So, after a really intense week of classes, tests and homework assignments, it’s nice to be able to unwind and do something fun. One of my favorite things to do is visit historic downtown Melbourne and stroll around the shops or listen to some good local music. It’s really close to campus, has tons of great food places and often has festivals and events to attend!
As a student that lives on campus and who is constantly eating something on-the-go, it’s nice to sometimes go out and be able to sit in a restaurant, not a library, and eat food off a plate, not a to-go box. Personally, I love all kinds of food, and I really enjoy eating a good meal, so often I grab lunch downtown. One of the many reasons why downtown Melbourne is so great is the huge variety of places to eat.
One of my favorite places is Mustard’s Last Stand, most commonly referred to as Mustard’s. This is your typical roadside dinner-esque hotdog joint with a menu so long, it takes a good five minutes just to read through the options. They have hot dogs with all sorts of toppings. Some of my favorites are the Downtown Dog that has nacho cheese, bacon and tomatoes, the 49er dog, which has chili, beans and hash browns, or the Hula Dog which has jalapenos, pineapple, bacon and Swiss cheese. They are incredible gourmet hot dogs paired with the perfectly crispy fries at a really reasonable price. Plus, if the weather is nice, you can sit outside and enjoy the beach breeze. Another fantastic place to grab food is Meg ‘O Malley’s, aka Meg’s . This Irish pub is a cool place to go on dates, especially when they have a local band playing. The staff is fantastic and they have great fish and chips. They also host the St. Patrick’s Day festival every year when there’s a whole bunch of great performers and food coming from all different areas. After a nice meal, you can head over to one of the many coffee shops, bakeries or ice cream shops nearby for dessert.
Apart from great food, downtown Melbourne also hosts really cool events. On the second Friday of every month, downtown Melbourne hosts Friday Fest. This is a small fest where lots of different vendors come out and set up their shops, art and other goods to sell while live music plays and food trucks are at your disposal. It’s really fun to stroll around, talk to some of the locals and listen to good music.
Also, downtown Melbourne is the host for FIT’s very own Homecoming Fest. Last year, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones headlined the night. The trolleys shuttled students back and forth from campus to the event and a huge crowd came out. I’m really excited to see Taking Back Sunday headlining the 2013 Homecoming Fest! My band, Fields of Saturn, has also played in downtown Melbourne. There’s a nifty little record store called Vinyl Request, that does an outside show once every two months or so with a few small local bands. My band has played twice and it’s really cool being a small part of the really big music scene in Melbourne.
So, my little panthers, if you’re bored on a Friday night and don’t know what to do, head on over and explore downtown. You’re bound to find some boutique, night club, restaurant or coffee shop that will call out to you and make you feel right at home!