Things to do merritt island florida

Things to do Merritt Island Florida

In this post, I will describe the many fun things to do  Merritt Island Florida while you are relaxing and unwinding on your vacation.

About Merritt Island

Merritt Island is a census-designated place in Brevard County, Florida, located on the eastern Floridian coast, along the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 34,743. Wikipedia

Merritt Island is interconnected to the Florida peninsula and adjacent islands by bridges and causeways,

With a Merritt Island Vacation, you can plan a memorable Florida vacation for your family that you have always imagined.

If Orlando theme parks are part of your plans, then Merritt Island is only forty miles away from Orlando. You can visit the parks by day and return to the comforts of your vacation rental by night.

We also provide you with great amenities for those days you just want to sit back and enjoy the comforts of your private pool and hot tub.

If spending some time on the beach is part of the plan, you can immerse yourself on nearby Cocoa Beach.

Or a multitude of beaches along the coast from Cape Canaveral Beach to Miami. Enjoy a unique experience of its natural beauty.

Soak up those sun rays while enjoying the beautiful waters of Florida. The weather is fabulous Merritt Island. Allow us to showcase the things to do on your vacation in Merritt Island to enhance your Florida experience.

Merritt Island is Florida biggest island with twice as much water than land. There are many interesting points of interest in Brevard County.

The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

In addition to its proximity to Port Canaveral, this park boasts of several animals and plant species. As one of your things to do in Merritt Island, you should consider visiting the Merritt National Wildlife Refuge while visiting the park.

The refuge is about 140000 acres large and is home to numerous bird and wildlife species. If you are looking forward to exploring the various bird species, you should visit the reserve between autumn and spring.

This is a period when more than 350 bird species fly across the refuge during their annual migration. Additionally, the park has more than 1,000 plant species and is bustling with wildlife throughout the year including snakes, bald eagles, and sea turtles.

For visitors keen on fun open air exercises, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge might be a decent alternative. This untamed life shelter comprises of about 140,000 sections of land of land and is home to than 300 types of natural life species that guests may see including bald eagles, ocean manatees, gators and ocean turtles.

Tourists can also take a drive through the Black Point Wildlife Drive to view different types of plants, waterfowl, and shorebirds.

The Kennedy Space Center

Next to the wildlife reserve is the Kennedy Space Center. It is another place you should consider visiting during your vacation in Merritt Island. Should you time it right, you could even catch a rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center.

Not only is this the only functioning space shuttle site in the country, but also features a rich history and an array of attractions.

Some of the attractions offered by the center include IMAX movies, which are screened in the Visitor Complex.
If your child is taller than 44 inches, he or she will have the opportunity to experience the Shuttle Launch Experience. This is offered through a motion simulator ride for the kids.

For space enthusiasts and tourists, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex may be a fun attraction, offering bus tours, the chance to have lunch with astronauts and the ability to view more than 60 interactive exhibits.

Bus tours drive visitors through sites of launch pads. They get to see a Saturn rocket that is 363 feet in length, notes

At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, another popular attraction is the Shuttle Launch Experience, a simulation of a shuttle launch.

Shopping Merritt Island Fl.

The Merritt Square Mall Located 777 E Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island, FL 32952 the Merritt Square Mall offers a variety of shopping options in an air condition environment. With over ninety stores you will defiantly find what you’re looking for.

Merritt Square Mall

Merritt Square Mall

It is a clean, quiet indoor mall in comparison to what you will find in Orlando or south Palm Beach County or Washington D.C. I have no problem with quiet; I choose Merritt Island to purchase my retirement home because I needed to get away from the madness of bigger cities. Plus we have a beautiful ocean and Cocoa Beach just around the corner.

Sure, it’s not perfect. But it has almost everything the locals need with some key anchor stores. The anchors are JC Penny, Macy, Sears, and Dillards.

Movies Anyone?

Cob theaters in the mall have sixteen theaters. It’s a well-appointed multiplex movie house featuring digital projection, stadium seating, IMAX, and 3D.

Walmart Supercenter

Walmart Superstore Merritt Island

Walmart Superstore Merritt Island

The Walmart Supercenter on 1500 E Merritt Island Causeway is also a good bet for finding just about anything including groceries and general merchandise at a reasonable price, no need for me to say anymore because I’m sure most of you have a Walmart in your town.

Ron Jon Surf Shop

Ron Jon Cocoa Beach

Ron Jon Surf Shop

The Ron Jon Surf Shop at 4151 N Atlantic Ave in Cocoa Beach is a landmark and a must visit. Open twenty-four hours for your convenience. In addition to the surfer shop and boards, you will find swimwear, apparel & accessories for beach life and collectors and souvenirs to take back home.

Bealls outlet

Bealls outlet across from the Ron Jon Surf Shop is a great place to dig around for deals that is if you like barging shopping. If you have the time to poke around, I guaranty that you will find something you want or don’t want at a ridiculously low price.










Historic Cocoa Village and Cocoa Village Playhouse

Historic Cocoa Village and Cocoa Village Playhouse

If you’re into a bit of American history, you should plan to visit Historic Cocoa Village, and Cocoa Village Playhouse, and cocoa riverfront park. It is the downtown core of the City of Cocoa.

Cocoa Village is a measure aside from busyness and a step back into time. It is a quaint part of town that offers artsy, coastal- free market, clothes boutiques, bamboo, and themed stores, together with a mixed bag of cafes and eateries.

It is Ideal for window shopping or enjoying just a pleasant stroll with your spouse in the afternoon. I don’t recommend you visit on Sundays because most of the shops are close.

Park and walk

It is only two maybe three blocks, with tree-lined streets that give you the feel as if you are somewhere in Europe. If you want to immerse yourself in the culture of the village, I recommend you park your car and walk.

Cocoa Village is one of those unique shopping and dining experience in a relaxing setting with a small town vibe.

Each store is exceptional and unique, and all have great finds, In comparison to those cookie cutter stores you find in malls.

Cocoa Village has loads of benches outside for the guys to sit, relax, and people watch as your partner or spouse hunt for that unique souvenirs to take home.

Stroll along the old, tree-lined roads and stores. Enjoy the relaxing feeling of a riverside community that many call is home.

Dine at one of our gourmet restaurants like Thai Thai Village Sushi or lunch at Ryan’s Village Pizza & Pub with a great view of the river.

If you are into theater and plays, the highlight of your visit should include a show at the historic Cocoa Village Playhouse. Cocoa Village is renowned for its local theater that has top notch musical productions.

Cocoa Village Playhouse

Created as the “Aladdin” theater, the doors opened showing silent movies. Afterward, Brevard’s first “talkie movie house that is ” became known as “the showplace of the Indian RiverZection”. Several decades and several owners after, the Town of Cocoa bought the building and renamed The Cocoa Village Playhouse.

Brevard Community College District Board of Trustees got the building. The school make the theater work in the best interest of the community and would take the duty of ownership.

The Trustees promptly created a 501(c)(3) not for profit Direct Support Organization with its Board of Directors. The mandate of the board was to make the Playhouse self-supporting.

The Playhouse started making community-based musicals in 1989 and was re-established working. As the scheduling became popular and grew, the Stars of Tomorrow Youth program was created. It began in 1992 starting with eight young people and has over 264 participants each season featuring youth ages 7.

The performer foundation has grown to over 600 volunteers who rotate with a core group referred to as the “Gold Star Performers” who perform in back-to-back performances each season throughout the generations each year.

Each year the Playhouse is supported by a crowd foundation of 4,000 season supporters and performances are run till each production finishes.

Major Renovations

In the summer of 2014, a $500,000 renovation job financed by a grant through the State of Florida to update the foyer and of areas mezzanine the theater was completed.

The Directors for the Playhouse and the City are excited about the future of the old community theater in Cocoa Village.

To date, the Playhouse has experienced remarkable renovations, including the building of a three-story technical support annex attached to the historic facility. The annex has empowered its operations to enlarge to include community occasions, peculiarity performances, and a community ballet company. Each year a recognized crowd base of 4,200 season patrons supports the theater. Each production regularly sells out before the run of each production is finished

Known to all as “Broadway on Brevard”, this team, staff, and volunteers are an excellent example of quality community best theaters in the state of Florida.

The Historic Cocoa Village Association

The Historic Cocoa Village Association (HCVA) represents nearly all the retailers in Cocoa Village. The HCVA’s mandate it to help support and boost the City of Cocoa and development of the Historic Cocoa Village community. The association sponsored and coordinate actions and community events in the area.

Capital raised, support various promotions, tourism development, and general marketing. The HCVA’s occasions that are most notable includes four Art and Craft Fairs, the Spring and Autumn Central Florida Car Shows, four yearly sip & strool and Blues & BBQ.

The HCVA also partners with Cocoa Main Street merchants in the participation of various other community events, plus the City of Cocoa supports actions and events throughout the year.

History of Cocoa

The first families to find Cocoa were Fishermen. They erected a post office at Magnolia Point. The city built the first commercial building around 1881.

The source of the name of the town is not certain. In 1925, the Cocoa Tribune printed several subscriber-provided reports of the naming of the city.

One reader credited Captain R.C. May for advocating the name at a town meeting in 1884. Further to Captain May’s idea, the group eventually picked the name “Cocoa” for the town’s organization with the cocoa tree.

Another narrative implies that a box of baker’s hot chocolate inspired an old woman and her idea was adopted. Another variation suggests that the bank of the Indian River dwelt an old lady who does provide sailors with hot cocoa as they traveled along the river.

As they passed, they might call out “hot chocolate, hot chocolate” until the girl provided them with refreshment. Whatever its source the name Cocoa had become forever connected with what was then an infant settlement.

In 1894 the City created its first charter. In the winter of 1894-1895, Cocoa endured a second severe economic setback when the “Great Freeze” ruined the citrus harvest and driven many citrus workers to seek new professions.

Population Development

During the second decade of the 20th century, economic development and population growth in Cocoa quickened. By 1930, the population had increased to 2,200.

The population increased dramatically following the development of the space industry, quadrupling from 3,098 in 1940 to 12,244 in 1960. Also, the surrounding region and Cocoa incorporated for the very first time with the tourism sector. Thousands came to witness the space launches.

Segregation was in full effect up until the 1960s. Elementary schools for black pupils including Monroe High School closed.

In 1964, the city assembled the Cocoa Expo Sports Center (Cocoa Stadium). The Colt 45s used the stadium for spring baseball training and Grapefruit League games.

The team became the Houston Astros. In the early 1980s, by requesting the Astros to pay for needed repairs the city tried to update the arena. In 1985, the team reacted by transferring its training. Because of this, the county authorities would be responsible for future discussions with major league teams.

Sometime in the 1970’s the downtown area of Cocoa went through a revitalization. They renovated the shopping district and Waterfront Park.

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Destination Port Canaveral

When considering a Florida premier vacation destinations. People usually start looking at the traditional areas like Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and so on. The seldom think destination Port Canaveral a place to consider.

It is a common misconception. There are other destinations in Florida with the same lucrative amenities as beautiful areas. however, if you are a natural born Floridian, you wouldn’t think to associate Port Canaveral with more than just a destination where you would go to board a cruise ship.

After reading this article, you will see just how much more there is to do and see. The Cocoa Beach,   Merrit Island and Cape Canaveral destination can also be a one stop shop for pleasant family vacation. It’s no longer just a place to depart.

Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral is a customer-friendly entry to leisure destinations and leading consumer marketplaces.

Strategically situated on the east coast of central Florida, you can expect shippers, freight lines and cruise lines, companies and vacationers.

The abilities of a first class deepwater port with the advantages of relaxed approach and an uncongested setting.

Canaveral Cove

Welcome Canaveral Cove

Port Canaveral has more leisure facilities than all other Florida Ports joined, including Cove harbor-side and our new Quest Tower dining and retail space. You may also appreciate Port Canaveral’s fishing charters, Jetty Park and nearby Kelly Park. Jetty Park is a 5-acre ocean front beach complete with boat ramps, fishing pier, campground, picnic zones and new refreshment and food concession pavilion.

Cruise Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral is Florida’s quickest growing and is an original area of departure cruise port. Located only 45 miles east of Orlando in Florida space coast.

Numerous visitors have discovered how easy and pleasant it is to travel from Orlando’s Entertaining Port. Our uncongested highways feature digital signage along I-95 and State Road 528.

From our convenient airports Orlando International, Orlando Sanford and Melbourne International arriving at Port Canaveral are stress-free, easy and straightforward.

The cruise terminals are advanced, new and ultra modern, designed to improve your general cruise experience from the minute you enter the terminals until you board your luxurious cruise ship.

Port Canaveral offers a variety of package options that is sure not to break the bank. As a matter of fact, you can sail for just the weekend or up to ten days. Whatever you decide I’m sure there is a package tailored to your needs. Cruise to the Bahamas, Southern, Western and Eastern Caribbean and other tropical destinations.

The selection of ships includes  Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International.

Victory Casino Cruise

You can also sail daily on five-hour junkets to nowhere. Victory Casino cruise can be the cruise for you if you need to test your fortune and the waters. They will take you into international waters where it is legal for you to gamble.

Destination Port Canaveral

Destination Port Canaveral Victory Casino Cruise

As a bonus, vacationers who rent spots on the camp grounds earn free tickets to board the casino ship. There is never a dull moment, with 600 slot machines, 30 game tables, and a verity of food options. In addition to trying your hand at the different games available on board, you can also enjoy cocktails that are hand delivered by the victory girls.

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Fishing Cocoa Beach Pier fl

Fishing Cocoa Beach Pier fl.

Most people already know that Florida is a great holiday destination. In fact, the most difficult choice seems to be deciding where to go on your next vacation adventure. If you are finding yourself in search of a place that has surf, the sunshine, and great fishing then look no further than Cocoa Beach. While there, you can stay at an Airbnb property on Merritt Island. You will be staying in the lap of luxury while fishing Cocoa Beach pier by day, and enjoying great dining and cocktails by the pool. This is the stuff that great holidays are made of.

Things To Do At the Cocoa Beach Pier

With some of the beautiful and serene coastline in the region, there is no shortage of stuff to do at the Cocoa Beach Pier. The motto of this holiday destination is that the pier is about much more than fishing; it’s an adventure. That is certainly the case. The pier itself is a historic landmark conveniently located on the Space Coast of Florida. Cocoa Beach Pier fishing is made so great because it stretches some 800 feet out over the Atlantic Ocean. Not only does this provide fishers a great view of the water out on the horizon, but it also provides ample space for everyone to cast their line and catch their fair lot of fish.

Beyond fishing Cocoa Beach pier, guests can enjoy the numerous restaurants serving up fresh seafood. Pelican’s Bar and Grill, for example, has been serving the residents and tourists of Cocoa Beach for decades. They have been around so long for a reason. Their food is that good, and the service is warm and gracious with each and every visit.

The next time you’re there, consider the fisherman’s platter to get more than your fill. You will likely have plenty to take home for the next day as well. Pelican’s Bar and Grill is not shy about giving you exactly what you order. At this restaurant, and others on the pier, you will find a complete lineup of beers on tap, all housed in a bar setting that is a replica of the bars of old. It is truly a memorable experience to eat and drink here, and with the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean to calm you.

Plan Your Next Holiday Now

So, what are you waiting for? Cocoa Beach Pier fishing is an excellent way to relax, enjoy the company of friends and family, and recharge your batteries. The AirBNB property on Merritt Island is a great place to call home base. It is easy to get around and enjoy all of the many attractions of the area, with the pier certainly being among the highlights.
At Cocoa Beach Pier, you don’t even have to bring your equipment, as a complete array of poles and tackle can be rented for a nominal charge. Beyond the great fishing and dining options, you can engage in a game beach volleyball, go surfing, and enjoy the safety and security that comes with lifeguards being on duty year round.

A Bit of History

Cocoa Beach Pier is considered a historic landmark on Florida’s Space Coast and a piece of Florida’s history. Cocoa Beach Pier was built in 1962 by local businessman Richard Stottler and it’s more than Just a Fishing Pier.

The world-famous Cocoa Beach Pier stretches 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. The Pier was originally known as Canaveral Pier. It was originally built with more than 2.5 miles of boardwalk boards and 270 pilings, each 40 feet in length.

Since the creation, the Cocoa Beach Pier has been a favorite place where both locals and tourists frequent. The Pier has undergone many changes over the years. It is noted that longtime locals remember the days in the early 1960s when people could drive their auto right up onto the Pier itself.

The Pier, like many places in Cocoa Beach also offered a magnificent view for the Mercury, Apollo and Space Shuttle launches at nearby Cape Canaveral. (which was known as “Cape Kennedy” in honour of President John F. Kennedy between 1963 and 1973). Celebrated astronauts such as Alan Shepard, the first American in space, reportedly visited the Cocoa Beach Pier.

Surfing Capital of the East Coast

Surfing Cocoa Beach

Surfing Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach progressed into the “Surfing Capital of the East Coast” and the Pier became the centre of surfing activity in the area. It attracting people like Dick Catri (some considered him the “Godfather of East Coast Surfing”). As well as Cocoa Beach native and 11-time world champion Robert Kelly Slater. He is an American professional surfer known for his competitive prowess and style.

For a matter of fact, one of the original Ron Jon Surf Shops opened directly on the Pier around 1963, the small surf shop was so successful that the owner Ron DiMenna moved to a larger location at Ron Jon’s present location at State Road 520 and A1A.

More History

The Pier is also the site of immensely popular annual surfing, fundraising and social events. In the spring of 2014, David Siegel, President and CEO of Westgate Resorts, and his longtime business associate Jim Gissy purchased the Pier from the original owners, the Stottler family. Both men have strong ties to the Central Florida region and look forward to continuing and enhancing the wonderful traditions of the Cocoa Beach Pier.

Back in the day, Cocoa Beach Pier was also home of a popular bustling dance club called Asylum. Which had a fantastic cosmic lighted dance floor and live rock music. Numerous musical acts have played at the Pier over the years. Artist such as BTO, The Edgar Winter Group, Beach Boys, Flock of Seagulls, UB40, Ziggy Marley, Maxi Priest and more.

Cocoa Beach Pier FL

Cocoa beach Pier from the beach

The Pier experienced a $2 million makeover and expansion In 1983. The award-winning Pier House Restaurant . today it’s known as the Atlantic Ocean grille.

The restaurant has been awarded “Best in Brevard” and “Best Restaurant with a View” by Florida Today newspaper. In 1984, the Pier changed its name from Canaveral Pier to its present name, Cocoa Beach Pier. The first Cocoa Beach Fest was held at the Pier in 1989.

Today, the Pier attracts more than one million visitors annually and is home to four restaurants, five tropical bars, gift shops and boutiques. It is also a desirable destination for visiting cruise ships passengers.
The Cocoa Beach Pier provides a graceful location with remarkable ocean views for the unspoiled beach wedding, vow renewal, or reception.

Cocoa Beach Pier has developed a status over the years for its great fishing! You can catch anything depending on the season. Pier fishing opens at 6 AM daily.


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Kelly Park Merritt Island Florida

Kelly Park Merritt Island Florida is located just off the #528 at 2550 N. Banana River Drive Merritt Island, FL 32952. It is a 15 –acre River Park universally renowned for its windsurfing and fishing on the Banana River.

It features a sailboard/windsurfing staging area with sandy beach and shower, boat ramps with dock and nearby parking for your cars and boat trailers.


KellyPark Merritt Island Calema Windsurfing

Stay close to the park in a vacation home. Currently, Kelly Park receives more than 200, 000 visitors every year. Hence it is one of the most popular parks in the Merritt Island Florida region. Its popularity may be attributed to the many attractions and amenities it offers.

They include boat ramps and docks, expansive parking lots for boat trailers and cars. You will also find grills, restaurants, a scenic lagoon, a fishing pier and boardwalk. Kelly Park hosts a large number of visitors—especially in summer and during holidays.

Kelly Park Merritt Island

Kelly Park Merritt Island

During such days, the park is normally filled to capacity a few hours to mid-morning. Currently, there is a maximum number of visitors who can be allowed into the park every day. This capping was introduced to offer a unique recreational experience. You should consider booking early to partake in various recreational activities in this park. Kelly Park has many attractions to offer you during your vacation, some of which are described below.

Near a small picturesque lagoon, a paved walkway connects a modest-size pavilion. You will also find grills, bathrooms, drinking water and recreation facilities.

With magnificent waterfront view, two small pavilions and picnic tables offer ample seating at the river’s edge. On any giving day, you can watch the windsurfers as they go by on the Banana River.

It is the perfect location to teach younger children to do shoreline fishing while having a picnic. Kelly Park also attracts various organizations and groups during the year. If you are planning to bring a large group of people to Kelly Park, I recommend you make reservations.

Fishing is a big deal in Florida, and Brevard County is no exception.
It seems to be the right mixture of saltwater, mangrove shorelines and grass flats creating some remarkable game fishing. Anglers come in search of redfish, sea trout, tarpon and many other species of fish.

They start coming in as early as 4 AM in the morning to launch their boats.
In most areas, the average depth of the brackish water is only ten feet. In the early mornings or afternoons, it is common to see dolphins chasing the various species of game fish.

Depending on the time of year, you will see different types of birds. Including Migratory Ducks such as Green-Winged Teal, Common and Red-throated Loon, Horned Grebe, Shorebirds, and Waders.

The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
In addition to its proximity to Port Canaveral. You should consider visiting Merritt National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is about 140000 acres large and is home to numerous bird and wildlife species. You should visit the reserve between autumn and spring. This is a period when more than 350 bird species fly across the reserve during their annual migration. Additionally, the park has more than 1,000 plant species and is bustling with wildlife throughout the year.

The Kennedy Space Center.
Next to the wildlife reserve is the Kennedy Space Center. This is another place you should consider visiting during your vacation. Not only is this the only functioning space shuttle site in the country. It also features a rich history and an array of attractions. IMAX movies are screen in the Visitor Complex. If your child is taller than 44 inches, he or she will have the opportunity to experience the Shuttle Launch Experience. This is offered through a motion simulator ride for the kids.

If you are traveling from the Orlando Airport, it is an easy drive with little or no turns. After you exit the airport and head east on 520 for exactly 40 miles, then turn on exit 52 or Banana River Drive. Head south for a couple of hundred yards and you will see Kelly Park on the left.

Kelly Park West.
On the west side of banana river drive, south of Kelly Park ease is Kelly Park West. It is a 41-acre community park with fields with tennis courts, soccer fields. The paved walkway around the areas is ideal for excising including walking and as running tracks.

The Sign for Kelly Park West

The Sign for Kelly Park West

It also has a playground, concession facility, washrooms, a small fishing pier on a small brackish lake, drinking fountain pavilion and five grills add convenience for planned youth athletics at this park.

View of cruise ships from kelly-park

View of Port Canaveral from Kelly Park


Parking, Restrooms, Pavilion, Playground, Boat Dock, Concrete Walkway


Service animals only or dogs on short leash and only when leading dog between vehicle and boat.
Alcoholic beverages in designated areas only.
Other restrictions as posted.

Features and activities:

Beach Boat Ramp Dock
Drinking Fountain Fishing Grassy Activity Area
Grilling Stations Horseshoe Pit Non-Motorized Boat Launch
Parking Picnic Pavilion Picnic Table
Playground Restroom Shower
Volleyball Court Wildlife Viewing Wind Surfing

Looking for a place to stay on your next vacation?
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