15 Free Things to Do in Palm Bay, FL

Palm Bay, FL
Alexandra Rotanova / shutterstock.com

As one of Central Florida's best-kept secrets, Palm Bay is a beautiful destination with plenty of hidden gems.

This city in Brevard County belongs to the Space Coast region in Florida.

It's near the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and the Kennedy Space Center.

Geographically, Palm Bay has a size of 89.60-square miles with over 120,000 inhabitants.

This charming city is known for its plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Like most of Florida's top tourist destinations, Palm Bay offers the same tropical weather and laid-back vibes you'll enjoy at its parks and nature preserves.

However, Palm Bay stands out when offering its visitors cost-free and worthwhile activities.

If you're planning to visit this city in the Sunshine State on a tight budget, read on to uncover the free things to do in Palm Bay, Florida.

Enjoy Birdwatching at Turkey Creek Sanctuary

Boardwalk at Turkey Creek Sanctuary
Evan McElroy / Shutterstock.com

Turkey Creek Sanctuary is a pocket nature reserve in Palm Bay.

You can visit this nature reserve along Port Malabar Boulevard NE for the best spot in the city for birdwatching.

This sanctuary features sand pine ridge and salty hammock habitats that span over 130 acres.

The thickly wooded areas comprise saw palmettos, sand pines, and live oaks.

Various birds like to stay in these favorite spots.

A tortoise at Turkey Creek Sanctuary
Mike Herna / Shutterstock.com

So, don't forget to bring your binoculars when visiting Palm Bay.

Try to spot various local and migratory bird species throughout the area.

Many native animals also live there.

Besides the abundance of wildlife, Turkey Creek Sanctuary offers a scenic and lush landscape, making it a worthwhile natural area to visit.

You can also enjoy hiking through its trails or visiting its visitor center.

The waters of Turkey Creek Sanctuary
Stephen Lea, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See the Romantic Sunset along Emerson Road and Heritage Parkway

Florida has earned renown for some of the most breathtaking sunsets in the world.

To experience this captivating view, head to Palm Bay's perfect spot to view the sunset on Emerson Road and Heritage Parkway.

Palm Bay has one of the best places to catch a beautiful sunset in Brevard County.

Many visitors flock to this area to watch the Palm Bay sunset and see the gorgeous view of the orange and red hues that color the afternoon sky.

Don't forget to watch the sunset on Emerson Road and Heritage Parkway on your visit to Palm Bay.

Test Your Bike Skills at Grapefruit Trails

Grapefruit Trails is a public off-road trail known for its top-notch course.

You can visit this off-road mountain bike trail along Norbert Road NE.

It's Palm Bay's best off-road mountain biking destination, especially for intermediate and advanced bikers.

It's your go-to destination in the city if you're an avid cyclist who loves to traverse trails and wooded areas.

The trail spanning over two miles has technical features such as jumps, sharp curves, and narrow paths, which should test your skills.

Grapefruit Trails allows you to explore Palm Bay's natural area more adventurously.

Never forget to include this in your itinerary.

Conquer the Palm Bay Regional Disc Golf Course

Palm Bay Regional Disc Golf Course is the perfect location in the city to test your prowess in this unique and trendy sport.

You can visit this disc golf course along Championship Circle NW within the Poppe Regional Park.

This disc golf course, currently managed by South Brevard Golf, features 18 holes.

The course spans 4,965 feet, enough to give you a worthwhile disc golf experience with your friends.

The Palm Bay Regional Disc Golf Course is unique because of its challenging aspect, which many Floridian disc golfers love to conquer.

Put this disc golf course in your itinerary if you've got what it takes to overcome it.

Spend Your Day at Fred Poppe Regional Park

Fred Poppe Regional Park is a vast 200-acre outdoor attraction perfect for outdoor activities.

You can visit this regional park along Malabar Road.

This park is a vast sports field home to various local teams and groups, such as the Brevard Caribbean American Sports and Cultural Association.

At the same time, many locals flock to this park every weekend for a lovely picnic, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Fred Poppe Regional Park is the one-stop park for sports lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and families who love to spend their day outdoors.

Don't miss this park for sports, a picnic, or relaxation.

Hike through the Micco Scrub Sanctuary

Micco Scrub Sanctuary spans over 1,322 acres of a protected area.

You can visit this sanctuary along Micco Road and see Brevard County's last remaining scrubby Flatwoods habitat.

This sanctuary is your go-to hiking destination mainly for its gorgeous mosaic of dry flat woods and seasonal marshes.

It is also home to the region's local flora and fauna.

Many locals throughout Brevard County visit this sanctuary for hiking, horseback riding, geocaching, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing.

Regardless of your preferred activity, it has numerous trails that take you to various areas, each with its unique natural features.

Pack your hiking boots and walking sticks because you might find yourself hiking through the Micco Scrub Sanctuary.

Browse the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House

The Ted Moorhead Lagoon House is an excellent destination to get acquainted with Palm Bay.

You can visit this place, mainly a welcome center, along Dixie Highway NE.

This welcome center serves as one of the stopovers for the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway, which also covers Palm Bay.

This welcome center, currently managed by the Marine Resources Council, is a fascinating place to visit.

It also serves as a mini-museum, displaying exhibits detailing the national scenic driveway's history and the environment.

In addition, the Ted Moorhead Lagoon House is an excellent place for workshops, school fields, trips, and meetings, making it a recommended place to drop by.

However, the house is open to the public only by appointment.

Cast Your Line at Castaways Point Park

Welcome sign of Castaways Point Park
Leonard J. DeFrancisci, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Castaways Point Park is one of Palm Bay's best places for a gorgeous beachfront view.

You can visit this place along Bay Boulevard.

Besides its magnificent view, many locals spend their day at this place to cast their line and enjoy fishing.

At the same time, it has a picnic pavilion, concrete trails, and a kayak launch for other outdoor activities.

It's one of the city's most famous fishing spots, perfect for those who yearn for a fishing trip.

Whether you're an avid angler or an amateur who wants a break, Castaways Point Park won't disappoint you.

Besides the abundance of fish, you'll also appreciate the peaceful atmosphere, the gentle sea breeze, and the occasional sightings of porpoises and manatees.

Take a Break at Bill Madden Park

Bill Madden Park is one of Palm Bay's numerous community parks that you surely don't want to miss.

You can check out this park along Eldron Boulevard SE.

It's a must-visit park because of its charming appeal, which has already earned the "2022 Neighborhood Favorites" award.

Like most top-notch community parks, this one has a well-designed playground, plenty of benches, picnic tables, grills, and restrooms.

With all that in mind, it's an excellent place to take a break from exploring Palm Bay's attractions.

You can picnic with your family or friends at Bill Madden Park.

Otherwise, enjoy a worthwhile hike to explore the park's beautiful landscape.

Show Off Your Tricks at McGriff Skate Park

McGriff Skate Park is a favorite destination for local skaters for its top-notch amenities.

You can visit this skate park along Degroodt Road, SW.

The City of Palm Bay constructed the park honoring the late James McGriff, a high school all-American athlete who passed away in 1998.

Today, it's one of the most visited outdoor attractions in the city, mainly for its skate park.

Plus, it has a gorgeous picnic area with a children's playground, perfect for a family's day out.

Meanwhile, its skate park has all the needed obstacles for a challenging run, such as rails, a bowl, steps, and ramps.

If you're an avid skater, head to McGriff Skate Park and join locals for a splendid outdoor activity.

Drive along the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway

The Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway is probably one of the most sought-after attractions in Central Florida.

This 130-mile-long thoroughfare passes by Palm Bay, making it an excellent destination for exploring the rest of the region.

The entire byway has numerous roads that lead you to the north and southern regions of Florida, with dozens of scenic locations to pass by.

While driving through this famous byway, you'll pass by the Pritchard House in Titusville, Pelican Island, North Sebastian Conservation Area, Merritt Island, and Barrier Island.

Of course, there are plenty more attractions along the road.

Don't miss driving through the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

After completing all the exciting and free things to do in Palm Bay, head out to its neighboring cities for plenty more free activities and attractions.

Explore Downtown Melbourne

Road entrance of Downtown Melbourne
Thomas Kelley / Shutterstock.com

Downtown Melbourne is a bustling district filled with an exciting line of gift shops, outdoor lounges, and restaurants.

Drive eight minutes north of Palm Bay to its neighboring city of Melbourne.

Also known as Historic Downtown Melbourne, it's an excellent place to meet locals by visiting various shops and restaurants and taking photos of its public art installations.

Shops along Downtown Melbourne
Dale Borchardt / Shutterstock.com

There are dozens of boutiques and quaint shops to visit for window shopping while listening to buskers on the street.

You can also explore numerous music venues offering free admission if you're looking for entertainment.

Overall, Downtown Melbourne is a must-visit destination for leisure and entertainment near Palm Bay.

Buildings along Downtown Melbourne
MicheleHaro, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spot Rare Plants at the Joy & Gordon Patterson Botanical Gardens

The Joy & Gordon Patterson Botanical Gardens is a charming attraction that features thousands of plant species.

You must drive ten minutes northwest of Palm Bay to Melbourne, Florida, to visit this attraction.

The garden, which spans over 15 acres, houses hundreds of spectacular plant species you won't find anywhere else.

Visiting this gorgeous botanical garden is a pleasant experience you mustn't miss.

Along the way, you'll come across various plant species collected from different places worldwide, making it an excellent place for plant lovers to visit.

You can also hike through its trails, surrounded by its rare plants.

Of course, don't miss the opportunity to take lovely photos of the Joy & Gordon Patterson Botanical Gardens.

Paddle through the Three Forks Conservation Area

The Three Forks Conservation Area is known for its off-the-beaten-path adventure.

You can visit this natural attraction in Melbourne, 16 minutes from Palm Bay.

This place protects the natural environment of this area in Brevard County and acts as a flood control site.

Many locals love spending time at this place for kayaking and canoeing.

It's a local hideaway where everyone can connect with nature.

It has numerous boat launches to hop on a canoe or kayak and enjoy the pristine atmosphere of this place.

In addition, you can also fish at the Three Forks Marsh Conservation Area.

Soak up the Sun at Spessard Holland South Beach Park

Spessard Holland South Beach Park is probably the nearest white-sand beach you can visit from Palm Bay.

You must drive 18 minutes east of Palm Bay to Melbourne Beach, Florida, to visit this gorgeous beach.

Compared to other beach destinations in Central Florida, this public beach offers a less-crowded and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for a worthwhile beach out.

Besides its white-sand beach, it has crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming and other water activities.

Spessard Holland South Beach Park also has picnic areas, drinking fountains, restrooms, and showers.

Final Thoughts

Palm Bay is a perfect destination for low-key and free recreational opportunities.

Even on a tight budget, you will find plenty of free activities for you and your family.

Palm Bay's numerous parks and natural areas make it an excellent outdoor destination.

Start planning your adventure with this list of free things to do in Palm Bay, Florida.

Spotted a mistake, have some feedback, or just want to chat with our editorial team? Click here to get in touch.
Find out more about Travel Lens and read our editorial guidelines here.