Create Your Own Magic with Bioluminescence on Florida’s Space Coast

The magic that Florida offers isn’t just found at Walt Disney World. Dreams, wild adventures and creating your own sense of magic is right here on Florida’s Space Coast. Although the Space Coast is known for its beaches, space history, and one of the best cruise ports, a little-known phenomena that you can experience right here in the many different bodies of water our area is home to is called bioluminescence.

Bioluminescence is the ability of an organism to create light caused by a chemical reaction. And while we can really start “geeking out” and educate you on the science of this incredible phenomenon, we will leave that up to National Geographic and your tour guides, and we’ll stick to telling you why you need to make this a part of your schedule when you plan a visit to the Space Coast.

What makes this fun for all ages is that anything and everything that comes in contact with the water allows you to become the conductor of your own magical light show. Every stroke of the paddle, every move made by the living creatures below the surface, every splash made by your hand, becomes a mesmerizing illumination that looks like shooting stars across the night sky and the famous northern lights but in the water. And if you are fortunate enough, you may come across a dolphin or manatee providing an eerily ghostly presence, yet not scary at all.

Most commonly occurring during the summer months, you can see the area’s rivers and lagoons come alive after dark, usually anytime 9 p.m. or later. And it is best if you check the lunar calendar in order to plan the right time to take advantage of this opportunity. Typically, five days after the full moon on the darkest of nights, between July and September, are the best times to go.

This is truly one of nature’s most awe-inspiring wonders and there are many ways to marvel at this amazing and indescribable site. Whether you prefer to kayak or paddleboard, with several bioluminescence tour options available, you’ll be able to find the right experience that is perfect for you. Here’s just a few of the many available: A Day Away Kayak Adventures, A1A Beach Rentals and Outdoor CenterAdventure Kayak of Cocoa Beach, Calypso Kayaking, Sobe Surf and Wildlife Watersports.

Some other travel tips to consider when planning for a bioluminescence experience:

  • Bring and wear insect repellant
  • If possible, wear long-sleeved, but light clothing over your swimsuit.
  • Change of clothes should you decide to go to town with splashing around in the water because you will get wet (although it’s not recommended that you swim during these night tours)
  • Bottled water and other snacks

So as you start planning now for a little excursion to the Space Coast, take advantage of other experiences and make it not only an educational trip, but truly one of the most magical getaways you’ve ever experienced. With rocket launches, beautiful pristine beaches, and adventures in the air, creating a full and magical getaway is easy with a few clicks. And we can help you. Check out the Space Coast vacation planner and other online resources for where to stay, where to eat, and what to do.