No place to stay personifies “Old Florida” quite like the Driftwood Resort in Vero Beach. Eccentric citrus farmer Waldo Sexton constructed a private beach house called the “Breezeway” by the Atlantic during the 1930s.
Following numerous additions, the home started to morph into a small resort hotel operated by Sexton’s wife. A restaurant named Waldo’s opened a short time later and still operates to this day.
Every square inch of the present-day resort is a reflection of Waldo’s exuberant personality and his passion for world travel and collecting. Beautiful and unusual antiques, cannons, mosaics, bells, furniture and relief sculptures can be found at every turn.
But the vernacular style of architecture at the Driftwood is what continues to draw guests and sightseers to this place. Timber Waldo salvaged from a barn blown down in a hurricane was used to construct portions of the hotel. From the board and batten exterior walls to the wood-shingled gable ends with decorative truss work, the property maintains a rustic “beachcomber” ambiance, something that’s becoming harder and harder to find in Florida.
Waldo died in 1967 at the age of 82. But his legacy lives on at the Driftwood Resort and the buildings he so lovingly crafted.