Before paved streets and residential blocks took its place, a maze of wetlands rife with rustling wildlife thrived in Central Florida. Such a scene is hard to imagine amid a backdrop of loud car horns, but skeptical visitors to The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science can travel back in time and see it for themselves on a stroll through the museum’s 19.5-acre nature preserve.
This remarkable preserve joins special exhibits dedicated to regional and cultural artifacts in fulfilling the museum’s mission to keep Florida’s heritage alive in the minds of its current inhabitants. Since the nonprofit facility first opened in 1973, an influx of state and philanthropic funding has spawned further expansion. One of the most crucial add-ons, the Taylor Wing, now houses a nonstop procession of visiting exhibitions and the kid-themed Imagination Center, where young hands can touch actual fossils of mammoths and 8-track tapes. Popular ongoing exhibits include large dioramas of local ecosystems and the Windover Story exhibit, which illustrates how the residents of Brevard County lived 7,000 years ago.
Vintage 56 has been described as a tapas and wine bar. The décor is contemporary, with indoor and outdoor dining, cloth napkins and modern art, with music that is fun but not intrusive. The bar offers 56 martinis and a good-sized wine list and the menu features a touch of Mediterranean flair with a little Asian spice!
Opening doors for 24 hours a day, seven days a week is an exhausting proposition for any doorman, unless he's a robot. That's why Anytime Fitness—having redirected its robot budget into tanning beds, cardio equipment with built-in TVs, and Star Trac weight machines—installed a keycard-activated security system instead. The electronic guardian keeps gym members secure while admitting them at any time of day or night for their workouts.
During daylight hours, certified instructors incinerate calories with group fitness classes. Personal trainer Chris coaches clients in one-on-one sessions, tailoring regimens to each individual's level of fitness, past injuries, or number of tentacles. To relax after workouts, staffed tanning beds stand by to bronze bodies.
A few minutes from the sun-kissed sands of Cocoa Beach, things get a little colder. At Space Coast Iceplex, a 20,000 square foot International Ice Surface provides a fun place to cool off, offering public skating hours, hockey programs, and classes that help skating newbies acquire their ice legs. On Saturday nights, skaters glide to tunes spun by a live DJ as special effects lights illuminate the rink, and snack and sports bars continue to fuel the fun for skaters who need a break between laps.
Before retiring in 1997, Todd Holland made the NSSA National Team and racked up Rookie of the Year, Coke Classic, and Pepsi Surf the Edge titles. Meanwhile, Lauren McLean Holland was riding the waves for University of Central Florida, claiming one East Coast championship after another. This impressive duo fits seamlessly into School of Surf’s team of CPR-certified teachers, all current or former pro surfers.
During lessons, teachers drill pupils on skills ranging from pop-up fundamentals to more advanced techniques, such as staying atop a groundswell while dueling a swordfish. In addition, teachers offer daily recreational classes and summer day camps, as well as coaching for dedicated surfers looking to win competitions.
The experienced wave-riders at Surf Lessons Florida teach the subtleties to the art of surfing within calm and safe conditions. Instructors focus their tunnel vision on novice boarders during private surf lessons that encompass basic techniques and safety fundamentals. The Atlantic’s calm coastal waters greet riders with a wet embrace and small, manageable waves as instructors demonstrate the basics of body placement, foot positioning, and paddling. Students can also learn to cut across glassy waves during group lessons, which encourage surfers to travel in packs when confronting mermaids selfishly bogarting the best waves.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.