Get to Know the Space Coast

Visitor Information

A person stands on the beach and watches a night launch

There is a ton to do on Florida’s Space Coast. From Rocket Launches to Beaches, and Wildlife Encounters to Parking, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about our area to help you plan the perfect Space Coast Adventure.

Evening launch over the river
Launches
What’s the best place to see a launch?
There’s no definitive BEST place to see a launch. Florida’s Space Coast got its name partially because when there’s a launch, you can simply look up and see it. Check out the map on our Launches page to see some of the most popular launch viewing locations.
How much does it cost to see a launch?
It is free to look up on the Space Coast and see a rocket launching. However there are several attractions, restaurants and hotels that offer premium launch viewings opportunities. Explore this blog to learn how to make the most of your Rocket Launch experience.
Who decides the launch schedule?
NASA and its partners (SpaceX, ULA, etc) decide the launch schedule out of Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Coast Station. Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism has a policy to only announce a launch when it has been OFFICIALLY released to the public. We try our best to stay as up to date as possible on the officially released launch dates and times.
Why do launches get scrubbed (Cancelled or Rescheduled)?
Launches can be scrubbed due to technical issues or inclement weather. Rockets are built to monitor and pick up on any abnormal operations, and when they pick up on something such as a small pressure drop or a bad sensor, the system will shut itself down. Additionally, rockets are not like airplanes in the sense that they can’t simply bypass a thunderstorm. In order to get to a certain orbit and location in space to perform the mission, they have to depart at a certain time and direction.
What do I do if a launch is scrubbed?
While we hope that every launch goes off as scheduled, scrubs are an unfortunate reality. Some launches have launch windows. For example, a launch may have a liftoff time of 9:00am with a 2 hour window. This means that the launch can go anytime between 9:00am and 11:00am, so it may not be a full scrub, the team may be doing some additional checks or waiting out the weather. Tune into that launch’s live feed (most launches have a live feed on YouTube) to stay up to date.Often, if it is not a catastrophic technical issue, the launch will be rescheduled very close to the original launch date (often the next day), and may still fall within your visit.Be careful when booking your accommodations, or purchasing launch viewing packages from local businesses, to read the scrub policy very carefully.
Is Playalinda Beach/Canaveral Seashore open for this launch?
Most of the time. Canaveral National Seashore, the home of Playalinda Beach, is federal land and has its own rules and regulations. The National Park Service decides whether or not it is safe to be open during launches. The park is typically open during their normal operating hours for most launches, that decision is made on an individual launch basis. You can head to the Canaveral National Seashore website for more information on specific launches.
Is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex selling tickets for this launch?
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex often offers special launch viewing packages for major launches, that provide the closest launch viewing available to the public. For information on a specific launch, you can visit the KSCVC website for viewing options.
Is Jetty Park open for this launch?
Jetty park offers a great opportunity to park your RV or enjoy the beach before and after a launch. For park information for specific launches you can visit the Port Canaveral Website.

 

Beaches
What’s the best beach?
The Space Coast has 72-miles of beaches, and all of them are unique. The best beach for you will depend on a number of factors like where you’re staying, what kind of vibe you’re going for, whether or not you enjoy crowds, and more. Head over to our Beaches page for more about our major beaches
Pets on the beach?
There are two beaches in Brevard that allow dogs, and then only under certain circumstances. You are responsible for ensuring you are following local dog rules, please check the parks’ websites for the most up to date regulations:Cocoa Beach between 4th Street and the north side of Murkshe Park at specific times of dayCanova Beach ParkMost beaches DO NOT allow pets. Some reasons cited for these rules include:

  • Dog owners not cleaning up after their dogs, leaving feces and urine in the sand and in the ocean water.
  • Unleashed dogs making unprovoked attacks against beachgoers.
  • Dogs disturbing sea turtle nesting areas and turtle eggs.
  • The potential negative impact of dogs on the beach on shorebirds and seabirds.

Please check the beach you plan on visiting’s rules and guidelines before your trip.

Vehicles on the beach?
Personal Vehicles ARE NOT allowed on the beaches of Florida’s Space Coast. You can face large fines and possible criminal charges for driving on the beaches here.

 

manatee
Nature & Wildlife
When is Sea Turtle Season?
Sea Turtle nesting season generally runs from March to October. Please remember it is illegal to mess with sea turtles and their nests. Please refer to our Sea Turtle blog for more information.
Can I swim with manatees/dolphins?
Look but don’t touch! Manatees are endangered animals and it is illegal to touch them, and dolphins are wild and their play can be very dangerous. Florida Wildlife is best enjoyed from a responsible distance.Sea life may interact with your watercraft, so be careful not to harm them or feed them. For more information head to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Are there a lot of gators?
American Alligators are native to Florida’s Space Coast. They are wild animals, and as such should not be hassled, touched or fed. Alligators generally shy away from areas where humans congregate, and announce their presence (usually with a loud hiss) when you’re too close. If you find yourself near any wild animal, try to politely back away without startling it. For more information head to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
When is Bioluminescence Season?
Bioluminescence Season runs between June and October on Florida’s Space Coast. Head to our Bioluminescence page to learn more about this fascinating natural phenomenon.

 

Exterior of the Orlando Melbourne International Airport
Parking & Travel
Where can I park?
The majority of public parking in Brevard County is free, and first come first served. Cocoa Beach & Indialantic have paid public parking and the lots/garages/parking spots all have informative signs to show you how to pay. You WILL be towed from businesses’ parking lots if you park and try to access the beach.
Nearest Airports?
Florida’s Space Coast has 3 major airports all within driving distance. Orlando International Airport, Orlando-Sanford International Airport, and Melbourne-Orlando International Airport right here on the Space Coast. Visit our Getting Here page for more information on traveling to Florida’s Space Coast.
Cruise Parking Options
Port Canaveral has on premises options for cruisers. Additionally, many local hotels offer snooze and cruise packages. Please visit our Cruises page and Getting Here page for more cruise transportation options.

 

An aerial view of Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station
Important Updates and Additional Information
Hurricane Preparedness and Resources

On the Space Coast, the 2023 Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Brevard County has set up a number of resources to help residents and visitors to our area if the need should arise.  It is important to have a plan in place for evacuations. Please visit Brevard County’s Emergency Management page for more information.

Special Consideration for Airline Passengers

Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB): FlyMLBsafely.com.

Updates: Orlando International Airport

Beach accessible wheelchairs
Beaches
Accessibility on the Space Coast
View Article
launch from the beach by @spacecoaststeve
Things to Do
The Space Coast Bucket List
View Article
Family at a the Pool on the Space Coast
Things to Do
Plan your Space Coast Spring Getaway
View Article

Subscribe to our Updates & Special Offers

Callout