The city of Melbourne lines the Atlantic coast in the east central part of Florida. The city, population 78,000, is located 40 miles south of the Kennedy Space Center and 70 miles southeast of Orlando. Melbourne, named for the city's first postmaster whose hometown was Melbourne, Australia, enjoys 300 days of sunshine and year-round temperatures in the 70s and 80s.
Melbourne residents tend to be avid gardeners and flower lovers, which is why several gardening clubs and organizations can be found around town. And for those looking for a real taste of nature without leaving the Melbourne city limits, the Erna Nixon Nature Centerprovides a nature preserve packed full with birds and small animals, including the protected gopher tortoise.
The 33 miles of clean, sprawling beaches, favorable weather, and a low-key city vibe make Melbourne an attractive destination for those seeking relaxation or plentiful outdoor activities. Surfers consider Melbourne to be the "hub of the east coast surfing industry," and several surfing competitions are held at First Peak, a popular surf break at the Sebastian Inlet State Park. Scuba divers, boaters, fishermen and jet skiers are also commonly found out in the water of this beach city. On land, golf, tennis and camping are encouraged as favorable ways to pass the time.
There is no shortage of outdoor activity around Melbourne. Places like Long Point Park, Spessard Holland Park and Fort Pierce Inlet State Park are ideal destinations to enjoy beautiful lagoons and ocean views. Additionally, the city has 550 acres of city parkland, perfect for a picnic lunch. Naturally, vibrant flowers and leafy green trees decorate each of these grassy