If you’re looking for an awesome experience in the sunshine state, the Space Coast is a great place to go. Named for its historical involvement in the NASA Space program, the area is also notably home to several refuges, saltwater marshes, inlets, and lagoons, making it an ideal place to visit for your next adventure. This portion of Florida is also less developed than many nearby beach destinations. It is not nearly as rowdy as Daytona Beach or as crowded as South Beach in Miami. Its coastal areas and undeveloped natural areas make it a great destination for eco-friendly travelers.
Something Unique: Watch a rocket launch!
While not your typical outdoor activity, make sure you check the calendar for upcoming rocket launches next time you are on the Space Coast. Blast off can be seen for hundreds of miles, but you’ll want to be close to Canaveral if you want to experience the awe-inspiring glory of a rocket launch.
Fishing along the Space Coast is nothing short of epic. From massive schools of redfish on the lagoon flats to 30 inch Sea Trout, there are plenty of inshore opportunities. You can round out your trip with some freshwater fishing, or try your luck in the depths for bottomfish or pelagics like Sailfish.
Inshore fishing is good year-round and exceptional in the cooler months. Mosquito Lagoon and Indian River Lagoon both provide ample opportunities. Redfish are excellent for sight casting with spinning for fly tackle, and this is one of the few locations on the Atlantic coast to target monster “Gator” Trout. We’ve also had good luck fishing for black drum, flounder, and sheepshead in the area. And this is a great place to target those perfect-sized juvenile tarpon or to try your hand at Snook.
If you’re a paddler at heart, you may have heard of the famed Banana River “NMZ” (no motor zone), a place where patience and stealth trump horsepower and gear, and can be some of the best inshore fishing in the country.
The Space Coast also has plenty of freshwater flowing into it, so pack your spinner baits and topwater plugs and try your hand at some of Florida’s phenomenal fishing for freshwater bass , Pickerel, and panfish.
Offshore is peppered with reefs and wrecks, and the Gulf Stream is nearby. While there may be easier places to catch fish offshore in Florida, making a run for Snapper, Grouper, Triggerfish, Cobia, or even Mahi, Blackfin, and Billfish (top notch sailfishing!) can be very rewarding on the Space Coast.
Species: Redfish, Seatrout, Flounder, Black Drum, Sheepshead, Snook, Tarpon, Tripletail, Snapper, Grouper, Pelagics, Blackfin Tuna, Billfish, Sailfish, Largemouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Warmouth, Sunfish, Catfish.
Hunting along the Space Coast can be sparse. Waterfowl opportunities are certainly present, with large populations of Teal, Scaup, Bufflehead, and Mottled Ducks in the area. Whitetail Deer and Boar hunting can also be productive in the inland reaches of the Space Coast, but increased urban sprawl inland means that you may have to travel for big game. If you’re looking for a cast-n-blast adventure, the Space Coast might be a good fit, but there are potentially better options out there.
Species: Whitetail Deer,Wild Boar, Waterfowl, Bufflehead, Bluebill, Mottled Duck, Blue WIng Teal, Green Wing Teal
Kayaking is an excellent way to enjoy the Space Coast’s pristine waters. The northern part of the coast has exceptional paddling conditions in the tropical blue-green waters. Once you make your way off the intercoastal waterway, you’ll be paddling through two-four foot deep flats, where you’ll almost surely see manatees and a variety of other wildlife along the way. Whether you’re looking for a family outing or an eco-tour, kayaking on Florida’s Space Coast is a great way to spend a day.
Stargazing and Historical Places★★★★★
Go ahead and mark this down as the only time we’ll feature stargazing along with historical places! But how could we resist with a place named the “Space Coast”? With vast expanses of the Space Coast being protected by the Canaveral National Seashore, Merritt Island, and various other State and Federal lands, dark skies are plentiful.
In addition to the abundant stargazing along the Space Coast be sure to check out the area’s history surrounding the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. If you want a real experience, be sure to schedule your trip around a rocket launch, which happens frequently thanks to both NASA and SpaceX’s utilization of the area.
Hiking, Biking, Birding & Nature Trails ★★★★
The Space Coast is a natural wonder. With over 72 miles of beaches and waterways running throughout, this area has abundant wildlife and nature viewing opportunities. One of the best ways to see the area is by foot. From smaller nature loops to huge trail systems such as the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, the Space Coast has something for everyone. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or just someone who loves to take walks in the woods, Florida’s Space Coast is sure to have something to suit your style.
Biking on Florida’s Space Coast is a great way to get your daily dose of exercise. The Space Coast offers miles of bicycle friendly paved roads with limited vehicle traffic. Bring your camera to record any wildlife sightings you happen to come across while biking the Space Coast.
Hiking and biking best from October to March, when temperatures are cool, dry, and insect-free. During the summer, barrier islands make great hiking destinations, when coastal breezes temper the heat. But even when the weather is warmer, you’ll find plenty of wildlife to observe in some fantastic settings.