Port Canaveral, Florida, is best identified for the dozens of cruise ships that pier at its port daily, carrying tourists to destinations around the U.S. and Caribbean. While near Orlando, gives more touristy activities, Port Canaveral does have a few famous attractions, including wide beaches and the Kennedy Space Center. Add some hours or an extra day in Port Canaveral before or after a cruise, particularly if the warm climate urges you outdoors. Here is a list of six best things of Port Canaveral Florida.
Best things to do in Port Canaveral Florida
Take a bite to eat or do some shopping at The Cove, a waterfront entertainment area in Port Canaveral. Chow down on fresh seafood while watching out over the water, or catch some live music. Rusty’s Seafood and Oyster Bar and Seafood Atlantic are two particularly preferred spots, both serving up local, fresh catches to those who require a bite to all before or after a cruise.
Jetty Park expands across 35 acres, highlighting a beach, fishing dock and playground area for children, giving families a great spot to spend the day outdoors. Hire beach chairs and umbrellas from the local vendors, or take a kayak, paddleboard or boogie board to hit the waves. There are two grants locations – Fishlips and the Beach Pavilion Store – that are open regular. Grab a pole and some equipment, and head out to the dock, which extends 1,200 feet over the water. Guests don’t want a license to fish off the pier but must get a free license to fish from the jetty. Bait can buy from the Bait Shop. Jetty Park is open daily, and tourist pays an entry fee per car or RV upon entry.
The recently developed Exploration Tower is an architectural landmark with seven stories of exhibits and interactive play, including observation decks, a cafe, and a gift shop. Each story highlights a topic related to the local region, such as working as a Port Canaveral dock pilot or exploring space from the nearby Kennedy Space Center. Buy tickets in advance to watch a rocket launch from one of the outdoor view decks, or visit with children to learn more about Port Canaveral. The tower is open every day, except on particular holidays.
Drive to nearby Cape Canaveral to discover the famous Kennedy Space Center, where many rockets have launched into space. Guests can travel the center on a Behind the Gates bus travel or meet an actual space traveler in an Astronaut Encounter. There are many exhibitions, as well as an IMAX theater with two 3-D displays per day. Add attraction to the experience, like an Astronaut Training Experience or a live-action game called Cosmic Quest. The center opens regular at 9 a.m., and closing hours change. Parking is possible in the adjacent lots for a daily fee, beginning 30 minutes before the Visitor Complex opens its doors.
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Go up close and personal with regional wildlife at Rodney S. Ketcham Park, which is an official stay on the Great Florida Birding Trail. Take along a pair of binoculars and scout the field for brown pelicans, snowy egrets, great blue herons, and several more species of bird. The park also highlights a picnic shed, boat ramp observation deck and nonmotorized boat launch, as well as fishing places for those with a pole and some bait.
Travels of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and other places at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will be conducted on Fridays and Saturdays, departing at 8:30 a.m. from Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral in air-conditioned vans. In addition to the lighthouse, the 3-hour trips include stops at Air Force Space and Missile History Center and two historic launch complexes. The trip also includes admission to Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral. Tickets are $27 per person. Minimum age is 12 years old. No open toe shoes allowed in the lighthouse. Cameras are welcome. Must bring photo ID when checking in.