Fellsmere is a small city located along the central portion of Florida’s Atlantic coast in Indian River County.
One of Fellsmere’s most notable claims to fame is that it was the first municipality in Florida to give women the right to vote, nearly five years before the 19th Amendment was passed into law.
Fellsmere is home to a number of popular annual festivals and is particularly well-known for its small-town charm, abundant historical attractions, and proximity to some of the area’s most beautiful beaches.
Below are 14 things to do in and around Fellsmere, Florida.
1. Fellsmere Trailhead Preserve & Welcome Center
The Fellsmere Trailhead Preserve & Welcome Center are conveniently located just off Interstate 95. For first-time visitors interested in getting a unique overview of the area’s attractions, they’re the perfect places to start.
The welcome center includes historical exhibits and lots of travel maps, brochures, and magazines that are free for the taking. Many of them include valuable coupons on things like dining and lodging.
The preserve section of the facility includes nearly 90 acres of natural land crisscrossed by well-marked trails that are open to bikers and hikers; primitive campsites are available as well.
2. Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival
Though most visitors to Florida’s Atlantic coast regard hordes of legless frogs as a heartbreaking sight, they still flock in droves to the annual Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, which takes place in January.
Truckloads of frog legs are the stars of the show, but there are lots of other unique culinary treats are available as well.
The festival includes plenty of live entertainment, carnival-style rides, and family-friendly games. It’s all spread over four days when the weather in the Sunshine State is usually perfect.
Tickets are inexpensive, and many visitors make an annual pilgrimage. During the festival, area hotels fill up quickly, so plan accordingly.
3. Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant
Frog legs aren’t exactly everybody’s cup of tea; for those visiting Fellsmere who’d rather dine on more traditional fare, Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant would be a great place to do just that.
Previous guests have noted that Giuseppe’s had a uniquely old-world feel that was a pleasant diversion from most contemporary restaurants that are short on character.
The restaurant has been owned by the same family for decades and features a variety of pasta, parmesans, and pizza options. Their mouth-watering bread is made on-site daily.
They’re located on South Bay Street in town and are open every day except Sunday.
4. ShrimpFest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo
Few things go together as well as fresh shrimp and craft brews. For lovers of both, the annual Shrimpfest & Craft Brew Hullabaloo should be a top priority.
It all takes place over three days in mid-March and includes mountains of succulent seafood prepared a variety of ways.
Tons of live entertainment and family-oriented activities are staples too, and a significant portion of the proceeds are donated to local charities dedicated to preventing child abuse.
The event is held in Sebastian’s Riverview Park and coincides with the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, so consider wearing green tights or a derby hat.
5. Garcia Plaza Bakery
Florida is known for its vibrant cuisine options that usually feature fresh local ingredients, lots of flavor, and some international influences.
Garcia Plaza Bakery was established in 1998 and is considered by many area foodies to be the best restaurant in the vicinity.
From carne asada and carnitas to an impressive selection of tasty tacos, their menu has a little something for everyone. But be warned – they generally close in the early afternoon, so consider dining early so you don’t miss out.
They’re located on South Pine Street in town and are reported to have the world’s best homemade salsa verde and rojo as well.
6. Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway
The Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway is one of eastern Florida’s most prominent natural attractions and offers visitors some of the most stunning scenery they’re likely to see on their trip.
The byway offers plentiful access points along the coast, one of which is on Dixie Highway in nearby Palm Bay.
Mainly following the course of the Indian River, the byway meanders through several distinct natural habitats, including national seashores, state parks, and wildlife sanctuaries and preserves.
For those who’d rather not spend a full day in the car, fishing, bird watching, hiking, and swimming opportunities abound along the way.
7. Renningers Flea and Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s Markets are fun and free attractions that usually take place in the morning on weekends. They are great places to rub elbows with locals and have access to lots of fresh local produce and other locally-made products.
Renningers Flea and Farmers Market is really a flea market, farmer’s market, and antique mall rolled into one, and it’s been open since 1987.
By some accounting, it’s the state’s busiest farmer’s market, and it’s open daily, unlike many of its smaller counterparts.
They’ve got a little bit of everything – from toys, records, and vintage clothing to prepared food, fishing equipment, and costume jewelry. It’s usually the patient customers that find the best deals.
8. Brevard Zoo
The Brevard Zoo’s animal residents total nearly 900 and include native and exotic species from many far-flung corners of the globe.
More so than many of its contemporaries, the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne offers visitors the chance to get up-close-and-personal with a variety of animals, like giraffes and baby gators. The facility’s distinct areas are connected by a raised boardwalk.
Kayaking excursions, zip-lining, and guided tours are all offered on a regular basis, and there are a number of engaging and educational activities that have been designed with kids from 2 to 12-years-old as well.
Most families find that the cost of admission is reasonable.
9. Sebastian Municipal Golf Course
The Sebastian Municipal Golf Course has been open to the public since 1981. It has just undergone a multi-faceted and multi-million dollar improvement project that included new irrigation, improved greens, and a modernized clubhouse, to name just a few.
The 18-hole, par-72 course plays slightly more than 6,700 yards from the longest tees and has tee options for women, seniors, and children as well.
The course is challenging but not overly so. It’s considered to be good value by savvy locals and golf aficionados who regularly visit from other parts of the country.
It’s wise to book tee times in advance if you’ll be playing during peak times.
10. Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge
Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the oldest preserves of its kind in the country. It’s an important rookery for several species of pelicans that are vital to the area’s delicate ecosystem.
The refuge is only accessible for those interested in visiting by a chartered boat tour, and since the animals are easily disturbed, it’s not possible to set foot on the island.
That being said, most guests find the experience both educational and entertaining. The tours are led by knowledgeable local guides who are up to speed on the area’s history, wildlife, and ecology.
11. Sebastian Inlet State Park
Sebastian Inlet State Park is one of the region’s most popular fishing destinations, and surf fishers often catch a variety of species, including snook, bluefish, and mackerel.
Consider stopping at a local tackle shop for advice and tide information before heading out. If fishing isn’t your thing, the park offers lots of other recreation options, like boating, swimming, sunbathing, and even camping.
Most park visitors choose to take a look at the park’s maritime museum as well. For bird watchers, there are nearly 200 species that are commonly seen and easily photographed from the abundant, well-marked paths.
12. Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail
Florida’s tropical and subtropical climates, plentiful sun and rain, and lengthy coastline make for an amazing variety of ecosystems home to a diverse group of plants and animals, and one of the most unique ways to experience them is by paddling.
The Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail is a bit of a mouthful to pronounce, but it’s one of the state’s underappreciated recreation gems that’s a natural fit for healthy and active outdoor enthusiasts.
The trail stretches for more than a thousand miles from stem to stern and features a variety of access points, some of which are just a few minutes away from Fellsmere in cities like Vero Beach and Sebastian.
13. Sebastian Fishing Museum
Sport and commercial fishing have played significant roles in Florida’s economy for more than a century. For those interested in learning about them both, there’s no better place to spend a few morning or afternoon hours than The Sebastian Fishing Museum.
The facility is located near the Indian River Lagoon and highlights the lives of local people who spent their lives working in commercial fishing, and much of their leisure time fishing for sport fish as well.
The museum includes original fishing gear, photographs, some stuffed fish, and first-hand accounts from mariners and sportspeople from eras long past.
14. The King Center for the Performing Arts
Featuring six stories, more than 100,000 square feet, and coming in at a total cost of more than $12 million, The King Center boasts some pretty impressive statistics. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the region’s premier arts venues.
The center’s main theater seats more than 2000 people. There’s a much smaller and more intimate studio theater as well that hosts a dizzying array of productions throughout the year, ranging from dramatic theater and recitals to live music and comedy.
The center often hosts big-name national talent as well as local productions. Tickets can go quickly for the most popular shows, so plan accordingly.