Just got back from a trip we made into Brevard county. It is a short drive to the Space Coast from where we live in Central Florida. Home of the Kennedy Space Center. But away from the tourist attractions, you will find one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. Beautiful, because it is unspoiled, which also means you have eco-friendly toilets and nowhere to shower off the sand. Playa Linda Beach and the Black Point Wildlife Refuge are isolated scenic places.
Some of the best kept secrets in Florida that the locals enjoy but many tourists overlook are the federal lands.
Before you get to the national seashore you have to cross the intercoastal waterways That separate the barrier islands from the mainland. Early morning sunrise over the intercoastal waterway.
Find a boardwalk across the dunes and before long…
…you are on the beach! Sunlight quickly burns off the clouds. Don’t worry, they’ll be back!
No condos, no hotels, no commercial enterprises…just you and the beach.
A few people meander down the beach in early morning.
Shelling is popular because the shore is not so picked over as the crowded beaches.
Families enjoy fun in the sun.
A trip across the boardwalk and you’ll find an explanation on why the dunes are so important and why we need to keep off.
You’ll also find words of caution. This is Federal land.
On a side note:
The Legal Scene
Is Public Nudity Legal in Florida?
by Marvin Frandsen
“Here’s what the Florida courts have to say about that. The following is from Florida Statute 800.03:
It shall be unlawful for any person to expose or exhibit his sexual organs in any public place or on the private premises of another, or so near thereto as to be seen from such private premises, in a vulgar or indecent manner, or so to expose or exhibit his person in such place, or to go or to be naked in such place. Provided, however, this section shall not be construed to prohibit the exposure of such or the person in any place provided or set apart for that purpose.
The Florida Supreme Court and lower courts have repeatedly ruled that mere nudity (as in sunbathing and skinny-dipping) is not in violation of this law. Nudity is not lewd, lascivious, or indecent exposure. Clothing-optional recreation does not harm the public’s health, safety, welfare, or morals. There are no harmful “secondary contrary effects” of skinny-dipping or the sight of a person in the natural state of being unclothed on a public beach. The public has nothing to fear from a live nude body. (Emphasis added.)”
“Itʼs deﬁnitely cultural. It think we ought to be more like the French in most
everything, and the Germans as well. Weʼre way too uptight here; its a beautiful thing
over there.” (Rush Limbaugh, on nude beaches, from an Internet site).”
So, you might encounter scenes like this.
Or this. We nudists call these “cottontails”.
Or this. Actually, mostly this.
The beach and waters here create tidal pools. Fish and sea life get trapped in them. They are fun to explore.
Ibis hanging out on the beach with the nudies.
One reason you don’t see a lot of folk out far in the water swimming. Most only wade out into the shallows. There are sharks in the water (and no life guards).
Other fish also.
But lots of sharks.
Back across the boardwalk and you’ll see that the locals ordinances are always at odds with the Feds. There are ongoing court cases, where locals and traveling Europeans are fined anywhere from $25.00 to $500.00 for violating local nudity ordinances.
As this guy proves with his willingness to pose, many nudists ignore the warnings.
Storms move in quickly and move along and out just as fast. You never know how the weather will hold through the day. Often they threaten, with clouds, high winds, and lightening, but not a drop of rain falls.
Leaving the beach area you will find many little park and wildlife refuge areas like this one at Black Point on Merritt Island. There are boardwalks that let you get really close to the wildlife. The birds are spectacular.
The marshy brackish waters of the intercoastals and all around places like Blackpoint Wildlife Drive Park where you can do bird watching.
White pelicans, American egrets, Hooded Merganzers, rosette spoonbills and more flock here. The sound can be deafening.
Ducks cover the ponds.
A nice way to end a day at the beach. The sky is constantly changing from bright to cloudy to bright again.
Sand hill crane with chicks. These guys are huge, coming up to your car windows.They are monogamous, and will often stand over a lost loved one for weeks. They will pair off again with their young, whom they raise to adulthood.
Egret in mating plumage.
Heron with chicks.
Rosette Spoonbill in flight.
Rosette Spoonbill chicks.
Spoonbills on the water.
A trip into Titusville is never complete without a stop at Dixie Crossroads, a local dining establishment that has been around for decades. There are several indoor and outdoor dining areas connected by boardwalks and corridors.
Their specialty is shrimp. Any kind of shrimp, any kind of way. Not these guys though.
Get there early enough and you might be treated to a crawfish boil
You can dine outside under the live oaks.
On buckets of roasted oysters from Apalachicola. I won’t eat them from May to August. Only months with an ‘R’ in them.
Scallops, rock shrimp, and pink shrimp. The rock shrimp taste like lobster, only juicer.
Seafood not your thing. They gotcha covered.
Entertainment. Bluegrass and local artists/musicians.
You will almost always find a row of these outside.
They draw a huge crowd come nightfall.
Last look over the waterway.
Here’s a map of where we have been today on the Atlantic coast.