Must-See Places to Visit on Florida’s Space Coast
No FOMO here
The anticipation is rising, butterflies in your stomach, and you can’t sleep at night. It’s not the night before Christmas. It’s the night before you head to Florida’s Space Coast for the first time, and you just can’t contain your excitement!
With any first time experience, you want to make sure you don’t miss out on attractions and other things to do that make the Space Coast a top spot for visitors. No FOMO here. Below are some of the must-see places to make sure you add to your first time to the Space Coast.
The Space Coast isn’t named this for no reason. In fact, this area is rich in space history dating back to the 1950s when rocket launch operations were moved to Cape Canaveral. NASA eventually established the John F. Kennedy Space Center in the ‘60s and since then, this area has been a hot spot for visitors wanting to tour and explore space history, past, present, and future. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex was officially opened in 1967 featuring exhibits, theaters, rocket models, and a concession and souvenir facility. Today, visitors get to be an astronaut for a day, experience a simulated shuttle launch, tour Atlantis, one of only three remaining space-flown orbiters, walk through the rocket garden, and so much more. This is definitely a must-see attraction for all first-time visitors! And if you time your visit just right, you may get to see one of the rocket launches that makes this area famous.
It’s amazing to see what can happen when a small group of people dream big and create something world-class that brings education and entertainment together to create an experience that never gets old. The Brevard Zoo has been a local and visitor favorite since it opened its gates in 1994. If you want to have a day full of animal encounters, adventure tours, fun-filled challenges, and annual events to be a part of, then making sure you stop at the Brevard Zoo will ensure you make the most of your visit.
A one-stop spot for food, shopping, and things to do, the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier gives you a place where you can see why the Space Coast has some of the best beaches in the world. Watch surfers take on waves that pro-surfer Kelly Slater cut his teeth on or relax as you dig your toes in the sand and soak of the Florida sun. Round out your beach experience with a trip to Ron Jon Surf shop because no trip to the Space Coast is complete without a stop to get a classic one-of-a-kind T-shirt.
Another hot spot on the Space Coast that brings visitors from all over the world is Port Canaveral. Global Traveler Magazine recently named Port Canaveral “Best Cruise Port” and there’s a reason why. Even if your first-time visit doesn’t include setting sail to a Caribbean paradise, spending time at The Cove will give you up-close views of these majestic cruise ships while you dine on fresh, locally caught seafood at one of the many waterfront dining spots, like Grills, Rusty’s, or Fishlips. And if you want to get a birds-eye view of the Port, stop at the Exploration Tower where you get to experience the history of the Port and even more space history as you explore all seven stories.
If you are a fan of the arts and like to see it come to life, you definitely want to add the Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD) to your plans. EGAD is home to local, regional, and international artistry, which has given the Space Coast a creative diversity from shops and galleries to restaurants and the most recent addition, wall murals.
Now if you want an authentic experience that will let you know you truly visited Florida’s Space Coast, consider adding a country outing aboard an airboat at Camp Holly. Take an eco-tour on the St. Johns River with one of the U.S. Coast Guard trained captains. Enjoy a thrilling adventure where you’ll see birds, alligators, and other wildlife in its natural habitat and when the tour is over, enjoy a nice cold beverage of your choice, kick back and relax, and listen to stories from locals.
Now that you have a starting point for some of the must-see places to visit for your first visit here, check out the Space Coast Vacation Planner to finish out planning the rest of your trip. Want to check out even more of what the Space Coast has to offer? Click on the links below to make this first-time visit one you’ll never forget!
Let’s see how you spent your first-time visit to the Space Coast, so post pictures and videos and tag us using #SpaceCoast.
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