3-Day Where Space Meets Nature

Day 1 You'll See:

  • Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center
  • Apollo/Saturn V Center
  • Launch Complex Observation Gantry
  • Journey to Space in 3D IMAX
  • Shuttle Launch Experience
  • Atlantis Orbiter

Day 2 You'll See:

  • U.S Space Walk of Fame Museum
  • Cypress Swamp
  • Florida Biplanes
  • Archie Carr National WIldlife Refuge

Day 3 You'll See:

  • Island Boat Early Morning Birding Tour
  • Bird Island
  • Cocoa Beach Pier
  • Historic Cocoa Village
  • Ron Jon Surf Shop

 

Welcome to the heart of the Sunshine State where you and your group will find an incredible mixture of science and discovery on Florida's own Space Coast. Immerse yourself into the world of space exploration as you take in the sites and sounds of NASA's Kennedy Space Center and find out how it mixes locally with the diverse ecological surroundings. Rediscover southern nature with an air boat and biplane ride over the vast sandy shores and sultry swamps of this area, and top it all off with some of the best eating and shopping this East Coast destination has to offer. 

 

Day 1

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center - Your first day in the Sunshine State will put you in Orlando visiting one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the state, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Home and hub of discovery, this massive complex covers every manned mission to space and allows guests to get as up close and personal to the action as they can handle, just short of leaving our atmosphere.

Apollo/ Saturn V Center-  As a part of the Kennedy Space Center, this stop will be an easy walk leading you to an exciting opportunity to stand underneath the largest rocket ever made, the Saturn V. At an astounding 363 foot length, this exploration center allows you to put yourself into the 1969 27-man crew as you learn up close and personal about the moon landing. With an available pre-show and firing room as well as a lunar theater, your group will get the most high-tech and immersive view of the launch, as well as be able to touch an actual moon rock.

Launch Complex Observation Gantry - This behemoth observation gantry will leave you breathless, standing 60 ft in the air. Standing atop this gantry will give you a 360 degree view of both giant shuttle launch pads (39 a and b) as well as the rocket garden in the distance!

Journey to Space in 3D IMAX - Get ready to get out of this world on this next stop with the mindblowing cinematography of the space center’s own IMAX theater. With Journey to Space, spectacular space footage will enlighten you and your group about the bold plans for deep space exploration. This visual masterpiece discusses the past, current, and future space missions, including more recent plans for astronauts to land on mars and live there for two years as well as plans to harvest asteroids. Let Sir Patrick Stewart narrate your afternoon away with this exciting theater experience!

Shuttle Launch Experience - Hold on to your seat tightly as you countdown the final seconds to lift off with this next stop. Featuring the space shuttle Atlantis, this professionally accurate and high tech experience will put you into the astronauts' shoes as you experience lift-off firsthand.  Countdown the seconds before being thrown into the eight and a half minute long ascent into orbit, experiencing g-forces, weightlessness, and speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour just as the astronauts would.

Atlantis Orbiter - One of the most complicated and sophisticated historic pieces of aircraft will complete your day at the Kennedy Space Center. Rotated at the original 43.21 degree angle it would off of the International Space station, be sure to be aware of your footing boarding this plane! Various multimedia presentations as well as over 60 interactive exhibits and simulators will keep you busy as you marvel at this priceless U.S. historic aircraft.

 

Day 2

U.S. Space Walk of Fame Museum - Start your day out with more exciting U.S. space history with this famous space museum dedicated to honoring American space workers. Take in the entire history of the United States space program, look at the sites in which the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle rocket monuments stand, and visit space view park and museum for unique insights to this important piece of American history.

Wild Florida Airboat Tour -  Head back over to Orlando to get ready for  an up close and personal view of Florida swamp land via Cypress Lake. These astonishingly fast-paced airboats will skim you across the bodies of water that are known for housing the deciduous Cypress trees which thrive locally in the swamplands. Alligators, eagles, turkeys, wild boars, and spoonbills will all greet you while out on the water, making this experience of the ‘middle of nowhere’ in Orlando a must stop for nature lovers.

Florida Biplanes - Be prepared for an exciting adventure as you board a vintage WWII era biplane for an unforgettable view of Florida’s Space Coast. In this open cockpit style Waco biplane you will be taking in the Florida landscape from Merritt Island as the rumble of the radical engines pairs with the refreshing feel of sea sprayed air. With the ‘See it All’ tour, your group will be able to take in the science of the  Kennedy Space Center, beachfront of the Cape, and ecology of St. John’s River from what feels like the top of the world!

Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge - End your day with a nature lovers paradise at this 248 acre sea turtle refuge area. As a direct result of the late Archie Carr’s attention to the declining turtle population and habitat in the area, this conservation refuge allows guests to observe long stretches of undisturbed beaches in which 15,000 to 20,000 sea turtles nest annually. Loggerhead Sea Turtles as well as Green Turtles can be seen in abundance here (making up 30% of the American population) as well as the largest and most rare species of turtle in the world, the Leatherback. Offering constant sea turtle watch, interpretive nature foot trails, and various points of beach access, this refuge will make you never want to leave.

 

Day 3

Island Boat Early Morning Birding Tour - The early bird gets the worm, and so will you with this next adventure. Island Boat tours offers an early morning birding tour that takes you through the flood tide delta deposits of the Space Coast that are known as the Thousand Islands. The boat will take you and your group on a maze of narrow trails and canals through these natural mangrove islands to witness the activity of coastal birds in their prime. Bring your camera and be prepared to view and learn about hundreds of species of birds, such as the Reddish Egret, White Pelican, Wood Stork, Great Blue Heron, and even Bald eagle!

Bird Island - If you haven’t gotten your fill of all these amazing birds just yet don’t worry, a visit to nearby Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge will allow you to get even more up close and personal than before. Boasting over 350 species of birds within its boundaries, this refuge has partnered with ‘Day Away Kayak Tours’ to provide a guided kayak ride to ‘Bird Island’, only accessible by boat and known as a sanctuary for birds travelling along the Atlantic flyway.

Cocoa Beach Pier - This local and historical landmark offers more than just great fishing and surfing, as you will find out on your next stop at this 800 foot boardwalk above the Atlantic. Your food choices are endless, from gourmet fresh seafood to pizza and burgers, and your shopping choices will match. Take in live music as you stroll down the pier window shopping, or maybe head to the beach for a relaxing sandy nap, surfing, or some of the best fishing on the East Coast.

Historic Cocoa Village - Get ready to put your shopping into high gear at one of the most popular East Coast tourist destinations. This nostalgic riverside community takes you a step into the past with it’s historic tree-lined streets full of unique shopping experiences. Check out  Florida’s Historical Society in this village or catch a show at the Cocoa Village Playhouse. Be prepared to be overwhelmed (in the best way possible) as you set out in this maze of shops, with a guarantee to find the perfect souvenir for anyone in your group. Be sure to check out Not Just Fudge for some fresh salt water taffy or head to Magic Dove Magic Shop to pick up a famous Cocoa village rabbit-in-a-hat hat. If shopping isn’t up your alley you can always check out Riverside Park for a break or see if any of their frequent craft or car shows are happening!

Ron Jon Surf Shop - Established locally in the mid 1960’s, the Ron Jon Surf Shop is the world's largest and most famous surfing mecca. Open 24 hours a day, don’t feel too rushed on this stop as you have the opportunity to learn the history of the brand and sport of surfing in general. Every possible item you need for surfing can be found here, as well as fishing and swimming gear. This store in particular is over 52,000 square feet and is considered to be one of a kind in the Ron Jon world, known for its experienced and enthused employees as well as its convenient location which makes it highly traversed.