Space Coast, Florida

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Reasons to Visit

Kennedy Space Center - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.

Florida's "Space Coast" on the Atlantic ocean is a popular place for families, for several reasons:

  • miles of beaches
  • nature outings: mangroves, manatees
  • affordable prices
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • quaint towns

- continue to Space Coast - Beaches and Nature (or mouseover the boxes for more choices)

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Nature plus Space-Age Attractions

Beautiful beach on the Space Coast, Florida - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Space Coast - Fast Facts:
  • The Space Coast is 35 miles from Walt Disney World
  • 72 miles of shore include saltwater estuaries and top-rated beaches
  • the area has 250 sq. miles of wildlife refuges
  • hotels are very affordable
  • most people visit as an add-on from Orlando or a cruise
  • Port Canaveral is the busiest cruise passenger port in America
A Natural Blast

- continue to Kennedy Space Center

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Visit the Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center - Saturn V moon rocket. Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Teresa Plowright
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:

- continue to Airboat Rides

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Space Coast Airboat Rides

Airboat ride - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.

A quintessential Florida experience, airboat rides transport visitors into quiet wetlands-- with a lot of noise.

Put on your ear-muffs, 'cause the decibals are high on an airboat ride. The propeller is at the rear, not in the water, meaning the boats can skim very shallow depths.

We saw a few 'gators, but were equally intrigued by cows grazing in water that was shoulder-high.

- continue to Airboat Ride - Restaurant

Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Airboat Ride- Restaurant

Space Coast - restaurant and airboat ride - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.

Our tour started from a funky restaurant called funky restaurant called The Lone Cabbage, and afterward we returned to it, to eat the Lone Cabbage's deep-fried 'gator, catfish, and mozzarella sticks. Yet the name "Lone Cabbage" remained a mystery.

- continue to Nature Outings on the Water

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Nature Outings on the Water

Nature boat outing, Florida - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.

A comfortable way to see the Space Coast's estuaries is by a guided boat tour.

Island Boat Lines offers eco-tours with several departure points.

Nature-lovers can also enjoy Sea Turtle Sightings. More than 6,000 loggerheads turtles, green seas and leatherbacks lay eggs in the sand on the Space Coast. From late May to early August, guided tours take small groups to the beach after sunset.

- continue to Open Air Boat Tours

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Nature Outings: Boat Tour

Space Coast - Open Air Tour Boat - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.

From our open-air boat we saw anhingas and other birdlife, and the "footprints" (ripples at the water surface) of a couple of manatees.

- continue to Kayaking

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Kayaking

Space Coast - kayaking - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.

Kayaking looked like a fun way to experience the coast. (Could be too hot in the daytime for children, though.)

- continue to Town of Cocoa

Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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The Towns of Cocoa & Melbourne

Town of Cocoa, Florida - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Town of Cocoa, Florida - Photo © Teresa Plowright.

The Space Coast has some quaint town centers. Cocoa village -- not the same as Cocoa Beach -- is highly photogenic, with murals, brightly painted shops, street art, toy shop.

- continue to Cocoa murals

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Town of Cocoa, Murals

One of Cocoa's murals- Photo © Teresa Plowright.
One of Cocoa's murals - Photo © Teresa Plowright.

Cocoa, Florida has a quaint main street with some historic buildings and inviting shops. Kids will enjoy the murals and fun touches such as statues lounging on benches.

- continue to Ron Jon's, and Cocoa Beach Pier

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Ron Jon's, and Cocoa Beach Pier...

Cocoa Beach Pier - Photo © Teresa Plowright.
Photo © Teresa Plowright.

Other fun on the Space Coast includes:

  • Ron Jon's Surf Shop, the original location in Cocoa Beach, and a local legendary store of vast proportions
  • Cocoa Beach Pier: take a stroll on the pier, and watch the surfers; have a meal inside; then a double-scoop at Ricky's Ice Cream Parlor and Arcade.

- continue to Hotels and Restaurants

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Space Coast Hotels and Restaurants

Space Coast - Doubletree Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel
Photo © Teresa Plowright.

Florida's Space Coast gives good value for your money, and is known as a affordable destination. Family-friendly properties include:

  • the Doubletree Cocoa Beach Oceanfront Hotel (pool pictured above)
  • the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront

Seafood is especially good in this area, though meat is always on the menu too.

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