Brevard County, home to Florida’s Space Coast, has a total area of some 1,557 square miles. It’s bigger than many small countries, and in that great expanse comes an amazing variety of both natural and urban scenes, all of which seem custom made for a photographer’s lens. But since this area is indeed so big, and you only have so much time here, we decided to make it easy for you and provide a list of the nine most photographed places on these salty coasts. Perhaps on your journey, you’ll discover some of your own.
Here are all nine in no particular order:
- Cocoa Beach Pier: The Cocoa Beach Pier, visually, is a constantly changing structure. Whether you get a shot of it as the sun rises above the Atlantic in the morning or backlit in the evening with subtle changes in the sea below a near constant, every picture of the pier is different in some way. And always get a picture of you and your family at the end of the pier; that’s the classic shot.
- Kennedy Space Center: The Kennedy Space Center is most internationally-recognized area on Florida’s Space Coast. Here you can get shots of rockets in flight, space shuttles resting forever on the ground (the K.S.C. Atlantis exhibit), and even some incredible natural beauty with the local wildlife. Also, getting a picture of the massive Vehicle Assembly Building is a must: it’s still the largest single-roomed building on the planet and an icon that’s been in many Hollywood movies.
- Brevard Zoo: Home to more than 650 animals, only at the Brevard Zoo can you see animal residents up-close and personal. Adventure surrounds not only the animal exhibits but also the zip line course at Treetop Trek. Snap a selfie with a giraffe or latch on that GoPro for amazing footage.
- Turkey Creek Sanctuary: Turkey Creek offers very rare views of some of Florida’s last remaining scrub hammock habitat, and it provides actual elevation for views of the creek below and the manatees that frequent it. It’s a natural treasure hidden in Palm Bay, but it is easy to find and free to access.
- Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge: Similar to the natural area around Kennedy Space Center, another wonder for environmental photos is the Merritt Island Refuge. At the Merritt Island Refuge, try to get a shot of the elusive and critically-endangered Florida scrub jay.
- Kelly Slater Statue: Everyone wants a picture with The King of Surfing, but he’s often jet-setting the world in search of perfect waves. Fortunately, we have a bronze version of him forever at the entrance of downtown Cocoa Beach. Try mimicking his infamous forehead snap that never really has been replicated by any other wave rider to ever live (although we always try). Kelly’s statue can be found where A1A splits into separate north and south lanes.
- Exploration Tower: Just up the road from there in Cape Canaveral, and the relatively new architectural marvel, is Exploration Tower. It’s great for photos of either the Tower glowing in the darkness of night itself or off one of its balconies to view the surrounding marvel of Florida’s Space Coast.
- Deep Sea Fishing: You don’t have to be a fishing pro to enjoy a deep sea fishing adventure. Take a charter out of Port Canaveral and see the coastline from a whole new perspective while catching grouper, kingfish and cobia. Capture the moment you catch your fish on the boat or at the port at the fish hang.
- Sebastian Inlet Fishing Pier: And finally, once you’ve driven to the very end of Florida’s Space Coast, you’ll cross the Sebastian Inlet Bridge. Atop there, you’ll see amazing sights in all directions, including the infamous Monster Hole. But don’t stop at just that! Simply spend some time at this amazing state park, and set your lens towards the curving concrete pier that is full of characters 24/7. World-class surf photography is a staple here as well.
All of that should fill up your chip, or film canister, or phone, or give you a book’s worth of Polaroids. Florida’s Space Coast can indeed come home with you, and you’ll be glad it did.