Indian Harbor Beach is a small city of about 8,000 people in Brevard County, Florida. While it is part of the metropolitan area comprising Palm Cove, Melbourne and Titusville, it is located on the shores of a small barrier island with plenty of pristine natural areas and beautiful green spaces.
As such, it’s perfect for those who want to get away from the crowds and enjoy the great outdoors while staying close to the exciting attractions of the larger center. No wonder it’s often called “Florida’s Greatest Little City.”
Indian Harbour Beach has fairly pleasant weather most of the year and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. There are also many opportunities to participate in various water sports.
The city also has several great shopping precincts including Melbourne Square Shopping Centre, Cocoa Beach Marina, Harbour Square Shopping Centre and Oceanside Estate Jewelry.
Here are 15 of the best things to do in and around Indian Harbor Beach, FL.
1. Adventure surfing lessons and paddle boarding
Have you ever thought about becoming one with the sea? Sure, swimming is one way to do this, but there’s no better way to feel connected to the ocean than by boarding a surfboard and surfing back to shore.
It may take hours to get the hang of it, but the rush you get is worth it when you first stand on that board and ride the waves back to shore.
Not ready to navigate choppy waters? Paddleboarding is a fairly new water activity that is becoming increasingly popular with people of all ages. Adventure surfing lessons and paddle boarding at nearby satellite beaches offer beginner surf lessons and paddle boarding tours, where you can also see dolphins and manatees in their natural habitat.
2. McLarty Treasure Museum
Treasure hunters have been searching for the remnants of 11 Spanish galleons that sank in a violent storm off the coast of Florida in 1715. The gold, silver and copper treasures they carried on their way to Spain were also the focus of the hunt.
The McClaty Treasure Museum on Orchid Island features a variety of exhibits that showcase the history of the Treasure Fleet as well as artifacts and replicas. There is also an observation deck overlooking the sea.
3. Florida Tech Botanical Garden
This 15-acre campus botanical garden is unique in the continental United States. Tropical plants and trees—especially palms—are the main focus of the garden. In fact, one of the beautiful trails that meanders through tropical vegetation is named after the founder of the Palm Society.
Visitors will also visit natural water attractions with advance notice to the guide.
4. Manatee and Dolphin Tour
Water adventures are a ritual for any visitor to Florida and Indian Harbor Beach, and there are many water adventure activities to choose from. A popular one is the manatee and dolphin tour.
Kayak with a professional guide and follow the Indus River into the warm waters of the tranquil lagoon, where you’ll see playful dolphins. The sociable manatees are next; first they can be seen basking on the banks of the river and are the highlight of the tour with their adorable antics. There is no need to try to get close to them as they will willingly walk to the side of your kayak.
Your guide is an expert on their behavior and habitat and can tell you all about these fascinating animals.
5. Wickham Park
Visitors to the Indian Harbour Beach area can take a short drive to Melbourne and spend a full day enjoying the many amenities that Wickham Park has to offer.
Horseback riding, archery facilities, dog parks, walking trails through natural areas, sports fields, picnic areas, children’s playgrounds, disc golf facilities and natural swimming holes are some of the facilities available. Visitors can even spend the night in the park.
6. Cape Canaveral Offshore Fishing
Take a four-hour chartered car ride from Cape Canaveral to the Indus River where the Big Fish is located. Along the way, visit several important fishing areas, including Ponce de Leon Bay, New Smyrna Beach, and the waters off Merritt Island.
Some of the fish you have a chance to catch include sea trout, black drum, mangrove snapper, redfish and snooker. Before you cast your line, get some expert tips from your professional guide, who can also help you find the perfect spot for the perfect photo of you and your catch.
7. Liberty Bell Memorial
The Liberty Bell Memorial Museum in Melbourne’s Wells Park area pays tribute to America’s focus on education and lifelong learning. One section of the museum is the Rotunda of American History, which contains a timeline of major events in the country’s history.
Exhibits include historical documents, exhibits detailing Florida’s past, historical artifacts, and of course, a replica of the Liberty Bell.
The second part of the museum is the Hall of Freedom, a tribute to this country’s armed forces and the wars these men and women fought in. Awards, pictures, and artifacts such as weapons and uniforms are displayed.
8. Andretti Thrill Park
Andretti Thrill Park in Melbourne offers fun for the whole family. Enjoy access to the go-kart track, mini golf course, rock walls, playground, laser tag, batting cage and paddle boat.
Visitors can also take the train and visit the largest arcade in the area, which features 150 modern video games for a chance to win prizes. Andretti Snacks offers a wide variety of snacks, including pizza, canapés and ice cream.
9. Dinoflagellate Bioluminescent Kayak Tour
Take a dinoflagellate bioluminescence kayak tour and experience a very rare natural phenomenon that occurs only in a few places around the globe. Paddle across the warm, dark lagoon to a place where the water glows with a mysterious blue glow when your hand, paddle or kayak bothers you.
Even the dolphins and manatees you see on your trips leave blue wakes as they move through the water. Enjoy this spectacular light show while your experienced and knowledgeable guide explains everything you need to know.
10. Brevard Zoo
At Melbourne’s 75-acre Brevard Zoo, visitors can see hundreds of animals from nearly 200 different species around the world. Conservation and education are at the forefront of operations, so there is an opportunity to learn about the work being done to protect these species and their habitats.
There are feedings and various tours throughout the day. It offers kayak excursions, train rides, paddle tours of wetlands, treetop hikes and a flamingo pond on site.
11. Learn to surf at the Pura Vida Surf School
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to surf, Cocoa Beach is the perfect place to learn to surf. Pura Vida Surf School offers the perfect one-hour group lessons to get you started. Do some safety training and learn some beginner techniques before going into the water to catch the waves.
12. Rosette House Museum and Gardens
Visit the historic Rosette House Museum, Houston Cemetery and beautiful gardens. Hear the interesting history of the Eau Gallie, Rossetter and Roesch families from your knowledgeable guide.
13. Kiwi Tennis Club
Whether you’re an avid tennis player or someone who wants to try the sport, the New Zealand Tennis Club has 13 courts where you can play against other players of the same level or learn with newbies.
There is also a pro shop, gym and changing rooms on site, and the Breezeway bar is open at select times throughout the day.
14. Fossana Art Museum
Located in the Eau Gallie Arts District, the Foosaner Art Museum is a well-known landmark and local meeting place where visitors and locals alike can enjoy creative displays of the visual arts. Focusing on female artists, there are works from all over the world, spanning many eras to the present day.
Some of these works include modern art, contemporary art and Asian art. There are presentations and various educational activities throughout the week.
15. Cape Canaveral Deep Sea Fishing Charter
When you start a deep sea fishing charter with iOutdoor, you can not only experience deep sea fishing, but also explore the coastal area near Cape Canaveral with breathtaking views of the scenic coastline and beautiful mansions along the cliffs.
This area is home to some of the best deep sea fishing in the region. Both the inexperienced and the experienced have the opportunity to catch a wide variety of fish, including snapper, tuna, wahoo, sailfish, marlin, mahi, kingfish and grouper.
The boats are comfortable and equipped with safety equipment, and the professional, knowledgeable crew will tell you all about the area and the fish you’re looking for.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Indian Harbor Beach, FL
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