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Stretched out along the Indian River Lagoon, Melbourne is the southernmost part of Florida’s Space Coast, with two distinct faces — along the beach and along the river. Founded as Crane Creek by pioneer settlers who stayed on the land side of the river, the village of Melbourne was established in 1888, named after the city in Australia because its first postmaster spent a lot of time there. North of the village, the community of Eau Gallie grew around another creek flowing into the lagoon. Today, both are a part of downtown, each with its own distinct historic district. Across the lagoon, Indialantic was started in 1915 as a planned resort ...

Stretched out along the Indian River Lagoon, Melbourne is the southernmost part of Florida’s Space Coast, with two distinct faces — along the beach and along the river. Founded as Crane Creek by pioneer settlers who stayed on the land side of the river, the village of Melbourne was established in 1888, named after the city in Australia because its first postmaster spent a lot of time there. North of the village, the community of Eau Gallie grew around another creek flowing into the lagoon. Today, both are a part of downtown, each with its own distinct historic district. Across the lagoon, Indialantic was started in 1915 as a planned resort community, but didn’t take off until a wooden bridge was completed across the lagoon in 1921. It sports a pretty shopping and dining district, and along with adjoining Melbourne Beach and Floridana Beach offers sun, sand, and surf as well as the opportunity to watch sea turtles nesting. A variety of parks along US 1 and A1A offer access to the Indian River Lagoon for fishing, camping, and putting in your kayak to explore the mangrove shoreline and islands just offshore.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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