From moon walks and dune overwalks to cruise ports and water sports, a galaxy of options await visitors at Florida’s Space Coast, a 72-mile stretch of sun-bronzed Atlantic shore, space age attractions and protected wildlife refuges flourishing along the surf — all at down-to-earth prices. Featured among Money magazine’s “Best Places to Vacation,” the Space Coast is comprised primarily of area cities Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Palm Bay and Titusville.
Melbourne, situated on the Indian River Lagoon, is known of it’s surf, and of course, as part of the Space Coast, for its association with the nearby Kennedy Space Center. Fishing, paddling and airboating are also popular here.
Kennedy Space Center
At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visitors can sense galactic adventures at this 140,000-acre megaplex including a replica of a space shuttle, two extraordinary IMAX movies that launch viewers into space, a Rocket Garden riddled with Mercury and Gemini era rockets and bus tours viewing breathtaking launch pads along pristine shores.
Apollo/Saturn V Center
The Apollo/Saturn V Center celebrates one of humankind’s greatest achievements with an authentic Saturn V rocket – the most powerful ever built – created to transport man to the moon.
In sweeping contrast and absolutely free, surrounding the Kennedy Space Center, is the 220-square-mile Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge which is home to more federally endangered species than any refuge in the United States. A six-mile driving tour with shaded boardwalks weave through lush pine and oak hammocks of the second-largest sanctuary in Florida.
Space Coast Stadium
In Melbourne, the Space Coast Stadium is the spring training home of the Montreal Expos and year-round home to their Single-A affiliate – the Brevard Manatees
The Brevard Zoo is the only Zoo in the United States with onsite kayaking and an educational Zoo School. The Brevard Zoo includes a 7,000 sq. ft. educational complex “Paws On,” “Animal Encounters” and “Wild Side Zoo tours.” The newest exhibit, “Expedition Africa” places guests in the wilds of Africa during nose-to-nose meetings with exotic animals. Visitors hand-feed giraffes, kayak through the man-made river, ride the train through a lush savanna and explore an aviary of African and Australian birds.
Brevard Museum of Art and Science
Also the Brevard Museum of Art and Science offers everything from quirky exhibits of Elvis items to touring classics by Monet and Matisse. And the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science showcases reflects the pioneering period of the Space Coast while 22 acres showcase three ecosystems and a hands-on science center.
Melbourne Beach, not far from Melbourne itself is Brevard County’s oldest beach community.
Surprisingly, Space Coast accommodations provide priceless beach vacations with great family value. Whether posh or practical, more than 9,500 East Coast rooms are dotted throughout the area from popular hotels and spacious condominiums to beachside cottages and five-bedroom bungalows.