When coming to Merritt Island be prepared for traffic jams on the SR520.  This is the main throughoufare through town to the beaches. The shopping and restaurants line both sides of this major highway and it leads you straight to the Atlantic Ocean.  Go North, and you will find Port Canaveral where the Disney Ships and the Carnival Lines are leaving filled with passengers several times a week.   The Port is also home to Daily Trips on the Casino Sterling Lines and the Charter Fishing Boats.  You can wait by the docks in late afternoon to purchase fresh fish from the anglers.  Go South, and you will find many beautiful beaches for the next 30 miles or so.  Most are not gaurded, so swim at you own risk.  The Night life is nill on Merritt Island, but Cocoa Beach and Melbourne Beach have plenty of activity in the clubs and bars, especially beachside (A1A).  The late summer months are very hot, if you are not near the water.  The winters can be warm or cold; you never know.  The bird watching is terrific, so bring your binoculars.  Merritt Island is the second largest wild bird sanctuary in the state.  Everglades National Park is the largest.  The people are friendly and the town is clean, although not fancy. The price of living is high but not as high as the big cities of the state. Everyone seems to own a boat, and fishing is quite possibly the favorite hobby.