More about Merritt Island
Merritt Island is a unique peninsula in Brevard County, Florida, often referred to as an island. It is situated on the eastern Florida coast along the Atlantic Ocean and is part of the Palm Bay – Melbourne – Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The island has a population of 34,518 as of the 2020 census and is home to several unincorporated communities. Merritt Island is not just a residential area; it also hosts NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, making it a place of interest for both residents and visitors.
Merritt Island has a rich history dating back to pre-Columbian times, with archaeological excavations uncovering fossils of extinct animals such as mastodons and camels. The island was part of a land grant given by the King of Spain to a nobleman named Merritt. It has seen the presence of Native American structures, Spanish explorers, and British merchants. The island’s recent history is centered around the growth of citrus and the Space Race, with the northern portion remaining less developed.
Geography and Climate
Extending some 46 miles from the Volusia County line to Dragon Point near Melbourne, Merritt Island is surrounded by the Indian River, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Mosquito Lagoon, and Banana River. The island experiences a typical Florida climate, with hot summers and mild winters, making it suitable for those who prefer warmer weather.
Economy and Housing
The median home price on Merritt Island is $384,500, with residents paying an average property tax of $3,537, at a county tax rate of 0.92%. The island has light industrial fabrication centers and NASA-related industrial activities. The economy also benefits from the presence of companies like Air Liquide. The island has a redevelopment agency funded by the county to further enhance its economic prospects.
Education and Infrastructure
Merritt Island hosts several public and private schools, providing educational options for families. The island is well-connected by roads, with several causeways linking it to the mainland and barrier islands. Merritt Island Airport serves as a public general aviation airport. The island’s infrastructure also includes sewage systems managed by the county.
Places of Interest and Landmarks
Merritt Island is home to numerous places of interest, including the Kennedy Space Center, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and several parks and conservation areas. The island also features historical landmarks such as J. R. Field Homestead, Hacienda del Sol, and Old St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery. These landmarks and natural reserves offer recreational and educational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.
Several notable individuals hail from Merritt Island, including football player Tim DeMorat, racing drivers Arias Deukmedjian and Travis Kittleson, baseball player Taylor Jordan and actor and journalist Roy Padrick.
Merritt Island, with its unique geography, rich history, and diverse flora and fauna, offers a distinctive living experience. The presence of educational institutions, well-maintained infrastructure, and various places of interest make it an attractive place for families and individuals. Whether you are drawn to the allure of space exploration, the tranquility of wildlife reserves, or the warmth of a close-knit community, Merritt Island has something to offer. With its variety of zip codes including 32952 and 32953, prospective residents have a range of options to consider when choosing their new home on this remarkable island.