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15 Things to do on Florida's Space Coast

Florida's Space Coast, a region on the state's eastern shore, is a hub of adventure and discovery. With its unique blend of natural beauty and space-age technology, it offers a plethora of activities for all ages. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or someone who's always looking up at the stars, the Space Coast is a destination that promises unforgettable experiences. From the roar of rockets launching into the cosmos to the serene beaches where sea turtles nest, this coastal stretch is a place where dreams of exploration and relaxation become reality. The Space Coast is not just a location; it's a launchpad for imagination and a testament to the adventures that await on Earth and beyond.

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01 Witness a rocket launch

American space rocket

Experience the thrill of space exploration by witnessing a live rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center. Feel the ground shake and the air tremble as you watch spacecraft soar into the sky, a testament to human ingenuity and the spirit of discovery. The Space Coast's schedule of launches can be found online, allowing visitors to plan their trip around these awe-inspiring events. There's nothing quite like the sight of a rocket ascending into the heavens, leaving a trail of fire and smoke in its wake.

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02 Visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy space centre

Explore the epicenter of American spaceflight with a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Here, you can walk beneath the massive Saturn V rocket, meet an astronaut, and learn about the past, present, and future of space exploration. The complex also features interactive exhibits, IMAX theaters, and the Space Shuttle Atlantis on display. It's a place where visitors of all ages can indulge their curiosity and marvel at the achievements of space travel.

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03 Stroll through the Historic Cocoa Village

Kennedy Space Center

Take a leisurely walk through the charming streets of Historic Cocoa Village. This quaint district is filled with unique shops, local eateries, and a rich history that dates back to the space race era. The village hosts various events throughout the year, including art and craft fairs, making it a lively spot for visitors. The tree-lined streets and friendly atmosphere provide a perfect backdrop for an afternoon of exploration and shopping.

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04 Relax on the pristine beaches

beach

Unwind on the Space Coast's pristine beaches, where the soft white sands and gentle waves offer a perfect escape. Whether you're sunbathing, building sandcastles, or simply enjoying the ocean breeze, the beaches here are a slice of paradise. The coastline stretches for miles, ensuring plenty of space for beachgoers to find a quiet spot to relax. The Space Coast's beaches are also known for their excellent conditions for water sports, such as paddleboarding and kite surfing.

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05 Surf at Cocoa Beach

surfers by beach

Catch a wave at the world-famous Cocoa Beach, a legendary spot for surfers of all levels. Home to the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop and the annual Easter Surfing Festival, it's a must-visit for anyone looking to ride the Atlantic swells. Cocoa Beach offers surf lessons and rentals, making it accessible for beginners to get in on the action. The Cocoa Beach Pier is a landmark that provides stunning views and a taste of local seafood.

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06 Explore the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Discover the diverse wildlife of the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This protected area is a haven for birdwatchers, nature photographers, and anyone who appreciates the beauty of Florida's ecosystems. The refuge is home to over 1,500 species of plants and animals, including several endangered species. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the delicate balance of this unique habitat and the efforts to preserve it for future generations.

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07 Take an airboat tour

airboat

Embark on an exhilarating airboat tour through the swamps and marshes of the St. Johns River. Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, bald eagles, and other wildlife as you glide across the water. Airboat captains are knowledgeable about the area's ecology and history, providing an educational aspect to the thrilling ride. These tours offer a unique perspective of Florida's wetlands and the creatures that call them home.

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08 Visit the Brevard Zoo

Brevard zoo

Connect with wildlife from around the world at the Brevard Zoo. With interactive exhibits and immersive habitats, it's a family-friendly destination that educates and entertains. The zoo's Treetop Trek allows visitors to zip-line through the canopy, offering an adventurous way to view the animals. The Brevard Zoo is dedicated to conservation and offers programs that allow guests to participate in the protection of wildlife.

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09 Go deep-sea fishing

Deep Sea Fishing gatorinsc / Getty Images

Set sail for an adventure on the high seas with a deep-sea fishing excursion. The waters off the Space Coast are teeming with fish, making it an angler's paradise. Whether you're an experienced fisherman or trying it for the first time, local charters provide all the equipment and guidance needed. The thrill of reeling in a big catch is an experience that's hard to beat, and the Space Coast's rich marine life makes it a prime fishing destination.

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10 Enjoy a scenic river cruise

Relax on a scenic river cruise along the Indian River Lagoon. As you drift past lush landscapes and historic landmarks, you'll gain a new perspective on the beauty of the Space Coast. These cruises often include commentary from the captain, sharing insights into the area's history and ecology. It's a leisurely way to spend an afternoon, and the sunset cruises offer a particularly enchanting experience as the sky changes colors over the water.

11 Play a round of golf

Senior men walking toward flag and hole on golf course Chris Ryan / Getty Images

Tee off at one of the Space Coast's picturesque golf courses. With year-round sunshine and meticulously maintained greens, it's a golfer's dream destination. The courses here cater to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned pros, and offer a variety of challenges and scenic views. After a round, golfers can enjoy the clubhouses, which often feature restaurants and pro shops.

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12 Take a kayak tour

Woman Kayaking on a pristine lake, top view peakSTOCK / Getty Images

Paddle through the tranquil waters of the Space Coast's backwaters and lagoons on a guided kayak tour. It's a peaceful way to explore the area's natural beauty and get up close with local wildlife. Kayaking is an eco-friendly activity that allows visitors to navigate through narrow waterways and discover hidden spots that are inaccessible by larger boats. The bioluminescent kayak tours are particularly magical, lighting up the water with every stroke.

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13 Visit the American Space Museum

space centre

Step back in time at the American Space Museum in Titusville, where you can delve into the history of space exploration through artifacts, exhibits, and stories from the pioneers who made it all possible. The museum showcases the personal side of space missions, with memorabilia and personal accounts from astronauts and engineers. It's a place that inspires and educates, highlighting the human element of space travel.

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14 Attend a local festival or event

Immerse yourself in the local culture by attending one of the Space Coast's many festivals or events. From art shows to seafood festivals, there's always something happening that showcases the region's vibrant community. These events are a great way to meet locals, sample regional cuisine, and enjoy live entertainment. The Space Coast's calendar is packed with events that celebrate everything from music and food to local crafts and culture.

15 Explore the Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore

Venture into the untouched wilderness of the Canaveral National Seashore. This protected stretch of coastline offers miles of hiking trails, opportunities for birdwatching, and a chance to see sea turtle nesting sites. The seashore is one of the longest undeveloped stretches on the Florida coast, providing a serene and natural setting for visitors. It's also an important conservation area, protecting diverse habitats and the species that depend on them.

The Space Coast is a destination that truly has it all, from the wonders of space exploration to the natural beauty of Florida's coastline. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, this region offers a diverse array of activities to fill your itinerary. As you plan your visit, remember that the Space Coast is more than just a gateway to the stars—it's a place where you can create memories that will last a lifetime. With so much to see and do, every moment spent here is sure to be filled with excitement and discovery.

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