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The Florida Space Coast Bucket List of Things To Do!

No matter what time of year, or what adventure you’re looking for, you’ll find fun-filled days and rocket-lit nights in the Space Coast's 72-mile slice of paradise.

The Florida Space Coast Bucket List of Things To Do

Florida’s Space Coast is only about a 45-minute drive from Orlando, and is well worth the trip!

Check out our major attractions like the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the Brevard Zoo and the Cocoa Beach Pier. Grab a surfboard and umbrella and enjoy uncrowded beaches for surf, shelling and sunshine.

Discover local shops and restaurants, live entertainment, events, and more. If you’re thinking about visiting Florida’s Space Coast, check out our favorite things to do!

The Florida Space Coast Bucket List

Witness a Rocket Launch Up Close

Witness A Rocket Launch Up Close

The Space Coast is named the Space Coast because of America’s Space Program. Since it was established in 1962 the United States has been blasting rockets and astronauts to the stars, moon, mars, and beyond from the launchpads on the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

In recent years companies like SpaceX and ULA have become integral parts of NASA’s programs and are launching both commercial and NASA missions nearly every week.

When you visit the Space Coast, your chances of witnessing a rocket launch are very high. Check out the Visit Space Coast launches page to find out if a launch is happening while you’re in town.

Check out this map of all the best launch viewing locations on the Space Coast. Find your spot, get oriented at look up!

Visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Whether you’ve seen a rocket launch or not, when you come to the Space Coast you MUST visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This complex is beyond impressive and will take you through the United State’s journey to the stars.

From Explorer One, the first satellite launched by NASA,  to the upcoming Artemis missions, you’ll chronicle the major events that lead to our exploration of deep space. It’s amazing for guests of all ages! Air-conditioned buildings filled with awe-inspiring exhibits are a reprieve from the Florida heat and there are activities that both children and adults will enjoy and remember forever. If you can get there on launch day, you’re in for a treat! Get tickets today! 

Explore the Beaches

Explore The Space Coast Beaches

Beaches on the Space Coast are pretty incredible. Overall they are not the crowded shorelines you’ll find in other Florida destinations. The buildings are small, the sand is expansive and perfect for sprawling beach chairs and umbrellas, and the rolling dunes provide shelter for all sorts of native wildlife.

Busier beaches include Cocoa Beach, Indian Harbour Beach and Indialantic where you’ll find ample beach rentals, surf shops, and parks with playgrounds and pavilions. You won’t need to bring a thing with you to enjoy these hot spots.

Less crowded beaches include the Canaveral National Seashore, the Beaches of Patrick Space Force Base, and Melbourne Beach. You’ll want to pack a lunch and bring your chairs for some relaxed Space Coast fun in the sun at these locations.

Visit To Ron Jon Surf Shop In Cocoa Beach

Visit To Ron Jon Surf Shop In Cocoa Beach

With bright colors, sand sculptures and vintage cars out front, a visit to Ron Jon’s flagship surf shop in Cocoa Beach is must do.

From swimwear to skateboards, skim boards, surfboards or body boards, Ron Jon Surf Shop has it all and more. With 52,000 square feet full of merchandise, you’ll find everything needed for a fun day in the sun. Come and see why it is recognized worldwide as ‘an icon of the surf and beach lifestyle.’

Cruise From Port Canaveral

Cruise From Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral is the busiest cruise port in the United States, with 5 popular cruise lines homeporting more than 10 ships embarking on your dream vacation from the Space Coast is easy.

Many area hotels offer packages that allow you to park your car, shuttle you to and from the cruise terminals, and even to and from the airports (MLB & MCO)!

Once you’re here, you can relax and enjoy your time on the decks of some incredible waterfront restaurants in The Cove. Sip a tiki drink while you watch other cruises embark. Savor fresh seafood as you see the ships that caught it unload today’s catch. Sit back as rocket boosters glide by on drone ships. All before you head over to efficient and easy-to-navigate cruise terminals to board your ship. It’s like a pre-vacation vacation when you cruise from Port Canaveral.

Take A Walk On The Wild Side At Brevard Zoo

Take A Walk On The Wild Side At Brevard Zoo

The Brevard Zoo is one of the best zoos in the United States, voted in the top five zoos in the South East for the past 3 years by USA Today Travel.

This manageable zoo is easy to spend the whole day in. Interactive and immersive loops feature animals from Africa, Australia, Florida, and South America. It’s accessible and easy to walk for little kids in your group. But what sets the Brevard Zoo aside from any others are the affordable add-on adventures that allow you to get closer to the animals than you’d ever imagine. Kayaking in the Nyami Nyami River takes you through the Expedition Africa exhibit. You’re literally paddling past giraffes, ostrich, and zebras INSIDE their enclosure!

When you do a TreeTop Trek, you’re traversing a self-guided rope & zipline course through the jungles of Rainforest Revealed amongst the spider monkeys. They have an Indian River Lagoon Splash pad for the kids to cool off in, right next to a tank of lagoon-native species too. There are so many more check out their website and be amazed. The Brevard Zoo is a must-stop when you’re visiting the Space Coast.

Navigate The Indian River Lagoon

Navigate The Indian River Lagoon

The Indian River Lagoon is one of the most incredible aspects of the Space Coast. This biodiverse estuary is home to dolphins, manatees, and many species of fish. You can also see an impressive array of native and migratory birds feeding and relaxing in its waters.

You can experience this lagoon in so many ways while you’re here too! Hop on an eco-tour for a guided, relaxed experience.

A kayak tour is also a fun, active way to explore mangrove tunnels and have close encounters with marine mammals and comb jellies. Feeling like exploring on your own? Kayak and Boat Rental operations are all over the Space Coast. They will get you outfitted with all the gear and know-how to you need to explore the Lagoon on your own!

Paddle through Bioluminescence at Indian River Lagoon

Paddle Through Bioluminescence

Speaking of the Indian River Lagoon, every year the Space Coast is an epicenter of the natural phenomenon of bioluminescence.

When you visit between June – October you can book a bioluminescence tour of the Indian River Lagoon to experience the water glitter like galaxies far far away.

Visit The World-Famous Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

Visit The World-Famous Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

The world-famous Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier is a hot spot for family, friends, and fun. This historic landmark has been a local favorite for over 50 years and is described as ‘not just a day at the beach.’ From fishing to beach rentals, gift shops to live entertainment, Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier has it all.

Enjoy views from 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean as you drink and dine at any of the four bars and five restaurants on location, all of which have gluten-free options available.

Visit The World-Famous Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

Want to learn how to surf? Daily semi-private lessons are offered 9am to 5pm at Cocoa Beach Surf School. With year-round lifeguards, there’s no safer, or more spectacular place to master the waves than at the ‘east coast surfing capital of the United States.’

In addition, there are a vast variety of annual activities, events, surf competitions, and festivals all throughout the year. Whether playing on regulation beach volleyball courts, or rinsing off freshly-tanned, sandy skin in the on-site fresh water showers, Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier is the place to leave cares behind, relax, have fun, and soak up the sun in it’s rising and setting.

The Florida Space Coast Bucket List of Things To Do

Planning to visit Florida’s Space Coast? Visit Space Coast will help make every moment count, including attractions, activities, lodging, dining and more. Plus, their blog is updated monthly with the latest happenings taking place.

For the latest entertainment news and things to do in Orlando, and throughout Central Florida, follow Gotta Go Orlando on X, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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Emma Walton News Producer

Emma Walton

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