Tips for Visiting Sebastian Inlet State Park in 2024

As a resident of Southern Brevard County, I have spent many days at Sebastian Inlet State Park. Between relaxing by the water to going fishing on the pier, this park has a lot to offer Central Floridians. It also attracts many visitors as it is one of the best places in the area to see dolphins, manatees, and even whales!

If you want to spend some time immersed in the natural beauty of Sebastian Inlet, this blog post contains everything you need to know to do just that. I will share all the activities to do there as well as tips and tricks for beating crowds. Whether you are looking for a relaxing or an exhilarating day outside, Sebastian Inlet State Park has a variety of unique experiences to offer.

guide to sebastian inlet

1. Things to Do at Sebastian Inlet

As I mentioned, there is so much to do at Sebastian Inlet! It is most well known for swimming in the inlet and fishing, but there is more than just that. Extreme sports fans can do anything from surfing to cycling and families will love the nature trails and picnic area. With that, here’s a little bit about all the things to do at Sebastian Inlet.

Go to the Beach

Most visitors to Sebastian Inlet State Park come for a day at the beach. You can visit the three miles of beach on the coast or sit by the cove. The beach is one of the most pristine in all of Brevard County! It can be wavy at times, so you will want to be a strong swimmer for going in the water here.

The cover is very unique, as this protected area has created a pool with no waves. There is limited seating around the cove and that is what often gets crowded in the summer. For those who want to wade around or float on a tube, this side is perfect for relaxing. It also is a popular spot for seeing dolphins and manatees! I have seen many here before, especially at sunset.

sebastian inlet state park guide


There are both road cycling and mountain biking trails at Sebastian Inlet State Park. The road cycling goes right along A1A, so you will have to be comfortable being near traffic. The view from the bridge is incredible though!

For mountain biking, there are three trails through different swampy areas. As opposed to being mountainous, the challenge is more navigating tight curves and riding through different terrains. This area can flood, so be sure to check with the ranger and ask about the conditions.


Sebastian Inlet State Park beach is also a popular surfing area! Tons of surfers come here to ride the waves of Monster Hole! This is a shoal that creates some of the largest and longest waves you can find in Brevard County. You can check the surf with this surf cam to see the conditions for the day.

dolphin sighting melbourne beach florida


Fishing is the other most popular Sebastian Inlet activity. There are two jetties that extend into the ocean for accessible ocean fishing. You can also take a boat out of the inlet for more deepwater fishing.

Regardless of where you fish here, there are tons to catch! Snook, redfish, mahi mahi, and king mackerel are all frequently caught here. Just make sure to check the regulations to see if you need a fishing license and what season it is.

Kayaking, Canoeing, and Paddleboarding

Being an inlet, this state park has access to the coastal waterways and with that, islands to explore! You can bring your own kayak, canoe, paddleboard, or any other watercraft and paddle around the inlet.

The park also offers rentals and paddle tours through the Surfside Grill shop. Rentals start at $20 per hour and tours start at $35. There are tons of options, including eco-tours, full moon tours, and even CraigCat vessel tours.

paddleboarding from sebastian inlet

Nature Trails

There is a nature trail to explore while at Sebastian Inlet State Park. I recommend everyone take the mile-long Hammock Trail through the coastal forest. Though the most wildlife you will see if birds and lizards, it still is a lovely place to take in the beauty of Florida.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

You can scuba dive or snorkel in the cove or in the ocean, although there is not a ton to see. Over by the beach, you may be able to see some tropical fish or even go lobstering during lobster season. However, all divers and snorkelers must bring a dive flag. They also need to stay away from the boat channel and under the bridge.

Have a Picnic

In addition to doing any of the activities mentioned above, I also recommend bringing a picnic lunch. There is a lovely picnic area by the beach overlooking the inlet. They even have grills if you want to cook your own food!

If you don’t feel like packing food, the restaurant here actually has some pretty tasty options.  You can get sandwiches, tacos, shrimp, and even breakfast burritos! It’s pretty reasonably priced as well.

date night at sebastian inlet

Sebastian Fishing Museum and McLarty Museum

To find out why this is called the Treasure Coast, visitors can visit the McLarty Treasure Museum, at the south end of the park. This small museum showcases some of the famous shipwrecks and artifacts found from them right in this area. There is also a movie about the famous 1715 fleet that crashed here. Along with treasure-hunting stories, you can learn about the families who operated the historic fish houses that used to be part of the park.

2. How to Get to Sebastian Inlet State Park

Sebastian Inlet State Park is located on A1A, smack dab in the middle of two causeways. Because of that, it can be a hike to visit. But that is also why it has stayed so pristine!

If you are coming from Orlando, take 528E to 95-S and then go south on A1A. It takes a little over an hour and a half to get there. For those in Brevard County, go straight down A1A or if you are coming from Vero Beach, go north on A1A. You can’t miss the inlet as you go over a massive bridge right above it!

sebastian inlet bridge

3. Sebastian Inlet Day Trip Itinerary

For those looking to make a day trip out of visiting Sebastian Inlet, I recommend focusing on one major activity and then fitting in a few small ones. If you come on a nice summer weekend day, expect crowds, but otherwise, it is pretty easy to get in. Below. I have outlined the plan I usually follow at Sebastian Inlet State Park.

  • 9:00 AM – Arrive at the inlet (8:00 AM if you are visiting on a summer weekend) and park
  • 9:15 AM – Start your main activity for the day
    • Beach – set up your spot by the inlet
    • Fishing – walk out to the pier and find a good spot
    • Paddling – Rent a canoe/kayak/board or load your own into the water
  • 12:00 PM – Have lunch and relax in the picnic area
    • Either bring your own or buy lunch from
  • 1:00 PM – Check out the museum or nature trails
  • 2:30 PM – Take a walk on the beach or pier and look for dolphins
  • 4:00 PM – Have a drink or snack at Surfside Grill
  • 5:00 PM – Relax and wait to watch the sunset from the inlet or pier
  • sebastian inlet state park day trip

4. Hotels and Restaurants Near Sebastian Inlet

If you want to spend more than a day visiting Sebastian Inlet State Park and the surrounding area, I recommend staying in either Melbourne or Vero Beach. Melbourne has some excellent hotel options including Hotel Melby and the Port d’Hiver Inn.

Vero Beach has more hotel options, but they can be on the pricier side. The Disney Vero Beach Resort is one of the closest and offers villa-style rooms if you want a beach vacation! Other options include the Holiday Inn Vero Beach Oceanside and the Costa d’Este Beach Resort.

For dining in the area, there are lots of cozy seafood restaurants along A1A. Some of our favorites are the New England Eatery and the Kona Poke Food Truck. For a romantic dinner, check out Café Coconut Grove a few miles up the road. Down in Vero Beach, you can have a tasty sandwich at Beach Bites or enjoy a tropical meal at Mulligan’s Beach House.

sebastian inlet state park at sunset

5. Sebastian Inlet State Park Frequently Asked Questions

If you are interested in visiting Sebastian Inlet State Park for the day, I have put together the most frequently asked questions I get about this attraction. These answers are accurate at the time of writing (January 2023) and I will update them annually.

  • How much does it cost to go to Sebastian Inlet State Park?
    • Admission is currently $8 per vehicle (up to eight people) or $4 for a single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle. If you are not entering by car, pedestrians cost $2, as do passengers of cars with more than eight.
  • What time does the park open?
    • Sebastian Inlet is open all day, every day of the year.
  • Are there alligators?
    • There are no alligators in the ocean or the inlet. However, they have been seen along the Indian River.
  • Can you swim in Blue Springs State Park?
    • Swimming is allowed in both the ocean and the inlet. The ocean can have large waves but often has beautiful, crystal-clear water. The cove by the inlet is much calmer and mostly shallow.
  • Can you camp there?
    • Sebastian Inlet State Park has a campground with 51 campsites. Campsites must be reserved in advance.
  • How crowded is Sebastian Inlet State Park?
    • On hot and sunny weekend days, the park can get very crowded, especially around the cove by the inlet. However, most weekdays of the year it is calm and secluded.
beachside of sebastian inlet

Know Before You Go: Sebastian Inlet State Park

I hope you learned a lot about Sebastian Inlet State Park from this blog post! This is a gorgeous park to visit whether you are a beach bum or a nature enthusiast. People of all ages will have a fun day here any time of year.  Below, I have included a few other things to keep in mind when visiting.

  • Snorkeling and Scuba Diving are allowed, with the exception of under the bridge and in the channel. Make sure to bring proper certification to show as proof.
  • Dogs are not allowed at Sebastian Inlet State Park, with the exception of the campground. They cannot go swimming or to the beach.  
  • Bathrooms and outdoor showers are available, but there are no lockers.
  • Picnic tables and grills are available and you can bring your own food. However, alcohol is not allowed.
  • There is a restaurant and a convenience store with food and sundries available.

Have you been to Sebastian Inlet State Park? Let me know what you enjoyed there if you have! For more information regarding things to do in Central Florida, be sure to check out my list of favorite beaches, as well as city guides for nearby Orlando and Cocoa Beach.