Camping Review of Long Point Campground in Melbourne

Camping in Florida right on the salt water river in Melbourne. Long Point offers water access sites and we stayed for two nights in March.

In March 2023 my sons and I went camping at Long Point campground in Melbourne, Florida. When I first saw the images of this campground I was very excited to go there. Many of the campsites are set around the edge of the island and have water access. The cost of a stay is also reasonable, so I went online and found a spot for us. This was our third camping trip with the 28 foot long Imagine.

Our Site #14

We chose site #14 because of the beautiful view, and it certainly was a beautiful view in person. However, the site itself was a bit difficult for maneuvering our 28 ft. trailer. The ground slanted downward toward the water and we had to lower the front of the camper all the way down to level it. Also, that open water access was set between two campsites, so the little beach area was shared with site #13. You can’t tell any of that from the online picture when making the reservation.

If we’d had a smaller camper like the ones beside us, this site would have been plenty big. As you can see in the photos below they just drove in and parked.

At this place everyone just pulls into the spot as they choose. Both of our neighbors were horizontal to the water. They had drivable campers, so they could do that. We had a truck and camper which made setting up a bit tough. My advice: if you pull a trailer, choose a larger site.

Long Point Campground Map

I’ve noticed that campground maps are handed out when you actually arrive at the campground. Sometimes you can find a map online, but it would be helpful to have more information before booking a site. I’ve never actually called a campground to ask for a site.

Without seeing this campground and the sites in person, it’s tough to realize what type of site you will have. I took a walk and found some big, level sites with great views and private water access – although all sites are pretty close together with no buffer between.

Here’s a tip: If the site looks small on the map, it probably is. View the Brevard County Site to find Long Point Campground information.

map of Long Point campground in Melbourne Florida
Campground map

Our Beach

We had a beautiful view, and set up our chairs behind the camper at the water. If I’d had to share that beach with other campers (as it is set up), I would not have been all that happy. It was our only somewhat private area.

Fortunately we had friendly neighbors. They had a long term reservation and didn’t seem to be interested in the water. We only stayed two nights, and they never came out to the beach area except to to view the rocket launch. We did have the water to ourselves, but that was pure luck. If you camp together with friends, this set up might be perfect.

This is saltwater, but there is little change from low to high tide.

Being Near the Water Has Pros and Cons

The obvious good think about camping near the water is the view. A manatee came up just at the edge of the mangroves (the bushes that grow in the water) right in front of us. He stayed there and ate for a while and we saw his nose pop up. We saw dolphin swim by and pelicans dive down to catch dinner. We faced west and could watch the sunset. On our second night, it got so cool and breezy that we slept with the windows open and could listen to the waves being blown onshore by the wind.

On the other hand, bugs can be a problem whenever you are near the water. Along this waterway tiny, biting bugs called “No see ums” can be a real nuisance. They are hard to see but you will feel the bites. To be outside when they are around means wearing bug spray. They can come through screens, so close the windows when they are present. Mosquitoes can also be a problem. My sons were sitting outside by the water on the first night we camped and were driven in by a swarm. These things are random and unpredictable, although no-see-ums tend to be worse in Spring.

The water is brown near the shore and a sign in the campground warns of alligators. Whenever you are near any water in Florida gators are possible. This is the same water we boat in all the time, only we are further north. It is all part of the Indian River Lagoon. It was not super hot when we camped, but if it was, I would have dunked in to cool off. Or better yet, head over to Scout Island where the beach has clear water.

And then there is the wind. On the second day of our stay it was very windy. I did go kayaking, but it wasn’t very relaxing.

Exploring the Campground and Scout Island

A bridge will take you over the water to another island names Scout Island. It is apparently where boy scouts can come in groups and camp – I read this somewhere. No one was camping here when we visited, and many people were using the area to walk their dogs, and let them swim. My son, who was visiting us from New Hampshire, went swimming at this beach.

A Final Word About Long Point Camping

We camped for two nights which is not long at all, but did enjoy ourselves. On our one full day, I took the kayak out, but it was very windy and tough to paddle. On the other hand, because of the wind, we slept with our windows open that night and it was wonderful.

If you pull a boat behind your camper, there is a boat ramp and a field for the trailer. The water here is very shallow! If you love to fish, there is a dock for that, or fish from your water access right at your campsite, like my son did (he caught nothing!). These are typical Florida things to do – don’t forget to buy a fishing license.

The downside: The campground island is mostly wide open with very little shade. Occasionally a site will have a tree – Site 19 has one (photo below). With a tree comes falling leaves, roots, and possible bird droppings, but also some shade.

Site number 19 at Long Point campground has a tree for shade and water access on the west side of the island.
Campsite #19 has a tree and water access

The campsites are wide open with little privacy and no shade. Also, remember that if you camp during hurricane season you might have to pack up and leave the coast if there is a warning. Hurricane season is June – November.

We enjoyed our short stay here and have booked a site for the end of May (See Review of Stay #2 here). We live only about an hour and a half away, so it will be another mini vacation. By the way, the cost of these sites is very reasonable for what you get. There is a campground near us with sites right on the water that charges more than double what we paid at Long Point.

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Gator Bites And Bay Scallops For Lunch

At Goodrich’s Restaurant the other day my son ordered the gator bites appetizer. He said we should order more gator because there are far too many of them around.  Who likes alligators?  They are creepy.  For some reason I don’t like the idea of eating one.  But my son highly recommends them as appetizers.

bay scallops dinner
Bay scallops and lots of fried stuff

I stuck with my bay scallops, which were yummy.  Also on the menu are frog’s legs.  I don’t see myself eating those either.

Goodrich’s menu is very “southern” with items such as grits, black-eyed peas and po’ boys on the menu.  Surprisingly they do offer New England Clam Chowder!  Lots of seafood like oysters, clam strips, shrimp, crab, scallops and fish (the catch of the day).  They also serve burgers and chicken.

For a place located in the middle of nowhere – Oak Hill is not exactly a hoppin’ place – Goodrich’s is always busy.  We chose to go in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday because of that.

fried gator bites
Gator Bites

We’d heard that Goodrich’s had sustained damage to their deck and docks from Hurricane Irma back in September 2017. This was our first visit since then.

I was trying to remember exactly how it had looked on our last visit, and finally I asked the waitress what was new, and she said the entire deck had to be rebuilt.   In fact, if you look at the video on their website you can see all the things that are missing now.  Gone are the thatched umbrellas, and the new roof now covers the entire deck, which allows for more covered seating areas.  No more picnic tables either.  The furniture is heavy-duty plastic.

She also said that the only reason it was already replaced is that some of the employees had done it. It seems the wait for hurricane repairs is still long.

new deck and overhang at Goodrich's
View south from the new deck at Goodrich’s Restaurant

Looking south in my photo above you can just see another long dock which has not been fixed.  And beyond that is the Seminole Rest historic site.

There is a place to tie off the boat if you choose that way to come eat, but the old dock is gone with only the pilings left. Maybe they will rebuild that too, but building a dock can’t be easy.

posts where the dock was
The old dock is gone thanks to the hurricanes and storms of 2017.

Although these water-view restaurants are fantastic places to eat – what better view? It must be tough when a storm, or God forbid a hurricane, comes through. Another old favorite place to eat on the water was the Sea Harvest in New Smyrna. That building is still sitting empty, but it did look like someone was re-building that one the last time we passed it in our boat.

Four Places to Eat on the Water in New Smyrna Beach

A review of four restaurants found in the New Smyrna Beach area where patrons can sit near the water and eat.

yachts river view
View from the deck at Outriggers

I’ve only recently returned to Florida and have only lived in the New Smyrna Beach area since October 2016, BUT I first moved to central Florida in 1979 and spent 27 years here.  I lived inland, but visited the East coast often.

I’m sharing my personal opinion, and sharing information, about places to eat on the water here in New Smyrna Beach.  Since first writing this article, more restaurants have opened so I’ve added them.

 All have excellent water views of either the ocean or the saltwater river. I prefer eating on the river because there is a lot to see. Big yachts and boats of all types and sizes may go past. Look for dolphin, manatee and jumping fish.

The Eateries Come and Go

Over the years restaurants have come and gone, and I never was one to go out to eat all that much (kids, you know). Some of my favorite old memories were of getting take-out at the Sea Harvest.   Who remembers the Sea Harvest?  I miss it. With a very casual atmosphere, affordable pricing, and big fish dinners eaten right next to the water, it was very popular.  

Hurricanes are hard on river residents including restaurants on the water.

Eventually the Sea Harvest location became the Dolphin View restaurant, but that closed after a short time and the place sat empty. For a while it was evident (from the water while boating) that someone was fixing up the location. Now it is the River Deck Restaurant.

At the time I first wrote this page there was no restaurant in this spot, so it wasn’t mentioned. The River Deck has a sister restaurant called The Ocean Deck. I already wrote a little about the new River Deck restaurant at my link above, and I’ve never gone inside to eat.

We stopped one day after boating thinking we could park and go in to eat, but they have valet parking, which means no boats. They let us park on the side and go in to pick up some food. I’ve never been back. I am against valet parking and I believe these new places do it to accommodate the winter residents. If you care to go, it is located right on the Indian River, just down a bit (traveling on the water) from Outriggers.

The List

I have eaten at all of these restaurants, but haven’t visited them all recently.   I am not a professional reviewer, just someone who lives in this area and wants to give the reader a place to start. They are in no particular order.
Click the links to see menus, photos, and more information about each place.


Outriggers is a majestic looking place because it is near the big boat marina where some pretty large yachts are docked.

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.36.54 PM

Located on the Indian River (Intracoastal Waterway) Outriggers has a large outdoor eating deck.  The restaurant is located around in front of the big, mint green Marina.

Located just off the North Causeway (Flagler Ave.), in New Smyrna Beach, the restaurant can be a little tricky to find, as you must drive to the right of the “Villages” to find the parking area. (The drive shown in the photo goes to the condos, not the restaurant.) Then, follow the winding walkway around to the large open deck area to be seated.  

I’ve only ever eaten on the deck outside (see a picture of the deck and view Outriggers Menu here), but there is a large indoor seating area too. The food is pretty good, but I’ve had no meal that really stood out as a favorite. I’ve eaten there about four times.

Outside there are many tables lined up with a view of the water – as you look past the yachts lining the docks. The view is nice as you never know what type of boat will travel the waterway.  It’s also possible to see dolphin, manatees and sea turtles (which can be spotted anywhere along the river).

The place strives to give an upscale feel, and it is definitely not “old Florida”. They often have valet parking, which I don’t see as necessary. Many other patrons apparently don’t either, so they park across the road in the “boat trailers only” parking area. I can’t really blame them. Who wants to have someone park their car (and then feel obligated to leave a tip) when you are going out for a casual noontime lunch on the water?

As a boat-owner who launches our boat from this area, it’s very annoying to have the trailer parking area full of cars! There is scarcely enough trailer parking as it is. I think the problem may partially be solved by stopping the valet parking.

JB’s Fish Camp and Seafood Restaurant

JB’s Fish Camp is very casual and promoted as “A slice of old Florida“.  You can also get here by boat, which we have done.  They have a nice dock area. Watch out for kayakers if you come by boat.

From the mainland JB’s Fish Camp is a bit more of a drive, as you must cross the south causeway and then head a few miles (approximately 7 miles) down Route A1A.  Because of that location, it’s away from the busy in-town, touristy areas.  It is popular place with the locals, and a great place to take kids.  They allow fishing from their dock, and this area is great for viewing dolphin and manatees.

Boaters can pull up to the big dock area, which is brand new thanks to damage from Hurricane Irma.  In fact we were told by our server that much of the entire building is new.  Recently we took the boat over and ate outside with a view of the river.   I had the scallop basket this time, which was okay.  I’ve eaten here since, and rented kayaks, but I wouldn’t travel back for the food.

Fishermen can bring their catch and have it prepared for them… which many restaurants offer (Outriggers offers the same.)

The view is best outside the restaurant, where you can walk on the dock, or rent a kayak and get out on the water yourself. This waterway will lead south to Mosquito Lagoon, or wind around and head north up the Indian River. The Atlantic Ocean is just across the road.

The Grille Riverview

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 12.37.11 PM

Located over the bridge on the North Causeway (Flagler Ave.) directly on the right. I have eaten here, but it was many years ago. There is an outdoor eating area with docks, so I believe you can pull up in your boat and walk in to eat.

The photo was taken from the bridge, shortly after Hurricane Irma, which means their docks were probably damaged.

This area of Flagler Ave is busy and very touristy. According to the Grille Riverview site, they offer evening entertainment. And you can view their menu with prices on their site.

I can’t vouch for the food, parking, or atmosphere, but it’s located in a good spot right on the river.  Watch the bridge open, as you eat, to let taller ships pass.

And right down the road…..

The Breakers Restaurant, on the Ocean

Breakers restaurant on the beach
Breakers Beachside at the end of Flagler Ave.

Breakers is located at the end of Flagler Ave., right on the beach. The iconic pink building is hard to miss, and I must admit this is one of my favorite places to eat because of that view! You can’t get closer than eating right on the beach. The super casual atmosphere appeals to beach lovers, who can walk right in, sandy feet and all, and feel right at home.  The only reason I don’t go here more often is because it is such a busy place and in a touristy area.

Breakers Menu is extensive and they are known for their burgers (I don’t usually eat burgers, but they offer a ton of them). I usually get the fish sandwich and it’s always yummy.

The atmosphere can’t be beat as you sit at the bar facing the ocean.   The waitstaff has always been very attentive, friendly and efficient. There are tables, but the best view is at the eating bar which seats many and gives patrons an excellent beach view.  Do some people-watching with a magnificent ocean backdrop.

New Smyrna Beach
View From Breakers – 2013

Parking can be tricky here, as the lot behind the restaurant is tiny. But they have a lot attendant who patiently helps you park! Or, go across the street and park in the big lot (which costs money if you don’t have a resident parking pass).

Additional: Not Sure of the Name

This reminds me that there is a two-story place to eat just behind that parking lot. We had drinks and appetizers here one day when my daughter was visiting. I don’t know the name of the place, but when I look on the map it may be the Ocean Breeze Tiki Bar and Grill – link goes to the FaceBook page.

restaurant with ocean view
Ocean Breeze Tiki Bar? The view as you eat upstairs.

There is another place to eat right on the water which I will mention.  It’s Chases on the Beach and it’s farther down Route A1A (South Atlantic Ave.).  I have never been there and honestly I’ve always thought of it as more of a bar on the beach.  

Goodrich’s in Oak Hill

Not in New Smyrna, but next door to the south, after a drive through Edgewater, is a casual place with tables next to the water – the Indian River – called Goodrich’s.  They have good food and nice outdoor atmosphere. I once had a bad experience with an unfriendly waitress, but that is not the norm.   I do like the food here and the atmosphere is casual. Napkins, salt, pepper, etc. is on each table inside a fishing box. (They also had damage to the dock from Hurricane Irma, but it’s been nicely re-done.)

So there you have it. My list of restaurants with a water view in New Smyrna Beach. Have you been to them? What did you think?


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