Melbourne, Palm Bay, Suntree and Viera and nearby beach communities including Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Indian Harbour Beach and Satellite Beach are some of the many incorporated communities which constitute a cozy 25-mile stretch of Florida coastline often referred to as the Space Coast. Located in South Brevard County, these beach communities are located on a barrier island between the ocean and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
Approximately 90,000 people live in this fast-growth area out of nearly 500,000 in the entire county. Melbourne is rated by the National Association of Home Builders as one of the most affordable cities in the nation. It is a well-kept secret that this relatively small, but well-populated area, is a hotbed of technology. Melbourne and surrounding communities support a huge number of major employers including NASA, NOKIA, Grumman, and a predominant medical community. Much of the same criteria, such as cost-of-living, housing, climate, crime rate, health care, employment and recreation, draw people from all ages and walks of life, especially a multitude of young families relocating to the area for excellent employment purposes. Besides, MacMillan Travel ranked Melbourne as the 10th most popular place in the nation for retirees.
Moreover, relocating families especially gravitate to Melbourne's public school system because it is rated in the top 10% of Florida schools. The Sunshine State is world renowned for its attractions such as Disney World, EPCOT Center, Sea World as well as Universal and MGM Studios, which are only one hour away. The Kennedy Space Center is even closer, as is the city of Viera, which hosts the Florida Marlins spring training camp. Moreover, the Melbourne area hosts twelve beautiful golf courses. But, above all, it is the oceanfront lifestyle on the East Coast's surfing capital that is a main attraction unto itself.
Brevard County is considered to be one of the more affordable counties in the nation. Housing prices begin as low as $50,000 for smaller or older homes. The median cost for a 3 bedroom home is $300,000. Florida homeowners with residency can apply for homestead exemption and receive a $25,000 exemption on the assessed value of their primary residence.
Over 300 days of sunshine offer residents and visitors an ideal climate. The average temperature is 72 degrees F, with an average daily high of 90 degrees in July and August. The Atlantic Ocean provides a lovely breeze that cools the summer and warms the winter.
Brevard County has a highly skilled, diverse labor pool. Because of the diversity of local industry and business, the county enjoys economic stability. Low unemployment rates of fewer than 5% reflect this stability. New and expanding businesses were responsible for 4,300 new jobs in Brevard between 1996 and 1997. High-tech industries flourish in Brevard, which is home to several Fortune 500 companies. Manufacturing accounts for 16% of local employment compared to the state average of 9%. Trade industries employ 24% and government organizations 15% of the work force.
Public Schools - Twenty-eight elementary, six middle, seven high, and two specialty schools are located throughout South Brevard. Private Schools - Fourteen private schools offer religious instruction. Air Academy - Florida Air Academy is an official Air Force ROTC program (grades 7-12). Private Post Secondary Colleges include: Florida Tech, Orlando College-Melbourne Campus, and Webster University. Barry University is a Post-Secondary Catholic College. Public Post Secondary Colleges include Eastern Florida State College and University of Central Florida.
Water sports - swimming, sailing, surfing, diving, and boating offer recreation for the entire family. Fishing is plentiful - snook, tarpon, shark, flounder, bluefish, and sea trout. Area lakes offer the finest freshwater fish, while the Atlantic Ocean is home to saltwater species. Golf enthusiasts have twelve courses from which to choose, while tennis players can choose from eight tennis courts. Enjoy a myriad of parks, including eight beachside, 27 general locations, and twelve recreation and community centers. Brevard Zoo is open seven days a week. Space Coast Stadium is home to the Florida Marlins.
Keep your cool inside while the temps soar outside. Cultural lovers can enjoy a variety of entertainment, including Broadway and celebrity performances at the King Center for Performing Arts, to local performers at Melbourne Civic Theatre and other community theaters. Brevard Symphony Orchestra and the local municipal bands & community orchestra offer performances year-round. Many museums and galleries, including the Museum of Art and Science, showcase the works of local artists and traveling exhibits.