We are currently staying at Wickham Park Campground in Melbourne, Florida. This park is one of the many parks managed by Brevard County. We didn’t know what to expect when we booked this place as we were just trying to find an inexpensive spot along the space coast of Florida near Melbourne. Melbourne is another town that is in an area we are considering retiring to in the future.
When we are looking for a campground we are doing one of two things when we are seeking a new place to stay:
- we are looking for a inexpensive place to stay for a short period of time as a transition from one campground to another – 1-5 days stay
- we are looking for a place to stay for a longer period of time to get to know the area better to see if we may want to live there in the future – 1 or more weeks stay
Once we have identified a potential area we research the area for campgrounds and for things to do, places to visit, unique places to eat or imbibe etc. Once we have identified a place we want to stay at we look for a campground that offers us close proximity to all the things we want to do while visiting.
We don’t always find a perfect place but a longer stay campground for us ideally will have the following:
- 50 amps of service (we can live on 30 but prefer 50)
- larger spaces for camp sites (not the KOA model)
- sewage connections
- hike and bike trails nearby
- additional recreational opportunities nearby
- water such as a lake or stream or other scenic feature making it a pleasure to be in the park
- reasonable proximity to grocery stores
- not bust the budget
When we first get to a new area we have a pattern of behavior that has developed within us. On the first day of arriving at a new site we usually just stay in the campground after setting up and get to know the immediate area we are in. The second day we reconnoiter the surrounding area in to get to know more about what it has to offer for things to do and places to see or visit.
After staying in a place for two days we usually have a pretty good feel for how long we will stay in the campground or the area. When we came to Melbourne Florida we had planned to stay a while to get to know this area since it was on our list of potential future retirement areas but after our initial two days here we have a feeling that we won’t be here much longer. We will probably stay a little longer here to see if we are right in our initial thoughts.
As an aside, we must say that Wickham Park is a really nice place by itself. This nearly 400 acre park has something for everyone. Yesterday there was a horse show (they have an equestrian area), a triathlon (they have hike and bike trails and swimming areas) and a live concert (under one of the many large pavilions). Combine this with an onsite archery area, dog park, softball field, sand volleyball court, horseshoe pits, soccer fields and fishing lakes there is always some good people watching to be had. The bird and critter watching isn’t too bad either. It even has a disk golf course and a senior center on site!
However, there doesn’t appear too much to see or do in the immediate area other than going to the beach. The beaches here are super nice and the parking is free at most of them but you can only go to the beach so many times. Melbourne just isn't the place we thought it was. But as I said before we will give it a bit more time and see what happens. However, that little storm in the Atlantic may cause us to change our minds…