Summer vacation is your chance to escape your day-to-day responsibilities and create lasting memories with the ones you love. While many may travel abroad this summer, some may not be able to get away for a major trip. This summer, SpaceCoast Living will be exploring some of the cities that make up the beautiful Space Coast. Check back weekly for your staycation guides and let Brevard County surprise you all over again.
With about 35,000 residents, Merritt Island has some of Brevard County’s most colorful history, having been founded as a citrus growing and cattle-raising community in the mid-1800s and having become a home to thousands or aerospace workers a century later.
Home of the world’s largest surf shop (Ron Jon Surf Shop), the world’s greatest surfer (Kelly Slater), condominium-lined Cocoa Beach is one of the more well-known tourist destinations in Brevard County.
Port Canaveral is one of the area’s leading entertainment destinations and continues to grow as one of the country’s premier cruising and shipping ports.
More than 2 million people visit the distinctive art deco surf palace in Cocoa Beach every year and marvel at the 52,000 square-foot facility with its own waterfall and glass elevator. The local retailer stocks everything from boards to bikinis, souvenirs and resort wear. The world’s largest surf shop is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week on the corner of 520 and A1A in Cocoa Beach. RonJons.com
Equipped with beach access and a campground, Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral is your recreation destination. Featuring a 4.5-acre beach, 150 campsites and 1,200-foot fishing pier, there is something for everyone. Jetty Park is one of the prime spots to watch the cruise ships leave the port. JettyParkBeachAndCampground.com
Kennedy Space Center
Harmonizing fun and excitement with educational enrichment, America’s space program comes to life at Kennedy Space Center. It is here where the past, present and future of the space program is detailed in variety of exhibits and shows, and where everything is larger than life – from the 10-story high rockets on display in the Rocket Garden, to IMAX space films shown on gigantic five-story screens that show dramatic footage shot by astronauts on actual space missions. KennedySpaceCenter.com
Get a breathtaking view of Port Canaveral and the surrounding area from the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral. The tower contains seven floors of exhibits and interactive play including historical exhibits on the area, from the first settlers to the 21st century space program. In addition to exhibition space spread throughout the building, the center also has indoor and outdoor observation decks, an 83-seat theater/auditorium, meeting and function space, and a café. PortCanaveral.com/WelcomeCenter
Kayak or paddleboard with Calema Windsurf and Watersports
Go fishing on a deep-sea charter
Take a nature walk at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Reduce stress with Bikram Yoga
Get pampered at Cocoa Beach Spa
July 9 – 10, 15 – 17, 22 – 24: Free Summer Movies
August 1: Friday Fest Cape Canaveral
August 2: Are you Smarter than Timmy Vee?
August 16: Dig for the Cure
Taste of this Town
Juice – N – Java Cafe
This local favorite is located in the heart of Cocoa Beach and has a warm, cozy environment. Serving more than your typical coffee and Danish, Juice – N – Java serves a variety of coffee drinks, fruit smoothies, breakfast wraps, and other café favorites. The “After 5” menu includes pizza, flatbreads, and quesadillas. Live music can often be heard on the weekends including a live open mic night every Saturday. JuiceNJavaCafe.com
Grills provides a casual waterside dining environment. The restaurant serves the finest seafood possible at a fair price, and also serves up the finest steak, chicken and ribs. Grills Seafood is kid friendly and offers a great menu for children, as well. Live entertainment is also provided on the desk Wednesday through Sunday. GrillsSeafood.com