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Vero Beach Becoming Trendy Destination

The Miami Herald recently ran a feature on Vero Beach featuring Gloria Estefan's new hotel, which is scheduled to open in June 2008, as well as recent expansions to the Riverside Theatre, which hosts performances and speakers like businessman Steve Forbes and comedian Paula Poundstone, and Vero Beach Museum of Art, currently hosting an exhibition of portraits by John Singer Sargent, Alex Katz, and other American artists.

When music icon Gloria Estefan purchased and remodeled her first hotel outside Miami-Dade County, she bypassed trendy haunts and the forever-regal Palm Beach in favor of quieter, less well-known Vero Beach. Her 94-room Costa d’Este Beach Resort is slated to open by early summer.

Yet this seaside town is still a cozy village where hotels are about the only towers allowed. People come not because it’s anything like the rest of Florida, but because it isn’t.

Vero ”is like Florida used to be” said recent visitor Dawn Hirsch of West Palm Beach.

Meticulously tended flower beds edge Ocean Drive, where upscale shops sit just steps from the beach. Live oaks shelter homes and businesses fronted by long grassy carpets. The town has a staunch, timeless feel about it — much as it must have when Waldo Sexton built his famously funky Driftwood Resort here in 1935.

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