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Melbourne Basics


Located on the east coast of Florida, Melbourne is a coastal town that is a surfer’s paradise and beach dweller’s dream. The area in which Melbourne is located is referred to as the Space Coast due to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in nearby Cape Canaveral. In addition to NASA, the Space Coast is home to a chain of cities along the Atlantic Ocean that include Port Canaveral, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and Melbourne, which is the halfway point between Jacksonville and Miami.

Melbourne itself offers semi-tropical weather, epic views, killer waves, oceanfront restaurants and many cultural activities. Locals take advantage of year-round golf, water sports and shopping and get to the beach as often as possible since there are 33 miles of non-crowded, powder-sand beaches in the area. This sandy stretch from Sebastian to Cocoa Beach is arguably the best in Florida, and you’ll notice a lot of friendly locals who seem to really love their laidback coastal way of life.

Nearby Cocoa Beach is known as “the small wave capital of the world” and is the home of surfing star Kelly Slater. Slater has a record 11 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Champion titles under his belt, including five consecutive titles from 1994-98 and is both the youngest and the oldest to win the title (first at age 20, and then again at age 39). With Slater’s hometown and worldwide popularity, it is no coincidence that surf shops are quite popular in the area, so much so that one in particular stays open for 24 hours to serve the surfers.

If shopping is your thing, there are plenty of boutiques and thrift shops to soak up as much of the carefree bohemian vibe Melbourne and the surrounding areas have to offer. And after a long day of shopping (and/or surfing) there is no shortage of bars and restaurants where happy hours are frequented by many and often turn into sandy sunsets. After all, it’s a bit easier to enjoy life when you get an average 300 days of sunshine a year and the temperature is usually an ideal 72 degrees.

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