Visiting Melbourne, Florida
Melbourne, Florida, is a huge city that begins near I-95 on the west and then crosses the Indian River (Intracoastal Waterway) to the beachfront areas such as Satellite & Melbourne Beaches, Indialantic, and Indian Harbour Beach. It is filled with many neat things to see and do. I love visiting Melbourne and drive up from my hometown of Vero Beach just to spend the day. The city of Melbourne has a funky vibe and hosts a college scene, snowbirds, art lovers, beach bums, and more. This guide will hopefully help you plan and know what there is to offer when visiting this Florida powerhouse.
Places to Stay
If you are looking for chain beachfront hotels, I would recommend the Crown Plaza Melbourne and Hilton Melbourne Beach. For independent places, I would choose Seashell Suites Resort based on reviews for comfort, service, and location. Port d’Hiver also has a great reputation for delicious breakfast and stylish rooms all in a cozy bed & breakfast setting.
Things to See
Advantages of having such a nice climate and great location are that there are many options for outdoor adventures. Some of these include Ponce De Leon Landing Coconut Point Sanctuary, Barrier Island Sanctuary, Sebastian State Park Inlet, Turkey Creek Sanctuary, and Rich Grissom Viera Wetlands. They have a plethora of outdoor activities. Patrick Air Force Base is situated on the island side as well, along the Banana River. Surfing is epic and many competitions are held here.
Places to Eat
Good dining choices in Melbourne include Matt’s Casbah for sushi, live music, and televised sporting events on their covered patio. Meg O’Malley’s popular Irish bar and restaurant is another favorite. A delicious dessert option is Florida’s Grimaldi Candies, famous for their milk, dark, or white chocolate covered potato chips. Hot dog lovers will be gaga over Mustard’s Last Stand for cheap prices and the best dogs and fries in Florida!
Things to Do
If you are looking for entertainment, Melbourne has dog racing at Club 52 Melbourne Greyhound Park, and cultural events and concerts at the King Center. This incredible place is 100,000 square feet in size, has over 2,000 seats, an art gallery, and hosts several activities weekly. It is a great place to see a somewhat intimate concert. My favorites thus far have been Kenny Loggins and Hall & Oates. Art lovers will enjoy the Northern Melbourne Eau Gallie Arts District. They feature an art walk every third Saturday of the month from 5-8 PM.
Shopping in Melbourne
Historic downtown is my favorite place to visit in the Melbourne Area. This consists mostly of the East New Haven Avenue area, spanning about six blocks. Sendala’s is a good choice for bath and home fragrance items: they stock Caldrea, Archipelago Botanticals, and Thymes, to name a few. If you crave international flair, you can visit The Irish Shop, Russian House, or Julie’s British Shoppe, all in walking distance. The Chandlery is another store I adore, with a nice selection of wind chimes, candles, and unique items. For clothing, I recommend Anchors and Acorns, Mirabella’s, Fancy Flamingo, and Cottonways. Being a Floridian, Cottonways cotton clothing, all pre-shrunk and washer/dryer ready, is a must.
Slighty northwest of Melbourne is Viera, an upscale shopping, dining, and entertainment area. I am a huge Melting Pot fan and the one located in the Viera plaza provides great service and noteworthy specials. One of my favorite shops is located in Viera as well, World Market, an emporium filled with home accessories, seasonal finds, gourmet foods, furniture, …a little bit of everything!
I hope you will find visiting Melbourne, Florida’s East Coast city, triumphant in both culture and opportunities. Consider making this your Florida vacation destination where you will have much less traffic for the beach scene and a host of other things to keep you busy.