Melbourne is an easy hour and fifteen minutes from downtown Orlando, and tolls and highways make the trip simple. (The alternative is a longer scenic route takes you through Fort Christmas which is another great stop on Hwy 50.)
Get to town and head first to the Historic Downtown area. Drive slowly over the railroad tracks and park. You won't want to miss the following:
Jacqueline's Bakery - 906 E. New Haven Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901
This is a family-owned, French bakery and cafe. Chef Jacqueline uses European style butter, French traditional flour and American artisan flour (both non-GMO) and everything is baked from scratch.
Things to try:
Continental Breakfast - tartine, croissant, orange juice, coffee
Vegetarian Baguette (ask for it with butter instead of hummus) Trust me.
Russian House - 822 E. New Haven Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901
You might not realize this but there's a very large Russian population in Melbourne. Perhaps because of its proximity to the Space Coast. Scientists maybe? Who knows. All I know is that a visit to the Russian House can take an hour just listening to stories from the old country and playing with nesting dolls. The food, drink, trinkets, art, books, posters, and more are worth a visit.
Walking up and down this Main Street area is a good start. If you've got your fill of this first stop, hop back in the car and head a little closer to the coast.
Joan's Perfect Pie - 1478B Highland Ave, Melbourne, FL 32935
Fresh pies, baked daily. Joan runs a tight ship and her pies are hefty and delicious. Choose savory or sweet and you won't be disappointed. All of the fillings and dough are handmade and the crust is an all butter crust; brown and flakey.
Chicken Pot Pie
Outdoor Mural Installs - Be sure to check out all the public art murals around this district. You can find a list here.
Foosaner Art Museum - 1463 Highland Ave. Melbourne, FL 32935
This free museum is a complex that contains three buildings: a 15,000sq ft gallery space; the Renee Foosaner Education Center with spaces for drawing, painting, pottery, and printmaking; and the Harris Community Auditorium for lectures, meetings, and performances.
The permanent collection is over 5,000 works on paper, paintings, sculpture, and industrial design of the Modern and Contemporary periods. Click here for the hours and installation details.
Hungry for more?
Chez Quan's - 1470 Aurora Road, Melbourne, FL. (321) 622-6979
This place has to top your list for what to eat for lunch or dinner. What happens when you mix Thai and American and Latin all together? Chef Adam can show you. And you want him to. A simple cement floor and bowls full of love. It's always a good idea to show up for Wu Tang Wednesday.
There's so much more to explore so look for a second installment happening Fall 2018.