Time in Titusville
As we continue to work our way up the East coast of Florida there are a variety places we wanted to stop for a couple of nights and take a look around. The Titusville / Space Coast area was definitely one of those places. The fact that it was a comfortable driving distance from Markham Park in Broward County made it a no-brainer as a stop.
Our first full day in the area was a cool, breezy day, but the sun was shining bright. It is Florida, right? We decided that being this close to a beach, a National Seashore none the less, was a good enough reason to pack up the gravity chairs and a couple of good books and head towards the Atlantic. The Canaveral National Seashore occupies 57,662 acres between New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, Florida. The park, located on a barrier island, is 25 miles long and is the longest expanse of undeveloped land along the East Coast of Florida and as a federally protected area will remain primarily as it is today. The John F. Kennedy Space Center is located at the southern end of the barrier island, so access to the seashore is often restricted during launch-related activities at the space center. Mosquito Lagoon borders the other side of the cape from the seashore.
As we left downtown Titusville we immediately crossed a high bridge over the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) and headed due east towards the park through Mosquito Lagoon. The entrance fee for the National Seashore is $10.00 per vehicle. When we got to the guard we eagerly showed our National Parks Pass. Tack on another $10.00 to our total savings as a result of having our pass! Thanks Mom and Dad Dutt! As we wound our way through Mosquito Lagoon, it was hard to not compare the landscape to the Everglades. We even spotted an alligator or two for good measure, along with the requisite variety of bird wildlife. When we finally spotted the sand dune protecting the beach we knew we had reached our destination. As we rode along the coast, we passed several parking lots, which were pretty much empty. Actually, there are 13 parking areas along the beach, each with a boardwalk to the beach and a restroom facility. We chose Lot 7, which only had one other car, and headed over the dune. We arrived a beautiful, clean beach with only two people in sight in either direction. We chose a nice spot, set up our chairs and settled in. While it was windy and a bit cold (Betsy’s word, my word would be cool), we eased right into watching the waves and diving into our books. Yes, as we’ve proven a couple of times in Florida, we can easily go to the beach and be perfectly content without even touching the water. Canaveral National Seashore, only one of ten National Seashores in the US, can be considered a National Treasure.
One item on my wish list for the Titusville area was to visit an RV park I had been reading about for some time now. The Great Outdoors Florida RV and Golf Resort is a membership RV park like other Florida RV resorts. The lifestyle choices range from RV sites to custom-built homes designed with RV-ers in mind. The Great Outdoors RV Resort is created by and for people who love Florida's natural beauty. The 2,800-acre RV resort was left much as it was found, untouched since the days of the Seminole Indians. My curiosity with the resort is the ability to own an RV lot in a resort environment where you could go to at any time, as well as putting the site in the rental pool and possibly earn some income from the rental of the site. We were given a tour of the property by a lady from the sales office, who pointed out all of the amenities offered by the resort and the different types of lots available for purchase. These lots ranged from an RV pad with full hookups to a large house with an enclosed RV port for your trailer. Prices ranged from $50K for the empty lots to $400K + for the larger homes with ports. We enjoyed seeing the resort and who knows, some day owning a lot in this type of environment may intrigue us enough to dive in.
If you’ve followed our journey up to this point, you are already aware how much Betsy and I enjoy exploring the traditional downtown areas of small towns. Well, during our first two days in the area we had passed a couple of signs directing people to Historic Downtown Titusville, and so we couldn’t resist. It was another cool, blustery day, so walking around in the sun sounded like a good option for us. We parked in a free lot just off Main St. and headed out. It was a cute, clean area with several older buildings and a normal range of retail options. From a brew pub to an art gallery to a chocolate store. Being an early Thursday afternoon, we were both a little surprised at the number of stores that were not open yet. We peeked in some windows while enjoying the salty air. The one place we couldn’t resist going in was Sunrise Bread Company. The promise of good coffee and fresh bread drew us in. Well, it drew Betsy in more than me since gluten is my kryptonite. The inside had the look of an eclectic cafe and the smell of fresh bread caught your attention right away. Betsy picked out a fresh loaf of bread and we shared an iced coffee. We always feel better when we are able to support a small business like Sunrise Bread Company.
Having satisfied our main street fix, we headed to another one of our enjoyments in life, a good marina. The Titusville Marina was a pleasant walk (Ok, a little cold for me, I may have underdressed for the temperature!) from downtown. We strode along the seawall picking out our favorite boats, agreeing this would be a nice stopover for those cruising the ICW. Overall, a pleasant afternoon in a traditional Florida town.