The NarunggaAborigines inhabited the area prior to white settlement. The town was laid out by Adelaide solicitor L.M. Cullen in 1877, originally known as Surveyor's Point.
In its early days it was a port exporting wheat, barley wool and mallee stumps ( firewood ). A seaside holiday destination for many years, recently it has been the site of a marina development. Port Vincent was named "Australia's Tidiest Town" in 2004. It has very active volunteer organisations including the CFS, Coast Guard, Tidy Towns etc.
In 2003/04 a large marina was constructed in Port Vincent. The marina took up an area of beach which angered some locals. Port Vincent can also cater for schools on camp. The town has grown in size over the last few years with the release of land for housing. There is a proposed 'next stage', which will include over 100 domestic building blocks & a possible retirement village, however this is only a proposal at this stage. 2011 saw Port Vincent win the States 'Cleanest Beach' Award & went onto the National Judging where it won several more awards.