Melbourne is located approximately 60 miles southeast of Orlando on the Space Coast along Interstate 95. It is approximately midway between Jacksonville and Miami with a total of 39.6 square miles of which 33.9 square miles is land and 5.7 square miles is water.
In 2009, Forbes ranked the area 18th out of 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and first out of 8 metros in Florida for affordable housing and short commute times, among others. The city has four hospitals, two golf courses, seventeen community parks, thirteen neighborhood parks and five smaller city parks. It is also home to the Brevard Zoo and Wickham Park. Melbourne International Airport is located about 1.5 miles northwest of the city’s original business district with daily flights to Atlanta and Charlotte.
Melbourne is a city in Brevard County, Florida and is the second largest by size and by population in the county with more than 76,000 residents. It has a detailed history of early human occupation of Paleo-Indians during the late Pleistocene epoch as well as mammoth, mastodon, horse, ground sloth, tapir, peccary, camel and saber-tooth cat bones nearly 10,000 years old.
After the Civil War, pioneer families arrived and Melbourne was founded in 1867 by former slaves. Melbourne was so named after its first postmaster, an Englishman who had spent much of his life in Melbourne, Australia. The first school in Melbourne was built in 1883 and is now owned by Florida Tech and is on permanent exhibit by the campus. By 1885, the town had 70 people. The Greater Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1885 and is still active.
In late 1942 the Naval Air Station Melbourne was established as a site to train newly commissioned Navy and Marine pilots for World War II. The program ran until 1946 and the land that was used for that program makes up most of what is currently the Melbourne International Airport. In 1969, the cities of Eau Gallie and Melbourne voted to merge forming modern day Melbourne.