Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Logo
The bridge over Sebastian Inlet, shown here at dusk, provides fishermen another access point to fish the inlet¿s prolific waters. Brown pelicans, like these in their lighter summer plumage, and other seabirds are common sights at Sebastian Inlet State Park. Sebastian Inlet¿s beaches host nesting for three species of sea turtles: loggerhead, green and leatherback. This is a loggerhead. Sebastian Inlet is known worldwide as a premier surfing destination along Florida¿s east coast and this surfer enjoys a ride in on the waves.
Sebastian Inlet State Park
The north jetty, shown here, provides visitors an excellent fishing site as well as an area to view manatees, sea turtles and birdlife.

History and Culture

Sebastian Inlet State Park is home to two museums. The McLarty Treasure Museum is situated on a survivors camp of the wrecked 1715 Spanish Plate Fleet. The museum features artifacts, displays and an observation deck that overlooks the ocean. Salvagers still work to recover gold, silver and the 'Queen's jewels' that were lost to the sea. The Sebastian Fishing Museum depicts the lives and history of the people who lived in Sebastian, interwoven with fishing and the Indian River Lagoon. The museum commemorates three of Sebastian¿s early families that operated fish houses.

The McLarty Treasure Museum was the first facility to open at Sebastian Inlet State Park.

Treasure Museum

The McLarty Treasure Museum was the first facility to open in Sebastian Inlet State Park. Its dedication took place on March 27, 1971. Named in honor of the family that donated the property to the state, the museum interprets the history of the ill-fated Spanish Plate Fleet of 1715, sunk by a hurricane along nearby sandy shores, and the ongoing attempt to recover its lost riches along Florida¿s Treasure Coast.

Here a group works to remove the final plug of sand that will enable Sebastian Inlet to flow between ocean and estuary.

Pulling the Plug

This 1923 photo shows Roy Couch (and his boat the Lola B), Charlie Sembler and Gary Redding just before the final plug of sand is removed, allowing the water of Sebastian Inlet to flow between the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Sebastian Inlet is a man-made cut through a barrier island that runs along the east coast of Florida. The ocean lies to the east and the estuary is sandwiched between the island and the mainland to the west.

This old photo of Sebastian Inlet shows two separate inlet directions, one before World War II, the other re-dug after the war.

Old Sebastian Inlet

This old photo of Sebastian Inlet shows two separate inlet directions. The inlet to the right of the picture existed before World War II and was filled in with sand due to lack of maintenance during the war. The newer inlet to the left was dug after the war and has evolved into the inlet known and used today.

This is the cover of the brochure commemorating the dedication of the Sebastian Inlet Bridge on February 27, 1965.

Bridge Dedication

This beautiful brochure commemorates the Sebastian Inlet Bridge Dedication on Saturday, February 27, 1965, honoring Robert W. Graves. The festivities included a color guard, motorcade, watercade, aircade and barbecue. The brochure states that, "The Committee, on behalf of the citizens of Brevard and Indian River counties, expresses sincere appreciation to the public officials and community leaders who made this beautiful bridge a reality. The committee further expresses appreciation to those whose financial assistance made this dedication and barbecue possible."  The Honorable Merrill P. Barber, State Senator, Indian River County and the Honorable James J. Pruitt, Florida Representative, Brevard County and many other public officials were in attendance. Music was provided by Satellite Beach and Vero Beach high schools.

This is the cover of the brochure commemorating the dedication of Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area on October 25, 1982.

Park Dedication

This brochure commemorates the Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area Dedication on October 25, 1982. The program consisted of an invocation by Reverend John Hopkins of the Chapel By-the-Sea, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Mr. Ney Landrum, director of the Division of Recreation and Parks (state of Florida) and a welcome by Dr. Elton J. Gissendanner, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources. Also present were Senator John W. Vogt, Representative R. Dale Patchett and the Honorable George Firestone. Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area would later be known as Sebastian Inlet State Park.