With its sparkling beaches, playful surf, and endless sun, Melbourne is one of the most beautiful towns on the Florida coast. It’s also a diverse mix of urbanites, families, professionals, and retirees ‒ a flourishing community with access to art, science, and nature. So if you’re thinking of moving to the Sunshine State, here is what you need to know about living in Melbourne, Florida.
America’s manned space program operates out of Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Both are just a short drive north from Melbourne ‒ close enough that residents can watch rockets blasting off from their homes. There are a number of hi-tech companies in the area as well, such as Northrop Grumman and General Electric, supplying parts, systems, and equipment to NASA and the military.
As such, there is a huge demand for engineers, technicians, and skilled administrators ‒ people with the knowledge, talents, and experience to help push the boundaries of surveillance, communication, space exploration, and propulsion technology. For anyone looking to build or expand their career in some of America’s most prestigious and lucrative industries, living here offers enormous opportunities to get ahead.
Melbourne is one of the most affordable cities in Florida. Housing prices are below average, certainly much lower than what you’d find further south in Miami. Rents are lower too, by around thirty-five percent, on average. Consumer prices for utilities, transportation, and healthcare are also more affordable. And because there’s no state tax, more of your salary remains in your pocket, to be spent however you please.
Schools are another reason families love living in Melbourne. Twenty-six of their public schools were given an A rating by the Florida Department of Education last year. Some, such as Suntree Elementary School, Educational Horizons Charter School, and the West Melbourne Elementary School for Science, are among the best in the state.
The city is also home to the Florida Institute of Technology, a tier one university specializing in science, engineering, aeronautics, business, humanities, psychology, and communication. There’s also Eastern Florida State College, which operates four campuses in the area and offers more than one hundred degree programs, besides having one of the highest graduation rates in the state.
The area between Cape Canaveral and Melbourne is known as the “Space Coast” for good reason. Every manned orbital launch made by NASA has departed from the area just north of the city, along with a few civilian and military satellites as well. Residents can not only gather to watch rockets taking off; they have unrivaled access to the U.S. Space Program. They can tour NASA’s operational facilities, train for a Mars mission, view Apollo spacecraft and a real Saturn V rocket, even have a close encounter with an astronaut!
Melbourne enjoys an average of 242 sunny days a year. Temperatures reach 90°F in summer and rarely fall below 50°F in winter. Even during December and January, the average high is normally around 70°F ‒ perfect for outdoor recreation.
The city sits alongside the Indian River Lagoon, the most biologically diverse estuary in North America. It contains five state parks, four wildlife sanctuaries, and over 2,500 animal species, including fish hawks, dolphins, nurse sharks, and sea turtles. Residents can canoe, kayak, or paddleboard through the marshes and mangrove trees or splash around in the pristine waters.
Swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving are a great way to explore the region’s incredible wildlife, including the native manatees. Around a third of Florida’s manatees live in the lagoon or migrate through it. Thrill seekers can head east, in order to sail, windsurf, and jet ski on the Atlantic Ocean.
Further inland is Erna Nixon Park, which immerses visitors in a thick maze of evergreen shrubs, Spanish moss, and towering oak trees, overrun with tortoises, red-shouldered hawks, and indigo snakes. A 3,000 foot boardwalk lets you explore the dense, semi-tropical forest without getting your feet wet. For a real treat, check out the Midnight Strolls ‒ a chance to experience the forest’s primeval atmosphere then relax at the trailhead with live music and food vendors.
Or, for a more hands-on encounter, head north to Brevard Zoo, which lets you observe and interact with over 500 animal species. Learn how to feed a giraffe, clean a rhino, or chat with a Macaw parrot. You can even meet their Komodo dragon, black bears, and spider monkeys, or go on a guided tour of their African exhibit in order to get a glimpse of how animals behave in the wild.
No one has to spend a quiet night in Melbourne if they don’t want to. You can sing Karaoke at Chumley’s Depot or rock out to live music at a dozen different venues, such as Ember & Oak, Mainstreet Pub, or Off the Traxx Sports Bar. If music’s not your thing, you can learn how to make your own soap at Nourish Natural Bath Products or go axe throwing at Lumber Jack’s.
Thirsty residents can sample brews at Whiskey in the District. Curious ones can explore the past at Green Gables, a living museum from the early days of the city. Art lovers can catch a play at the Melbourne Civic Theater or Henegar Performing Arts Center. Or buy a painting at the Derek Dores Art Gallery, one of five exhibition spaces downtown. If nothing catches your eye, head over to the Board and Brush Art Studio and paint your own masterpiece.
There are also weekly farmers markets and street fairs throughout the year. Botanical Fest lets greenthumbs pore over the latest landscape designs, complete with flowers, trees, shrubs, and garden sculptures displayed lavishly on the streets. The Flavor Experience brings you a taste of the Caribbean, with food and wine pairings specially prepared by chefs from the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad.
At Sip and Shop, local businesses supply free wine, coffee, and cocktails to shoppers as they check out deals in their favorite stores. In November, restaurants wheel out their most creative culinary inventions at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, where you can indulge your appetite with a wide range of rich, sweet, and savory dishes prepared by the region’s foremost cooks, bakers, and bartenders.
Allied agents treat homeowners as individuals. We understand that just as no two households are the same, no two moves are the same, which is why we work with you to create a personalized moving plan for your family. We tailor every move to your needs, budget, and schedule ‒ ensuring a smooth, stress-free experience every step of the way. Contact us today for a free quote!