best of the world Kennedy Space Center

Florida's Space Coast is the Best Vacation in the World

There’s nowhere else on the planet quite like the Space Coast

 

This year National Geographic named the Space Coast one of the best places to visit in the world. The article mentioned some of our most well-known attractions, ecosystems, and natural phenomena, but it missed some key things we think you should know. This is why we love it on the Space Coast! 

Current Launch Capital of the World

There are a few spaceports in the world, the Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia and even Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But none are as active as Cape Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast. The Kennedy Space Center is currently the most active launch site in the world! From here, NASA, along with companies like SpaceX and ULA are sending up rockets at warp speed. When you’re on the Space Coast, there’s always a launch around the corner! 

Morning Launch from Cape Canaveral
Image by @fdsi_photography

Check out SpaceCoastLaunches.com for a current launch schedule and access to the Launch Console App for a countdown clock and live launch feed! 

Experience Space on the Space Coast 

Kennedy Space Center - Atlantis Exhibit

While we do boast the most launches in the world, seeing a launch on its scheduled date is never guaranteed. Next time you’re on the Space Coast check out the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for an unforgettable, immersive experience of the United State’s space program! 

American Space Musuem

For a hidden gem, check out the American Space Museum and Space Walk of Fame located in Downtown Titusville. This amazing museum is filled to the brim with space program artifacts you can’t see anywhere else. Donated directly from Space Workers and Astronauts, you'll peruse items like Alan Shepard’s hard hat to Sally Ride’s flight suit, original models of the VAB and working launch controls from the Mercury missions, this museum is a must-stop for Space Program fanatics. 

Home to One of the Most Biologically Diverse Estuaries in North America 

Indian River Lagoon Mangroves

The Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s Space Coast is one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America. It’s been designated as an Outstanding Florida Water, and an Estuary of National Significance. This river that we love to boat, fish, paddle, and play in is not really a river at all, but a massive lagoon. It’s brackish waters are the perfect nursery and feeding grounds for fish, migratory birds, reptiles, and marine mammals. The mangroves that provide pristine habitats for this wildlife also do us an amazing service by protecting our shores from erosion, filtering runoff, and stabilizing sediments. Exploring this vast ecosystem is easy on the Space Coast. Rent a kayak to paddle along with the dolphins and manatees as you explore spoil islands and mangrove tunnels. Hop on a guided fishing tour to hook into massive redfish, sheepshead, and black drum. Or simply dine at one of our amazing riverfront restaurants to take in the natural beauty! We love our lagoon, and you will too! 

Brevard Zoo is the Best Zoo in the South East! 
And the 5th Best Zoo in North America

Jaguar at Brevard Zoo
Image by @kvol30

The votes are in from the USA Today’s 10Best and the Brevard Zoo has been voted #1 in the South East and #5 for the whole of North America! It’s no wonder either. Aside from their well-maintained habitats and healthy, active animals, the Brevard Zoo is filled with adventures your family will love.

Treetop Trek at the Brevard Zoo

TreeTop Trek is a self-guided ropes course suspended above the Rainforest Revealed exhibit. You’ll find yourself nose-to-nose with Spider Monkeys as you navigate a challenging (but not too hard) ropes course, complete with massive zip lines over the Alligator enclosure. You’ve never experienced a zoo like this. For something a little more relaxed, try kayaking on the Nyami Nyami river. This activity brings you into the Expedition Africa Exhibit where you’ll paddle past zebras, oryx and nosey giraffes who follow your tour group as you make your way!

kayaking at the Brevard Zoo

Still not convinced? This zoo works to rehabilitate injured sea turtles in their Sea Turtle Healing Center, has Restored our Shores with oyster beds, and works closely with the Florida Wildlife Hospital to keep our local wildlife happy and healthy as well. The Brevard Zoo is no ordinary zoo, it’s one of the best in the world and it’s on the Space Coast. 

Protecting the most Significant Sea Turtle Nesting Grounds in the World

Paradise Beach

The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is a 20.5 mile refuge located in Melbourne Beach on the Space Coast. This stretch of beach is not only secluded and gorgeous, but it is the most significant Green Sea Turtle Nesting Ground in the United States and the most significant Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting Ground in the World! Established in 1991, this refuge is pristine and a perfect place to catch a sunrise, or enjoy a swim. Join a Sea Turtle Walk during Sea Turtle Nesting Season (May - October) with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society or Stella Maris Environmental Research to safely and discreetly see these magnificent creatures come home to lay nests on the Space Coast. 

Bioluminescence on the Space Coast

Yes, the National Geographic article mentioned our bioluminescent activity, but it’s so amazing we’ve got to sing its praises again. If you’re going to cross one thing off your Florida Bucket List, make it a night-time kayak trip during Bioluminescence season. From June through September the waters of the Indian River Lagoon are filled with bioluminescent dinoflagellates. When you book a tour, you see the water come alive. Fish dart like shooting stars while the mullet and dolphins put on an underwater lightshow you will never EVER forget. Kayak tours fill up quickly this time of year, plan your electric escapade on a new moon for an incredible experience. 

There’s nowhere else on the planet quite like the Space Coast, come experience it for yourself! 

 

Space Coast Visitors Guide Cover Image

Vacation Planner for Florida’s Space Coast

The official Space Coast Vacation Planner Guide is now available. There are two ways to get yours: