Merritt Island Florida: Living on N Banana River Dr

Have you seen the YouTube video?

You have a lot of options to consider when house hunting in Merritt Island Florida. Do you want to live on the river, on the canal, or on a dry lot? Do you want to live in a mid-century home or something newer? Do you want easy access to 528, the beaches & the Space Center? I recommend taking a 3.5 mile drive down North Banana River Drive and you will see you have all these options available to you in this section of Merritt Island Florida.

What I like about living off North Banana River Drive

Easy access to everything. The north end of N Banana River Dr is an exit to SR528. This makes going to either Port Canaveral and the Beaches very easy. It also makes getting to the Space Center, the Mainland, and Orlando real easy too. 

google map view of N Banana River Drive in Merritt Island Florida
See what is available here

Heading south on N Banana River Dr takes you to SR520, which is the main road connecting Merritt Island to Cocoa Beach to the east and the mainland & the city of Cocoa to the west. The 520 corridor is where a lot of Merritt Islands shopping and restaurants are located. 

Two amazing parks are located off N Banana River Dr.

Kelly Park is divided into East & West parks. East is on the water. They have a public boat ramp that allows access to the Banana River just south of 528. Here, you can also launch your kayaks & paddle boards. If the wind is right, you will see kite surfing and wind surfers on the water. Kelly Park East also has a playground and several pavilions for your gatherings.

Kelly Park boat ramps on the north end of Banana River Drive near SR528
Boat Ramps at Kelly Park

Kelly Park West is set up for outdoor activities. They offer tennis courts and basketball courts. There are multi-use fields for soccer or football. They also have paths to explore for exercise and wildlife viewing. 

The Ulumay wildlife Sanctuary is the western border of N Banana River Dr along with Sykes Creek
Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary

Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary is also located in this area off Sykes Creek Parkway. This is a 600-acre conservation area is a very popular birding destination located on Merritt Island off of Sykes Creek Parkway. Activities include hiking, kayaking, and non-motorized mountain biking. An elevated observation deck along the hiking trail provides wonderful views of the conservation area, and surrounding Merritt Island.

Discover more on Merritt Island Florida

What I don’t like about living off North Banana River Dr

Since this 3.5 mile stretch of road is two lane, traffic can be tricky during morning and afternoon drives to & from work. If you live on the west side of the road and need to go north, you need to be patient waiting for the break in traffic to head out. Same thing if you are driving on N Banana River Dr and the car in front of you needs to turn across the road, you need to be patient. There are two schools off N Banana River Dr (Robert Lewis Stevens School of Art at the north end and Audubon Elementary right in the middle) which adds to the traffic concerns in the morning and afternoon when school is in session.

Another concern about living off N Banana River Dr is flood zones. Most of the 3.5 mile section is not in a flood zone. The southern section between the Sykes Creek Pkwy triangle and SR520 has areas that are in a flood zone. If you are buying a home in this area, you will need to have flood insurance in place on your home if you are getting a mortgage. 

Color coded map of a section of N Banana River Drive. The yellow represents a flood zone. The Green represents a non-flood zone area.
The Yellow represents flood zones

What kind of houses are available off N Banana River Dr? 

Mostly homes built in the 1960’s and 1970’s. If you want a home that is on the water, you have quite a few options. Homes on the west side of N Banana River Dr are either on canals or on the Sykes Creek. The canal homes that are south of Sykes Creek Parkway will take you into Sykes Creek. Keep in mind that there are bridges at 520 and 528 that your boat will need to go under. The bridge height at 520 is approximately 7’ and the bridge height under 528 is approximately 15’. Since I am not a boater, here is my source for the bridge heights,Canal%20is%20a%2016%20footer

google map view of central Merritt Island showing the 3 bridges you should be aware of IF you are on a boat on Sykes Creek.
Bridges on the Sykes Creek

Homes on the East side of N Banana River Dr get easy access to the Banana River. Canals are fairly short and there are no bridges to contend with. This is a better option if you either have a sailboat or a larger vessel. 

Most of the home sales off of N Banana River Drive happen in the Surfside Estates, Vetter Isles, and Holiday Cove Subdivisions. These all offer dry lots and canal homes that lead to either the Banana River or Sykes Creek. If you are looking for a newer home, there are options in this area too. Vacant lots are being built upon up and down N Banana River Dr and some homes are being torn down and replaced with new. 

Another option for a newer home in this area is the Island Crossings located at the north end of N Banana River Dr near Kelly Park. This community was built between 1996-2000 and has over 300 homes that were built by Pulte Homes. Homes sizes range from 1320 SqFt to over 3300 SqFt. These homes are either on dry lots or on a lake/pond. See what is available for sale in Merritt Island

If Schools are important

If you are living along N Banana River Dr and schools are important to you, these are your 3 schools.

Audubon Elementary, Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and Merritt Island High School. Learn more about these schools here

If you are planning a move and you want a great central location, Merritt Island is definitely a great option to consider. Keep in mind that I am here to help if you have any questions about your upcoming move. Call or text 321-795-1854 your questions & I will help however I can. If you want to simply start seeing what is available online first, here is a great place to start 

If you prefer to register below, I will follow up and answer your questions.

About the author:

Eric Larkin is a Broker Associate with Real Broker, LLC. He lives, works, and plays in the Cocoa Beach area. If you have questions about moving or relocating to Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast, let me know! I get calls, texts, direct messages & comments on my posts every day about the real estate market and things that are happening in Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast that I love answering. Ask me your questions on moving, relocating here, or anything about the community. I am here to help. I have been helping buyers and sellers with their real estate needs since becoming a real estate agent in 2003. My focus is always on helping, answering your questions, and doing everything possible to make certain you have a smooth transaction from beginning to end.

What questions do you have about buying or selling a home? Contact Me

Call/Text 321-795-1854


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