Florida's Space Coast lies on the east-central coast of the state, commanding attention as it plays home to not only the Kennedy Space Center but Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as well. Here is where space shuttles and rockets have flown into outer space, bringing back news of wonder and expanding our knowledge on earth. The area of the Space Coast itself is intensely beautiful and includes over 70 miles of pristine beaches, close proximity to Orlando and its theme parks, and plenty to attract visiting student groups who're looking for both fun and education.
Kennedy Space Center - One of the most exciting destinations on your Space Coast trip will most certainly be the Kennedy Space Center. Start off with a stop at the Visitor Complex and be fully launched into the full astronaut's experience with exhibits and displays on everything from the full-size Space Ship Atlantis to the Shuttle Launch Experience. Take a tour and visit the Apollo/Saturn V Center, wind through the skyscraper-tall rockets in the Rocket Garden, meet a veteran astronaut and ask him/her all the questions you can think of, and see all kinds of informative IMAX shows that are both beautiful and interesting. Find out what NASA's technology looks like now, explore exhibits on the plan to put astronauts on Mars, and pay respects to fallen astronauts at the Astronaut Memorial. All of these experiences and more are included in admission, though there are enhanced VIP activities that you can add to your trip. The Kennedy Space Center is the perfect place to learn more about NASA, their projects, and history, and jump-start your Space Coast vacation!
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station - While Cape Canaveral is a working Air Force Station at Patrick Air Force Base, and NASA launch site, there are ways to visit with your student group. Schedule a tour through the Kennedy Space Center and hop on a bus for a drive-by of the launch pad, see the Apollo 8 launch site, and stop by the Apollo/Saturn V Center to see the Saturn V moon rocket. Another tour route is to go directly through the Air Force Station as they conduct tours every Friday and Saturday, through the Air Force Space and Missile Museum and two launch historic launch sites plus the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. The Air Force Space and Missile Museum are interesting as it illuminates space history from the early rockets of 1966 until today. Again interesting is the History Center located on-site, which tells the tales of the past mission of exploration, from the Mercury missiles to the current Falcon 9 rockets.
- Next Launch: Falcon 9-SpaceX CRS 8-Rocket Launch Apr 8, 2016
Cocoa Beach - Less than an hour from Orlando's fantastic theme parks, and replete with attractions, Cocoa Beach is a dreamland. Cocoa Beach is bathed in Florida sunshine which makes it the perfect destination for beachgoers and avid surfers. Named as the East Coast surfing capital, Cocoa Beach attracts thousands to the sandy beaches and piers, the rolling Atlantic waves, and surf-themed attractions like Ron Jon Surf Shop. If you enjoy observing wild marine animals, Cocoa Beach's Thousand Islands Conservation Area is 338 acres of protected land with hiking trails and kayak routes for visitors to witness the endangered manatees, dolphins, and more!
Palm Bay - Palm Bay has been named as the "Most Innovative City" as well as the "15th Fastest-Growing City" in America by Forbes Magazine so you know it's a great choice. Floridian sunsets, exciting waterparks, and wildlife sanctuaries are but a few of the choices you have in Palm Bay. Go horseback riding at Pine Creek Ranch, kayak through marshes or hike through Micco Scrub Sanctuary's flatwood forests, or explore Turkey Creek Sanctuary and find an abundance of wildlife and picture-perfect scenery. At Turkey Creek, you're likely to see manatees and alligators, Florida turtles, otters, and garfish as well as a myriad of bird species. If you enjoy outdoor recreation, this is the place to be.
Titusville - With a motto like "Connecting Space and Earth," you get the immediate feeling that Titusville is something special. Titusville is located adjacent to the Kennedy Space Center as well as the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore. Colorful yet embedded in the science of NASA's influence, there is an abundance of wonderful attractions from the American Police Hall of Fame to the shopping avenues of Downtown Titusville. Explore history and science simultaneously at Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum or even have lunch with an astronaut!
Viera - The ultimate destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, Viera is a beautiful city with loads of charm. Here is where you'll find the Brevard Zoo with 600 animals representing 165 species from around the world. Also at the zoo, you'll find the Treetop Trek challenge course and zip lines over alligator and crocodile enclosures! Viera is also the place to be for sports aficionados, as it's home to Space Coast Stadium, the spring training facility of the Washington Nationals and the year-round home to the Brevard County Manatees. Shop along Avenue Viera and discover more than 100 premiere shops and restaurants calling your group's names, plus a state of the art movie theater and more!
For more great Wanderlust Wednesday Blogs visit our Destination Fascination and Destination Relaxation pages!