If you love the convenience of a home in a big city, but long for the friendly familiarity of a small town neighborhood, Brevard County offers the best of both worlds.
Beneath an umbrella of bright sunny skies where the average temperature hovers around 76 degrees, Brevard County (a.k.a. Florida's Space Coast) is the tenth most populous county in the state. Nestled between Jacksonville to the north and the Treasure Coast to the south, it offers a wide array of opportunities and lifestyle choices for those seeking the perfect place for your Florida home. Whether you're feeling the excitement of purchasing your first home, or the serenity of selecting real estate for retirement, you'll find exactly what you're looking for in Brevard.
The principle cities of Brevard are, Palm Bay, Melbourne, and Titusville. In 2009, these cities were ranked 8th in a list of the country's Top 100 Tech Centers in a Metropolitan Statistical Area. Palm Bay alone places 11th on Forbes' list of America's Most Innovative Cities. Melbourne includes two historic districts and annually hosts the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers' Festival, the Melbourne Arts Festival, and Oktoberfest. Titusville offers families the thrill of visiting the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, located on a wildlife refuge eight times the size of Manhattan.
Because so many other cities and towns dot the landscape of Brevard County, each with its own unique contribution to the county as a whole, home buyers will have a plethora of communities to visit before deciding where to put down roots in Brevard County. From the historic, tree-lined streets of Cocoa Village to the manatees playing under a small bridge just a few miles from Satellite Beach High School, every neighborhood reveals its own surprises.
Cocoa is the home of Brevard Community College, the BCC Planetarium and Observatory, the University of Central Florida's Brevard Campus, Florida Solar Energy Center, and the Cocoa Village Playhouse in historic Cocoa Village. Known as the county's premiere city of history, learning, and academics, it's also a thriving retail and industry center, with the Grissom Ridge Industrial Park and more than 15 franchised stores along SR 524.
As soon as you step onto the cobblestoned streets of Cocoa Village and walk under its historic, tree-lined streets, you feel a thousand miles away from the hustle bustle of industry just a few blocks away in Cocoa and its neighboring cities.
Enjoy a gourmet meal at a French restaurant rivaling any in New York City or L.A.; or dine casually on pizza, sushi, tapas, or any of the dozens of choices offered. Specialty shops abound, offering unusual and remarkable gifts from handcrafted pottery to original art. Tourists and residents alike can enjoy a day spent walking along the beautiful riverside boardwalk, beating the heat with home-made ice-cream. Later on, hit a night spot with live music or relax and take in the sunset while cruising on a Paddle-Boat along the Indian River.
Located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River Lagoon lies Cocoa Beach, six miles long and generally less than a mile wide. Brevard's beaches have played host to some of the top surfers in the nation, and Cocoa Beach, famous in its own right, packs the shores every Spring as tourists and residents alike enjoy its Easter Surfing Festival.
Young hopefuls from around the country eagerly dive into the waves, hoping to make as big a splash as Kelly Slater, world renowned surfer born and raised in the city.
Cocoa Beach has much more to offer than just surfing, however. For visitors and future home buyers and renters, within the city limits are six miles of beautiful sandy beaches, a public golf course, a heated Olympic-sized swimming pool, three oceanfront parks, kayak and boat tours of the Banana River, and a multitude of restaurants to fit any taste or budget.
Melbourne Beach is Brevard County's oldest beach community. It was recently voted one of the ten best retirement spots in America and, like Brevard County itself, has an amalgamation of old and new characteristics to attract new home buyers and investors to the area. As architects and landscape designers strive to create increasingly beautiful water-front homes and condominiums with private pathways to the beach, building codes ensure everyone's right to enjoy an ocean view. Those with a taste for history can visit the Old Town Hall History Center, a museum dating back to 1908 that contains Spanish shipwrecks and many other exhibits on the history of the local area. The Melbourne Beach Pier, at Ocean Avenue and Riverside Drive, was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on April 12, 1984.
Tourists and residents alike love the area for its abundance of both natural beauty and scientific advancements. Points of interest include the Brevard Zoo, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Canaveral National Seashore, the Space Coast Stadium, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Kennedy Space Center.
Brevard's parks number over a hundred and have much more to offer residents than playgrounds and picnic spots. Reflecting the varied interests of the community, there are sites for camping, canoeing, horseback riding, bird-watching, and miles of white sandy beaches. l Parks also serve as communal centers, hosting seasonal festivals, charity events, and sporting competitions for children and adults alike.
At the southern end of Brevard County lies another wonderful fishing spot,, Sebastian Inlet, with anglers from all over visiting year round to catch bluefish, redfish, snook, mackerals and more from its waters. But Sebastian Inlet has much more to offer-- swimming coves, surfing competitions, and a treasure museum-- to name just a few alternatives. Visitors can choose between snorkeling, shelling, or sunbathing during the day, and camp under the stars at night.
The county has many beautiful golf courses, from full sized 18-hole courses to smaller greens perfect for beginners.
The Savannahs at Merritt Island even offers an aqua range, where players can practice hitting balls over or around large bodies of water.
This is an essential skill for playing on Brevard's golf courses, since they contain many strategically placed ponds and lakes! In fact, two thirds of holes in Brevard's golf courses involve water hazards. The Cocoa Beach Country Club incorporates the birds and wildlife so prominent throughout Brevard County by naming each of its 27 holes after a species of bird making its home near the course. Players joke that sandhill cranes, ospreys, hawks, and eagles are likely to poke their heads out of their nests when disgruntled by a lousy backswing, or swoop overhead to congratulate a fine putt for birdie.
Patrick Air Force Base, one of Brevard's most famous institutions and the state's most abundant employers, is located on a barrier island between Cocoa and Satellite Beach. With many military personnel and their families renting homes for the relatively brief time they're stationed at the base, owning homes in this area is a great investment opportunity. The Kennedy Space Center is a key employer. Though the shuttle launches have ended, the Space Center is still busy with launches for satellites and research.
Brevard has several hospitals, including Holmes Regional Medical Center, celebrating its tenth year anniversary this year. It recently opened a brand new, state of the art Trauma Center, designed to treat the most life-threatening injuries and serving all of Brevard and portions of Indian River and Osceola counties. It is one of the only Level II Trauma Centers in the state, and offers swift care and transport via FirstFlight, East Central Florida's only air ambulance service.
Residents can also receive care at Wuesthoff Medical Center, offering treatment, rehabilitation, prevention, and education in a wide variety of areas. Wuesthoff has hospitals located in Melbourne and Rockledge, as well as a brand new facility in Viera. Throughout Brevard County are many outpatient clinics of all specialties.
Brevard County has one of Florida's best school systems. Nearly 100 percent of Brevard's schools received an A or B grade, making it the third highest scoring county in the state. On average, Brevard students have higher SAT scores than students in any other school district in Florida. Brevard high schools also boast the state's best graduation rate.
Brevard takes care of its graduates with incentive programs like the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship and the Florida Pre-Paid College plan. It is also the home of Brevard Community College, which attracts students of all ages--from those in high school looking to earn advance credits for college, to senior citizens learning new skills for the workforce or as a hobby. Brevard is also proud to be the home of the Florida Institute of Technology, a renowned engineering school. In addition, the University of Central Florida has a regional campus in Cocoa and Palm Bay. Big town excitement with a small town ambience has made Brevard County a choice destination for those looking for a home for sale.