Wondering what to do in Space Coast Florida? With its beautiful beaches, rich history, and exciting attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. To help you plan your trip, I have put together a 5-day family itinerary that includes some of the top activities and destinations on the Space Coast.
Whether you are close by and you are doing a road trip or you are flying in from far away, this itinerary and trip ideas will make sure you don’t miss out on any of the must-see spots.
5-Day Family Itinerary for the Florida Space Coast
This family friendly itinerary highlights fun things to see and do for the whole family in the Florida Space Coast region.
Day 1: Arrival and Beach Day
- Start your trip by checking into your hotel or rental home. There are many family-friendly options available on the Space Coast, including beachfront resorts and vacation homes.
- Spend the afternoon relaxing at one of the area’s beautiful beaches. Some popular choices include Cocoa Beach, Melbourne Beach, and Canaveral National Seashore.
- For dinner, head to one of the many seafood restaurants in the area. Be sure to try some fresh local catches like shrimp, oysters, and grouper.
- During the day, Florida’s Space Coast offers a plethora of activities to enjoy. But as the sun sets and the desire to let loose arises, this area has you covered so be sure to check out the downtown districts – Downtown Cocoa Village, Downtown Melbourne, and The Cove Marketplace in Port Canaveral – boast some of the finest nightlife options for your enjoyment.
Best Rental Sites Similar To Airbnb:
- Best Overall: VRBO
- Best for Quality Control: Plum Guide
- Best for Big City Vacations: Sonder
- Best for Hotel-Level Service: Vacasa
- Best for Small House Renters: Getaway House
- Best for Multi-Stop Trips and RVs: Outdoorsy
- Best for a Splurge: Marriot Homes & Villas
- Best for Combining with Car Rentals and Flights: Priceline
- Best for Also Planning Activities: TripAdvisor
- Best for Any Type of Lodging: Booking.com
- Best for a Home on the Road: RV Share
Day 2: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
- Start your day at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. This hands-on space exploration attraction is perfect for families, with interactive exhibits and educational experiences.
- Take a bus tour of the space center, including stops at the iconic Launch Complex 39A and the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
- Catch one of the daily shows, such as “Journey to Mars” or “Space Shuttle Atlantis.”
- Don’t forget to visit the Rocket Garden, which showcases real rockets from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.
- End your day with dinner at the visitor complex’s Orbit Cafe, where you can dine under a full-scale replica of the space shuttle Atlantis.
Day 3: Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Cocoa Village
- Start your day with a visit to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is home to over 500 species of wildlife, including alligators, manatees, and countless bird species.
- Take a scenic drive or bike ride along one of the many trails in the refuge. You can also participate in a guided kayak tour to see the wildlife up close.
- After your nature adventure, head to Cocoa Village for lunch. This charming historic area has many quaint shops and restaurants to explore.
- Spend the rest of the day browsing through unique boutiques or taking a relaxing stroll along the Indian River Lagoon.
Day 4: Brevard Zoo and Exploration Tower
- Today, visit the Brevard Zoo, home to over 900 animals from around the world. Brevard Zoo is an award-winning zoo which offers up-close animal encounters, a kayaking safari, and even a zip line course.
- After the zoo, head to Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral. This seven-story building offers panoramic views of the Space Coast and interactive exhibits about the area’s history and space program.
- For dinner, try one of the many international restaurants in nearby Cape Canaveral.
Day 5: Cocoa Beach Pier and Departure
- Spend your last day on the Space Coast at the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier. This historic pier offers fishing, dining, shopping, and live entertainment.
- Relax on the beach or take a dip in the ocean before enjoying lunch at one of the pier’s restaurants.
- Before heading to the airport, make a quick stop at Ron Jon Surf Shop, the world’s largest surf shop. Pick up some souvenirs and reminisce about your amazing family trip to the Florida Space Coast.
If you have more time on your trip, consider adding some of these additional activities to your itinerary:
- Visit the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville.
- Take a bioluminescent kayak tour on the Indian River Lagoon.
- Spend a day at one of the nearby theme parks, such as Walt Disney World or Universal Studios.
- Explore historic downtown Melbourne and its many shops and restaurants.
- Go on a deep-sea fishing excursion in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Attend an event at the Cocoa Beach Pier, such as a live concert or beach festival.
- Take a day trip to nearby St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States.
My Recommend tours for the Florida Space Coast with kids:
- Dolphin and Manatee Sightseeing Tour: Take a boat tour to spot dolphins and manatees in their natural habitat.
- Rocket Launch Viewing: Check the schedule for upcoming rocket launches at Kennedy Space Center and plan your trip accordingly.
- Bioluminescent Kayaking Tour: Experience the magical glow of bioluminescent organisms as you kayak through the Indian River Lagoon.
- Family Surf Lessons: Learn how to hang ten as a family with private surf lessons on Cocoa Beach.
- Sea Turtle Nesting Tour: During nesting season (May-August), take a guided tour to watch sea turtles lay their eggs and learn about conservation efforts.
My Recommend Restaurants for the Florida Space Coast with kids
- Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar: This waterfront restaurant in Port Canaveral offers a kids’ menu and outdoor seating with views of the marina.
- Rusty’s Seafood and Oyster Bar: Located on the beach in Cape Canaveral, this casual eatery has live music and a playground for kids.
- Florida’s Fresh Grill: This restaurant in Cocoa Beach offers a kids’ menu with healthy options and a fun tropical atmosphere.
- The Tiny Turtle: This family-owned restaurant in Cocoa has a unique menu featuring fresh, sustainable seafood and a children’s reading corner.
- Long Doggers: With multiple locations on the Space Coast, this casual eatery is known for its hot dogs and surfing-themed decor that kids will love.
My Recommend Hotels for the Florida Space Coast with kids
- Courtyard Cocoa Beach: Just steps away from the beach, this hotel also has a heated outdoor pool and a kids’ play area. Book this hotel
- Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral Beach Resort: This resort has spacious suites and a variety of family-friendly activities, including a lazy river, mini-golf course, and movie theater.
- Residence Inn Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach: With apartment-style suites and a complimentary breakfast buffet, this hotel is perfect for families looking for more space and convenience.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront: Located right on the beach, this hotel offers a children’s playground, outdoor pool, and easy access to nearby attractions. Book this hotel
- Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront: This hotel is located right on the beach and offers family-friendly amenities such as a children’s pool, game room, and beach rentals.
These are just a few suggestions – there are many other family-friendly hotels and vacation rentals available on the Florida Space Coast! Be sure to do your research and choose accommodations that best fit your family’s needs and budget.
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Additional Tips and My Suggestions For The Space Coast in Florida
- Book tickets for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and other popular attractions in advance to avoid long lines.
- Consider staying in a vacation rental or beachfront hotel for easy access to all the activities on your itinerary.
- Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for your days spent outdoors.
- Check out local events and festivals during your visit, such as the Cocoa Beach Seafood & Music Festival or the Titusville Sea Turtle Festival.
- Plan for some downtime in between activities to relax and recharge. The Florida Space Coast is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy quality time with your family.
- When it comes to the unique flavors of the Space Coast, your local ice cream shop is the go-to. Take, for example, Del’s Freez in Melbourne, a beloved institution since 1956. They’ve been delighting customers with creamy soft serve along Highway 1. For the ultimate Space Coast treat, top off your cone with a Krunchie Kote of jimmies or rainbow sprinkles. Enjoy!
Overall, this 5-Day Family Itinerary for the Florida Space Coast offers a well-rounded mix of educational experiences, outdoor adventures, and beach relaxation that will surely make for a memorable family vacation on the Florida Space Coast.
From the excitement of space exploration to the relaxation of beach days, this 5-day itinerary is sure to please everyone in your family. So pack your bags and get ready for an out-of-this-world adventure on the Florida Space Coast!
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