From model cars to butterflies, many hobbyists have a collection of personal treasures. In the late Mel Fisher's case, his happened to consist of tons upon tons of gold, silver, and jewels. A pioneering diver, Fisher made his name in 1985 with the discovery of the 1622 wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, felled as it was transporting 40 tons of gold and silver back to Europe. Rather than using the haul to fill his swimming pools, he set about making his discoveries known to the world while continuing to explore the ocean floor for other wrecked 17th- and 18th-century ships. Today, Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum awes visitors with a look at its namesake's remarkable life and collection.
Size: at least 10 mother lodes
Eye Catcher: a gleaming golden whistle from the Margarita site
The Collection: artifacts from a Spanish fleet that sank in 1715 on the treasure coast
Hands-On: Visitors can lift an actual Atocha gold bar—and purchase authentic unique coins in jewelry settings, treasure recreations, or nautical gifts.
Time seems to move at a more leisurely pace in the southern part of Brevard County, where the locals are friendly and the ocean's never more than a few miles away. Even so, the area's premier golf facility, Aquarina Country Club in Melbourne Beach, takes pride in the swiftness of its rounds. It won't take an entire day to work your way around the course's 18 holes—unless, of course, you come back for a second or third helping. In any case, golfers of all skill levels will find plenty to love on fairways that curl around live oaks, mangrove marshes, and nearly a dozen glistening lakes. The course actually sits within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, meaning there's a high chance of spotting exotic flora or stumbling across a herd of wild golf carts.
Course at a Glance
18-hole, par 62 course
Total of 4,313 yards from the tips
Four tees per hole
Course rating of 62.0
Course slope of 107
The water's calm. Almost too calm. Nearly imperceptible ripples begin to form, soon evolving into bubbles reminiscent of a hair-raising monster movie. A figure erupts upwards, the water peeling away in sheets to reveal not a creature of the deep, but a person with their feet strapped into a strange device. The machine, called a Flyboard, projects two jets of water out from right beneath the rider's feet, causing her to soar through the air. This propulsion lends itself to acrobatics, helping riders perform tricks such as spins, flips, and dolphin-like dives from the air to the water and back again.
The owners of Jump Right In Flyboarding say such tricks are not hard to master. They started their company to give everyone a taste of this hard-to-describe, impossible-to-imitate water sport, and today they specialize in the sales, service, instruction and rentals of FlyBoards. With locations in Sebastian, Cocoa Beach, and Key Largo, they are some of the coast's most experienced operators.
With a Coast Guard–licensed crew and state-of-the-art equipment, Sebastian Inlet Parasailing offers adventure seekers a scenic and safe adrenaline rush. Adventurers depart from the marina at Captain Hiram's resort, soaring above the calm waters while seeking out dolphins, and other native animals. Afterward, they can unwind indoors or on the riverfront patio at Treasure Coast seafood restaurant, or sip drinks at one of the three tropical-style bars that comprise the SandBar. The resort maintains a festive ambiance with regular live entertainment, and also offers ecological boat tours and boat, jet-ski, and kayak rentals. After a long day of fun, parasailors can stay at the Inn's private-balcony deluxe suites. Hotel guests can relax and take advantage of the heated pool.
Freedom Boat Club membership grants access to an entire fleet of boats in locations across the country, giving sailing and motorboat enthusiasts a chance to head out onto the water without needing to worry about maintenance or dock fees. Members can take family and friends on fishing trips or cruises along the coast, and just have to sign up online, choose a boat, and arrive at the dock. Once they're finished, the boat club staff clean the vessel and prepare it for its next journey.
Put your creative cap on before heading to Grant Historical House, one of Grant Valkaria's most beloved art institutions.
If you've worked up an appetite, no worries! This museum also has a fabulous restaurant.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this museum — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
Parking is plentiful, so guests can feel free to bring their vehicles.