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What is there to do in Melbourne, Florida?

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Feb 9th, 2009, 12:40 PM
  #1
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What is there to do in Melbourne, Florida?

Can anyone recommend some things to do and see in Melbourne, FL? Any restaurant recommendations? We'll be going in May. Do people swim in the ocean that time of year, or will it still be too cool? Are the beaches pretty? Thanks for any info. you can provide!
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Feb 9th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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I can assure you that it will be plenty warm in May to swim. Many times May has some of the hottest days of the year.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 01:20 PM
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To expand upon what gmoney has already said, yes it will be warm enough to enjoy the beaches. Usually, sometime in May, the daytime air temperature breaks 90 for the first time of the year. The water temps do lag behind though. The beaches are very nice.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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Thanks, guys; here in Texas, it's sometimes still cool at the beach in May. Are there any restaurants you would recommend where we can have a nice view of the water? Anything casual or seafood would be great.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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Where are you staying? I'd be happy to recommend restaurants in the area.

What to do?
Feed giraffes: www.brevardzoo.org
Go shopping: www.downtownmelbourne.com
Go to a craft fair: http://www.cocoavillage.com/craft_fairs

And yes, definitely swim at the beach.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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Volcanogirl, you probably realize this already, but Melbourne doesn't have beaches, it's located on the Indian River. To get to the beaches you need to go across the causeway to Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Indian Harbour Beach etc.

There were a few people heading to the beach today, including my neighbor who was carrying his surfboard. I don't know how many actually went into the water!!
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Feb 9th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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We're staying at the Crowne Plaza Melbourne Oceanfront. It's for a family wedding, and we have enough points to stay there for free. I just wanted something on the water.

Sam, now I'm confused. My hotel appears to be in Melbourne and also to be on a small beach facing the ocean, but I must be missing something since you say Melbourne isn't on the ocean. Can you explain? Brave souls to hit the water in February!

321, thank you for these wonderful websites. I will check them out!
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Feb 9th, 2009, 04:44 PM
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Volcanogirl, not to be concerned.

The Crowne Plaza is on St Rt A1A in Indialantic. It might be a Melbourne mailing address, I don't know. You're right on the beach. I've not been there but it looks pretty nice. You can google map it and see.

I'm right up the road in Cocoa Beach on A1A.
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Feb 9th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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There's a Melbourne and a Melbourne BEACH (much of which is actually Indialantic, FL)
Your hotel is in Melbourne BEACH, directly on the ocean
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Feb 10th, 2009, 04:57 AM
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You are a short drive from Kennedy Space Center. The tour takes at least half a day. But, if you haven't done, it's worth the time.
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Feb 10th, 2009, 05:21 AM
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If you decide to go to Kennedy, stop at Ron Jon's Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach. It's kind of expensive, but fun to wander around in. There used to be another surf shop right beside it (I think it's called Cocoa Beach Surf Shop - original, huh? *smile*) that had much better prices - probably SamH can confirm that. Coconuts on the Beach is also in Cocoa Beach and has pretty good food and drinks if you want to stop for refreshments. Enjoy your visit, we love that area. Oh yeah, check the NASA web site and see if there are any launches scheduled for the time you're in Florida - that's a sight you'll never forget!
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Feb 10th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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I didn't realize it was that close to Kennedy Space Center - thanks for all this great information. How far apart are Melbourne and Melbourne Beach? I assume they're just a short drive apart?
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Feb 10th, 2009, 06:12 AM
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Hey VG,
They're pretty close (we have friends in Indian Harbor, close by), if you have time, definitely go to the Kennedy Space Center, it's a great tour. Also, if you like nature, there's a nice "nature" drive on Merritt Island (which is also close by).

You can also take a day trip to St. Augustine or Orlando to the parks if you want.

May will be plenty warm, and it might be rainy too. We were there in early June one year, torrential downpours late in the day (they didn't last long though).
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Feb 10th, 2009, 07:04 AM
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Hey Volcanogirl!

How long will you be in the area?

If you are here for a long weekend, here's what I'd recommend:

Get an early start to visit Kennedy Space Center. Coming from Texas, you might be tempted to skip it, but it is very different from the one in Houston. After touring the Space Center, leave via S.R. 405 (towards Titusville), and head to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Do the Blackpoint wildlife drive. If you finish early enough, head to Playlinda Beach. It will cost you a few bucks to get in, but you can stoll one of the few natural (no buildings) beaches left in this area of the state. If you want to skip the beach, head up to Haulover Canal on S.R. 3 to see if there are any manatee hanging out near the drawbridge. There is a "viewing area" just north of the bridge, on the right. A cooler with sandwiches, munchies, and drinks would work best for this outing. If you are in Titusville around dinner time, I'd head to El Leoncito's for Mexican/Cuban. A lot of tourists head to Dixie Crossroads for seafood. It's ok, but I think there are better choices in the area. If you go, try the rock shrimp, steamed or broiled, as it is a local specialty.

In the Melbourne/Melbourne Beach area, I would head to the zoo, browzse Old Downtown, and see if anyone interesting is playing at the King Performing Arts Center. Saying that, I haven't been to the Downtown area in awhile, so don't know how it's faring during the economic downturn. We used to eat at the Island Pasta Company when we visited, but don't know if it's still there. We also used to visit a Greek sandwich shop called Yanni's, down U.S. 192, past the Melbourne Square Mall. Does anyone know if he's still there? Great little place for breakfast and lunch. The King Center is a small auditorium/theatre on the local community college campus that gets some good headliners.

Thinking of the Austin post, if you want to try our BBQ, head to Slow-n-Low in Cocoa Beach. Head north up A1A, and you'll pass Patrick Airforce Base on the drive. As you are heading north, a few of the buildings on the left may look familiar if you remember the TV show "I Dream of Jeanie". They used the exteriors to represent NASA in the show. In Cocoa Beach, we also like Grills at the port (have a drink at the tiki bar, and wave to the cruise ships as they leave Sun-Mon around 5:00 pm).

Wish I could give you more ideas, but with DS2 living in Orlando, I spend more time there now. Have a great trip!
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Feb 10th, 2009, 08:16 AM
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Thank you all so much. This is exactly the kind of info. I was looking for. You guys have been such a big help!
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Feb 10th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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Let me clarify some possible confusion created by some of the other posters regarding names of places. There is a place called Indialantic, which is a beach community directly east of Melbourne, accesible via causeway and bridge. The hotel you have reserved is NOT there.

South of Indialantic, there is a small community called Melbourne Beach. That's the proper name of it, and it is also NOT where your hotel is located.

North of Indialantic along highway A1A (which goes along the beach) there is a strip of beachfront land that belongs to the city of Melbourne proper. It is not named Melbourne Beach. It has no distinct name since it is properly part of the city of Melbourne. It just happens to be that part of the city that is on the beach. This is where your hotel is located. Access to the Melbourne city's part of the beach strip is most convenient via the Eau Gallie causeway from Melbourne. This is obviously confusing even to some of the locals, as evidenced by their replies.

When you get there, ask the locals about places to eat. There are some really good restaurants in Melbourne and Cocoa Beach. If you want to drive south on A1A for about 20 miles, you will find Vero Beach with a few very good places to eat. Enjoy your vacation.
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Feb 10th, 2009, 10:04 AM
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Excellent explanation Wayne! Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, and The Part of Melbourne That Is Beachside But Is Not Melbourne Beach always throws people.

Restaurants in downtown Melbourne:
Island Pasta, Meg O'Malleys, Continental Flambe, Matt's Tropical Grill (great food - everything is made to order, but just to let you know it's not fast). Note to rascat: I was there a few weekends ago, and the place was hoppin'! Yes, Island Pasta is still going strong.

Restaurants in Cocoa Beach: Roberto's, The Fat Snook (tiny building - great seafood), Simply Delicious.
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Feb 10th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Good to know, 321go! We always enjoyed the combination of pasta and island flavors. They had a chicken-coconut one I loved-kind of like the Thai soup, but served on pasta.

Now I just need to find out of Yanni still has his little restaurant. It was in the strip mall, next to the Home Depot on 192. He ran it pretty much by himself and had quite a following.
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Feb 10th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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FYI, there is a Shuttle Launch scheduled to up from KSC on Feb 12th if you're in the area then!!

Check their site to see if it's still on schedule.

Also, I highly recommend the Brevard Zoo.
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Feb 10th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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Thanks for clarifying on the directions - I imagine we could have been really confused when we got there! Great restaurant recs and zoo info. I've heard the zoo is a lot of fun. I'll print all of this out and bring it along. As always, you guys are great! I really appreciate it!
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