My Merritt Trip planning thread

Discussion in 'Special Sessions, Events, and Tour Announcements' started by cknight, Nov 6, 2005.

  1. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    OK Florida gang, I'm trying to plan my trip down that way and have some questions. I thought that a thread would be easier than PM'ing back and forth.

    My current plan is:
    Sat Nov 26 - drive down from J'ville. Maybe shoot in the afternoon, depends on when I leave.
    Sun Nov 27 - shoot
    Mon Nov 28 - shoot
    Tues Nov 29 - shoot (may drive back to J'ville late in the afternoon)
    Wed Nov 30 - drive to J'ville if I don't leave on the 29th
    Some of my holiday family plans are still undecided, so there is a chance this could change a little.

    I would like to shoot in Merritt on one day, Vierra on another, and on the third day, go back to one of those 2 or try something different.

    Are Merritt and Vierra within an easy drive of each other?
    Could someone recommend a good but reasonably priced hotel?
    About how far of a drive is it from 'town' to the wildlife areas?
    What times do you usually go shooting?
    I'm sure I'll think of some more questions later.

    Any suggestions/ideas are welcome.
    And anyone that wants to is welcome to come along.
  2. Chris, I'll answer some of your questions.

    Yes, Merritt & Viera are easily done in a day. About 45 min apart. Viera is great in the early morning and/or later in the day. Merritt Island I've only been to in the afternoon. When Frank comes down, we stay at Viera the whole day. Lately we've been breaking for lunch which is nice, too.

    Hotels in Melbourne, Viera or Cocoa/Cocoa Beach are all within easy driving distance to where we shoot.

    Looking forward to your visit!
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Hi Chris,
    I can shoot any time sat and sun
    Mon Tue Wed in the afternoon around 2.

    Harry will prob be available for shooting.
    Not sure how active Merritt WildLife is yet.
    Viera always has something to offer.
    Be sure to drop Harry a line.
    Kevin you coming over.
    Maybe harris and Steve can come up on Sun or so.
  4. JMartin

    JMartin Guest

    This one about sums it up. I am planning on coming along with Jennifer and the girls so I will need a place for Friday - Sunday. Not sure how keen they would be about getting up before sunrise to go shooting with us, :biggrin: but I know she wants to see some of the sites.

    Are there some places for her to visit with the girls while we are shooting with the possibility of them meeting up with us to eat and what not in the afternoon?

    Looking forward to it Chris, keep us posted on things as it gets closer.
  5. Joe, the Brevard Zoo is just minutes away from the Viera location that we shoot at. It's on the same street (Wickham Road). I'd suggest trying one of the travel websites for cheapo hotel rates. There are so many but probably something close to I-95 would be reasonable. I remember seeing a Holiday Inn Express on I-95 & SR520 on the way to Viera. Boring location but less than on the beach. I'm not as familiar with the Viera/Melbourne hotels but look for something close to I-95 for easiest access.
  6. JMartin

    JMartin Guest

    Thanks for the info Kevin!

    I usually let Jen deal with the hotels anyway. She was a travel agent prior to getting her full time job :eek:, err becoming a stay at home mom. Trust me, anyone saying a stay at home mom doesn't work, has never stayed home with a one and four year old before!! I have no clue how she does it, I can't last an hour alone with them most days before my head is spiining. :dizzy:

    The Brevard Zoo may be a lot of fun for them. We have the Lowery Park Zoo family pass so they may be on the list of zoos that except our passes. I will get her looking into it when she gets back. Her and the girls took a trip up north to see the girls for a week or so.
  7. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    Hi you'll,

    Sorry I'm late to the party but my son has been on leave from Iraq and he and his family have been visiting. I should be free for all the dates and look forward to shooting with you.

    The best palce to stay, IMHO, is the Baymont Inn on Wickham Rd. in Melbourne. Its a 5 minute drive from the Vierra Wetlands and its right off of exit 191 of I95 so its easy to get to other places from there. Its close to lots of restaurants and our local mall. Their web site is

    These's some stuff for non-shooters to do in the area such as the zoo and the Kennedy Space Center is a short drive. Its only around an hour drive from there to Orlando and all of its attractions also.

    As for other possible shooting sites here's a link that lists all of the area's birding locations

    Here's a link to some other local attractions

    See you later this month.
  8. Joe,

    I'm a stay at home mom and I can say the same thing. It is hard to deal with sometimes and I want to pull my hair out on some days but I wouldn't trade them for the world.
  9. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    I booked a room at the Baymont for the 26th - 30th.

    I'll drive down from J'ville the afternoon of the 26th. I probably won't get there in time to shoot that afternoon, but might be interested in dinner.

    I think I'd like to shoot at both Vierra and Merritt. I'm also open to other ideas. But I must check out THE tree. :smile:

    How early/late do you guys usually shoot?
  10. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    We usually go from sunrise to sunset with a break midday.
  11. All I can say is that I wish I could go with you all. I am way to far away to join in this outing. Hopefully next year when I return to the states I can come along for the fun. Until that time, happy shooting to you all and enjoy the time your together.

    God Bless,
  12. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    Well, its getting a little closer. I need directions from the Baymont Inn in Melbourne to wherever it is we shoot. It sounds like Vierra might be a good place to start Sun. morning.

    Also, would someone like to be my POC? I'll call Sat when I get in to make sure nothing has changed.
  13. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    Hey Chris,

    To get to the Viera Wetlands from the Baymont is rather easy. You exit on Wickham RD turn right and go straight down Wickham until you hit the Water Treament Plant. You turn into the plant and make a right. Follow the road until you hit the dirt trail. At that point you will be at the wetlands. Its about a 5-10 minute drive.

    To get to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge you exit the Baymont turn left unto Wickham. Take Wickham to the entrance of I95 North (left turn). Take I95 to exit 220. Off exit 220 turn right unto Garden St, Follow Garden St. straight down as you pass the intersection of Garden St and US-1 it will turn into 402 (aka Titusville Rd). Keep going straight and the signs will direct you to Blackpoint Drive.

    I will PM you my cell and home phone #s.
  14. JMartin

    JMartin Guest

    Bad News from this end...

    Looks like we won't be making it after all.

    I was hoping to get a couple days off work and come over Sat. evening and stay until Tues. or Wed., but I can't get the time off because there are several others that have the week off.

    I hope you all have fun and I look forward to seeing some of the pictures!
  15. I've kept your trip in the back of my mind so I'm currently planning on coming over to Viera on Sun am. Any thoughts of trying MINWR on Sun afternoon? Or is the plan to stay at Viera all day? Neither is a bad choice, just haven't heard any recent news on activity at MINWR. (Harry? Gale?) See you Sunday!
  16. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  17. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    Joe - I'm sorry you can't make it. :mad: I was looking forward to shooting with you again.

    Kevin - I was thinking we could start our with Vierra Sun. morning. I'm open to suggestions and am pretty flexible. I would like to check out Merritt for at least half a day.

    Bob - thanks for the link. I had forgotten about that.
  18. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    I met a shooter at the local wildlife festival who said that the action at MINWR was picking up. How accurate this info is I can't say. The last report on Naturescapes from 11/12 said that the action was slow at MINWR. I would suggest starting out in Viera in the AM. I have gotten most of my recent eagle shots in the AM at the wetlands. If the action is slow at the Wetlands we can then drive up to MINWR in the PM.
  19. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    See ya Sunday... :>)))

    With my woolies on .....hahahahahaha

    AM in Viera

    Not to early for me though :>)))
  20. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
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