Destination Space Coast Florida
Stretching along 72 miles of Florida's east coast, the Space Coast is best known as the home of the Kennedy Space Center. Located one short hour from Orlando, the Space Coast also provides numerous opportunities to visit cultural, natural, historic and recreational sites. The trip may start in Orlando, but the discovery begins on America's public lands and waters.
The Kennedy Space Center, or KSC for short, is NASA's launch headquarters - geared up to be the spaceport of the future for both government and commercial spacecraft. KSC's visitor complex is the only place on Earth where you can tour launch areas, meet a veteran astronaut, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators, take special behind the scenes tours or view the retired Space Shuttle Atlantis. KSC also sponsors tours of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, launch site for many historical launches. Visit the Kennedy Space Center website to get more information about tours or visiting the space center. Just 45 miles/60 minutes from Orlando
The Canaveral National Seashore is home to the longest expanse of pristine shoreline in Florida. The seashore is home to threatened animals such as sea turtles, who nest on its shores. Visitors can swim in the ocean, fish in the lagoon or stroll down a wooded trail. Visit the Canaveral National Seashore’s Outdoor Activities page for additional information on camping, boating, scenic driving and more. Located 62 miles/70 minutes from Orlando.
The Ocala is the southernmost forest in the continental United states and protects the world's largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest. Home to more than 600 lakes, rivers and springs, this National Forest contains some of the finest and clearest springs in the United States. Visitors can swim, snorkel and dive in these crystalline waters year-round. Camping is available throughout the forest. Located 70 miles/90 minutes from Orlando.
Comprised of over 31,000 acres of saltwater bays, estuaries and brackish marshes at the mouth of the Chassahowitzka River, the refuge is home to over 250 species of birds, over 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and at least 25 different species of mammals, including the endangered West Indian Manatee. For more information, visit the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge website. Located 100 miles/120 minutes from Orlando.
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station preserves both the hardware and the spirit of the United States' venture into space. Visitors have the opportunity to view displays of numerous missiles, rockets and related space equipment. The Air Force Space and Missile Museum highlights the Air Force as a major participant in America's space program and emphasizes activities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station beginning in the early 1950s and continuing today. Located 60 miles/60 minutes from Orlando.
Containing a wide variety of habitats including coastal dunes, freshwater impoundments, saltwater estuaries and marshes, all of which provide habitat for more than 1,500 species of plants and animals. Many recreational activities such as bird and wildlife observation, the Blackpoint Wildlife Drive, manatee observation deck, fishing and hunting, boating and paddling are available. Participate in the annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, the largest festival of its kind in the United States. Visit the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge website to plan your visit. Just 46 miles/55 minutes from Orlando.Orange Country Regional History Center. Showcasing vast collections of the Historical Society of Central Florida Inc., the museum features three floors of permanent exhibitions and also presents nationally important limited-run exhibitions. The museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and was accredited by the American Association of Museums, which is the highest honer a museum can receive. Located in Orlando.
The Mennello Museum collects, preserves, exhibits and elucidates the art of the United States from a variety of time periods and genres. With a collection that emphasizes national and local culture, the museum is situated on a beautiful lake in the cultural Loch Haven park in Orlando. The museum grounds are also home to a beautiful biking and hiking trail that surround Lake Formosa and lets visitors view the extensive sculpture garden as they pass. Located in Orlando.Museum of Arts and Sciences website for more information. Located 55 miles/53 minutes from Orlando.
This engaging museum strives to create excitement, curiosity and an appreciation for the arts by looking, listening and doing. The museum's collections span five continents, including European and American Decorative Arts, Pre-Columbian, Asian, African and Folk Art. A sculpture garden provides an additional sensory experience. Visit the Polk Museum of Art website to plan your visit. Located 55 miles/52 minutes from Orlando.
Located on the St. Lucie Canal portion of the Okeechobee Water, St. Lucie South is the perfect camping location with its tropical atmosphere and lush vegetation. Aside from camping, other activities here include fishing, picnicking, boating and enjoyment of the quiet surroundings. The campground offers nine RV/tent sites and eight boat campsites. Located 140 miles/70 minutes from Orlando.
Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge stretches across 20.5 miles between Melbourne Beach and Wabasso Beach. The refuge was established in 1991 and was named after the late Dr. Archie Carr, Jr., in honor of his extraordinary contribution to sea turtle conservation. Refuge highlights include the Barrier Island Sanctuary Management and Education Center, sea turtle watch programs, hiking trails, beach access and saltwater fishing. Located 88 miles/100 minutes from Orlando.
The Castillo De San Marcos is the oldest existing permanent seacoast fortification in the continental United States. The present star-shaped fort, surrounding moat and earthworks were constructed from 1672 to 1756 to protect Spanish territory in Florida and shipping routes along the coast. Located 105 miles/110 minutes from Orlando.