Communities and Towns
Barefoot Bay is a retirement community, established in 1969 and its location provides many opportunities for retires to enjoy 18 hole par 60 golf course and excellent fishing and boating in the nearby Sebastian Inlet area.
You won't find many places where nature exists in harmony with technology, but it does in Cape Canaveral on Florida's Space Coast. You'll also find pristine beaches, fabulous fishing and great golfing, things that make a Florida vacation great, all within easy driving distance of Florida's biggest attractions. Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which tells the story of NASA's exploration of space through interactive exhibits, movies and tours that are sure to delight visitors of all ages. Witness actual components of the International Space Station being readied for their trip into orbit, or enter the full-scale mock-up of the habitation module that space station crews will call home. Other highlights include the Rocket Garden; the Launch Status Center, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at mission briefings every hour; Space Shuttle Plaza, a full-sized replica of a shuttle orbiter; and Astronaut Memorial, which honors the astronauts who gave their lives to further space exploration. Experience the thrills of space in the two IMAX productions offered here: "L5: First City in Space," the story of a young girl living on an orbiting space colony and "The Dream Is Alive," an insider's view of the space shuttle program. Head out to sea from nearby Port Canaveral, the second largest multi-day cruise ship port in the country. Port Canaveral also has recreational facilities including boat ramps, campgrounds, parks, beaches and fishing areas. The port is a great place to find a party or charter fishing boat and is also the largest scallop fishery in the world.
Nestled on the banks of the Indian River, Cocoa retains its old Florida charm with its Historic Cocoa Village. It features a host of quaint, locally owned shops, a theater, and restaurants, which provide a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of the nearby tourist hot spots.Along with culture comes the convenience of Cocoa's central location. It is just 5 minutes from I-95, SR 520, and US1 and close to the Space Center and miles of unspoiled beaches. In addition, it is just 40 minutes from Orlando International Airport and many of Orlando's adventure theme parks.Cocoa is also home to Brevard Community College, University of Central Florida's Brevard Campus, Florida Solar Energy Center, and BCC Planetarium and Observatory...a true circle of learning! Located nearby is a Wal-Mart SuperCenter, FedEx Ground distribution center, and the future home of Home Depot. More than 15 franchised stores along SR 524 and the new Grissom Ridge Industrial Park make this one of the most exciting retail and industry areas in Central Brevard.For a great place to live, work, and play with available work-force housing and single-family homes throughout the city, visit Cocoa. It is a special place for culture, community, convenience, and commerce!
Located on a barrier island, nestled between the great Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River Lagoon on Florida's Central East Coast, Cocoa Beach continues to link the birth of the Space Age with the wonders of the future. Just six miles long, and mostly less than one mile wide, Cocoa Beach is truly a unique place! Where else can you choose between watching a space launch from the beach or precious animal species in their natural habitat? You can choose between a swim in the ocean, or a quiet kayak exploration off the Banana River islands, from our river shore? Play a round of golf at our 27-holes golf course, surf cast from the beach for dinner, or just enjoy a day at the beach where you will likely see dolphins at play or be lucky enough to see an occasional whale in migration. Widely known as the surfing capital of the East Coast, Cocoa Beach is the hometown of surfing champions. The primary attraction to Cocoa Beach is the weather. With its coastal location and positioned where two climatic zones (sub-tropic and temperate) meet, our weather usually avoids extremes. This unique location attracts wildlife indigenous to both climatic zones, as well as coastal and migratory species. And, of course, our weather, beaches and local amenities attract human visitors as well! Many of our residents first experienced Cocoa Beach as visitors and eventually relocated here! Cocoa Beach is a residential community and a tourist destination. Our base population is 12,800, our population though swells to as high as 30,000 during the peak tourist season when the hotels, motels, timeshares and condominium rentals are filled. In addition, Cocoa Beach is the destination for another 2.4 million day visitors per year; it is the primary tourist destination on the Florida Space Coast. It is also home to an active retiree population, many of whom devoted their careers to our nation's space program. The casual beach lifestyle is enjoyed by visitors and residents alike!
Fellsmere is a city with a vision for its future and a respect for its past. Founded in 1911, Fellsmere is located only 4 miles off of I-95 on CR 512, in Indian River County. Just come west! Named for E. Nelson Fell, a 1913 land sales brochure describes the city's unusual name as a combination of the founder's name Fell and the word mere, which means "a watery place." Fellsmere is proud to be host of the famous Fellsmere Frog Leg Festival, held the third week in January. Fellsmere Day, is held the first Saturday in April with a parade, a bed race and a variety of family-orientated activities. For more information, visit www.cityoffellsmere.org.
Floridana Beach is a great family friendly beach neighborhood. Floridana is located on the Atlantic coast of the sunshine state, about 50 miles east of Orlando near the middle of the long stretch of sand known as Melbourne Beach. Floridana is 8 miles south of Indialantic and 6 miles north of Sebastian Inlet. Floridana is a great place for families to visit or to live. The beach is perfect for all kids, as there is plenty of room to run, explore for great shells, see the sand crabs and watch the birds!
Since the 1880s, the villages of Grant and Valkaria have existed in harmony within the borders of Brevard County, Florida. July 25, 2006 these two communities were joined by referendum and act of law into the single Incorporated Town of Grant-Valkaria. This Town was founded in order to secure the local benefits of self-government, preserve our history, protect our future, maintain a rural quality of life, and foster responsible, community-controlled growth. For more information, visit www.grantvalkaria.org.
It all started in 1915 when Ernest Kouwen-Hoven moved to Melbourne and purchased a strip of beachside land lying between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. He envisioned this property as becoming an exclusive beachside resort and indeed it did. This one-square mile became known as "Indialantic-by-the-Sea" The first map of this area was recorded in 1916. A stable community of homeowners was established in Indialantic during the Florida real estate boom that reached its peak in 1925. The 1.05-square mile area was incorporated in 1952 with a population of 1,500. It is today a quiet, primarily residential Town with a population of 2,844. Strict zoning codes and enforcement of these codes keep Indialantic a unique and prestigious community. Even though a large portion of the population is retired, there is still a diversity of residents consisting of young couples with children, professionals, business people, artists and students. Indialantic stores and businesses cater to all the basic needs plus more exotic demands. Restaurants vary from fast food and family establishments to ethnic and gourmet dining. Residents and tourists can enjoy the public beach area from Miami to Watson. Swimming, fishing, boating and surfing are favorite pastimes. Threatened and endangered sea turtles nest along the shore from May through October. The recently refurbished boardwalk offers a place to stroll along the ocean and the parks throughout the Town provide getaways from the day's routine. Designated a bird sanctuary in 1975 by a Town Council proclamation, the Town has taken measures to protect its abundance of animal species and plant life. Indialantic remains a natural, unspoiled paradise.
INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH
Located between the communities of Satellite Beach and Indialantic is the beachside city of Indian Harbour Beach. While the city's history doesn't run as deep as some in Brevard County, its beauty and location make Indian Harbour Beach a popular spot along the Space Coast and the Atlantic Ocean. On June 6, 1955, the Town of Indian Harbour Beach was established. In 1963 the Charter was changed and the town became the City of Indian Harbour Beach. Due to its fiscal policies, the city has no long-term indebtedness and its population of 8,152 enjoy a tax rate which is among the lowest in Brevard County. Popular attractions include 27-acre W. Lansing Gleason Park, which has a boardwalk, gazebos around the lake, picnic facilities and exercise and jogging trails. The Community Services Center offers beach volleyball, shuffleboard courts and a heated competition swimming pool. Other activities include tennis, water sports and fishing, plus there are many sports fields including the Algonquin Sports Complex with lighted baseball, softball and soccer fields.
The Town of Malabar got its 1st official Post Office and name on December 24, 1883 when R. A. Ward was named Postmaster by President Chester A. Arthur. Two Times a week, the boat that traveled down the Intracoastal waterway from Jacksonville would deliver the mail to the palmetto shack post office along the riverbank at Malabar. The mail was dumped on the counter for the population of 25 to shuffle through. With the coming of the railroad in 1893 the mail boat was no longer needed. For more information, visit www.townofmalabar.org.
The City of Melbourne is located on east central Florida's Space Coast. Melbourne is about an hour's drive south of the Kennedy Space Center, and 1-1/2 hours due east of Disney World. The City is in the southern portion of Brevard County. Interstate-95 runs through the county from north-to-south. Access roads from the west include the Beachline Expressway (formerly the Beeline) and U.S. 192, which runs through Melbourne to the beaches. Nearby incorporated communities include Palm Bay, West Melbourne, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, and Satellite Beach. Viera and Suntree, unincorporated communities, are also nearby. While most of Melbourne is located on the Florida mainland, a small portion is located on a barrier island. The Indian River Lagoon separates the mainland from the island. The island is a narrow strip of land that separates the Lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean. (In prehistoric times the lagoon was connected to the ocean. Today, the only connection is by way of a handful of inlets, including the manmade Sebastian Inlet at the southern end of Brevard County.) Spanning the Indian River Lagoon to connect the mainland to the barrier island are a pair of four-lane, high-rise bridges -- the Melbourne Causeway and the Eau Gallie Causeway. The Space Coast is known as a high-tech center of the Southeast. Today, the City is approximately 41 square miles in size, with about 75% of that land in use. The City of Melbourne population was 78,323 as of April 1, 2009, according to the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research. The population of Melbourne continues to grow at a modest rate. Melbourne is located at the the center of a much larger urban area.
In 1883, Major Cyrus E. Graves, a retired veteran of the Union Army, sailed into Melbourne Harbor. Major Graves was most impressed with the area and decided to buy government land which was available on the barrier island across the Indian River from Melbourne. During the next four years, he bought approximately six hundred acres which comprises present day Melbourne Beach. There was an eager attempt to grow pineapples and other tropical fruits, but the freeze of 1895, known for years as the "Big Freeze", wiped out the local growers. No real commercial attempt was ever made again in the Melbourne Beach area. The year 1883 was a busy year for Melbourne Beach. The pier, bathhouse and railroad were built. The railroad consisted of a single push car which was used to transport groceries, supplies and people from the dock at the pier along Ocean Avenue to the ocean. Prior to 1920, transportation to and from Melbourne was by a small ferry boat which was a sailboat, later replaced by a motor launch. The ferry service remained the only means of transportation until the Melbourne Causeway was built in 1921. The Town was incorporated in 1923, with a population of a few hundred residents. After experiencing several boom and bust periods, the population of the Town began to stabilize after the Second World War with growth occurring more evenly.
With its shady, tree-lined streets nestled adjacent to the cities of Melbourne and West Melbourne, Melbourne Village is a haven from the bustle of city life. Its 706 residents enjoy the convenience of their proximity to the shopping and restaurants of New Haven Avenue and easy access to major highways, whilst living a relaxed lifestyle in relative seclusion. Incorporated in 1957, residents are encouraged to actively participate in their community. Each member-family can vote in municipal decision-making. The town's location provides for easy access to neighboring cities' parks and recreational facilities, as well as outdoor activities such as golfing, surfing, boating, and fishing to name a few. Bordering Melbourne Village to the east is Erna Nixon Hammock Park. This 53-acre community park is a natural Florida hammock and nature preserve featuring 3,000 feet of elevated boardwalk winding through three different ecosystems where native plant species and small animals can be viewed. A small pavilion with picnic tables and restrooms adjoins the nature center which houses educational exhibits, and the park is a popular site for outdoor festivals such as the annual Crackerfest.
In 1839, General Merritt received a 40-mile island as a grant from Spain. The city of Merritt Island founded its first post office in 1870 and its first church in 1886, which is in use today. This island city has retained its natural beauty and is well-known for its National Wildlife Refuge. Red and black mangroves line the shores of the Indian River Lagoon and harbor the most diverse collection of plant and animal species in North America. Local wildlife, including manatees and sea turtles can be observed and studied on informative tours. Whether you are vacationing for outdoor recreation, sight-seeing or pensive relaxation, Merritt Island is a remarkable and rewarding stop.
MICCO / LITTLE HOLLYWOOD
Micco is located on the north side of the St. Sebastian River in South Brevard County. This was another stop on the Florida East Coast Railroad that came through the area in 1893. The post office was established in 1884. Fishing, especially, after the Sebastian Inlet was opened became an important industry. Also, tourism from the paddlewheels and schooners and later the railroad filled the several hotels and the popular Oak Lodge on the barrier island across from Micco. The area known as Micco includes Little Hollywood, and Barefoot Bay. The overall population of the Micco area is estimated at 10,000, including 6,000 retirees in the Barefoot Bay area, which is comprised of 1,100 acres. Micco boasts three marinas and a number of boat ramps for easy access to the Indian River Lagoon, Sebastian Inlet and the St. Sebastian River. Barefoot Bay is a retirement community, established in 1969 and its location provides many opportunities for retires to enjoy 18 hole par 60 golf course and excellent fishing and boating in the nearby Sebastian Inlet area.
Palm Bay is perfectly located on Florida's east central coast, midway between Jacksonville and Miami. Off of I-95, take exits 173 and 176. Palm Bay is close to Melbourne and Orlando International Airports and Port Canaveral. US Route 1, a National Scenic Byway, runs adjacent to the Indian River Lagoon in the City providing a spectacular view of the designated National Estuary. Housing styles include a wide variety of single family homes, apartments, condominiums, town homes and gated subdivisions. Many quality of life choices including employment opportunities from entrepreneurial family owned enterprises through a growing base of mid and large size technology and manufacturing companies. Education opportunities include 24 public and private K through Grade 12 schools. Brevard Community College Palm Bay Campus prides itself on providing a center for baccalaureate and graduate education through the offerings of the University of Central Florida, Webster University and Barry University. Recreational activities include 29 city parks which include paintball and skateboarding, an aquatic center, a 200 acre regional park, two public/private golf courses, Turkey Creek Sanctuary, and nearby are the beaches! For more information about Palm Bay, please visit: www.palmbayflorida.org
A small town located between Rockledge and Melbourne, Palm Shores is a fast-growing, but quiet community where beauty has a place to shine. Palm Shores grew from 210 residents a decade ago to a current population of 794, according to census figures released earlier this year. That bumped the area out of position as Brevard's smallest town. In response to this growth, the town has bought almost two acres along the Indian River Lagoon to build their "Shoreside" Park, and a new town hall was established in 2000. And soon Palm Shores will have better access to sights and scenes outside of greater Melbourne. Extension of nearby Pineda Causeway to Interstate 95 will give the town's residents easy access to all of Brevard, Orlando, and the shops and centers in Indian River County. Once completed, the infrastructure improvements will be just one more reason why Palm Shores is a hidden haven in Melbourne. Popular Honeybrook subdivision, new neighborhood developments, its proximity to the river, together with expanding shops and retail centers make Palm Shores a sought after place to live in Brevard County. It's only a matter of time before more people discover Palm Shores and everything it has to offer.
The City of Rockledge is the oldest incorporated municipality in Brevard County, founded on the shoreline of the Indian River Lagoon on August 7, 1887. Rockledge covers approximately 11.5 square miles with a 2008 population of 25,698 residents as of April 1, 2008. As a full service community, the City of Rockledge provides law enforcement, fire protection, including emergency medical technicians; garbage, trash and recycling collection; sanitary sewer services, including water reclamation; and a Public Works department responsible for streets, roads, sidewalks, drainage and other infrastructure. While Rockledge is primarily a residential community, it does have a stable industrial base of clean, light industry. Rockledge also enjoys a wide variety of available commercial centers to meet the needs of its residents and has one hospital, five public schools, three private schools and churches of various denominations. For more information, visit www.cityofrockledge.org.
Historic little Roseland established in 1892 was one of the early planned residential settlements in the St. Sebastian River Area. In 1892, it was part of a very large Brevard County. A water tower for the Florida East Railway was located in Roseland and a small depot. This small depot was later moved to sit along the dock at the Archie Smith Fish House in Sebastian. Roseland Road from US 1 to CR 512 is a nice drive with several county parks located on the St. Sebastian River. Other highlights of the area include Kashi, an interfaith spiritual center located on the banks of the St. Sebastian River, and the Shilo Youth Ranch.
Just south of Patrick Air Force Base, Satellite Beach is centrally located within Brevard County. Because of its location, Satellite Beach is a favorite of military families and those loving the beach. The city was first incorporated in 1957, and currently 9,577 people call it home. The impact of the space program and Patrick Air Force Base has contributed greatly to the development of Satellite Beach. Satellite Beach has a wide range of neighborhood developments, including the upscale, exclusive community of Tortoise Island, in which $500,000 plus homes are built. The area's location provides for great outdoor recreation including boating, fishing, and trips to the beach. Conveniently situated between two major causeways, residents have easy access to shops, malls, restaurants and area golf courses on the mainland as well as within the city. Given its beauty, location, great schools, and recreational opportunities, Satellite Beach has become a haven for those wanting it all. For more information, visit www.satellitebeach.org.
The City of Sebastian is located in Indian River County approximately midway through the east coast of the Florida Peninsula between Melbourne and Vero Beach in an area known as the Treasure Coast. It is recognized as the home of Pelican Island, the first designated wildlife refuge in the United States, a Millennium City, and a Tree City USA. The City of Sebastian was first incorporated as the Town of Sebastian in 1924. Current population is approximately 22,000. The City has seen rapid growth in the past several years and it is anticipated to continue. The City of Sebastian boasts beautiful parks, public and private elementary schools, middle schools, and a high school just outside of its limits, an unobstructed view of the intra-coastal waterway in the Indian River Lagoon along its dazzling riverfront district, close proximity to Atlantic beaches, a year round average temperature of 73.4 degrees, a police department, shops and restaurants, many churches, several City festivals each year, monthly arts and crafts shows, concerts in the park, a municipal golf course and airport, and a central location with easy access to I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. For more information, visit www.cityofsebastian.org or www.sebastianchamber.com.
Titusville is nestled between the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Johns River. A short but beautiful drive across the Scenic Byway takes you to the 24 miles of unspoiled beaches of the Canaveral National Seashore. Along the way you pass the 7-mile Black Point Drive in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, home of alligators, roseate spoonbills, and many other species. The Vertical Assembly Building of the Kennedy Space Center may be seen clearly from any of several lagoon-side parks. Titusville is also home to the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum.
In 1893, Wabasso was a water and fuel stop on the Florida East Coast Railway. Fruit and vegetables came to the railroad siding from groves in the area and from the Mitchell dock where boats from the barrier island brought beans, pineapple, and bananas. The name Wabasso is said to have come from the Indian Word for "white rabbit" and was given to this stop by the railroad officials. In 1925 the narrow wooden Wabasso Bridge was built on the site of the old dock.