The best things to do in Cape Canaveral, known as the Space Coast by some, combine beautiful beaches and plenty of scientific exploration. The weather is near-perfect year-round, featuring a tropical climate, cool evening showers, and the most colourful sunny Florida skies. 

    The moment you arrive in Cape Canaveral, it becomes obvious the influence NASA and the space history of the United States has had on this unique community, from history museums to live shuttle launches. Cape Canaveral has many answers for inquisitive minds. There are also outdoor adventures where you can spot gators while playing a round of golf, or roast marshmallows while camping on the beach. 

    What are the best things to do in Cape Canaveral?

    1

    Kennedy Space Center

    Learn all about space exploration

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo

    A visit to Kennedy Space Center is a must in Cape Canaveral and it’s impossible to fully appreciate the Space Coast without it. The site is one of the world’s most well organized and comprehensive displays of historic and current developments in space travel.

    The centre is interesting for visitors of any age. You will get a tour of the functioning launch equipment and space crafts, hold rocks from the moon, talk and even dine with real astronauts, and get the full pilots’ experience when you strap into the Apollo Launch Simulator. The centre’s expansive display can fill 2 days of family fun. Book the 'Ultimate Space Adventure Tour' to get the full experience, travel included.

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    Location: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 855-433-4210

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    2

    Florida Beer Company

    Sip local brews while exploring the brewery

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    You can visit the largest producer of craft beer in Florida while in Cape Canaveral. Not only will you enjoy the variety of over 25 different ales, ciders, and lagers in the Tasting Room, but if you plan ahead and wear proper shoes, you can embark on a journey into the full brewing process.

    The plant opens several areas for guests to see first-hand how their favourite brew is processed. Children 16 years or older are welcome to partake in the process as long as they bring ID and are accompanied by a parent who is 21 or older.

    Location: 200 Imperial Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, USA

    Open: Monday–Wednesday from 1 pm to 9 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 1 pm to 11 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 321-728-4114

    Map

    photo by Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Manatee Sanctuary Park

    Soak in the sun and spot a manatee

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Manatee Sanctuary Park is a 10-acre outdoor park in Cape Canaveral that offers plenty of fun for everyone. It consists of several exercise areas and jogging trails, horseshoe pits, shade trees, a children's playground, covered picnic areas on the boardwalk, and even a private kitchen when booked in advance. Located along a beautiful stretch of the Banana River, you can spend the evening searching for wild manatees as they approach the land to feed on river grass.

    Manatees are a highly endangered species that love warm water, so visit in the summer months for the best chance to capture a photo of these magnificent creatures.

    Location: 701 Thurm Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, USA

    Open: Daily from 7 am until dusk

    Phone: +1 321-868-1226

    Map
    4

    Air Force Space & Missile Museum

    Walk through the history of space flight and rocket science

    • Families
    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Cape Canaveral’s nickname as the Space Coast owes its name to the artefacts and exhibits displayed at the Air Force Space & Missile Museum. Stand on the launch pad that sent the first Americans into space and experience the evolution of rocket engineering first-hand as you walk through the towering missiles and space crafts in the outdoor rocket garden.

    You can visit the museum personally or enjoy it as part of the Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour, which will introduce you to the many space-related sites across Cape Canaveral. The tour begins at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center.

    Location: 191 Museum Cir, Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

    Phone: +1 321-853-9171

    Map
    5

    Golf N' Gator

    Putt with the alligators

    • Adventure
    • Unusual

    Grab your clubs and hit the greens at Golf N Gator, a large alligator and wildlife conservatory that boasts 2 18-hole putt courses, called Gator Mountain and Swamp Cave, where you can test your golf skills while playing through caves, waterfalls, and ponds filled with alligators (safely of course).

    You can choose to play one course or both, and when you’re finished, meet with the gator experts who will teach you how to properly hold and handle baby alligators, snakes, and other creatures of Florida. Golf N' Gator opens their private facilities to host bookings for birthday and other private events.

    Location: 6355 N Atlantic Ave, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, USA

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 10 am to 9 pm, Friday–Saturday from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 321-799-4545

    Map
    6

    Rocket launch viewpoint

    Watch a NASA launch with your own eyes

    • Families
    • Photo
    • Budget
    • Unusual

    The rocket launch viewpoint at Playalinda Beach offers the closest view to see spacecraft blast off into space. Located only 5 miles from the launchpad, you can set up your camera on the beach, a part of Canaveral Sea Shore National Park. A $10 entry fee gets you full access to the land and beach where you can set up for the perfect photo and video location.

    If you’re just coming to watch, the park also provides bleachers with a panoramic view of the launch. Though the park remains open daily, it will take some planning to catch a launch. You can review the launch schedule on the Kennedy Space Center website.

    Location: FL-401, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, USA

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    7

    Jetty Park

    Camp out and enjoy the sea

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    Pack your tent or bring your RV to the well-kept beaches of Jetty Park. Whether you’re coming for the camping or taking the kids to the playground, a stroll through the beach will leave you with a full day and night of fun near the crashing waves.

    Public fishing is a popular activity along the pier, which is surrounded by the city’s best restaurants, bars, and shopping centres. You can view rocket launches and the docking of the multitude of cruise ships arriving at Port Canaveral. Be sure to bring your swimsuit to splash in the warm Floridian waters, then shower at Jetty Parks’ excellent public facilities.

    Location: 9035 Campground Cir, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 11 pm

    Map

    photo by Balou46 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    8

    The Savannahs Golf Course

    18 holes of golf in the wetlands

    • Adventure

    Savannahs Golf Club lets you tee off in style and test your skills as you play through the forests, water hazards, and well-manicured fairways of this 18-hole course. Don't forget to bring your driver as this course boasts some of the most beautiful and challenging links on the Space Coast.

    Book your round, then have a pre-match warmup at the unique 'aqua range' as well as the chipping and putting ranges. After a full day of golf, enjoy an icy-cold beer and a meal at the clubhouse, designed in the style of a southern plantation. Not only does this course offer stunning views and service, but it’s also very wallet-friendly.

    Location: 3915 Savannahs Trail, Merritt Island, FL 32953, USA

    Open: Daily from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm

    Phone: +1 321-455-1375

    Map
    9

    Rikki Tiki Tavern

    Enjoy a mai tai while the sun sets

    • Couples
    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Rikki Tiki Tavern is a beachfront bar that you can find at the end of Cocoa Beach Pier. You will find this unique tiki bar over the water where you the ocean breeze is as refreshing as the ice-cold drinks. Ask the bartender for fresh Florida oranges in your mai tai while you gaze across the Atlantic Ocean. Look out for a pod of dolphins that can be regularly spotted playing off the pier.

    The Tavern offers a selective but exceptional selection of food. If you’re an angler, cast a line over the pier and Rikki Tiki Tavern will even deliver their drinks to you.

    Location: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931, USA

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 321-783-7549

    Map
    10

    Victory Casino Cruises

    Place your bets while on the open water

    • Nightlife
    • Luxury

    A trip aboard the Victory Casino cruise ship is a fairly unique night-time attraction in Cape Canaveral. Boarding at Port Canaveral, this floating gambling den is the premier gambling hub of Florida, boasting 40,000 sq ft of casino floor where you can test your poker and blackjack skills or take a spin on one of the 600 slot machines.

    You will enjoy free drinks while playing and betting on a variety of sports and horseracing. Once you collect your winnings, hit the dance floor at Big Norm's Club V or have a cocktail at any of the 5 bars onboard. The 6-hour cruise departs twice a day.

    Location: 180 Christopher Columbus Dr #2, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920, USA

    Phone: +1 855-468-4286

    Map

    photo by Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Colby Murray | Contributing Writer

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