Staycation On the Space Coast is Just What the Doctor Ordered to Beat the COVID Blues
By Maria Sonnenberg // July 8, 2020
The best of the world can be found within the Space Coast’s 72 miles of shoreline
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Now that we are emerging from our COVID-imposed cocoons, we are eagerly searching for options to cool our cabin fever. Cruises are still verboten and plane travel, never that much fun even on a good day, is now downright dreary and suspect.
A car can get you to a long-distance family vacation, but the close quarters could well raise homicidal, or at least suicidal, thoughts.
“People are eager to get out of the house, and they prefer to drive, but they don’t want to travel too far,” said Peter Cranis, executive director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism.
Fortunately for us, pretty much the best of the world can be found within the Space Coast’s 72 miles of shoreline, and all within a hours’ drive of anywhere in the county.
Cranis’ office, together with Space Coast Daily, Spectrum, iHeartRadio and Clear Channel Outdoor, have launched the Relaunch Space Coast campaign, aimed at reinvigorating the economy by encouraging the locals to enjoy the Space Coast’s abundant options for dining, shopping and otherwise having a good time in a safe environment that is close to home and easy on the budget.
A Staycation this year is not just about steering clear of coronavirus risks. It also carries the added bonus of helping to recharge our local economy.
“The locals are the lifeblood of most businesses,” said Cranis.
The launch of Space Coast Daily’s new dining and entertainment pages offers the perfect opportunity for a quick dive into the deep pool of local eateries that feed the stomach, the heart and the soul.
If you can, take a couple of weeks rediscovering the Space Coast, and eat your way around the world without stepping outside the country line.
Local hotels are offering special incentives to get you out of the house and let someone else do the cooking and dusting. If you cannot, even a few hours exploring the gustatory byways of your stomping grounds will do fine.
This is the time to put on your adventurer’s hat and try new things. Just about every type of cuisine imaginable is available, and restaurants are abiding by COVID-19 guidelines to make your experience enjoyable and safe.
If Thai is your dish, Jao on New Haven Avenue, NipponThai on A1A in Satellite Beach and Thai Koji and Banzai on Wickham Rd. are all excellent choices, and they all serve excellent sushi, to boot.
Prefer Mexican dishes? El Leoncito, with locations in Viera and Titusville, are both two restaurants in one, for not only do they offer the traditional Mexican dishes, but they also have a generous selection of Cuban dishes.
Speaking of Cuban, Nini’s in Suntree and Indialantic, is all about Cuban food based on the recipes of the owner’s Cuban grandma. For Cuban cuisine with a view of Crane Creek, there’s El Ambia in downtown Melbourne.
A few minutes south on Babcock St. in Palm Bay is La Estancia de Luisa, where Colombian dishes, including the famed bandeja paisa, reign.
For a culinary trip to South America to experience churrasco, head to Melbourne Square, home of Estampa Gaucha, but make sure to eat light earlier that day, because the food is never-ending in this all-you-care-to-eat restaurant with tableside service.
Also at Melbourne Square is Red Ginger, home to the Himalayan Hot Pots, a “dinner-and-a-show” experience. Red Ginger’s sister restaurant is in Suntree.
Spain is in Cocoa Village in the form of El Bodegon, located in the cool old building that once housed a bank. Paella is on the menu, of course, plus tapas hot and cold and a host of other Spanish dishes.
Cocoa Village is also home to Café Margaux and its continental cuisine and prime steaks. The award-winning Café Margaux is known for its monthly wine dinner series, which features unique wines from around the world paired with six-course feasts.
Another popular wine dinner location is Green Turtle Market’s Grapevine Café, home of “A Night in…” culinary event that focuses on the dishes and wines of different regions of the world.
In Cocoa Beach, Heidelberg is the restaurant for upscale German food. Jazz fans around the world will also appreciate the adjoining Heidi’s Jazz Club, where the music is always hot.
Irish more your preference? Nolan’s Irish Pub, also in Cocoa Beach, tempts with bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and Guinness beef stew.
It’s Greek to you with Olympia Café on U.S. 1 in Melbourne. The tiny Greek restaurant packs a punch with traditional fare, plus its own Greek salad dressing, available for purchase by the bottle.
For many years, Lake Washington’s Salt and Sweet has presented traditional Polish cuisine such as golabki. Antonio and Vittoria presents an authentic Italian taverna right on A1A in Satellite Beach.
Alfredo’s Paradiso in Merritt Island has served authentic Italian cuisine since 2004. Alfredo’s Paradiso also offers a dedicated kitchen for hands-on cooking classes, wine tastings and special events.
Merry Old England is vacationing in Lake Washington at Archie’s Bar & Grill and all the traditional dishes of the Mother Country are in abundance.
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily TGIF Show Features Junkanoo Island Kitchen & Rum Bar, Peter Cranis from Space Coast Office of Tourism and Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse.
The Space Coast Office of Tourism encourages visitors and residents to seek out their favorite local spots this summer and to discover new ones as tourists in their backyards.
There are many hidden gems just waiting to be found.
To assist visitors seeking more information and how to plan their perfect getaway, please visit Visitspacecoast.com/SpaceForYou
The Visitor Update page is also continually updated to reflect Florida and CDC guidelines all in one place.
Florida’s Space Coast is ready and excited to welcome back visitors, old and new, to enjoy all we have to offer with the peace of mind that comes with the updated health and safety guidelines.
Let the waves wash away your worries because on the Space Coast, We Have Space For You Here.
The list could go on and on and on. You get the picture. Get out and eat!
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