Indialantic, Florida is located on the beach immediately east of Melbourne. Its an imaginative and creative name: this small town of less than 3,000 is on the barrier island separating the Indian River Lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean.
Residents of this great little place spend a lot of time explaining to folks that the name of their town is not India-Atlantic. Even your computer's spell check feature hesitates at letting you type the correctly spelled name.
The founder of the community that became Indialantic was Ernest Kouven-Hoven, who came to America from the Netherlands and became an executive in a Chicago firm, Florida Real Estate Investment Corporation Properties. This firm developed properties in Tampa and Melbourne.
He bought a few hundred acres on the barrier island across from Melbourne in 1916 and platted it into lots for sale. He used his own funds to built a wooden bridge across the Indian River Lagoon connecting his land to Melbourne in 1921.
In 1920, Kouven-Hoven built the Indialantic Hotel on what is now South Shannon Avenue. It's name was later changed to the Tradewinds Hotel. The Tradewinds was demolished in the 1980s and is now the site of a small subdivision, Tradewinds Terrace.
At the ocean end of today's Fifth Avenue, the Indialantic Casino was built on the beach. It's name was later changed to the Bahama Beach Club. It's also long gone, and Nance Park is on the site today with plenty of parking and beach access. It's named for prominent local attorney James Nance.
The Town of Indialantic was formally incorporated as a town in 1952. The town is approximately one mile square and bounded on the south by the town of Melbourne Beach. Quiet residential neighborhoods in the unincorporated area of Brevard County make up the territory north of town.
The wooden bridge was replaced with a drawbridge after World War Two, and that bridge was replaced with a modern elevated bridge in 1985 to accomodate larger boats passing by on the Indian River Lagoon. It is known locally as the Melbourne Causeway.
Indialantic is primarily a "bedroom" community of residential houses and condominiums. Many of the residents work in companies across the river in Melbourne and Palm Bay. Some even drive all the way up north to Kennedy Space Center.
The main business district in Indialantic is along Fifth Avenue, the thoroughfare that carries U.S. 192 across the state from the west side of Walt Disney World all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The Indialantic Boardwalk stretches along the beach at the end of Fifth Avenue and is very popular with both residents and visitors.
There are a few condominiums and small motels on the ocean north and south of Fifth Avenue along State Road A1A. You won't see many South Florida type highrises.
The beaches in Indialantic are like Old Florida used to be: in quiet neighborhoods with soft white sand and plenty of adjacent parking.
Skewers Mediterranean Grille, 144 Fifth Avenue, Indialantic, Florida 32903. Tel: 321-727-8944. This is my favorite Mediterranean restaurant in south Brevard County. Great ambiance, good service and delicious food with a Lebanese flair.
Tuckway Shores Oceanfront Resort, 1441 S. Miramar Avenue (SRA1A), Indialantic, Florida 32903. This small boutique hotel directly on the ocean is one of the best places to stay anywhere between Vero Beach and Cocoa Beach.