Downtown Cocoa and Melbourne on Florida’s Spacecoast

One thing I like to always do during any travel is to seek out the authentic part of any destination.  While it can be fun to see the recently-built tourist attraction or shopping destination it is always nice to mix in a little authentic or historic in any destination – provided it has it.

Great archway in downtown Melbourne, Florida for Henley Court.
Great archway in downtown Melbourne, Florida for Henley Court.

Florida has a great deal of history and I wasn’t that familiar with the Spacecoast.  But we soon found ourselves discovering downtown Melbourne as well as downtown Cocoa.  We stayed in Melbourne at one of the cleanest Days Inns ever right by the I-95.  We travel with pets so we prefer a motel style building that has pull up to the door type of facilities – not easy to find in really nice condition sometimes.

A view of the old railway bridge still in use in downtown Melbourne, Florida
A view of the old railway bridge still in use in downtown Melbourne, Florida

Downtown Melbourne is a pleasant place with a number of historic structures that are filled with people having a great time.  You really could meander around here for some time and spend some time shopping as well as eating and drinking.  We also found a British shop as well as an Irish shop.  There were some arty and gifty type shops as well as plenty of really cool drinking and eating places.

Under a bridge along the waterfront in downtown Melbourne, Florida.
Under a bridge along the waterfront in downtown Melbourne, Florida.

I’ll mention three in particular that we tried.  The Burger Place is right in the heart of the downtown and features indoor and outdoor seating and has, quite honestly, incredible burgers.  We really enjoyed our burgers here.  Mainstreet Pub is a great little old Florida place with indoor and outdoor seating as well including a deck upstairs.  This is a classic old Florida place with cold beer and good drinks though it is a block or two off the main activity.  We didn’t eat here so we can’t comment on that.

Meg O'Mally's in downtown Melbourne, Florida
Meg O’Mally’s in downtown Melbourne, Florida

Meg O’Mally’s is a hoping place that we went to twice during our visit.  The food is incredible.  There is evening entertainment.  The beer is fabulous.  You can’t go wrong here and it is a nice unique place that you won’t find anywhere else.  Next door is located an exceptional place called Foo Bar.  The decor is excellent and ambiance really special.  Definitely a place to pop into for a drink or two.  There were plenty of other options for dining and drinking downtown so don’t think this is it.  It really is a nice little downtown and well worth a visit to.  Find yourself a parking space along East New Haven Avenue and you’ll be find.

A former Masonic Lodge in downtown Cocoa, Florida.
A former Masonic Lodge in downtown Cocoa, Florida.

Downtown Cocoa was a pleasant little place and had a small town feel to it.  It was small but also had side streets and more than just the one main road to walk down.  A playhouse had let out when we sat down for a drink at ))))) and a lot of people emptied into the streets and surrounding restaurants.  There were a few antique type shops as well as gift shops and certainly enough to keep you interested for a few hours.

A crowd departs a local community theater in downtown Cocoa, Florida.
A crowd departs a local community theater in downtown Cocoa, Florida.

The historic structures were also interesting.  I loved the old Masonic Lodge.  We passed through here on our way back to Melbourne so other than a drink at Ossorio we didn’t sample any of the food or drink.  Again, this is a nice historic town that you could spend some time in though it seemed slightly smaller than Melbourne.  Perhaps because it was a bit less concentrated on the one main street.   Brevard Avenue though seems to be the center of most of the downtown.

Overall, pop into these two small towns while on a visit to the Spacecoast.  It makes the trip so much more authentic and they really are charming.  Keep discovering and happy travels.

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