Explore the Outdoors on Florida's Space Coast
It’s easy to distance yourself from crowds on the Space Coast, you’ve just got to know where to go.
The Space Coast is unlike any other Florida destination. Where most see crowded beaches and theme parks, we pride ourselves on our thriving estuaries, diverse ecosystems, and untouched natural wonders. Wildlife refuges, scenic trails, and the Indian River Lagoon are native playgrounds for you and your family. The best part is, they’re all open ready for you to experience the wild side of Florida. No lines, no crowds, no worries!
Here are a few of the best ways to experience the outdoors on the Space Coast
The Space Coast is home to 2 National Wildlife Refuges to explore. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. Each protects a unique ecosystem and is lush with native plants and animals. Opportunities to learn and explore natural Florida are abound in these national wonders.
The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Is a significant portion of north Brevard County. It encompasses fragile wetlands including brackish marshes, freshwater rivers, and saltwater lagoons and is next to the Canaveral National Seashore,* which protects a pristine stretch of seashore for shorebirds and sea turtles. Because of these diverse ecosystems, you can expect to see hundreds of species of animals including, alligators, dolphins, manatees, and native and migratory birds while you’re enjoying your time in their natural habitats. Choose from biking, hiking and driving trails as well access to kayak and boat ramps for fishing and exploring.
*An additional fee is needed to enter the Canaveral National Seashore. It is currently closed to guests
The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is our southernmost beachside refuge that provides a sanctuary for thousands of sea turtles that return to the Space Coast to nest. Along with providing sea turtles a safe place to lay their eggs, the preserved habitat enables many endangered species of plants and animals to thrive undisturbed by society. Stop by the Barrier Island Sanctuary to learn more and take a stroll on one of the most important sea turtle nesting habitats in the Western Hemisphere.
Take to the Trails in Titusville
The St. John’s River-to-Sea Loop has 4 phases and follows the St. Johns River north to St. Augustine and then down the coast back to Titusville. The Florida Coast to Coast Trail continues to be a work in progress, and when it is finished it will connect the Space Coast to the Gulf Coast! The East Coast Greenway is a monster trail that begins in Maine and ends in Key West. All three make up what we like to call the Titusville Trifecta. Not feeling like cycling that much but still want to get on a trail? The Space Coast has plenty of shorter trials to explore that are perfect for the whole family.
Water, Water Everywhere
The Indian River Lagoon, freshwater estuaries, and roaring Atlantic Ocean affords many opportunities for you and your family to get some much-needed space on your vacation. From our Lagoon where you rent a boat or kayak to get up close with manatees in mangrove tunnels and paddle through sparkling bioluminescence in the moonlight, to the freshwater rivers and lakes where great herons soar and lazy alligators lounge in the sun, to the crystal-blue Atlantic where you’ll reel in the catch of your life before serving it up on your dinner plate, you’ll soon see why water isn’t just a feature of the Space Coast, it’s a way of life.
Boat & Jetski Rental
Take a spin on the Indian River Lagoon by renting a boat or kayak from one of these great rental locations!
Kayak and SUP Rental
Paddling around the Indian River Lagoon is a must-try on your Space Coast getaway. You'll make your way through mangrove tunnels, get up-close and personal with dolphins and manatees in their natural habitats, and experience the magic of bioluminescence. Check out everything you need to know about SUP and kayaking in the Space Coast and where to rent them here.
Fishing On the Space Coast
The Space Coast is an angler's paradise. with freshwater, inshore and offshore charters available from Sebastian to Port Canaveral, you're sure to catch the fish of your dreams. No matter if you're in search of trophy fish or dinner, you'll hook into it with these Space Coast charters.
Freshwater fishing on the Space Coast is all about the Bass. the St. Johns River Marsh Wildlife Management Area includes the well-known Stick Marsh as well as many other rivers, lakes and marshlands full of bass and other species of fish and wildlife. In fact, a new lake, Headwaters Lake, is about to open to boaters very soon and was made to breed trophy bass. Learn more about Headwaters Lake from local fisherman, JT Kenney.
The Indian River Lagoon, from Titusville to Sebastian, is full of fish and other marine animals to net and hook. Shrimping, crabbing, and of course fishing are all possible on guided charters you can book for your next vacation. Some of the largest tagged redfish have been caught in Space Coast inshore waters. No matter if you’re fishing on the Indian, Banana, or Mosquito Lagoon, you won’t want to miss out on a calm day on the water filled with tight lines and sunshine.
Fishing in the Atlantic Ocean for mahi mahi, king mackerel, and snapper is a bucket list trip for many anglers. There are many fishing charters working out of Cape Canaveral and the Sebastian Inlet that can take small groups out for a half day or full day fishing to target the fish you’re looking for. Don’t let the big one get away! Book an offshore charter out of the Space Coast for your next vacation.
If you love exploring nature and breathing fresh air away from crowds, there’s plenty of space for you on the Space Coast. From exploring our wildlife refuges, cycling through the state, and finding your slice of paradise on our diverse waterways, there’s plenty of ways to escape what’s normal and reconnect with yourself and your loved ones.