For your reference, please view the incredibly detailed map on the right, which marks all of the local breweries in the great state of Florida (don't worry about the panhandle- there aren't any there apparently). The little bump on the middle, righthand side is Brevard County.
Chances are anyone reading this is either from Merritt Island and knows everything I am writing about OR will never go to Merritt Island and does not care OR may go to Merritt Island but will be doing things like visiting the Kennedy Space Center or going on a cruise. So if this all seems a little mundane and like "really she is writing about her grandma's neighborhood??", it's because it is. This may not be the Florida people imagine, but it's the Florida I grew up in.
We spent most of our time visiting with family but did go on a few excursions into the local wilds. My mom and I ventured out to the local wildlife preserve Ulumay one morning. This is located on Merritt Island near my childhood home. It may be flat, but try it on a warm humid day and see how strenuous it can be! There is an observation tower, about 11 miles total of walking trails and a "kayak trail".
Disclosure- I hear it is a gathering places for less salacious types at night but we certainly didn't see anyone while we were there. It was very quiet and peaceful.
We also took the dogs to the beach. For the record, of all the many beaches up and down Brevard County, there is exactly ONE that allows dogs. So off to Canova Beach we went.
Apparently, there are two Canova Beach parks and the more southerly one off A1A is actually the dog beach. We ended up at the other one but it was relatively unpopulated at the time of our visit, so we stayed put. Technically, dogs are not allowed at this part of the beach.Some more on Canova Beach- no bathrooms or showers. We had quite an ordeal cleaning the dogs off before going home and there is still sand in the car.
This place is located on the St. Johns River right on the border of Brevard and Orange counties (Right off on State Road 520 "The Beach Line", in case you need directions). It is quite literally a shack with a dock and several faded, air brushed signs guiding the way to either the air boat rides or the food.
Now I am not bashing Lone Cabbage. It is a legit Brevard institution. I'm just saying the appearance, mixed with the Spanish moss on the trees, fog on the river and remote location scared me a bit as a child. (FYI, they did find a 9 foot anaconda down the river the same day we were there). But seriously, best fried shrimp I have had in years. James got gator, frog legs and catfish and he said the same. We didn't do an air boat ride because I'm cheap and not that touristy. I would recommend canoeing or kayaking if you want to get a real look at the FL wetlands.
Other than that, our trip just consisted of catching some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. It's funny, when I'm on vacation I don't mind waking up at the crack of dawn to see the sunrise. Hopefully we will return to Florida soon and possibly be able to take in some more remote outdoor locations (in the mean time, Google "Florida Springs" to see my all time favorite places in FL).