Space Coast Museum Guide
Discover the history of the Space Coast
The Space Coast is home to beautiful beaches, amazing landscapes, inspired eats, breathtaking art, shopping, and of course, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC.) Did you know, you can learn all about how our slice of paradise became so awesome at the MANY museums located throughout the area! The Museums of Brevard county give you a chance to explore and be inspired by art, innovation, and heroism and take you back in time! Our museums have something for all ages and interests to enjoy. So, as you plan out your next Space Coast weekend, make sure you take time for an educational and historic tour of the Space Coast.
Space Coast Art & Culture
- Foosaner Art Museum | Melbourne
It’s a small art museum with a big atmosphere. Art enthusiasts will happily spend an hour or so viewing modern art in exhibits that change every few months. You may even be able to meet the artist whose work is on display. Afterwards, check out the rest of the Eau Gallie Arts District by grabbing a beer at Intracoastal Brewing Company, or take a self-guided walking history tour with Florida Stories.
The Foosaner Art Museum will close its doors June 2021. Make sure you see it before it’s too late.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mission to bring racial reconciliation remains an important part of modern American history. In 1951, in the Space Coast town of Mims Florida, a Christmas Day bombing led to the deaths of Harry and Harriett Moore. They were involved in varying efforts to desegregate public beaches and schools in the early 60’s. Partnered with Dr. King, the Moore’s efforts proved successful, and their legacy is commemorated here. This museum strives to advance civil and human rights through interactive exhibits showcasing the lives of these civil rights activists. Visitors can take a self-guided tour or a 45-minute guided tour.
Aviation & Space on the Space Coast
- Air Force Space & Missile Museum | Cape Canaveral
Explore the history of the space program, view nose cones, an Atlas rocket engine, a controller station and a rocket guidance system. This museum highlights the importance of the Air Force in the development of America’s space program.
- American Space Museum and Space Walk of Fame | Titusville
The wonder of the U.S. space program is on display through genuine spacecraft parts, astronaut suits and other artifacts from manned and unmanned flights and probes. The museum serves as a tribute to the workers who made the space program possible, honoring them by telling their stories. In addition, there is a heartfelt tribute to workers and astronauts who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Fun Fact: Every piece of space memorabilia in this museum was donated by actual astronauts and engineers who worked on these missions!
- Cape Canaveral Lighthouse | Cape Canaveral
This little-known beacon tucked away on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station dates back to the 1800’s. Enjoy hearing about how this lighthouse came to be, how it was constructed, and all that it took to build. You’ll get special inside access to restricted areas so that you can get panoramic photos from inside the tower as well as glimpses of Kennedy Space Center and other historic spaceflight launch complexes.
- Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex | Merritt Island
Plan for a whole day or even a few in order to get the full experience. See full-size spacecraft, including a Saturn V rocket and three authentic space-flown shuttles. Learn the past, present and future of space exploration. Meet a veteran NASA astronaut and touch a moon rock. Experience space travel through 3D movies. A simulated takeoff allows the more adventurous to feel the shaking of g-force just like the astronauts; this attraction can be too intense for some people.
- Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum | Titusville
The Space Coast’s biggest collection of vintage aircraft is located just across the causeway from the Kennedy Space Complex. Aviation enthusiasts can get close enough to touch more than 45 immaculately restored warbirds from all eras. You may even catch one going up for a spin. The volunteer docents are experienced airmen who love to share their in-depth knowledge. With three full hangars of planes, jets, helicopters and military memorabilia, allow at least two hours.
Space Coast History
This is a one-stop spot for all things Brevard County. Established in order to collect and preserve historical materials and maintain the integrity of the area’s history from the early pioneers, the Brevard County Historical Commission provides a place where you can read, explore, and peruse historical memorabilia from microfilm to books and maps. Request a guide to all the historic landmarks so you can map out your very own tour.
- Florida Historical Society | Cocoa
The mission of the Florida Historical Society has and continues to be the collection, preservation, and publishing of materials that pay homage to the rich and diverse history of the State of Florida. Research and explore rare books, government publications, photos, and maps dating back to the early colonial period.
- North Brevard Historical Society Museum | Titusville
This charming museum houses a compelling collection of vintage tools, appliances, artifacts and an impressive military uniform collection, with helpful docents on site to answer questions.
Historic Homes of Florida's Space Coast
- Field Manor | Merritt Island
This waterfront home on the Indian River takes visitors back to the post-Civil War era when pioneers came to settle along the Florida coast. It’s one of the oldest structures on Merritt Island that’s still standing. The house is outfitted with original furniture and family belongings like musical instruments, travel trunks and an authentic bearskin.
- Grant Historical House | Grant
This house is situated on seven acres of riverfront property and was the first home in the quaint town of Grant. What’s unique about this home was that it was a premanufactured (catalog) home that arrived via riverboat all the way from Jacksonville. Donated to the Grant Historical Society in 1984 by one of the family heirs, this home is now a museum that features a collection of antiques and furniture that truly captures the essence of the pioneer days of this Florida community.
- Green Gables | Melbourne
Located along the peaceful and scenic Indian River, Green Gables is a beautiful Queen Anne style home built by William and Nora Wells, who initially came here to escape the harsh cold of winter, but eventually made Melbourne their permanent home. The Wells brough innovation and the first library to the area, amongst other key developments. To this day, Green Gables is owned by heirs of the Wells family and in the same vein of generosity William and Nora had, the heirs have given back so the community can enjoy the special and enchanted home.
- The Historic Pritchard House | Titusville
Take a break from the city’s bustle at this lovely 19th century historic home, which has been meticulously restored throughout. Built in the distinctive Queen Anne style, it has a corner tower, steep gables and upper and lower verandas. The interior has gorgeous woodwork in every room and is outfitted with period furniture and accessories like vintage toys, clothing and paintings.
- The Historic Rossetter House Museum & Gardens | Melbourne
Take a glimpse into the fascinating history of the Eau Gallie Arts District through this beautiful home and its surrounding gardens. It’s a lovely setting for taking photos. The original furniture and artifacts are beautifully preserved. Be sure to see the garaged Model A that still runs and the quaint family cemetery.
- John H Sams Homestead | Merritt Island
Just minutes from the Kennedy Space Center, you’ll find a subtropical island that harkens back to the days before major settlement of the area. It’s the oldest standing structure in Brevard County, situated amid a nature preserve teeming with native plants and wildlife. Check the website for special activities and tours. There are lots of trails for walking and hiking the beautiful preserve.
Law Enforcement & Military Museums
- The American Police Hall of Fame and Museum | Titusville
This is a fascinating place for children and adults. There are more than 10,000 law enforcement related exhibits. Many, like the forensic lab, are interactive. See vintage and modern vehicles, tools and firearms, as well as various types of restraints and retired forms of prisoner punishment, from a guillotine to a gas chamber. The museum also includes an impactful tribute to fallen officers killed in the line of duty.
- Brevard Veterans Memorial Center and Museum | Merritt Island
Be inspired by this tribute to the men and women of the U.S. military who serve and sacrifice to preserve our freedoms. It’s a truly impressive collection of military uniforms and vehicles, with thousands of artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War through the present day.
Explore the area’s fascinating history from the prehistoric to the space age, featuring the important archaeological discovery that was found exceptionally well-preserved after 7000 years in the peat of nearby Windover Pond.
- Brevard Zoo | Melbourne
Animals like monkeys, kangaroos, giraffes, rhinos and bears are in natural settings that give you the feeling you’re in the enclosure with them. Some different species are mixed together as you’d find them in the wild. Have your camera ready because it’s a great place for photos. Kids of all ages will enjoy the petting zoo. There’s even an aerial zip line adventure available.
- Museums of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures | Cocoa Beach
What’s more fascinating for kids than dinosaurs? See enormous cast skeletons, fossils, lifelike dinosaur replicas in natural settings and real live reptiles. Pan for minerals, ride the rapids outside the water, and explore ancient worlds and archaeological wonders like King Tut’s tomb.
Sports on the Space Coast
- Florida Surf Museum | Cocoa Beach
A highlight of any Space Coast visit is the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop. Be sure to make your way next door where you’ll learn the rich history of Florida’s “crazy” surfers and the amazing evolution of surfboards from 100-pound redwood boards to the highly engineered and lightweight boards we know today.
Now that you know there is a wealth of history and intrigue here on the Space Coast, why not take a step back in time and see how it shapes your present-day and even your future. This is a fun way to add a bit of education to your time here while still enjoying all the other great amenities the Space Coast has to offer.
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