Best Things to Do in Melbourne, Florida

Looking for a truly eclectic Central Florida travel experience? Carve out some time in your itinerary to explore the best things to do in Melbourne, Florida. Set in Brevard County, this Florida beach town is a key Space Coast destination with two must-see neighbors: Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy all that Melbourne has to offer.

Half mainland, half island, this unique coastal gem is a tech boomtown. But Melbourne is also home to a wealth of historic and cultural attractions, welcoming all comers with its blend of urban energy and smalltown charm. Whether you’re a science nerd, outdoor enthusiast, food & drink connoisseur, culture vulture, or beach lover, you’ll find plenty to satisfy your travel appetite.

Ready to mix it up on the Space Coast? Blast off with this complete guide to the best places to visit in Melbourne, FL.

Best places to visit in Melbourne, FL

Melbourne Beach Pier

In the mood for a scenic stroll over the water? Head to the Melbourne Beach Pier. Built in 1889 by the Melbourne and Atlantic Railroad Company, the pier is now a national historic site. Used by freighters to deliver goods from the mainland to the island, Melbourne Beach Pier also acted as a ferry terminal to deliver beach-seeking tourists to the island. This intriguing structure remained a commercial hub until well into the 20th century.

Melbourne Beach Pier

Today, Melbourne Beach Pier is all about calm and relaxation. Stroll along its 650 feet for a beautiful view of the Indian River Lagoon. If fishing’s your thing, bring your rod: the pier is a perfect spot to cast a fishing line. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of dolphins and manatees.

At the end of the day, stake out one of the benches at the end of the fishing pier. It’s the perfect place to take in one of the most beautiful sunsets on Florida’s Space Coast.

Brevard Zoo

Looking for a surefire family adventure around Melbourne? Brevard Zoo is a winner with kids of all ages. Stretching out over 75 acres, this non-profit zoological park is home to more than 195 fascinating species.

Wildlife enthusiasts: you’re in for a treat. The Brevard Zoo was designed to mimic the natural habitat of each animal’s original environment.  Even better, you can explore each habitat in unique ways.

Caracara Bird at Brevard Zoo

Put on your hiking shoes to take a kangaroo walkabout. Invite a giraffe to eat right from your hand. Kayak around the Expedition Africa Exhibit, or paddle around two dozen acres of restored wetlands in the Wild Florida Exhibit.

Looking for an adrenaline rush? Take to the air to zip line through an African or South American environment and get a birds-eye view of crocs and gators.

Ready for a break? Head to the cafe for a snack, put your feet up, and catch your breath.

Wickham Park

On the hunt for a Brevard County destination that offers a tasty menu of recreational options? Pack up your gear and head to Wickham Park. Nestled in beautiful pine forests, this 400-acre park has something for every age and appetite.

Feeling energetic? Take your pick of outdoor activities. Take a dip, pitch a horseshoe, or test your archery aim. Frisbee fanatics will definitely want to play a round at the disc golf course. Are you a team player?  Hit the volleyball court or the soccer field to get your heart pumping.

Wickham Park

Want to simply take in the beauty of your surroundings? Walk, run, or ride on horseback along the nature trails. Treat your pooch to a romp in the dog park. When you’ve worked up an appetite, take a break and have a snack at one of the park’s many pavilions or picnic tables.

Tempted to linger? No problem. With its 133 campsites, facility hookups, laundry facilities, and shower rooms, Wickham Park makes it easy to make a night of it.

Cocoa Beach Pier

Want to experience the sizzle of one of the hottest places to visit on Florida’s Space Coast? Set your compass for the world-famous Cocoa Beach Pier. The scenic fishing pier dwells in the city of Cocoa Beach, FL, known as the “surfing capital of the East Coast.”

Built nearly 50 years ago, this beachside marvel stretches 800 feet over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Home to irresistible restaurants, shops, bars, and live music, Cocoa Beach Pier offers treats for every taste.

Space Coast

For anglers, Cocoa Beach Pier is a fishing paradise. Grab your rod & reel and cast in a line to see what bites. Need to get more active? Hit the volleyball courts for a friendly game in the sand. Or just soak up some sun and cool off in the turquoise surf of Cocoa Beach.

Feeling adventurous? Head to nearby Ron Jon Surf Shop to rent a board to experience the magic of this surfing paradise.

When you’re ready to call it a day, gear up to sample Cocoa Beach’s nightlife. Settle in at one of the pier’s great restaurants or bars, listen to live music, and savor the laid-back surf scene.  

Sebastian Inlet State Park

Looking for a place to indulge your love of fishing? Give in to your inner angler at Sebastian Inlet State Park, a renowned destination on Florida’s Space Coast. The water here teems with species like mackerel and bluefish.

Settle yourself on a jetty and cast a line. Bonus for fishing fans: the park is home to the Sebastian Fishing Museum, documenting the fascinating history of the regional fishing industry.

Sebastian Inlet State Park

There’s plenty more to enjoy at Sebastian Inlet State Park. Swim, scuba, snorkel, or shell. Surfers will want to catch a wave at world-renowned spots like First Peak and Monster Hole. Animal lovers can head on over to Bayside Marina to catch glimpses of manatees and dolphins.

Prefer to stay on dry land? Hike the mile-long Hammock Trail for views of the local wildlife. Want to take it easy? Stake out a spot on one of the park’s unspoiled beaches, soak up some rays, and savor a beautiful sunset.

Kennedy Space Center

Want to explore the final frontier? Have an out-of-this-world experience at Cape Canaveral’s Kennedy Space Center, ground zero for U.S. space missions for generations.  Prepare to be awed by thousands of exhibits that tell the story of humans in space.

Kennedy Space Center

Explore every era of the space program through guided tours, interactive displays, and visits to launch sites. Be dazzled by larger-than-life shows at the site’s IMAX theaters. Have an up-close experience with historic spacecraft and other space mission artifacts. Think you’ve got the right stuff? Try your hand at the Shuttle Launch Experience or the docking simulator.

Ready to return to Earth? Enjoy a gentle landing at the adjacent Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, home to one of the largest populations of endangered and threatened species in the U.S.

Explore habitats ranging from dunes to saltwater marshes to hardwood hammocks. Pack your binoculars to spot locals like migratory birds, bobcats, and manatees.

(And keep an eye on the sky for the next NASA launch.)

Andretti Thrill Park

Want to get your pulse pounding? Adrenaline junkies can put the pedal to the metal and cruise on over to the Andretti Thrill Park, hands-down the most thrilling place to visit in Melbourne. The park is a one-stop shop for every age and adventure-seeking level, so it’s a perfect choice for groups and families. No NASCAR knowledge is required.

With the park bearing the name “Andretti,” you can count on lots of racing options here. Count ‘em: five different go-kart racing tracks. But don’t put the brakes on there. The vast amusement park is wide open for mini-golf, rock climbing, zip-lining, mini golf, mini bowling, and laser tag. Pinball wizards will want to check out the expansive and awesome arcade.

Tip for parents: fuel up for this one; the kids will want to motor on here ’til they’re out of gas!

Manatee Cove Park

Think manatees are mythical creatures? Think again—and get up close and personal to see these amazing mammals at Manatee Cove Park on Merritt Island. Manatees are among the most iconic and intriguing of all native Florida species. And Manatee Cove Park is the best place to go in Melbourne to view these unique animals in their natural habitat.

These mammoths are slow-moving and chubby (often referred to as “sea cows”), growing to a massive size of up to 1,200 pounds, making them a big-time favorite of sealife fans.     

Set yourself up at one of the Manatee Cove Park’s many observation areas to view these gentle giants at rest or at play. The warm water here teems with life, so you’re likely to catch glimpses of other residents, including bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, mullets, and terns. 

Feel like stretching your legs? Hit the scenic trails that meander around the park’s lagoon. When you’re ready for a break, fire up one of the built-in grills and refuel.

Joy & Gordon Patterson Botanical Garden

Looking for a green getaway? You’ll discover it at the Joy & Gordon Patterson Botanical Garden. Set on the grounds of the Florida Institute of Technology, this 15-acre garden is an oasis of natural beauty. Also known as the Florida Tech Garden, it’s one of the most unique campus-based botanical gardens of its kind in the continental U.S.

Take a refreshing break from the urban bustle, and savor serenity. A stream bordered by palm trees and other tropical vegetation winds through the heart of the campus.

Stroll the site’s scenic walking paths to view tranquil ponds, fountains, and palm trees. View the beautifully maintained Florida native flowers and plants. Want to really chill out? Enjoy a serene swing in a hammock. (And, yes, they’re tied to the palm trees. How’s that for bucolic bliss?)

Hope you packed a picnic because this is the perfect spot to enjoy it while luxuriating in one of Melbourne’s most beautiful places to visit.

Liberty Bell Memorial Museum

Want a close-up view of American history? Take a walk through the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum, one of the top tourist attractions in Melbourne. History buffs will delight in a treasure trove of displays detailing the history of America.

The site is dedicated to preserving both regional and national history. Head into Freedom Hall, a site designed to pay tribute to the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces. View impressive displays of military awards and decorations.

Explore the museum’s Rotunda of American history, focusing on major milestones in America’s past. Follow the fascinating sequence of documents and memorabilia that recount American history. Take in reproductions of some of the country’s important documents, like the Mayflower Compact

See and touch a faithful replica of the renowned Liberty Bell, originally cast in 1751. Check out an array of exhibits that bring Florida’s past to life, among them pre-revolutionary era artifacts and objects preserved from Melbourne’s naval air space station.

Foosaner Art Museum

Want to feed your inner artist? Satisfy your cultural cravings at the Foosaner Art Museum in Melbourne’s Eau Gallie Arts District. Set on the banks of the Indian River, this venue has been collecting and exhibiting a world-class collection for over 40 years. It’s a must-see place to visit for art enthusiasts.

Explore this impressive array of over 5,000 works spanning 20 centuries. The museum regularly rotates its temporary exhibits, so you’ll be treated to something new and fresh each time you visit.

Take advantage of the art gallery’s educational focus. Whatever your age, dive into a hands-on experience with painting, pottery, and printmaking instructional programs and activities.

And be sure to take a stroll around the Eau Gallie Arts District. The trendy neighborhood is a magnet for visitors. Amble through the shops and art galleries of Eau Gallie Arts District, and take in some vivid murals and live music along the way. Color and culture burst forth with every step!

Rossetter House Museum

Ready to take a trip back in time? Plan a visit to the Rossetter House Museum and Gardens, a beautifully preserved remnant of the Sunshine State’s storied past. Located just south of the arts district, this popular Melbourne museum is a must-see for history buffs.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the site is comprised of the 1865 Houston Cemetery, the 1892 Roesch House, and the 1908 Rossetter House and Gardens. Stroll the immaculately maintained home, gardens, and cemetery and get a unique glimpse into another era.

Take a walk through the Rossetter House Museum to view antiques and exhibits detailing local history. Opt for a guided tour, and you’ll be treated to a lively recounting of the site’s past.

Browse the charming Ella’s Closet Gift Shop, and purchase a book on local Florida history. It’ll be a perfect memento of your visit to the Space Coast.

Historic Downtown Melbourne

Want to experience small-town charm without leaving the city? Make Historic Downtown Melbourne your destination. This unique town-within-a-city dates back to the 1800s and reflects a rich history, making it one of the most intriguing places to see in Melbourne.

Historic Downtown Melbourne

Melbourne’s historic downtown is a magnet for locals and visitors alike. You don’t have to be a history nerd to appreciate architectural treasures like the Henegar Center (circa 1919), the Green Gables House, or the Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing Company. But don’t overlook Downtown Melbourne’s wealth of 21st-century attractions.

Explore art galleries, browse an array of stores and shops, and check out crafty vendors for unique souvenirs like handmade candles and ceramics.  Bite into some incredible edibles like homemade chocolate-dipped potato chips (seriously!) at the local candy store. Or take your pick of restaurants for a grownup meal.

Time it right, and you’ll get in on one of the many festivals and events that Melbourne’s downtown. You’ll have a full dance card—guaranteed.

Tank America

Tank America ain’t your grandma’s amusement park. Or maybe it is—if she’s fond of driving tanks over cars and pumping live rounds through military-grade machine guns. One thing’s certain: Tank America is unlike any recreational experience you’ve ever had.

Get your basic on-site training, then hop behind the wheel of a genuine 17-ton tank. Test your driving skills on an authentic Hollywood set as you maneuver around challenging obstacle courses complete with hills and mud holes. Being a Hollywood set, cheesy movie lines are encouraged here as you take aim. (Clint Eastwood, anyone?)

You can choose from a few different activity options at Tank America. Not surprisingly, car crushing tops the price list. If you want to go easier on the wallet, opt for the immersive laser tag experience. This comes complete with screaming jet sound effects and scorched battleground terrain.

Space Coast Stadium

If you’ve been craving a stadium experience, take yourself out to the ball game. Or to several. There’s plenty to see and cheer at the massive USSSA Space Coast complex. For ball fans of all ages, Space Coast Stadium is one of the best places to visit in Melbourne, Florida.

Everything about the Space Coast Stadium is Size Large. It features five practice fields, two half fields, and a stadium diamond.  If you enjoy the roar of the crowd, you’ve come to the right place: the complex has a housing capacity of 8,100. It’s a professional facility, but many of its year-round events are open to the public.

Head down and take a tour, or test your skills in the batting cages. Catch a spring training session. Check out their events calendar, and take your pick of softball, baseball, or soccer action. And get your game face on.

Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands

Ready to explore a beautifully preserved natural environment?  Plan to visit the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands. Featuring both artificial ponds and a deep lake, this site is a part of the Great Florida Bird and Wildlife Trail.

Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands

Pack your binoculars: the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands is a mecca for birders. You’ll be able to spot everything from woodpeckers to raptors to blue herons.  A haven to over 200 bird species, the 200-acre preserve is rich in biodiversity. Photographers will want to bring their gear to capture some great in-flight shots.

But it’s not all about the birds. You can also catch glimpses of other critters like armadillos, raccoons, white-tailed deer, otters, and gators. Hike, bike, or even drive along the wetland’s dikes for a great wildlife viewing experience.

Rehab Vintage Market

Looking to score a rare find? Head on down to Melbourne’s Rehab Vintage Market for a leisurely bout of browsing. Located near the arts district, it’s the perfect spot to scout out one-of-a-kind treasures that are looking for a new home.

Explore this mash-up of vintage, antiques, and cutting-edge style. Rehab Vintage Market is a unique blend of an antique store, junk emporium, and gift shop. The market is a treasure trove of pre-loved items ranging from hand carvings vintage furniture to rate pearl jewelry.

Hunt for bargains, unique keepsakes, and hidden gems at this antique market. Be open to surprising discoveries. But if you have something particular in mind, just let the staff know. They’ll point you in the right direction.

Best places to stay in Melbourne, FL, for sightseeing

Tuckaway Shores Resort

Tuckaway Shores Resort

Located in Indialantic, this oceanfront resort offers some of the best value accommodations in Melbourne, FL. Guests will love the spacious suites, equipped with kitchenettes, as well as the extra amenities, including a heated outdoor pool.

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront

For a mid-range luxury stay, look no further than this oceanfront gem. In this all-suite hotel, each room is equipped with a kitchenette, living area, and private balcony. End your day by soaking up the sun at the beachfront swimming pool or relaxing in the hot tub.

Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront

Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront

With its delightful ocean views, nothing beats spending a night at this beachfront resort. Besides the bright & spacious modern rooms, travelers will luxuriate in several on-site dining & drinking options, including a laid-back poolside bar.

Treksplorer

Treksplorer is a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. Originally launched in 2011 by founder & editor Ryan O'Rourke to document his travels in East Asia & Central Europe, Treksplorer now includes things to do, where to stay, when to visit, and hiking & walking guides spanning over 30 countries from Japan to Spain and Canada to New Zealand.

DISCLAIMER: Treksplorer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and its affiliated international sites.

DISCLAIMER: You'll notice that from time to time I link out to recommended hotels/tours/products/services. If you purchase anything through these links, I'll receive a commission. It won't cost you anything extra, but it will help keep me trekkin' on and delivering more free (and unsponsored!) travel information to you. Thanks :)