Local Information About Merritt Island, Florida
Merritt Island is a census-designated place located in Brevard County, Florida. The island is situated on the east coast of Florida and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Indian River Lagoon on the west. Merritt Island is named after the Merritt family, who were early settlers in the area.
The island is best known for being the site of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where many historic space missions have been launched. In addition to its rich history in space, Merritt Island is also home to diverse ecosystems and offers visitors and residents a variety of recreational opportunities.
Accessing Merritt Island is easy using the Merritt Island Cswy, which runs straight through the island and connects to the mainland as well as Cape Canaveral. Stop into the visitor center to learn about this beautiful barrier island. Whether your new home awaits at the Catalina Isle Estates or a quite home on Banana River Dr, the beautiful beaches and rich space history of Merritt Island is a rare and luxurious place to call home.
Merritt Island has a rich and complex history, shaped by the presence of Native American tribes, European settlers, and the development of NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Before European settlers arrived, the Ais tribe of Native Americans lived on the island and relied on the resources of the land and surrounding waterways and forests for food and medicine. The Ais were eventually displaced by European colonizers, and the island became the site of several large plantations.
One family in particular had a significant impact on the development of the island. The Merritt family, who settled on the island in the 1860s, established a large citrus grove and cattle ranch on south merritt island, which became a major economic force in the area.
The Merritts also played a key role in building infrastructure on the island, including a ferry service and a causeway that connected the island to the mainland.
In the mid-20th century, the island became the site of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, which was established in 1962. T
he Space Center has launched many historic spaceflights, including the Apollo missions that put men on the moon, and the shuttle missions that helped build the International Space Station. The Space Center has also had a significant impact on the island's economy, creating jobs and driving tourism to the area.
Today, Merritt Island is a thriving community that celebrates its rich history and its unique role in space exploration. Visitors to the island can explore historic sites, natural wonders, and learn about the important contributions that the merritt island fl. has made to science and technology.
Geography and Climate
Merritt Island is situated on the east coast of Florida and is approximately 47 square miles in area. The island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the lagoon to the north and west, which provides a diverse range of ecosystems that support a variety of wildlife.
The island's central location on the Atlantic coast means that it is at risk of tropical storms and hurricanes during the summer and fall months. The island's climate is subtropical, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. The average temperature in the summer months is around 90°F, while in the winter months, temperatures can drop to the low 50s°F.
Merritt Island is home to a unique ecosystem that includes over 500 different species of animals and plants, many of which are endangered or threatened. The island is home to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a 140,000-acre wildlife preserve that provides habitat for migratory birds, manatees, sea turtles, and many other species.
In addition to the wildlife refuge, the island is home to several parks and nature reserves, including Kiwanis Island Park, Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary, and Samsons Island Nature Park. These parks offer visitors opportunities to hike, bike, fish, and observe wildlife in their natural habitats.
Things To Do
Merritt Island offers visitors and residents a wide range of recreational activities, from exploring its natural wonders to attending local festivals and events. Here are some of the things to do on the island:
Visit the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
This 140,000-acre wildlife preserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife and offers visitors opportunities to hike, bird watch, and explore the natural habitats of many species. Found at Black Point Wildlife Drive, this refuge is one of the most beautiful in North America, and it's not a long drive from the Brevard Zoo.
Go boating or fishing
With access to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon, Merritt Island is a low-traffic beach and excellent place to go boating or fishing. Visitors can rent boats or go on guided fishing tours to explore the waters surrounding the island.
Attend local events and festivals
Merritt Island is home to several annual events and festivals, including the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, the TICO Warbird Airshow, and the Dragon Boat Festival.
Visit parks and nature reserves
Merritt Island is home to several parks and nature reserves, including Kiwanis Island Park, Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary, and Samsons Island Nature Park. These parks offer opportunities to hike, bike, fish, and observe wildlife in their natural habitats. Visit beautiful Cocoa Beach, hike the South Tropical Trail, or
Explore NASA's Kennedy Space Center
Visitors to Merritt Island can visit NASA's Kennedy Space Center and learn about the history of space exploration, see historic spacecraft, and view live rocket launches.
No matter what your interests are, Merritt Island offers a diverse range of activities and experiences that are sure to please visitors and residents alike.
Local Events and Festivals
Merritt Island is home to a variety of annual events and festivals that offer visitors and residents alike a chance to experience the island's rich culture and community spirit. Here are a few of the local events and festivals that take place on Merritt Island:
Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival
Held every January, this festival brings together bird watchers and nature enthusiasts from around the country. The festival offers many different activities and events, including guided tours, seminars, and birding workshops.
TICO Warbird Airshow
This annual event is held every March and features a variety of vintage warplanes and aircraft from different eras. The show includes flying demonstrations, static displays, and opportunities to meet the pilots and learn about the planes.
Dragon Boat Festival
This festival brings together paddlers from around the state to compete in dragon boat races on the River Lagoon. The festival also includes live entertainment, food and drink vendors, and games and activities for the whole family.
Whether you're interested in nature, history, or community events, Merritt Island has something to offer everyone. Be sure to check the local calendar of events to find out what's happening during your visit to the island.
Education and Economy
Merritt Island is home to a number of educational institutions, including public and private schools, as well as some higher education institutions.
Brevard Public Schools is the primary school district in the area and operates several schools on the the north merritt island side, including Merritt Island High School, which has received multiple awards for academic achievement.
In addition to education, the economy of Merritt Island is driven by several key industries, including aerospace, tourism, and agriculture. NASA's Kennedy Space Center is a major employer in the area and has created many opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to support the space industry.
The island also has a thriving tourism industry, thanks to its unique location, natural beauty, and historic significance. Many visitors come to the island to explore the Kennedy Space Center, but there are also many opportunities for outdoor activities, such as boating, fishing, and hiking. The island is home to several hotels and vacation rentals that cater to visitors.
Finally, agriculture is also an important industry on Merritt Island, with several citrus groves and cattle ranches still in operation. Visitors can purchase fresh produce from local farmers' markets and enjoy locally made products at restaurants and cafes.
Overall, the education and economy of Merritt Island are diverse and offer many opportunities for residents and visitors to explore and engage with the island's unique culture and history.