Melbourne Beach is a quiet bedroom community of about 3,000 people on the barrier island across the Indian River Lagoon from the larger city of Melbourne. It is Brevard County's oldest beach community.
Most histories place the founding of the village as 1883 when a Civil War Union veteran, Major Cyrus E. Graves, began buying land for $1.25 per acre and started raising pineapples.
In the early days, Melbourne Beach was the only access to the Atlantic Ocean beach for many miles north and south. The barrier island was virtually a jungle back then. A ferry brought passengers over from Melbourne where they landed at the Melbourne Beach Pier. A narrow gauge railroad with a push car took passengers from the pier down Ocean Avenue to the ocean. There was a bathhouse near where the current day Sand on the Beach Restaurant stands.
A causeway was built across the Indian River Lagoon in 1921. It connected Melbourne Beach to Melbourne by way of the town of Indialantic. Ferry traffic began to decline, but the town began to grow slowly as a result of the better connection to the mainland. One of the first buildings erected in the town was the Community Chapel. Built in 1892, it still stands and conducts church services, weddings and other events. Another original old building the Villa Marine, still stands at the corner of Ocean Avenue and Riverside Drive. It was built in 1912 as a hotel and is used today as a dentist's office.
The space program at Cape Canaveral and Banana River Naval Air Station (now Patrick Air Force Base) to the north contributed to the the residential development in Melbourne Beach. Today the village is largely residential with a few businesses along Ocean Avenue and State Road A1A. It is truly a walkable little town that takes great pride in its history. The Melbourne Beach Pier was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The town has also preserved many of its original old houses and buildings.
The village has numerous access points to the beautiful sand beaches. Melbourne Beach is also the main access point for the long stretch of beach along State Road A1A all the way down to Sebastian Inlet. The barrier island has many parks and beach access points between Melbourne Beach and the inlet.
Use the Google Map below to plan your route to Melbourne Beach. Bring your beach clothes and a semi-dressy outfit to enjoy the restaurant we will tell you about.