Congrats on being selected to be a part of NASA Social! There is so much to experience behind the scenes with NASA that planning the rest of your trip can be a bit overwhelming. To make things a bit easier for you, we’ve put together some helpful tips on where you can stay, fun places to eat, and other memorable things you can do when you’re not touring the vehicle assembly building, launch pads, and talking to astronauts.
Hotels & Accommodations
You’ll be spending the bulk of your time in the Space Coast town of Titusville. Starting your hotel search there is a great option. The Courtyard by Marriott Titusville Kennedy Space Center is the area’s newest hotel that provides an out-of-this-world space-themed experience complete with The Space Bar. This rooftop bar has unsurpassed launch views and a cocktail list you’ll absolutely want to post about. The Hyatt Place Titusville Kennedy Space Center is another new hotel with an incredible launch observation lounge only 13 minutes from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
Flatbread at Playalinda Brix Project. Image by Playalinda Brewing Company Brix Project
Titusville is home to some amazing restaurants, cafes, and breweries. There are tons of great options if you are traveling solo, with your family, or plan to meet up with your new NASA Social friends for a quick bite, meal or cocktail!
Grab breakfast and a coffee before you head out for your NASA adventure at :
Like nearly everything on the Space Coast, our craft breweries are intrinsically tied to the space program. Many brewers are even former aerospace engineers. These space-loving ciceroni craft brews that make sipping around here even more out-of-this-world. They’ve all teamed up to create Launches and Lagers, a spacecraft and craft beer pairing experience that you can enjoy after you’ve wrapped up your NASA Social for the day. Cheers!
NASA is a huge part of the Space Coast, but there’s also a lot more to see. If your launch gets scrubbed or postponed, or you just want to stick around for a few days to enjoy a Florida vacation, here are a few fun ways to spend your time.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is surrounded by the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. If you’d like to see some native Florida wildlife and landscapes, a trip through this lush refuge is a must. Blackpoint Drive is a nature trail you enjoy from your vehicle and winds you through wetlands, scrub marshes, and other habitats. You will see tons of native and migratory birds, American Alligators, and maybe even otters, gopher tortoises, and wild hogs. Looking for manatees or dolphins? Deeper in the refuge is the Manatee Observation Deck. This area is a local haunt of sorts for sea cows and dolphins. Keep heading east to enter the Canaveral National Seashore where you’ll find Playalinda Beach, one of the best launch viewing areas on the Space Coast. Where you’ll encounter sneak peeks at active launch pads from some of the most pristine beaches in the United States!
An Atlas V launch as seen from Playalinda Beach. Image by @alonemercury82
At your NASA Social, you’ll be getting an inside look at current and future NASA operations straight from the launch pads. If you’re looking to dive deeper into the history of space exploration you’ll want to check out the American Space Museum and Space Walk of Fame. This incredible and intimate museum located in Downtown Titusville displays hundreds of items that were donated by former astronauts and NASA employees. Want to flip the switch on the launch consoles that sent Atlas-Centaur and the Space Shuttles to the stars? Here you can. You’ll see the blueprints and models used to construct historic launch complexes and so much more. Best yet, the docents that guide you through the museum are mostly the former space workers and children of space workers who lived this history. It’s an incredible experience and adds some serious context to your social trip.
You can touch these! Image by the American Space Musuem
This museum is also part of the Space Walk of Fame where larger-than-life moments to human space flight line the waterway and make for some pretty incredible photo opportunities. See how you measure up to the handprints of famous astronauts like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and line up the perfect shot with monuments to the Apollo, Gemini or Mercury missions. It’s all just a short walk away from the museum on the waterfront of the Indian River Lagoon.
Cocoa Beach is the East Coast’s Surf Capital and one of the most laid-back beach towns you’ll find in Florida. Stop by some incredible local restaurants, coffee shops, surf shops, and boutiques to find the perfect meal, souvenir, and maybe even sign up for a surf lesson if you’re up to it!
If you want to achieve super space-geek status, stop by the Cocoa Beach Fish Camp and Grill. This old Florida restaurant is the former location of The Mouse Trap, the bar that used to be a local haunt for the groundbreaking astronauts we know and love. Of course, the new owners couldn’t get rid of this Space Coast History! Now you can belly up at The Mousetrap Bar and gaze through the same stained glass mirror as the men who first stepped foot on the moon.
Stained Glass Barback from the original Moustrap Bar. Image by @cbfishcampgrill
Port Canaveral is an awesome spot where you can see SpaceX boosters make their way back to the Kennedy Space Center on the famous fleet of drone ships. Grab a dockside lunch at Rusty’s Seafood and Oyster Bar or any of the waterfront restaurants for a stellar view of these reusable rockets when they are in port. Exploration Tower is also a worthwhile stop for panoramic views of the port and the Space Center and launch pads as well.
SpaceX Booster as seen from the Tiki Deck at Rusty’s at the Port. Image by @earth.to.emerson
NASA Social is an incredible opportunity to be a part of space exploration history, and we are so happy that it brought you to the Space Coast. We hope that you have an incredible time while you are here and make the most of your NASA Social experience. If you have any questions about other fun things to do, or places to stay reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook. We are here to help!
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