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Florida’s Space Coast: Tranquil or very, very loud
By Tom Adkinson

space coast beach
Travelers enjoying the tranquiity of the beach; image by Austin Adkinson

MELBOURNE, Florida – The sights along Florida’s Space Coast range from the tranquility of a beach umbrella and sand between your toes to the roaring excitement of a nighttime rocket launch. The Space Coast covers 72 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline and features some of America’s best-known places, including the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Canaveral National Seashore and the popular Port Canaveral cruise terminal. It is due east of Orlando.

space coast launch
Space Coast launch; image courtesy of

You can look for manatees at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, watch well-balanced surfers at Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area (considered on the East Coast’s best surfing locations) or even paddle a kayak among a variety of African wildlife, feed a giraffe or zipline through the trees at the Brevard Zoo.

Space Coast tourism officials advise you to have a flexible schedule if viewing a rocket launch is your priority. As we’ve all seen, launches can be delayed for many reasons – and as the Space Coast website advises, “While you may wonder if the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex can move a launch to accommodate your schedule, that’s not a possibility.” (The fact that advisory is posted proves that tourists will ask absolutely anything.)

Trip-planning resources: and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s new book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available at

Published February 28, 2020

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