Located along Florida’s eastern Space Coast, Melbourne is a bustling city with a small town feel in Brevard County known for its historic charm, artsy culture, and great surf. The downtown area has world-renowned art galleries, delicious restaurants, and craft breweries tucked behind oak-lined streets.
When you head out to the water, you’ll find that there are so many outdoor activities available at your disposal as well! The Indian River Lagoon provides excellent opportunities for fishing and canoeing. In the ocean, you’ll find challenging waves to surf and reefs below to explore.
Be sure to plan a visit to Melbourne, Florida to go on the world’s only kayak tour in a zoo, learn more about space at the Kennedy Space Center, and have fun in the sun with the whole family. No matter what you do on the Space Coast, I promise you won’t be bored!
Keep reading to learn the best things to do in Melbourne Florida.
Brevard Zoo is a really fun zoo located in Melbourne. Not only do they have over 900 different animals from all around the world on display, but they also run so many activities on site that people of all ages will enjoy!
Take the kids on a train ride around the zoo or to the petting zoo, where they can feed the animals. If you’re looking to get your adrenaline fix, hop on the zip line, or go on the world’s only kayak tour in a zoo. Explore Africa with a guided tour or have your own little adventure around Florida.
This zoo hosts a lot of great community events and conservation efforts for the area. They pride themselves in being a place where you can really tell that they care about the animals in their zoo, the community around them, and protecting the ecosystems of the one planet we live in.
Wickham Park is a popular park to visit in Melbourne if you’re looking to take in some good ole vitamin D and spend some time outdoors. This park consists of over 400 acres of land, so there is no shortage of areas to explore.
Visit one of the park’s lakes to go swimming or fishing, or sunbathe by the water. Gather the family for a game of volleyball, disc golf, horseshoes, or try your hand at archery. Spend the entire day at the park and bring a picnic and a blanket for sunset. Check to see if the amphitheater is hosting any fun events or concerts that night!
If you love to camp, spend an evening at Wickham Park Campground. It’s a beautiful forest area with outstanding amenities and a lot of community spaces. It’s great if you’re looking to meet new people, have a hot shower and access to laundry, or just enjoy some time outdoors with the family.
ANDRETTI THRILL PARK
If you’re looking to have some fun and bring out your competitive side, take the whole family to Andretti Thrill Park. People from all over the world have been visiting this popular Space Coast destination since 1999.
Andretti Thrill Park is a massive entertainment center — over 7,000 square feet! — featuring more than 100 arcade games, roller coasters, go kart tracks, laser tag, a ropes course, mini golf, and more. If you’re an adrenaline junkie like me, take a ride on their most thrilling outdoor attraction, the Andretti 360.
FLORIDA TECH BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Joy and Gordon Patterson Botanical Garden located on Florida Institute of Technology’s campus is truly a hidden gem. It’s always free to visit, but donations are strongly encouraged.
Take a self-guided tour along the steam and twisted trails lined with palm trees. Bring your dog for a walk, go for a run around the 5-mile main trail, or bring a hammock and a book for an afternoon of relaxation.
It’s a great place to visit, whether you’re looking for a quick afternoon walk, an area to get some exercise, or somewhere to relax for a few hours. When you’re done, visit the local shops and delicious restaurants nearby.
RITCH GRISSOM MEMORIAL WETLANDS
The Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, locally known as the Viera Wetlands, is a great place to visit to experience the beauty of the swampy wetlands and wildlife that Florida is known for. It’s located near the Brevard Zoo and River Lakes Conservation Area, which is an excellent area for birdwatching, spotting wildflowers, and photographing wildlife.
Make sure you check their website for road closures and safety information, as roads close at certain times of the year and alligators are abundant in the water.
They host special events, like 5k races and a nature festival, so be sure to check the schedule to see if there’s anything going on when you’re in town and be sure to stop by!
MELBOURNE BEACH PIER
The Melbourne Beach Pier is a top attraction when visiting the Space Coast and the beaches of Melbourne. It is a historic structure built by the Indian River and Atlantic Railway Company sometime between 1888 and 1889.
The Melbourne Beach Pier is a long public pier located right on the intracoastal of the Indian River Lagoon and is full of shops, restaurants, and recreational activities. Spend a couple of hours walking along the pier or spend the entire day at the beach bouncing between different attractions.
The Melbourne Beach Pier is an excellent place to watch the sunset, watch for dolphins and manatees, grab a bite to eat, or go fishing. The Sea Turtle Preservation Society hosts turtle walks, which can be a fun activity to bring kids to to learn more about sea turtles and conservation of animals.
Grab dinner at a steakhouse, take a walk along the pier, and then find a quiet spot on the beach for sunset. You’ll feel so much peace and serenity that you’ll never want to leave!
REHAB VINTAGE MARKET
The Rehab Vintage Market is a unique market in the Brevard area of Melbourne that is part vintage market, part gift shop. It is a large store that has multiple local vendors selling everything necessary to make a house a home.
Stop by for antique handmade goods, furniture, home decor, and more. The artists and designers here are some of the best in the world!
Each vendor must go through an extensive application process and is hand-picked due to their talent. When you visit The Rehab Vintage Market, you’re sure to find at least one treasured item from a local artist, designer, or collector. Stop by to find a one-of-a-kind vintage souvenir to take home with you, or find inspiration for your next home project.
SEBASTIAN INLET STATE PARK
Sebastian Inlet State Park is located near Melbourne Beach and is a popular recreation area for everyday beach goers, anglers, and surfers. The beaches provide opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, shelling, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, and more. As it sits at the tip of two barrier islands, it’s a great place for birdwatching.
The jetties provide a top saltwater fishing spot on the east coast, where you’ll find snook, red fish, and mackerel in abundance. Fishing licenses can be obtained at the pier.
The Space Coast also has an excellent surf, particularly in two areas along the three miles of Melbourne Beach. At the north end, you’ll find one of the most consistent surf breaks in Florida, Sebastian’s Inlet First Peak. At the south end, you’ll find Monster Hole, a popular area due to the surf competition it hosts each year.
If you’d prefer a less intense activity on the water, go canoeing or kayaking. Paddle along the banks of the Indian River Lagoon while exploring different mangroves and barrier islands.
If you’re visiting in the summer months, it’s an excellent time to go snorkeling or scuba diving, as that’s when visibility is at its best. Head south from Sebastian’s Inlet, where you’ll find reefs that stretch for miles along the coast.
The Mansion of Melbourne Florida is a former home turned restaurant. It has a unique and long history, starting out as a private residence when it was built in 1905.
The house had a few owners, and its first restaurant opened in 1975 which was a huge success. No matter what was inside the building, it always served as a place for the community to gather. Whether it be for ice cream socials, to protect people from hurricanes, or to celebrate different events, the number one priority has always been to give the community a place to gather, be social, and experience southern hospitality.
Today, The Mansion features fantastic food, and wine, liquor, and beer cellars, many of them hand-picked by the owner himself. The cellars and food are some of the best in the world for high class dining. I highly recommend attending a tasting, booking a reservation for dinner, and grabbing a bottle to take home.
ROSSETTER HOUSE MUSEUM
The Rossetter House Museum is in a historic section of Melbourne called Eau Gallie. (More on Eau Gallie below.)
The house museum consists of three sections: the James Wadsworth Rossetter House and Gardens, the William P. Roesch House, and the Houston Family Memorial Cemetery. Each of these sections showcase life in the area and the local history of Florida.
Tour guides have wonderful stories of the history of the house and the rest of the grounds, and all the artifacts are extremely well-preserved. A visit here is one of the best things to do in Melbourne FL.
EAU GALLIE ARTS DISTRICT
The Eau Gallie Arts District is a vibrant community along the Indian River Lagoon that is a must-visit during your trip to the Space Coast! This charming neighborhood has a rich history and features many shops, restaurants, art galleries, and historic sites along the oak-lined streets.
Take a walk along Highland Avenue to find all kinds of entertainment right in town. Find craft coffee, craft beer, and live music entertainment happening most nights of the week at Intracoastal Brewing Company and The Island Root Kava Bar.
Visit all the art galleries featuring local artists or admire the murals around town. The Eau Gallie Arts District is a lovely place where people of all ages love to gather, celebrate the community, and have a great time.
DAY TRIP TO COCOA BEACH/MERRITT ISLAND
Merritt Island/Cocoa Beach is a necessary place to visit for any tourist and local alike! Merritt Island is a barrier island located just north of Melbourne, between the Indian River Lagoon and Banana River. It is known for being home of the Kennedy Space Center, and other attractions that gave this area its nickname, “The Space Coast,” as well as its excellent beaches and surf breaks at Cocoa Beach.
Visit this area to take advantage of the surf and learn more about space. Learn everything there is to know about the past, present, and future of space travel in the United States with a hands-on, up-close experience at the Kennedy Space Center. You can even plan a visit for a rocket launch!
When you’re done learning about space, it’s time to get back outside to experience nature here on planet earth. Visit the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, where you can visit to learn all about the local wildlife.
If you’re looking for a fun day on the river, head over to Manatee Cove Park. This park has a playground, picnic tables, nature trails, a launch site for canoes, and is a fisherman’s paradise.
Looking for online tickets to attractions or cool tours offering insider info? Get Your Guide is our family’s go-to resource for online purchases. Find Kennedy Space Center tickets here.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- FLORIDA’S WEST COAST: 23+ Memorable Stops On The Florida West Coast
- SARASOTA: 40+ Memorable Things To Do In Sarasota For A Weekend Of Fun
- ORLANDO WITH KIDS: 42 Things To Do In Orlando With Kids (Besides the Theme Parks!)
- VERO BEACH: 17 Awesome Things To Do In Vero Beach, Florida
- ST. PETE: 23 Outstanding Things To Do In St. Petersburg, FL
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