The Enchanted Cottage

Charm and convenience converge in a renovated clapboard beach house.
Painted a sunny shade of yellow accented with crisp white molding details, this pretty cottage-style house is nestled amid the shade of oak trees. The setting is landscaped with many species of palm trees and flowering shrubs to which luxuriant annuals in the flowerbeds add vibrant splashes of color. A wide front porch greets visitors who often linger there while rocking in chairs and sipping the south’s quintessential beverage of choice, iced tea.

Falling in love with Vero Beach has always been easy to do. A century ago, the town’s pioneers settled here for the very same reasons that lure new residents today – prime among them being the area’s lush natural beauty.

Nowhere is this beauty more impressive than beside the Indian River Lagoon or along the Atlantic’s pristine beaches. In those pioneering days, of course, there were no bridges. Only an occasional ferry bobbed back and forth, shuttling day-trippers to the beach, and only the most intrepid ventured to live beside the ocean. In time, however, a wooden bridge was built and small, beach-cottage communities traversed by shaded, sandy lanes sprang up, attracting people from the north who were seeking a refuge from winter gloom.

Vestiges of these older communities still exist. Charismatic bungalows that have become rather fashionable — and increasingly expensive — can be found dozing around Summer Place, blushing in the sunset on Jungle Trail, or tucked away in a quiet palm grove. And in more recent years — the 1980s, in beachside evolution — a particularly lovely clapboard cottage was built in one of those out-of-the-way, tree-canopied neighborhoods.

Read the entire article in the April 2005 issue