What happens when your family wants to head out to a park that has fishing, swimming, biking, camping, paddle boarding, kayaking, a lagoon, a beach, and tons of trails? Well...you end up packing the car full of everything you think you are going to need for the beach plus some. My family and I have been going to Sebastian Inlet State Park for about the past 7 years, and every time we go, the car is packed to the brim with everything water related. Sometimes it's just our fishing gear, and sometimes we pack that, plus our kayak. Want to know what gear we pack when heading out to Sebastian?
Sebastian Inlet Beach
For the beach lovers like my teenagers and my Mom, here is what you need to know about Sebastian Inlet Beach...
#1 The waves are very strong here, while there are plenty of kids around, this is not the beach to just let them play in the water. This beach is popular for surfing, kite boarding, and skim boarding.
#2 Due to beach erosion, there is a steep incline to get down to the waters edge. This is the second time I have been to this beach in the past year and this has been the case. Keep in mind that this will make it difficult to climb up and down the soft sand.
#3 When we head to this beach we try to pack light, mainly because the distance from the parking area to the beach is quite a walk. We usually have our umbrella, a chair, and a small cooler for drinks. The rest of the food we purchase from the restaurant.
#4 Don't waste your time trying to lug a massive sun shade to this beach, the wind here is always very strong and many times people often taken them down, stick to a few umbrellas.
#5 The water here is super clear, and the beach bottom is soft and sandy, keep an eye out for rocks in the water if you choose to swim near the pier.
Other than that, this beach is absolutely gorgeous, and free from the annoying high rise condos that are often found on the east coast. With a wide expansive sandy shoreline this is the perfect beach for beach goers and families.
Fishing at Sebastian Inlet
For the Fishermen like my hubby and my Dad, Sebastian Inlet offers some of the best shore fishing and pier fishing in the area. You are bound to snatch a bite to eat like Spanish Mackerel, Flounder, Bluefish, Redfish, and Sheepshead just to name a few. Here is what you need to know when heading out to the inlet for some fishing...
#1 Don't worry about bringing bait, they have a small bait shop right in the park.
#2 Get there early. While most fishing is always better first thing in the morning, you will also want to secure your spot under the bridge or along the pier.
#3 However, during summer and spring the best time to fish is going to be during tide change at night. You will find predatory fish along the rocks or near the bridge pilings.
#4 Bring several weights, extra hooks and plenty of tackle. The bottom of the inlet is very rocky and you will find yourself caught up a few times.
#5 The distance from the parking to the pier is pretty far, many people bring fishing carts or you can do what we do, and just make the teenagers lug the stuff up there. LOL!
#6 Before heading out check out the list of commonly caught species that the state park has put together. It's super informative and a great way to know ahead of time what's in season.
The Lagoon at Sebastian
Ok...so here is one of my favorite parts of this state park, the LAGOON! When my girls were younger this is the first place we would hit, however now that they are teenagers, it's all about looking cute in their bikinis, cute boys, and super awesome suntans. I will admit, the lagoon is more for families mainly because it's shallow, clean, clear, warm, and free from all the normal hazards of the beach like jellyfish, sharks, waves and riptides (oh, and cute boys checking out your teenagers LOL), but hey...it's still a cool place even for the bigger kids. Here is what you need to know even if you have to drag the teenager there!
#1 Get there early. There are a few picnic tables and grills around the lagoon and you will not get one if you sleep in.
#2 Bring the water toys for the kids, everything from balls to buckets, floats, and Frisbees are allowed there. The water is super calm so it's a wonderful place to just float around.
#3 This is the place for the large canopy tent, not the beach. The wind here is not as rough at the beach front and kids will love the opportunity to cool off under a sun shade.
#4 Bring your snorkel gear. The water is always clear and the kids will love looking at all of the smaller fish that use the lagoon as a refuge from the big predatory fish in the inlet. It's also a great place to practice snorkeling for the first timers.
The Museum at Sebastian Inlet
If you're tired of the beach, then maybe it's about time to head over the bridge to the south entrance of Sebastian Inlet, this entrance is typically used for campers, however there is tons of stuff on that side to do too.
#1 Take a look at the museum, for tons of information from park Rangers who love Sebastian Inlet, keep in mind that this is only open from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
#2 The museum is also the place where campers can check in. This park features 51 campsites for either RV's or tents. Be on the look out for an updated blog post where we feature information on RV camping at Sebastian Inlet. For information on making a reservation at one of the campsites, click here.
Fun on The Indian River
So the river is the next place to check out if you're headed to Sebastian Inlet. These pictures were taken with my Nikon underwater camera because I knew we were going to be in and out of the kayak. While on the river side of the park, you are bound to find every type of water craft enjoying the calm, clear, shallow water. Here is what you need to know...
#1 During low tide, you will find a massive sand bar perfect for docking. It's the perfect place to let the dogs out, or just pitch a sunshade and relax in the clear blue waters.
#2 This is also a great location for some shore fishing, get there early because the sandy section of the shore is pretty narrow and small.
#3 Launching a kayak from here is also super easy, many times we find a spot on the sand and just pull the kayak up on shore. The teenagers love exploring on the kayak and have often times found dolphins swimming within a few feet of them.
#4 This is where you want to watch sunset from. Watching the sun set over the river is absolutely breathtaking.