Day 1 You'll See:
- Beach time
- Indian River Lagoon
- Downtown Eau Gallie
- Foosaner Art Museum
- St. John’s River
- Astronaut Memorial Observatory and Planetarium
Day 2 You'll See:
- Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
- NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
- Canaveral National Seashore
- Enchanted Forest Sanctuary
- Sea Turtle Preservation Society
- Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge
Day 3 You'll See:
- Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area
- McLarty Museum
- Turkey Creek Sanctuary
- Florida Biplanes
- Village Playhouse
Ready to see Florida’s Space Coast just like the locals do? This 3-day educational getaway will allow you and your group to see things most tourists don’t as you travel around the East Coast of Florida. Get ready to immerse yourself in local culture with ecological visits exploring regional wildlife, art districts with provincial backgrounds, and historic sites that most visitors overlook. With the perfect mix of fun and facts, this local tour will teach your group about the area while allowing you to truly enjoy yourself. Whether you find yourself at the golden sandy beaches, fishing on the river, eating fresh seafood with friends, or exploring NASA’s roots, this 3-day journey is sure to leave you wanting more.
Beach time - Start your trip out the right with with some sun, sand, and surf at Cocoa Beach! Known for being the home to a lot more than just water, this historical landmark offers surfing lessons, some of the best fishing the East Coast has to offer, and endless food options. Equipped with a 800 foot boardwalk above the Atlantic, you’re going to wish you had more time to spend taking in live music, shopping like the locals, or just swimming the day away on the golden sandy shoreline of the Atlantic.
Indian River Lagoon - Make your way over to the Indian River Lagoon, a diverse shallow-water estuary that makes up around 40% of Florida’s East Coast shoreline. This ecological paradise is known for its commercial and economic contributions, bringing in over 3.7 billion dollars in recreational fishery and tourism. Everyone in your group will find something they like here; many docking areas offering fishing, kayaking, hiking, wildlife watching, biking, windsurfing, snorkeling, or golfing. There are also numerous restaurants around, offering plenty of fresh seafood caught straight from the shore!
Downtown EAU Gallie - Oftentimes referred to as EGAD, this economic and architectural town celebrates the assets of historic Melbourne and EAU Gallie, an authentic community on the Indian River Lagoon. Home to a civic center, library, public pier, and Pineapple Park, this small-town community will have you feeling like a local in no time. ‘Choose your medium to express creativity’ is the motto of their downtown art district, home to art in many forms such as food, photography, sculpture, and landscape. Literally translating to ‘rocky water’ from French, EAU Gallie also offers more beach fun, only this time you can be a local while doing it!
Foosaner Art Museum - Your next stop within the EGAD community the Foosaner Art Museum, dedicated to change and creativity. All aspects of visual art is covered within this museum, with over 5,000 objects covering 2,000 years of creative history. Partnered with the Florida Institute of Technology, some of the things you and your group will encounter inside include 20th century local art, Asian metalwork, modern paperworks, environmental photos, and an impressive collection of German impressionist art.
St. John’s River 3 Forks Marsh - Head over to the Three Forks Marsh on the St John River Valley to experience just a portion of the 310 miles of river that is the St. Johns. In this area in particular you will see the marsh area of the river on the Indian River Lagoon, which slowly turns into a broad waterway flowing Northeast into the Atlantic near Jacksonville. Being Florida’s longest (and slowest) running river, be sure to notice the sometimes reversed water flow caused by the minor drop in water as the river flows on. Your group will be in awe at this natural wonder, and be able to view the local flora and fauna up close in this often overlooked destination.
Astronaut Memorial Observatory and Planetarium - Located on the Cocoa Campus of East Florida State College, this next stop has been known as the "finest planetarium experience in the country." Boasting its innovative history of technological advances, this 70 foot in diameter star theater is the world's first digital and optical projection system. At this location your group will be able to take a tour of the local night sky, discuss various astronomy topics, and get lessons in basic astronomy. There are even laser shows offered during the night with live music, oftentimes cover bands for Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. Ending your night with the Dark Side of the Moon will not be a disappointment at this educational and exciting destination.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Get ready to start your day out with 140,000 acres of coastal dunes, saltwater marshes, freshwater impounds, pine flatwoods, and hidden hardwood hammocks as you and your group visit Merritt Island National Refuge. Created in 1963, this refuge was designed as an overlay of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the protection of migratory birds, but you will see over 1,500 species of plants and animals within the boundaries of this wildlife sanctuary. Check out their educational exhibits, movies, bookstore, or hike one of their many beautiful trails.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center - This next stop will put your group in the mood for adventure as you explore one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the state. NASA’s Kennedy Space center is home and hub of discovery, covering every manned mission to space thus far and in the future. A visit to KSC will let guests view the rocket garden, have lunch with an astronaut, see our Journey to Space in 3D IMAX, or even experience g-forces like the astronauts do in the Shuttle Launch Experience room. At Kennedy Space Center guests can get as up close and personal to the space action as they can handle, just short of leaving our atmosphere!
Canaveral National Seashore - After all that excitement it’s time to unwind and relax with a visit to Canaveral National Seashore, a place where tourists and locals alike can reflect on real Florida. With Barrier Island close by, many threatened animals such as sea turtles call this beach home, as do many happy guests annually. Swim, fish, explore a wooded trail, or catch a tan on the longest expanse of pristine shoreline in Florida. Make sure you check out Turtle Mound, the tallest Native American Shell Mound on Florida’s East Coast. This 50 foot high panoramic view of the beach will make you feel like you’re on a mountain top, with unbeatable views of the shoreline, ocean, and refuge area nearby.
Enchanted Forest Sanctuary - With two classrooms ready for a lesson on the hour, multiple educational exhibits, and a reference library to visit, this next stop will satisfy your ecological and educational desires. Built on the St. John’s floodplain, Enchanted Forest Sanctuary holds an outdoor amphitheater for shows as well as their famous Enchanted Crossing, a stabilized surface integrated nature trail that lets guests get up close and personal with their famous oaks. Taking a hike in this sanctuary will ensure that you see some of the more unique species to this area, such as the Tillandsia Utriculata, one of the largest air plants in the United States, as well as the famous golden silk spiders or nine-ringed armadillos.
Sea Turtle Preservation Society - More ecological fun is to come with this next stop at the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. WIth a winning combination of ‘luck and location’ this sea turtle refuge is home to many nesting sea turtles and dedicates itself to the preservation of these turtles. The Sea Turtle House and Education Center will teach you anything you need to know before going on a sea turtle walk, in which you can observe the habits of the locally nesting loggerheads. If you have time later be sure to come back for the night walk which starts at 8:45 pm nightly and ensures a more lively turtle viewing.
Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge - End your day with another nature-lover's paradise at this 248 acre sea turtle refuge area. This conservation refuge allows guests to observe sea turtles such as loggerheads and green turtles (of which 30% of the U.S population is found here) on their long stretches of undisturbed beach areas. Around 15,000 to 20,000 sea turtles nest here annually, and you can even see one of the largest and most rare species of turtle in the world, the leatherback. Offering constant unique sea turtle viewing opportunities, interpretive nature trails, and various points of beach access as well, this wildlife refuge will leave your group astounded.
Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area - An adventurous way to start your day, the Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area allows guests to choose from a multitude of fun activities to get closer to nature including geo-seeking, biking, wildlife viewing, surfing, swimming, scuba diving, shelling, and snorkeling. Known as the premier saltwater fishing spot on Florida’s East Coast, this favorite spot for angler fishers nationwide will allow any fisher in your group the opportunity to catch snook, red fish, blue fish, or a completely new fish! This fisher’s paradise also hosts two museums for local and fishing history and education, as well as a mile long hammock trail and multiple waterfront pavilions perfect for an energizing breakfast picnic to start your day.
McLarty Museum - As a part of the Sebastian Inlet Recreation Area, this next stop at McLarty Museum will teach your group all about the exciting history of the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet. Be an active participant in the treasure hunt as you learn about the history of that particular shipwreck in which 1,500 survivors lost a years worth of cargo, consisting of gold and silver turned into coins and ingots as well as rare Chinese porcelain and countless gold bars. Over half of the treasure has been found and accounted for, leaving your group plenty to search for after they look over all the found artifacts, displays, and view the observation tower overlooking the wreckage site.
Turkey Creek Sanctuary - Get back into the heart of nature on your next stop at Palm Bay. With an impressive boardwalk nature trail and multiple jogging trails, this 130 acre sanctuary is home to multiple regionally found species to view, such as the east coast manatee, box turtle, alligator, indigo snake, river otter, or water warbler. Once your camera is full of these gorgeous local fauna scenes be sure to check out the Margaret Hames Nature Center to learn about the area and wildlife, or maybe your group can rent a canoe or kayak to discover it all themselves!
Florida Biplanes - Be prepared for an extremely exciting adventure as you have the opportunity to board a vintage WWII era biplane for an unforgettable view of Florida’s Space Coast. Let the rumble of the radical engines and the refreshing feel of sea soaked air relax you as you take in this classic Florida landscape from this open cockpit style Waco biplane. If your group chooses the ‘See it all’ tour you will be able to take in the beachfront of the cape, ecology of St. John’s River, and science of the Kennedy Space Center from what feels like the top of the world. Nobody in your group will not leave disappointed after this once in a lifetime Space Coast adventure.
Village Playhouse - Head on over to Historic Cocoa Village to top your day off with one of the most nostalgic riverside community experiences. Home to some of the best shopping on the East Coast, this blast from the past community offers an overwhelming spread of unique shopping and eating experiences, as well as the famous Cocoa Village Playhouse. With a humble beginning in silent movies, this community driven playhouse now features some of the best broadway plays within it’s walls. Dedicated to local life management and performing arts, end your trip with a bang by catching a live show like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cats, or Sherlock in Love.