Last time I visited Melbourne, FL was about 13 years ago.
I was a single mom at the time and moved to Orlando, FL to be near my own mother. I remember having days when I was really, really sad and on those days, I would pack up my little baby, not even a year old yet, and we would take the hour drive out of Orlando, past Cocoa beach and straight to were highway A1A ended, on Melbourne Beach. I think I discovered it by accident, on one of my absolute saddest days when I just wanted to keep on driving till I could no more, where the path ended at clear blue waters and white sandy beaches.
I fell in love with this quiet beach town immediately and returned to it often when I needed to escape my life.
During my most recent trip I find my days to be a lot brighter, my boy is now 14 and I am happily married with two more boys to share my life with.
But I sought refuge once again in Melbourne beach after a fun, yet busy few days at Disney. When thinking of going to a place that would be quiet and serene, that would provide a great escape before we returned to our every day life, this place came to mind.
It has changed somewhat in the past 13 years. The economy has hit it hard as seen in the many for sale signs of the newly developed beach houses. The beaches are still as beautiful as I remember them to be, and though a lot of the quiet had to do with the fact that it’s still not beach season for tourists in Florida, the beaches span so far that you never really feel too crowded.
Melbourne Beach is the oldest beach located in Brevard County, home of the Kennedy Space Center, Brevard Zoo, as well as Cocoa Beach about 15 minutes closer to Orlando. It is also close to where Port Canaveral, where the Disney Cruises dock.
There are plenty of big, well-known and reputable hotel chains along the beaches, from Hilton to Radisson as well as smaller motels and B&B and condos for rent. We stayed in an ocean-view, double bed suite at the Crown Plaza. We got a great rate on the room, about $180.00 a night (50% lower than in high season) and had a fabulous view of the beach.
The hotel itself needs a little TLC in the dining area and lower lobby, but the rooms and bathrooms were renovated and everything was clean and the beds were comfortable. I was also very pleased with the friendliness of the staff and the customer service they provided.
The hotel also offers all the amenities a family could need, from laundry room to small microwave and fridge in room, as well as free WiFi! The restaurant food is was delicious – I recommend the chef’s award winning seafood chowder and crab BLT.
Our days here were spent playing and walking in the beach, enjoying the colorful sunsets, and laying in the sun.
When we did leave the hotel, it was to grab a sundae at the nearby Friendly’s and visit the Sebastian Inlet State Park, about 35 minutes away (with $8.00 parking fee).
Saying that we had a wonderful time is an understatement. We came back home relaxed, happy, and delighted with each other as the area provided us with a great balance of activities and rest time to really connect and spend time as a family.
Melbourne, FL has a special place in my heart and I look forward to enjoying many more visits with my beautiful family in the coming years.
To see more of photos of our visit, please visit Melbourne, FL Photography.