When people come to Central Florida, Daytona, Cocoa and New Smyrna Beaches get all the attention. Those beaches are world famous. They’re fun and wonderful, certainly worth visiting, but there’s a hidden gem that most people don’t know about, Melbourne Beach. It’s about a two- hour drive south of Orlando, and well worth the visit. If you like quiet, unspoiled natural beaches that aren’t crowded, head to Melbourne. There’s always a peaceful spot of beach waiting just for you with very few people around. Melbourne is quiet and friendly. One the best things about going to the beach in Melbourne is that I can leave my umbrella, chair, cooler and even car keys and take a walk on the beach. Nobody will bother my things. Try doing that at the other beaches.
Most of the beaches are semi-private, meaning that locals hang out there. You’ll see retirees fishing, couples walking down the beach, surfers, yes, families with kids, but no crowds. There’s lots of space on the beaches so you can place your chairs away from everyone else, if you want peace and quiet. You’ll never have to eek out a tiny space on the beach next to somebody you potentially don’t want to be near.
There are also lots of fun restaurants in Melbourne if you want to find something delicious. We like Skewers, a Middle Eastern restaurant complete with belly dancers, Bizzaro’s Pizza, on the Indiatlantic Boardwalk, which offers excellent gluten free pizza, and the New England Eatery. The Eatery, as locals call it, is a local hang out. Nothing fancy, just great seafood. If you want something more upscale, head further South to Vero Beach and hit Cobalt at the Vero Beach Hotel and Spa, which is right on the ocean. They have a fabulous happy hour that offers small plates and specially priced drinks.
My parents and my sister and her family have lived in Melbourne Beach for years, and I have fallen in love with the town and the beaches. Jim and I have spent many weekends in Melbourne Beach and it is one of my favorite places. There’s lots to love about Melbourne Beach. Pack your swim suit, sundress, and a cooler and head South!
Photos courtesy of Jennifer and Brad Helin, my sister and brother-in-law who live work and play in Melbourne Beach.