We flew into Melbourne the morning of Sept 3 thru the night of the 6th, 2011 for the Labor Day weekend. Three of us made the trip and we enjoyed ourselves. We have family and friends all over Florida and have been all over the place in past. This was first leisure trip for me to area and first time for others.
Flight in was easy and cheap on Delta and picked up Hertz rental at airport with NO shuttle or train. I like that. Roll bags to car and go.
Melbourne is an easy town to drive in. Speed limits slow and roads good with many pedestrians, bikes surfers, etc.
We stayed at the Radisson on beach using frequent flyer points for two suites and the accomodations were good. This is not a fancy place, but clean and equipped well and situated on beach and worked well for our expectations. One of our party is handicapped and her room worked well adjoined to ours. Thanks to Brian and Chris at Radisson.
We drove around town with no destination, just looking about and thought Melbourne looked quite clean and orderly. Some locals said traffic was heavy, but coming from Atlanta, we thought it moved quite well on the A1a and all the large arteries. Melbourne was clean and very very hot when we were there. It was very nice that Broward county has so many parks and beachside access for public. It was very smart how the locals reined in developers on the beachfront years ago.
All the parks looked to be very clean and well kept. We spent one entire day on beach at the hotel and it wasn't very crowded, considering holiday.
I did notice a new trend that I not seen before at numerous beaches and that was the "building" of beach sites by some families and groups at beach. By building, I mean one or two large portable tents together, all manner of portable chairs and loungers and ice boxes and tables and curtains and rugs/carpets and toys !! Some groups looked like advance units for infantry arriving with all their stuff on backs and wagons and wheels ! Some were set up like family rooms and small condo's. We had to move from our simple lounge chairs further down beach when one group began setting up in front of us. They had music and laptops and television. If they would have set up a birdbath and a mailbox, they could have lived there. Ha.
We enjoyed the beach. The surf was rough at times and beat us older types a bit, but we expected this on Atlantic frontage and enjoyed thoroughly. It was hot and hotter. Heat index at 104, 105. The same as Atlanta, but with a beach and good breezes.
We thank "Born with wheels" for his restaurant run down. We brought his list with us. We didn't eat that many places. We stocked rooms at the nearby Winn Dixie.
We ate at Squid Lips twice and had a grand time and good food with fair prices. We liked the location and all the different area's of the waterside compound. Their help was friendly and efficient.
We went to Bunky's to get raw oyster's and beer and wound up walking out. No go. Not for us.
We ate at Banackers for the prime rib special. It was good for the price. Nothing special, but good.
The wife and I stopped when riding around and ate lunch at Cabana Shores tiki hut and enjoyed some good appetizers and shrimp and sandwiches and beer. Thanks Carol !
Final meal was a fast food feast at "Mustards Last Stand". Part of a chain, but good and simple and cheap. Hot dogs and onion rings were good. I had a footlong cod sandwich in hot dog bun that was good. Get it without cheese.
We also looked at a couple of properties with real estate agent for a couple of hours and were impressed with locations and prices. I am sorry for those affected by economy, but prices are finally where they need to be. ((especially for those of us nearing retirement))
Another thing that sticks out was the airport. I fly a lot and the Melbourne airport is easy and friendly. I wish all airports this size and larger had such friendly people. TSA works well with seniors and handicapped and their equipment. (Are you Listening Atlanta?)
Some things we wanted to do with our senior , we didn't do because of heat and access, but didn't phase us a bit.
I will think of other things later I should remember now, but will close and say we enjoyed a nice laid back trip to Melbourne and will return soon.