Monday, August 16, 2010

Merritt Island - Black Point Wildlife Drive

Please note: The pictures in this post were taken before I purchased my Nikon SLR camera so the pics won't be that great.

As you know, Kevan and I love to watch/take pictures of various animals as well as just be outside walking/hiking. One of the things we do on a monthly basis is drive out to Merritt Island. Depending on how long we have, we visit Apollo/Playalinda beach for a few hours before we head over to Black Point Wildlife Drive (7-mile one-way self-guided tour). There is a cost to visit the beach, but the Black Point Wildlife Drive (BPWD) is free. It is also a great thing to do with any relatives that do not like to walk or be outside "too much" because you are able to drive around and view the beautiful landscape and animals without leaving the comfort of your vehicle. If you end up driving out on a Sunday the visitor center is closed, otherwise, stop in and visit the Visitor's center and put a few dollars in their donation box. When you are finished you will be glad you did. Also, there is a restroom at the Visitor's center and another restroom toward the end of BPWD.

The visitors center is pretty nice depending on what time of year it is. There is a gift shop inside as well as different interactive learning centers for kids. There are various scopes to look through to see Osprey in nests nearby (sometimes with babies) as well as a large pond to view turtles, snakes, alligators, etc. We have seen all 3 during various visits. There is also a boardwalk to walk around and see the landscape. We have seen various insects and armadillos during this walk. If you are interested, before you leave you can purchase an audio CD that will allow you to listen to a tour on CD as you drive around BPWD. The drive has numbered posts that tell you where you are and the CD corresponds with those numbered posts.

Once we are done with the visitors center we head over to Black Point Wildlife Drive. Here are a few pictures of things we have seen.

When we are finished with BPWD we usually head over to the Manatee observation deck down the road.
Then we finish off our day with the best fresh shrimp we've ever eaten at the Titusville restaurant "Dixie Crossroads". You will love their warm corn fritters that they serve you when you get seated. Depending on what time of day it is expect a wait. Only on a few occasions have we not had to wait to be seated.

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