984-4852.



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Reservations for
Florida State
Parks are now
made through
Reserve America,

toll free, at
1-800-326-3521

 


SEBASTIAN INLET STATE PARK

Every year over one-half million people enjoy Sebastian Inlet State Park. The beautiful park, situated on the tips of two barrier islands, is surrounded by gorgeous water. The Atlantic Ocean is on the east, the Indian River Lagoon to the west and the Sebastian Inlet flows between the two. In 1971 the State of Florida acquired the land for a park. It is a favorite spot for picnicking, swimming, surfing, fishing, shrimping, clamming, crabbing, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, bird watching, camping and enjoying nature. Sebastian Inlet S.R.A. has something for everybody.



SURFING
Three miles of Atlantic beach offer some of the best surfing on the east coast of Florida. One of the most consistent surf breaks in Florida is Sebastian Inlet’s 1st peak, located next to the north jetty. Another hot surf spot is Monster Hole, when the surf is big. Monster Hole is located about 1/3 mile off the beach, on the south side of Sebastian Inlet. The contour of the ocean floor rises up and when the surf is big, the waves form long lines, giving a long ride.



FISHING
Sebastian Inlet and the surrounding waters provide fantastic Florida fishing for beach, river and inlet anglers. Large catches are often made from the two jetties extending into the Atlantic Ocean. Boat launch facilities provide access to nearby offshore fishing and diving. Information on fishing regulations and salt water fishing licenses is available at both entrance stations. Spearfishing is prohibited.



CAMPING
The central location of Sebastian Inlet’s campground makes it a popular camping spot. It is a mere stone’s throw from the inlet and a short stroll from the beach. All 51 campsites have water and electrical hook-ups, a fire ring with grill and a picnic table. Also available are full restroom facilities, a dump station, laundry facilities and pay phones. Reservations are offered up to 11 months in advance. Camper registration is from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.. For camping information and reservations call 1-800-326-3521 or stop by the camping registration office located on the south side of the Sebastian Inlet.

HISTORY
The history of the Sebastian Inlet area goes back to the end of the last ice age. The barrier islands were formed as sandbars off the coast of the mainland. As vegetation took hold on the sandbars, animals moved in, followed by the first human inhabitants, the Paleo hunters.

The Ais Indians were more recent inhabitants of the barrier islands. They were a tribe of hunters and gatherers who lived off the bounty of the land and sea. The Ais captured the English Quaker Jonathan Dickinson after his ship wrecked in 1696. Dickinson’s descriptions of the Ais and their lifestyles is the best record we have of these people. By 1760, all of the Ais Indians were gone. Like the other natives of Florida, they succumbed to European diseases and mistreatment.


McLarty Treasure Museum
In 1715 eleven Spanish treasure galleons sank along the east central Florida coast. One of the survivors’ campsites was located on the present day site of the McLarty Treasure Museum. Seven hundred people lost their lives in this disaster, while over 1,000 people survived. For four years, the Spanish sent divers from St.Augustine and Cuba to work the wreck sites. While the Spanish were busy recovering the treasure from the ocean floor, an English pirate, Henry Jennings, and his 300 men surrounded the Spanish and stole what treasure they had recovered at the time. This plan worked so well that he returned two months later and stole the treasure again. The Spanish eventually recovered 100% of the value of the registered treasure. It is estimated that the value of smuggled treasure equaled the registered treasure.



THE INLET

Dan Striby / Sterling Photo
In 1886, the first inlet (Gibson’s cut) was dug by hand approximately 3 miles south of the present day inlet, at a spot where the ocean frequently washed over the dunes. This inlet was quickly closed by a storm and the shifting sands.

The next attempt to open an inlet was organized by fishermen wanting quick access to the ocean. The Florida Legislature created the Sebastian Inlet Tax District in 1918. In 1924, the Sebastian Inlet was opened at its current location and small jetties were completed. Between 1924 and 1941 the Inlet opened and closed several times due to the shifting sands caused by storms. For safety reasons, it was left closed during World War II, then permanently blasted open in 1947. The 1,548 foot long bridge over the Inlet was completed in 1965 at a cost of $745,000.




The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Entrance fees are $3.25 per vehicle. Yearly passes are also available. Most facilities are wheelchair accessible. For additional information and people who have special needs, please contact the ranger station at (321) 984-4852.


Sebastian Inlet S.R.A. is located off Highway A1A, between Melbourne and Vero Beach, on the Brevard/Indian River county line.

For more information:
SEBASTIAN INLET STATE PARK
9700 South A1A
Melbourne Beach, FL 32951
321/984-4852


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