A family gets a nature and wildlife tour on an airboat tour

Airboat tours in Melbourne, FL

Nature and the Wild Outdoors of Melbourne FL

Melbourne & the Beaches has the perfect combination of sun and nature. The beaches are ideal for surfing, fishing and sun basking, while the Indian River Lagoon and the St. Johns River bordering on the west offers endless opportunities for nature lovers. Nature and nautical lovers, the beaches in Melbourne offer a lot of opportunities to get in touch with marine life on the shores. Hit the sandbars and search for crabs and unique shells while soaking up some sun. Research ocean life and look out for signs of it while taking a guided kayak tour in the water. In fact, protected sea turtle nests are visible during season, and visitors can watch them hatch March through October.

Take a walk on the Nature Side of Melbourne FL

Conservation centers around the area help to ensure that this beautiful area can stick around for generations to come. Looking for an opportunity to observe rare animals at a safe distance? The Brevard Zoo is one of the best zoos in the state and it’s right here in Melbourne. Guests can meet more than 650 animals during each visit, ranging from about 165 different species. Some exhibits offer close up experiences with these rare animals, such as getting to hand feed a full grown giraffe. Want to explore the zoo more? Sign up for a guide kayak tour through Africa.

Relax on a 45-foot long boat as you learn about all of the marine life along the ride. The waters are full of abundant wildlife and unique plant species that come to life during the tour. In addition to animal life, Melbourne offers a look into the local botanical garden that holds a large variety of plant life. The 15-acre garden provides visitors with an experience to remember. The beautiful surroundings will make for memorable vacation photos and a charming atmosphere.

Treetop Trek

Have fun moving tree to tree and challenge yourself with varying degrees of thrilling elements such as tightropes, crab walks, jungle bridges, nets, and best of all, zip lines. Experience nature in a whole new way—high up in the trees!

A woman is navigating one of the obstacles of the Treetop Trek at the Brevard Zoo in Viera, FL
Paddling Paradise

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or looking to unwind, Paddling Paradise offers stand up paddleboard eco-tours on the Indian River. SUP and kayak rentals are also available.

A group of people stand-up paddleboard at sunset on the Indian River
The Backyard

Technically, The Backyard is not located outdoors, but it does provide you an atmosphere to play some fun yard games. Whether you're wanting to play bocce ball, shuffle board or corn hole, these are just a few of the options available to play while visiting. It's kind of like being outdoors but with air conditioning.

Fun backyard games like bocce ball, shuffleboard, and corn hole inside The Backyard in Eau Gallie
The Beach

Enjoy the sunshine on 33 miles of serene beaches by daylight or take a moonlit walk while enjoying an evening's tropical breeze. Melbourne's beaches are perfect for sunbathing, surfing, riding fat-tired bikes, or just a place for your family to enjoy the sand and serenity with plenty of elbow room.

View of a sunrise over the ocean from the boardwalk going onto the beach
Airboat Rides

As you venture through the grassy marsh at speeds up to 45 mph, you will have the chance to see and take photographs of beautiful scenery, gators, birds, wild hogs, and other wildlife. We recommend Camp Holly and Melbourne Airboat Rides.

A family and kids having fun on an airboat tour in Melbourne, FL
Brevard Zoo

The Brevard Zoo is home to more than 650 animals representing more the 165 species from Florida, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Only at the zoo can you kayak through Africa, see the animal residents up-close, and let a giraffe eat right from you hand. 

A couple sees a giraffe up close and personal on the kayak tour at the Brevard Zoo in Viera, FL
Sea Turtle Nesting Season

The first of May officially marks the beginning of the sea turtle nesting season in the state of Florida and runs until October 1. When it comes to viewing sea turtles you might not find a better place to start then James H. Nance Park in Indialantic. 

A baby turtle hatching from an egg on the beach in Melbourne Beach, FL
Florida Tech Botanical Gardens

A stream bordered by a shady hammock abounding in palm trees and other tropical growth winds through the heart of the campus and is the setting for a 15-acre Botanical Garden at the Florida Institute of Technology. 

A couple tours around the Florida Tech Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, FL
Good Natured River Tours

Good Natured River Tours takes you through water estuaries filled with abundant wildlife and over 4,300 unique and localized plant species. Each tour gives guests the chance to see playful bottle-nose dolphins, manatees, wild birds and alligators.

Seeing dolphins playing in the river on a nature tour with Good Natured River Tours in Melbourne, FL
Seashell Suites Resort

Seashell Suites Resort gives visitors access to a private, pristine beachfront filled with abundant nature and a beautiful turquoise untouched oceanfront playground. You will find pelicans soaring overhead, hermit crabs scurrying about the beach, and the crisp sound of waves breaking. 

The ocean view from the pool deck of the Seashell Suites Resort in Melbourne Beach, FL
Sebastian Inlet State Park Camping

Sebastian Inlet State Park is a premier saltwater fishing spot featuring three miles of beautiful beaches, popular not only for fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, but for world-class surfing as well. The Sebastian Inlet State Park is able to accommodate RVs, trailers and tents. 

A family explores the tide pool at the Sebastian Inlet State Park
Oceanfront Cottages

Oceanfront Cottages is an outstanding little gem offering five beautiful suites and a direct oceanfront 2-Bedroom townhome. Lounge by the pool, catch a wave or two, cook a BBQ, hunt for seashells, take a leisurely bike ride along the beach, stroll the shops, or just pick up a good book and park yourself in the sun. 

Ocean view from the balcony of a town home at the Oceanfront Cottage in Indialantic, FL
Da Kine Diego's

This fun, beach-themed surf shack is just steps away from the beach and serves a variety of burritos, tacos and bowls. With outdoor-only seating, this place is great for kids and a favorite spot among the locals.

The front counter at Da Kine Diego's where massive burritos are served daily
Nomad Café

This farm to table café is your ideal eatery if fresh and local is part of your eating criteria. Their revolving menu allows them to showcase top quality seasonal ingredients and they round out their meals with carefully selected boutique vineyard wines and craft beer. 

Fresh scallops at the Nomad Café in Melbourne, FL
Sand on the Beach

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sand on the Beach serves a colorful selection sure to satisfy any palate. Try bold flavors of fresh seafood and unique cocktails in a casual, fun environment.

Breakfast at Sand on the Beach restaurant
Ocean 302 Bar & Grill

An inviting community oriented restaurant serving rustic American, farm fresh food prepared in an open, made from scratch kitchen.

A fine dining dish from Ocean 302 Bar & Grill in Melbourne Beach, FL
Green Turtle Market

The Green Turtle Market offers gourmet-to-go food, fresh meats & seafood, deli, desserts, and 800+ wine in stock. The Grapevine Café serves prepared entrees, salads and other lunch items Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

A fine dining dish from the Green Turtle in Melbourne, Fl
Grills Riverside

This popular, waterfront restaurant with outdoor tiki bar offers stunning views of the Indian River Lagoon. Come by car or by boat, listen to the live bands while watching the dolphins play and the boat traffic cruise the Indian River Lagoon. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, their menu includes everything from sushi to burgers...

Riverside view on the outside deck at Grills Riverside in Melbourne, FL
Space Coast Visitors Guide Cover Image

Vacation Planner for Florida’s Space Coast

The official 2019 Space Coast Vacation Planner Guide is now available. There are two ways to get yours: