2018 Florida Road Trip Part 1

21 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites


Day 1 Friday 10/19/2018


Heading south from Titusville my first stop was to visit the Airport Museum located inside the Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne.  This is a small museum consisting of artifacts and memorabilia related to the history of the Naval Air Station (Melbourne) that was an active naval aviation training station for U.S. Navy and Marine pilots during WWII.  Also displayed are artifacts and displays related to the ever growing airport complex, as well as the history of the surrounding city of Melbourne, and many of the space programs over the years.



While in Melbourne I visited the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum located just a couple of miles southeast of the Melbourne International Airport.  This museum was established to record and honor the history of our American Nation.  The museum includes a Rotunda which houses a replica of the original Liberty Bell, as well as artifacts and ephemera related to the history of America.  As part of the museum, there is also a Freedom Hall which displays militara related to each of the U.S. military branches of service.



Adjacent to the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum visitors can stroll thru the beautiful Melbourne Military Memorial Park, which honors many of the U.S. Military personnel who have fought and died to preserve our freedom.



Heading south on U.S.–1, next I visited the Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum located in Sebastian.  This museum displays archeological artifacts related to what is referred to as the “1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet.” On its way back to Spain, eleven of the twelve ships in the Spanish fleet were devastated by a hurricane off the eastern coast of Florida.  This museum’s displays have been recovered from those ships over the years.  The museum also has an observation window where visitors can view underwater conservation work in progress.



A few miles south of Sebastian, on SR–A1A, I visited the McLarty Treasure Museum located on Orchid Island, which is the barrier island just north of Vero Beach.  As part of the Sebastian Inlet State Park, this museum displays more of the artifacts and memorabilia related to the destroyed “1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet” that have been recovered in this area.  This location is also believed to be the site where survivors of the hurricane that destroyed the Spanish fleet made camp, and over the next year or so attempting to retrieve as much of the lost treasure as possible, before returning to Spain.



Another 25 miles south on A1A was the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, located on North Hutchinson Island, which is the barrier island just east of Fort Pierce.  This museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history and equipment used by the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) and Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) teams from their inception during WWII (frogmen) up to the present.  There is also a beautiful UDT-SEAL Memorial honoring those who have died in the service to their country.  When not on tour, the actual restored 28-foot life boat from the “Maersk Alabama” hijacking incident (2009) is on display outside the museum (Used in the movie Captian Phillips).



—–To Be Continued—–



&nbsp Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 61 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.




One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10


3 Responses to “2018 Florida Road Trip Part 1”

  1. divoran09 November 21, 2018 at 12:03 pm #

    you do get around, don’t you?


  2. ludyja November 21, 2018 at 7:00 am #

    Bill, I’m so glad you are doing this trip. There are so many things about Florida that Fred and I have not researched. You are giving us great ideas for trips! Love you, bud!


    • Bill November 21, 2018 at 9:14 am #

      Judy, I’m only hitting the museums that interest me in my blogs. For a list of all museums in Florida, Google “Museums in Florida – Wikipedia.” Huge list.

      Love you too


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