Nestled on Florida’s Atlantic coast, Melbourne is a vibrant city filled with an abundance of activities and attractions to explore. If you’re planning a trip to the area, you’ll be happy to know that Melbourne offers more than just its beautiful beaches and thriving downtown scene. Just a short drive from Vero Beach, Melbourne is a great base to discover the surrounding areas and experience all the fun and adventure that Florida has to offer. In this article, we’ve put together a list of the top 9 things to do outside of Vero, giving you a chance to explore the best of the area and create unforgettable memories.
In no particular order:
Get Up Close with Exotic Animals: A Visit to Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, FL
Brevard Zoo is a must-visit destination for animal lovers of all ages. This internationally accredited facility is home to a wide range of exotic and endangered species, including giraffes, rhinoceroses, and big cats. The zoo’s exhibits and habitats are designed to mimic the animals’ natural environments, allowing visitors to observe them in a comfortable and safe setting. One of the unique features of the zoo is the interactive experiences it offers, such as giraffe and bird feedings, where visitors can get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. Children can also enjoy the zoo’s water play area, where they can cool off while learning about aquatic animals. For a more immersive experience, visitors can rent kayaks and paddle around the zoo’s animal habitats, getting an up-close look at the animals as they explore. With so much to see and do, Brevard Zoo is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the world of animals.
The Florida Tech Botanical Garden is a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of the Florida Institute of Technology campus. The 15-acre garden boasts a tranquil stream bordered by a lush and shady hammock filled with tropical foliage, including an impressive collection of palm trees. The main trail of the garden has been named after the founder of the Palm Society, Dent Smith, in recognition of his significant contributions to the study of the palm family. Thanks to the dedication and vision of Founding President Emeritus Jerome P. Keuper and the guidance of Mr. Dent Smith in the 1960s, the Florida Tech Botanical Garden has become a unique and spectacular campus botanical garden, unparalleled in the continental United States. The garden is open to the public, providing visitors with a serene and beautiful oasis in the heart of Melbourne, FL.
Paradise Beach & Park, located just 5 miles north of Downtown Melbourne, is a picturesque waterfront destination that promises to provide visitors with an unforgettable seaside experience. This idyllic beach is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a tranquil day in the sun, surrounded by the natural beauty of Florida’s coast. As soon as you set foot on the beach, you’ll feel transported to the Caribbean, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and soft, powdery sands. Whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach, swim in the ocean, or simply soak up the sun, Paradise Beach has everything you need for a relaxing day in paradise. In addition to its stunning natural scenery, the beach also boasts numerous amenities, including picnic areas, showers, and restrooms. With its perfect blend of natural beauty and modern conveniences, Paradise Beach & Park is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a taste of paradise in Melbourne, FL.
Barrier Island Sanctuary
Barrier Island Sanctuary, located within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, is a unique and breathtaking 34-acre sanctuary that offers visitors the chance to explore the diverse habitats of the barrier island. The sanctuary is home to numerous interactive exhibits and learning opportunities at the Management and Education Center, allowing visitors to delve deeper into the natural beauty and history of the area. The center includes a gift shop, interactive exhibits, an auditorium, a library, and classrooms, making it an excellent spot for nature enthusiasts and educational groups. The sanctuary also offers a variety of activities, including guided walks and hikes along the 1-mile trail loop that meanders through the sanctuary’s diverse habitats. Visitors can also launch kayaks from the sanctuary’s launch site for an exciting adventure exploring the waterways of the barrier island. The sanctuary’s guided walks and eco-explorer camps offer a unique opportunity to learn about the island’s natural environment, wildlife, and history. With its abundant opportunities for hiking, wildlife observation, and interactive learning experiences, Barrier Island Sanctuary is a perfect destination for anyone looking to connect with nature and learn more about the area’s unique ecosystem.
Andretti Thrill Park
Andretti Thrill Park is a centrally located amusement park on the Space Coast of Florida that promises fun and adventure for visitors of all ages. The park offers a vast array of attractions and activities, making it an excellent choice for families and groups looking for a day filled with excitement. Whether you’re seeking thrills on the go-kart tracks, testing your agility on the ropes course, scaling the climbing wall, or enjoying a round of mini-golf, Andretti Thrill Park has something for everyone. The park also features laser tag, arcade games, and a variety of exciting rides, ensuring that visitors never run out of things to do. For those looking to get their adrenaline pumping, there are five different go-kart tracks to choose from, offering an exhilarating racing experience. Andretti Thrill Park offers flexible admission options, including 2-hour, 3-hour, or all-day passes, allowing visitors to choose the duration of their stay. There are also plenty of concessions available in the park, or visitors can opt to dine outside and re-enter the park with their wristbands. With so much to see and do, Andretti Thrill Park is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a thrilling and memorable experience in Melbourne, FL.
Sea Turtle Preservation Society
Florida’s coasts are an important nesting ground for sea turtles, with ninety percent of the sea turtles that nest in the United States making their way to the Sunshine State. The beaches along Melbourne are particularly vital for turtle conservation, as the 72 miles of Brevard County’s beaches have some of the largest nesting sites of loggerhead sea turtles. As a result, the Space Coast community is dedicated to preserving their native residents and ensuring their survival.
The Sea Turtle Preservation Society is one organization that is actively involved in this important mission. This group of passionate volunteers is committed to protecting the leatherback, loggerhead, and green sea turtles that come to the Florida coast to lay their eggs each year.
Visitors to the area can also get involved in helping with sea turtle conservation efforts. The Sea Turtle Preservation Society hosts a variety of activities, including regular beach cleanups, charity races, and turtle night walks. These night walks are a fantastic way to experience the natural beauty of the area, offering a unique opportunity to observe nesting loggerhead sea turtles in their natural habitat.
For those seeking an unforgettable and meaningful experience in Melbourne, FL, a visit to the Sea Turtle Preservation Society is a must. By participating in their activities, visitors can help protect and conserve the sea turtles that call this area home, ensuring that these magnificent creatures thrive for generations to come.
Kennedy Space Center
No visit to the Space Coast of Florida is complete without a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. The NASA-operated visitor center offers an insight into the various NASA missions and projects, and visitors can take behind-the-scenes sightseeing tours of the launch sites. If you’re lucky enough to be in town during a launch, the Kennedy Space Center offers the closest public viewing space for a front-row seat to witness history in the making.
Good Natured River Tours
Good Natured River Tours offers a serene and relaxing two-hour cruise through part of the Brevard County estuary on the Banana River and Indian River Lagoon. The tour provides visitors with the chance to view manatees, playful dolphins, a variety of wild birds, and even the occasional alligator, as well as over 4,300 unique and local plant species. The entire adventure is narrated by a licensed U.S.C.G. Captain, who provides guests with insights into the history of the Indian River Lagoon and the various landmarks that are passed, including Dragon Point and Mathers Turn Bridge. The tour is accompanied by the gentle sounds of Caribbean music, adding to the peaceful ambiance of the experience. For anyone seeking a tranquil and informative way to explore the beauty of Brevard County’s estuaries, a cruise with Good Natured River Tours is an absolute must.
Treetop Trek Aerial Adventures
Get ready to level up your family fun with our VIP Family Event featuring a Super Mario Bros Movie theme! Join us for an afternoon of excitement, as we transport you to the Mushroom Kingdom with snacks, popcorn, drinks, themed cocktails, and mocktails, as well as a visit from everyone’s favorite overall-wearing plumber.
This event is perfect for families who want to bring the magic of classic video game characters to real life. Come on down and join us for a fun-filled day that will have everyone saying, “It’s-a me, Mario!
A portion of every ticket sold will go to benefit Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in their network of over 185 hospitals, including both Arnold Palmer Medical Center, and Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando.
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