This local one-day drive will highlight some of the many gems in our own Brevard County. This is a great introduction to Brevard County for out-of-town visitors.

I suggest you start the tour by taking the very scenic Rockledge Drive. Rockledge Drive starts about a half mile north of Viera Boulevard on U.S. 1.

As you drive north on Rockledge Drive, you pass some of the finest homes in the county, all fronting our beautiful Indian River Lagoon. In my opinion, this is one of the most scenic views in the county. After about four miles along Rockledge Drive, you will come across Valencia Road.

At the intersection of Valencia Road and Rockledge Drive, read the sign about the history of this subdivision.

Make a left on Valencia Road and take in the classic homes of this planned 1920s resort community. The Valencia Subdivision Residential District is a historic district and was added to the

U. S. National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

It runs from 14 through 140 Valencia Road, 825 through 827 Osceola Drive, and 25 through 28 Orange Ave. The district encompasses about 100 acres and contains 54 historic buildings.

As you are driving along Rockledge Drive, don’t miss the H.S. Williams House.

The Williams House is a historic U.S. home at 1219 Rockledge Drive and Oakwood Drive. Hiram Smith Williams built the house in 1880 after moving to Rockledge in 1874 from Alabama. The county purchased it in 1989 and

restored it.

You can continue on Rockledge Drive along the Indian River Lagoon for more than eight miles through downtown Cocoa, going north until the road ends at U.S. 1 near Sharpes.

In Cocoa, stop at the restored Porcher House built in 1916. The historic Porcher House is an excellent example of 20th century classical revival architecture, adapted to our Florida climate. This 10-bedroom house is built with native coquina rock and finished in the interior with teak, oak and cedar. On the National Register of Historic Places, this landmark is open for public viewing and special occasions.

Other things to do in the area are to visit the Brevard Museum of History and Science at 2201 Michigan Ave. and the Florida Solar Energy Center on Clearlake Road in Cocoa.

For more information about the Solar Energy Center, call 321-638-1015.

If you are interested in gardening, you should stop at Rockledge Gardens on U.S. 1. For information, call 321-636-7662.

Finally, if you have a sweet tooth, visit the new Grimaldi’s Candy store, located on U.S. 1.