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Posted on 10/28/2020 in Things to Do

How To Spend One Day On The Space Coast

How To Spend One Day On The Space Coast

You traveled to Orlando to hit the theme parks and you’re a bit overwhelmed. Lines, crowds and thousands of tourists have you dreaming of a beach and the desire to see the real Florida. Have no fear, you are only an hour's drive away from the Space Coast; and you don’t even have to change your hotel reservation.  


Wake up, grab your breakfast, hop in the car and start the 59 mile drive towards Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral. If you leave at 9am, you’ll be pulling into Kennedy Space Center by 10:00 when they open. Kennedy Space center offers many different tours and experiences depending on which part of NASA history you are interested in. There are a few different exhibits plus “Behind The Gates” bus tours of the launch pads so be sure to familiarize yourself with the options prior to coming and have a game plan. 

The “Heroes and Legends” exhibit celebrates the early days of Nasa through the 50's when the space race began through Project Mercury and Gemini. Walk amongst the rockets in the Rocket Garden before going in to see the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame and finishing off with Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo.

If you’re looking to really dig deep into the history of the Apollo Program then Race To The Moon-Apollo/Saturn V Center is your ticket to space history. Highlights include standing under a real Saturn V rocket that was not used, Lunar Module 9, and a Command Service Module. From there you can enter the Treasures Gallery that hosts some of the most priceless artifacts from the Apollo Era. Everything from early equipment prototypes and training gear to Alan Shepard's moon dust covered spacesuit and the Apollo 14 crew capsule can be seen.

From there, continue into the STS/Shuttle era of NASA with Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other. When the shuttles were retired, Atlantis found her forever home on display at Kennedy Space Center for you to bask in all her majestic glory. 

All in all Kennedy Space Center has enough history, exhibits and bus tours to spend days experiencing so pick and choose wisely or you may have to come back twice.


From Kennedy Space Center, you’ll probably be looking for some lunch. Head south to meet up with the A1A and take that into downtown Cocoa Beach where you will find a local favorite, Jazzy’s Mainely Lobster. Locally owned and operated, Jazzy’s has been a Cocoa Beach favorite for fresh seafood and friendly conversation; oftentimes with the owner himself. (He's a rock music trivia buff, so bring your best stuff!) Be sure to ask for the fresh fish of the day that’s usually brought into Jazzy’s straight from the dock that morning. Don’t fill up too much though, because now we’re going surfing!


You didn’t come all this way and plan on not getting in Florida’s blue ocean water did you? What better place to take a surfing lesson than Cocoa Beach, Florida, the birthplace of eleven time world champion Kelly Slater. Whether you’ve never touched a surfboard or you’re a regular ripper, Pure Aloha Surf School and Rentals offers quality instruction for all levels with Hawaiian ex professional surfer Chacy who embodies Aloha and stoke! Be sure to call or visit Pure Aloha’s website ahead of time to book a lesson and request Chacy. (His schedule fills up pretty quickly and we don't want you to be disappointed.) 


By now, your day has been jam packed and you’re probably ready to sit back and relax with some good food, good music, and a cold one. (But just one, because you have to drive back to Orlando). With an expansive patio, outdoor bar, and diverse menu covering everything from fresh seafood to meaty land grub, Coconuts On The Beach in downtown Cocoa Beach is the perfect place to kick back. As with most restaurants on the Space Coast, you can never go wrong with the “Fresh Catch of the Day”. Served blackened, grilled, or jerked with vegetables and seasoned mashed potatoes, its the relax and refuel needed before heading back inland. 

Next time you come to Florida, consider making the Space Coast your primary destination. You can always drive over to visit Mickey. 

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