Located on the western edge of Florida, just southwest of Orlando, is the stunning Space Coast. This stretch of coastline is known as the Space Coast due to the presence of Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, both of which have a close relationship with off-world adventure.
If you’re road-tripping along Florida’s western shoreline, stash your extra belongings with a Orlando luggage storage service before heading to this one-of-a-kind vacation destination. Here are a few tips to make sure your Space Coast holiday is out of this world.
Learn about Nature at the Space Coast’s Remarkable Wildlife Refuges
While many holidaymakers flock to this region for scientific pursuits, the Space Coast is also home to some fantastic wildlife sanctuaries. With over 70 miles of the seaside, complete with pristine beaches, barrier islands, and tropical forests, the Space Coast is home to a wide range of rare creatures.
The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is well-worth visiting if you fancy learning more about Florida’s unique ecosystems. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge covers over 250 acres of dunes on the Space Coast’s barrier islands and is one of the largest nesting grounds for loggerhead turtles in the world. These endangered gentle giants nest on the beach in their thousands, so make sure you tread lightly and watch from afar when hiking through the refuge.
Any avid birdwatcher will love exploring the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is one of the best places for birdwatching in the state, with over 350 species frequenting these parklands.
One great way to see some of the rare species nesting in the area is by taking a kayak tour. Companies like A Day Away Kayak Tours offer to show you around the park’s many creeks and inlets. While paddling through the area, you’ll undoubtedly spot many extraordinary birds, including bald eagles, Florida scrub-jays, and great blue herons. As well as containing over 350 bird species, Merritt Island is home to a plethora of mammals. While out paddling, you might get lucky and have an encounter with some gentle and adorable manatees.
Unwind at One of Space Coast’s Stunning Oceanfront Parks
Alternatively, you might be looking for a spot to relax and soak up some sun. Sebastian Inlet State Park is located on a barrier island, separating the Indian River from the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll find this park boasts some of the world’s best surfing conditions, with surfers traveling from across the state to catch the beach’s waves. The park’s white sandy beaches are perfect for sunbathing, and there are several piers where you can attempt to catch yourself lunch. If you’re looking for an adventure, you can paddle through the mangrove trees that line the Indian River Lagoon.
Canova Beach Park is also perfect for a day out with your family. This 9-acre park consists of gorgeous sandy beaches, where you can enjoy a barbecue or splash around in the surf. You can even bring your four-legged friend along to this park, as long as you keep them on a leash and have vaccination records.
Catch a rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center
One of the biggest attractions along the Space Coast is the Kennedy Space Center. This science museum is almost like a theme park, with many incredible exhibits, including actual space shuttles like the Atlantis, as well as thrilling rides like the Shuttle Launch Experience.
If you plan your trip at the right time, you may be able to catch a rocket launch during your stay. These launches happen more often than you’d think, with several happening within the space of a month on occasion. There are several parks and beaches where you can get a breathtaking view of shuttles taking off. Marina Park, Sand Point Park, and Playalinda Beach are among the closest viewing points to the Kennedy Space Center. These areas are free to visit, making them a fantastic place to experience the launch without putting you out of pocket.
Swing by Some of the Space Coast’s Quaint Seaside Communities
While Cape Canaveral is one of the most famous cities along Florida’s Atlantic coastline, there are several gorgeous cities worth discovering in the region. Melbourne is a wonderful city for families, with several scenic parks, access to the beach, and even a zoo. Brevard Zoo is home to many intriguing critters, including giraffes, tapirs, and jaguars. Visitors can also book animal encounters, where you can watch zookeepers train cheetahs and dingos, and even play fetch with an otter.
Another lesser-known city worth visiting along the Space Coast is Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach is a hotspot for surfers, thanks to its gnarly waves and beautiful beaches. There’s even the Florida Surf Museum, which features tons of retro boards, and anecdotes about the area’s surfing culture. Adventures abound in Cocoa Beach, with the Thousand Island Conservation Area affording miles of inlets that weave between tropical islands, which are perfect for kayaking.