11th Annual Botanical Garden Festival :: Melbourne Beach B&B

Melbourne Beach activities Having been born and raised in Melbourne Beach, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the stunning beauty of Florida Institute of Technology’s Botanical Garden this past weekend. Only a quick 15 minute drive from Port d’Hiver, the 15-acre, public Botanical Garden offers a peaceful oasis for amateur horticulturalists and hikers, alike.  At the garden’s entrance stands a small red building and placard that reads:botanical gardens Florida

“Melbourne’s First School
This building was erected in 1883 by John Goode, an early settler…The schoolhouse served both white and black students…[and] was painted red from the very beginning. A hand-operated pump stood outside the door and long benches served as the only seats inside. There were no desks. The students wrote on slates. The school term was only about five or six months in the summer time.”

romantic Melbourne Beach getawayI found the garden’s more exotic and secluded beauty by following paved walkways until they were replaced by ivy-covered trails which curved their way through the jungles of Melbourne. Needless to say, this was a wonderful way to (re)discover part of Melbourne Beach’s local history and natural beauty.

annual Botanical Festival in Florida The garden’s 11th Annual Botanical Fest is scheduled for March 5th, 2016. The free event will showcase some of Florida’s finest plant and garden vendors, offering palms, exotics, native plants, ornamental shrubs, bamboo and flowering plants. Guided tours will take place throughout the day, and master gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions. Book your stay now at Port d’Hiver and enjoy our sunny skies, warm beaches, and tropical gardens!

FYI: The Botanical Garden is open every day from sunrise to sunset, rain or shine.

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Fall Activities & Festivals in Melbourne Beach

Fall in Melbourne Beach, FLHave you ever experienced Port d’Hiver during the fall? From the smell of salt air and our smoky, courtyard fire pits, to the taste of warm, Pumpkin French toast, and the feel of our heated, spa pool and plush, down duvets, we will help you celebrate this holiday season like no other – in a tropical oasis!

In addition to discovering our natural beaches, parks, and wildlife, there are a variety of fun fall festivals, concerts, educational classes, and shows happening within just a few miles of Port d’Hiver. Plan your fall get-away now as many of our guests look forward to this season more than any other!

Here are a few of our favorite, upcoming festivities for food, art, nature, and music lovers:

Thurs., Oct. 22:   Live Music at the Avenues
Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, relax on a nearby bench, dine at an Avenue restaurant or stroll through The Avenue while enjoying the music.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 5-8pm, The Avenues in Viera

Fri. & Sat., Oct. 23-24:    Trail of Terror
Trail of Terror is a brand-new haunted attraction featuring live actors, elaborate sets and terrifying special effects. The experience culminates in an “afterparty” with a DJ, bar and made-to-order food.
Admission: $19.95/person
Time, Location: 8:30pm-midnight, Entrance of Treetop Trek, Brevard Zoo

Fri. & Sat., Oct. 23-24:    Haunted Airboat Ride
Discover what’s lurking in the swamp with a haunted airboat ride along the St. John’s River. Unique to the Space Coast, this Haunted Airboat Ride and Trail at Camp Holly takes about 25 minutes to complete.
Admission: $12/person
Time, Location: 7-11pm, Camp Holly

Fri., Oct. 23:    Fall Festival, Dinner, and a Movie at Wickham Park
Starting at 6pm, there will be hayrides, lawn games, arts & crafts, a pumpkin decorating contest, an food trucks. From 7-8pm is “Trunk or Treat” with decorated vehicles and prizes. Starting at 8:30pm, “Hocus Pocus” will be screened outside under the stars.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 6-10pm, Wickham Park

Sat., Oct. 24:    Creatures Fest
Free, fun, family event to celebrate animal diversity, ecology and conservation with a Halloween theme. Enjoy a plethora of live animal encounters, eco-art critter costume making, building a bee house, puppet play, meeting a mermaid, guided hikes to search for creatures, outdoor animal games, food vendors and more!
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 11am-3pm, Barrier Island Center

Sat., Oct. 24:   Cast Net Class
Learn how to make, repair, and throw a cast net.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 1-2pm, Sebastian Inlet State Park

Sun., Oct. 25:    Grillefest at the Avenues
Join us for the 1st Annual Brevard County Wing Cook off, Auto, Motorcycle, RV and Golf cart show. Music performances by Katty Shack, Johnnie Morgan Band. Unique beers provided by World of Beer. Hosted by the Brevard County Sherriffs Motor Unit.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 12-5pm, The Avenues

Wed., Oct. 28:   An Evening with Mark Knopfler and Band
Lead vocalist and songwriter for Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, will perform with his band.
Admission: Starting at $61.50
Time, Location: 8pm, Maxwell C. King Center

Thurs., Oct. 29:   Live Music at the Avenues – see additional info above

Fri. & Sat., Oct. 30 & 31:   Trail of Terrors & Haunted Airboat Rides (30th only) – see additional info above

Sat., Oct. 31:    Creature Feature Films
Enjoy spooky creature features all day!
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 9:30am-4pm, Barrier Island Center

Sat., Oct. 31:    America’s Got Talent: The All-Stars Tour
Admission: Starting at $47/person
Time, Location: 4-6pm, Maxwell C. King Center

Melbourne Beach fall art festivalSat. & Sun., Nov. 6-8:   Melbourne Fall Art Festival
The 22nd annual Melbourne Fall Festival will bring over 200 artists to converge in Downtown for a weekend of great art, good fun, and live music. This year’s acts include Matt & Kim and Bad Fish. This event is the largest free Art Festival and Concert Series in all of Central Florida!
Admission: Free
Location: Downtown Melbourne

Fri., Nov. 6:    Jazz Fridays @ Foosaner Art Museum
Held in conjunction with the Eau Gallie Arts District First Friday Gallery Walks, the event features live entertainment and an open gallery. Listen to jazz as you view the current exhibition.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 5:30-7:30pm, Foosaner Art Museum

Sat., Nov. 7:   Downtown Art Walk
The event will feature more than two dozen businesses showcasing some medium of art from live art demos, live music and wine-tastings.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 5-8pm, Downtown Melbourne

Sat., Nov. 7:    Jazzoo
Jazzoo is Brevard Zoo’s most exciting, vibrant and energized event of the year! Featuring live bands, extraordinary food from more than 30 of the area’s best restaurants and caterers, and multiple open bars serving liquor, beer and wine. ALL-INCLUSIVE. All the food, All the beverage, All the music, All night long until 11pm. Experience an unforgettable night while supporting Brevard Zoo’s missions of conservation, education and animal care.
Admission: Click here for ticket info
Time, Location: 7-11pm, Brevard Zoo

Sat., Nov. 7:   Surf Fishing Workshop
This workshop is designed to introduce anglers to the basics of surf fishing. Discussions center on equipment needed to enjoy a productive day of surf fishing at the beach. Topics include rod and reel selection, standard pompano rig, choosing bait and more.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 1-3pm, Sebastian Inlet State Park

fall festival in Melbourne BeachFri., Nov. 13:    Friday Fest
Head out to historic downtown Melbourne for this event featuring live music and late shopping hours.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 6-10pm, Downtown Melbourne

Fri. – Sun., Nov. 13-15:    American Jazz Pianist Competition
The 10 best jazz pianists were chosen from a pool of entrants to compete for a Grand Prize valued at over $10,000 from Grand Bohemian Hotels! The finals day includes a workshop and master-class hosted by none other than Kenny Barron, Per Danielsson and Jeremy Siskind.
Admission: Free entry, $25/person for additional entry to workshops
Location: Gleason Performing Arts Center at Florida Institute of Technology

Sat., Nov. 21:    Dune to Lagoon Cross Barrier Island Plant ID Tour
Join us for a leisurely stroll and find out which plants are edible, have medical uses, and are   attractive for use in landscaping.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 1-2:15pm, Sebastian Inlet State Park

Fri., Nov. 27:    Night Sounds Park Concert Series
Featuring 23 Treez – Bring a chair or towel and enjoy the music while surrounded by water and nature. Night Sounds concerts are planned on the weekend nearest the full moon each month.
Admission: Free
Time, Location: 7-9pm, Sebastian Inlet State Park

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Winter is Coming! Canadian Airline Now Flies Direct to Melbourne Beach

Porter Airlines just recently announced that from December 19th to April 30th it will offer direct flights from Toronto, Canada to Florida, and has chosen our local, Melbourne airport as its first partner and destination!

With introductory flights starting at only $330, Port d’Hiver is the perfect place for our Northern neighbors to spend a much-needed, luxury beach vacation during the snowy, winter days ahead. Warm up on our sunny beaches, and enjoy the Space Coast’s live music, great comedy, art festivals, rocket launches and local holiday celebrations!

Where would you rather be?


Canada - Canadians Fly Direct to Melbourne

Or here?

Port dHiver Beach

And we have the perfect vacation package for you – spend 7 days in the spacious and tranquil Mangrove Suite using our Extended Stay package for a 35% discount, and also receive chilled champagne on ice, two keepsake flutes, and two Port d’Hiver t-shirts upon arrival. Check our availability here!

Our amenities and services include an optional 7:00am coffee service, gourmet breakfast, savory hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine during our daily cocktail hour, 24 hour access to chips, crackers, cookies, sodas, bottled water and coffee, all of the beach supplies you may need (chairs, coolers, umbrellas, boogie boards, etc.), bikes, and a twice-daily housekeeping service complete with a sweet turndown treat.

For those guests unfamiliar with the Melbourne Beach area, there are lots of diverse activities from shopping in our historic downtown, to taking a guided kayak tour through our naturally-beautiful state parks. You can find those, and many more on our website here. You can also read about many of our favorite restaurants and bars within walking distance, or just a short drive from Port d’Hiver.

Join us at the beach, in your warmer home away from home.  Hope to see you soon!

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Ocean Avenue in Melbourne Beach :: Romantic B&B Getaway


This past week I had the pleasure of meeting two couples traveling together that enjoyed their stay so much, they thought I needed to add some more pictures and brief descriptions of not only our quaint town, but, more importantly, of our own beautiful street, Ocean Avenue, so that others may get a small glimpse into the Paradise that is within walking distance from Port d’Hiver. So here is a “picture map” of Ocean Avenue that I took with my phone today. I love our half-mile-wide island (just 5 blocks in total) and know you will, too!

Ocean Avenue

Our starting location: Port d’Hiver! We are located on the beach-end of Ocean Avenue.

Melbourne Beach

Ocean Park Beach Access

Just 200 yards across from our front door is the beach access – Ocean Park.

Romantic Florida Summer Getaways
Ocean Park Picnic Tables

Although Ocean Park is small in size, it does have 2 large, beach volleyball courts, an outdoor shower and a few picnic tables situated under shady palm trees.

Florida Surf Shop
Ocean Park Beach Volleyball Court

Headed west on Ocean Avenue towards the Indian River, you will pass many small, mom-and-pop shops and restaurants/bars, including:

  • Saver’s Drug
  • Melbourne Beach Market (grocery store)
  • Oceanside Liquors
  • Nautical Collections: Seashell Jewelry and Beach Gift Shop
  • Black Dog Bait & Tackle Shop
  • Catalyst Surf Shop
  • Victoria’s Coin Laundry
  • Sundae’s Ice Cream
  • Oceanside Pizza
  • Robburito’s (gourmet burritos and tacos)
Ryckman House
Ryckman Park Gazebos

The last 3 blocks or so of Ocean Avenue is where you’ll find Melbourne Beach’s Activity Centers, including:

  • Ryckman Park: Gazebos, Tennis and Basketball Courts, Bocce Ball, the Pier, and a playground
  • Historical Sites: The Old Post Office, Ryckman House, the Community Chapel, and the Melbourne-Atlantic Railroad
  • The Community Center
  • The Police & Fire Departments
Ocean Park in Florida
Police & Fire Departments

After enjoying a sunny day on the beach at Ocean Park, many Port d’Hiver guests like to spend their evening walking through Ryckman Park, taking pictures of sunsets on the Pier, and dining at Djon’s Steak And Lobster House, which is across the street from the park and located at the Indian River-end of Ocean Avenue (just 5 blocks from the Inn).

Melbourne Beach Inn

Ryckman Park Pier

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Port d’Hiver is Nominated for a 2015 Luxury Travel Guide Award!

Melbourne Beach B&B

We are proud to announce that Port d’Hiver is nominated for Luxury Travel Guide’s 2015 Luxury Boutique Hotel awards. The Luxury Travel Guide Award recognizes and celebrates excellence across all sectors of the affluent travel and tourism industry.

Their team of experts have scoured the globe and travelled extensively in order to identify everything from the very best hotels, airlines and tour operators through to highlighting the most reputable transfer service companies.

The 2014 Luxury Boutique Hotel award winner was the Soho House in New York City. While New York City is very different than Melbourne Beach’s relaxing, natural beaches and abundant marine life, we are excited to be recognized as a contender in this elite group of boutique hotels offering luxury and an unforgettable vacation.

Winners will be announced in June – please show your support by “Liking” this post on Facebook, and commenting with your positive Port d’Hiver vacation memories!

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Melbourne’s King Center :: Exciting Summer Shows & Concerts

After a relaxing day at the beach, treat yourself to an entertaining show or concert at the Maxwell C. King Center for Performing Arts. Only a short 20 min drive from Port d’Hiver, the 126,000-square-foot facility includes a 2,016-seat performing arts hall, a 250-seat Studio Theatre, art display areas, dance studios and rehearsal halls. We’re proud of the comfort and luxury offered by the Melbourne King Center!

Here’s a list of some performances that we’re looking forward to this summer:

Thursday, May 21: Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler Live ShowAs one of the nation’s fastest-rising female stand-ups, Chelsea has performed to sold-out audiences at venues and festivals everywhere and most recently, the prestigious Carnegie Hall. Her comedy mixes fearless honesty, ironic riffs and self-deprecations with no shortage of material.

Tuesday, June 23: Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra

Liebert is a five-time Grammy nominated guitarist. His debut album, Nouveau Flamenco, featuring the stunning “Barcelona Nights,” sold double-platinum and became the biggest-selling guitar album of all time, redefining Flamenco music and marking Liebert as one of the most talented, influential and creative guitarists and performers to surface in years.

Friday, June 26: RENT

Based loosely on Puccini’s La Boheme, Jonathan Larson’s RENT follows a year in the life of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse

Thursday, July 9: American Idol Live!

For the first time ever, enjoy an intimate evening spotlighting the Top Five finalists from Season 14: Rayvon, Jax, Nick, Tyanna and Clark.

Friday, August 14: Weird Al Yankovich

“Weird Al” Yankovic is the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history. This tour follows the release of Weird Al’s #1 album and Grammy winner for Best Comedy Album, Mandatory Fun.

Wednesday, August 19: John Hiatt & The Combo and Tai Mahal Trio

John Hiatt’s songs have been recorded by artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Iggy Pop, Rosanne Cash, and the Jeff Healey Band. The legendary, two-time Grammy winner Taj Mahal is a master of finger-picking country blues, bluegrass banjo, slide guitar, southern blues, soul, R&B and reggae music.

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The 3 Best Melbourne Beach Events of the Year, Starting This Weekend!

illustrated-mapThree of our favorite weekends of the year are coming up quickly – plan your stay now! The Melbourne Art Festival is the weekend of April 25-26, Founder’s Day in Melbourne Beach is celebrated on Saturday, May 2nd and the 30th Annual Pineapple Man Triathlon is Sunday, June 2nd.

The Melbourne Art Festival (April 25-26) is held in historic, downtown Melbourne just across the causeway (a 5-10 min. drive from the Inn). The Marathon runners (motion blur)festival includes a 5k flamingo run Saturday morning and live music from 1-11pm Saturday and 12-5pm Sunday. The 5k run takes you over the Melbourne causeway and back, ending with a band or DJ and celebratory beer tent! In addition to the 5k and live music, the art festival also features art workshops, local craft and food vendors, and a student art competition. The man that created our beautiful Port d’Hiver map, shown to the left here, is always a cornerstone exhibit (thanks Mike!). Admission to the art festival is free. For a full schedule of events, click here.

Founder’s Day (Saturday, May 2nd ) in Melbourne Beach takes place on our street (Ocean Avenue), with most activities happening in Ocean Park and Ryckman Park. Founder’s Day includes an arts and crafts Acoustic Guitar Playingshow, a fishing contest, historical presentations, a surf contest, kayak, canoe and paddleboard races, Hawaiian dancing, a performance by Gemini Elementary children’s choir, volleyball and basketball, beer and wine, and live music from 5-8pm by Hammerhead Lincoln, a classic rock and roll band with blues infusion. Lots of locals spend the whole day on Ocean Ave. celebrating all the reasons why we love our small town! Admission is free.

30th Annual Pineapple Man Triathlon will be held on Sunday, June 2nd and takes place just down the street. Fortunately, registration is still open…however, it is a really popular triathlon and fills up quickly so please make sure to plan your visit soon! This sprint triathlon starts with a swim just off the pier at the end of Ocean Ave., the bike is down A1A and back, and the run is through the streets of the town. Port d’Hiver owners Linda and Mike Rydson have done all or parts of this race for several years. Whether you’re a participant or spectator, Triatalete Melbourne BeachPort d’Hiver is the perfect place to make your ‘basecamp!’ We will set you up with a triathlete’s breakfast – coffee or juice, fresh fruit, and/or a power breakfast sandwich or egg white, veggie omelet. And we’ll have celebratory mimosas waiting for you after the race! Haven’t started training yet? You can come scout it for next year! For additional race information, click here.

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Engagements & Honeymoons are our New Specialty

Most Romantic Places to Get Engaged in FloridaIn honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, we’ve been busy creating two new reservation packages that will ensure the most romantic, luxurious, affordable and stress-free getaway: The “Perfect Proposal” and the “Ultimate 2 Night Honeymoon.” Today we’re happy to announce that both packages are now live and available for viewing and booking via our new webpage. The most romantic honeymoons in Florida await at our top rated inn.

Here’s a summary of each package:

  1. The Perfect Proposal – 2 nights in the Cabanas or Main House – $1025 / Carriage House – $1375:
    • 1 dozen long-stemmed roses
    • A gourmet dinner for two at Djon’s Steak and Lobster House (only a short 5 block walk from the Inn)
    • Return from dinner to your room bathed in candlelight and silk rose petals, romantic music playing, and champagne on ice with 2 keepsake flutes waiting
    • 2 Port d’Hiver tshirtsRomantic Honeymoon Getaways in Florida
  2. The Ultimate 2 Night Honeymoon – 2 nights in Cabanas or Main House – $1140 / Carriage House – $1475:
    • Champagne on ice upon arrival with 2 keepsake flutes
    • On the first night of your honeymoon return from dinner to your room bathed in candlelight, silk rose petals and hand-dipped chocolate cover strawberries, and romantic music playing
    • 1 hour Swedish Couples Massage, either in your room or at Imperial Spa (location subject to availability*)
    • A gourmet dinner for two at Djon’s Steak and Lobster House (only a short 5 block walk from the Inn)

Although these packages are geared towards engagements and honeymoons, we’re happy to offer it to any couple looking for a romantic vacation!

Looking for a longer stay? Check out our Three Night Honeymoon Harbor or the 7 Night Honeymoon in the Carriage House discount packages.

Please call an Innkeeper for any additional questions: (321) 722-2727.

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Plan a Stay Before Christmas and Take Advantage of a Special Offer & Local Holiday Events!

Melbourne Beach - Christmas Events 2014Looking for a little holiday cheer? In addition to our beautiful decorations, decorated Christmas tree, courtyard fire pit, and warm Jacuzzi pool in our Melbourne Beach bed and breakfast, you can check out some of these fun, festive activities happening around Melbourne Beach!

Special Offer: Mention this blog when you call to book and we’ll provide a free bottle of champagne upon arrival!


Melbourne Beach Christmas Events:

  1. Christmas Tree Lighting Event: Thursday, Dec. 11, at 6pm. It will be held in front of the Community Center and refreshments will be served.
  2. Children’s Christmas Parade: Starts on Ocean Ave. Saturday, Dec. 13, at 9am. Established in 1966, the annual Children’s parade is sponsored by the Melbourne Beach Vo. Fire Department, and is a fun event for all ages. Join us for refreshments, visit with Santa and much moreChristmas in Florida - Lights

Historic, Downtown Melbourne:

  1. Candlelight shopping every Saturday at 5pm until Christmas with carolers, carriage rides, and Santa!
  2. A special December Friday Fest, Dec. 12 from 5-10pm. In addition to the normal street party of food and craft vendors, there will a Christmas Market and live music by the Jazz Cats.

Viera: Light Up Viera!
(Open weekdays and weekends, $5-10/day)

  1. Ice Skating Rink: Whether you’re a first-timer or a skating pro, everyone can slide and glide on the 40’x100’ synthetic rink!
  2. Snowzilla: Take on the 31-foot tall and 90-foot long Snowzilla Slide – The ONLY mobile snow-tubing lane of its kind!
  3. Sand Art Santa: Local, world-renowned sand sculptors Jill Harris and Thomas Koet of Sandsational Sand Sculpting will be creating Santa’s workshop!
  4. Art and Craft Vendors: Stop by every Friday through Sunday to support our local talent and get unique holiday gift ideas from artists and crafters.
  5. Local Entertainment & Contests:  Join us every weekend, as they feature local talent, including high school jazz bands and chorus groups, and performances. Check out the schedule of events here.

Melbourne Beach - Christmas Events 2014The King Center, Melbourne:

  1. A Peter White Christmas, Sunday, Dec. 14, 7pm: A Peter White Christmas featuring Rick Braun & Mindi Abair is coming back to town! Contemporary jazz lovers eagerly await this annual fun filled concert which has packed fans into halls and arenas coast-to-coast year after year. Peter White is an extraordinary and fluent acoustic guitarist whose skills are world-renowned.
  2. Darlene Love, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 8pm: You have seen her at the Oscars – you have seen her on Broadway, you have seen her in the “Lethal Weapon” movies and “20 Feet From Stardom” – now see her in concert at the King Center on December 16th in her heartfelt, Love for the Holidays concert.
  3. BonXMAS, Friday, Dec. 19, 8pm: Classic Holiday songs done with a Bronx twist. You’ll also hear all your favorites you’ve come to expect from a Bronx Wanderers Show; The Four Seasons, Dion, Coldplay and so much more.
  4. A Christmas Carol, Saturday, Dec. 20, 7pm: The Nebraska Theatre Caravan is once again bringing their unique version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to Melbourne. This Victorian version of Christmas magic is presented with a full array of traditional Christmas carols interwoven with the well-known story.
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Make a Quick Getaway To Melbourne Beach this Weekend for the Fall Festival!

Vintage Car ShowMelbourne’s Fall Festival begins this Friday, Nov. 7th at 6pm in our Historic Downtown! If you are looking for a fun, free, and spontaneous getaway, it is only a short 10 minute drive from our Inn. The Fall Festival is always a highly anticipated event for locals and travelers, alike!

With over 200 food, art, and craft vendors, live entertainment, free concerts, kids’ activities, and a vintage (pre-1970s) car and bike show Sunday, there is something for everyone. As of today we have two rooms available Friday and only one available Saturday – book your stay now!

Check out the schedule below:

Friday, Nov. 7, 6pm-12am; Music Headliner: Stick Figure

Saturday, Nov. 8, 10am-12am; Music Headliner: Collie Buddz

Sunday, Nov. 9, 10am-5pm; Music Headliner: Adam SandersDowntown Melbourne Beach

Sunday, Nov. 9, 12-5pm: Vintage Car & Bike Show

Kick off the weekend early by attending Matt’s Casbah’s 50s-themed 6th Anniversary Party on Thursday, Nov. 6th from 5-9pm! Also located in our Historic Downtown, the party will include a costume contest for “Best Sandy and Danny” and all you can eat and drink (tip: try their delicious sushi!). For more information and to buy your tickets in advance, check out their website.

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© Port d’Hiver Bed and Breakfast by Michael Rydson