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A Day At The Space Coast - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Days Out

Cocoa Beach calls itself the East Coasts surfing capital. The famous Ron Jon Surf shop with its neon lights and beach bum sports figure sculptures dominates the motels restaurants and surf shops along its main street.

This surf palace has a huge selection of surfboards for sale or rent and t-shirts galore. And is well worth a visit even if you are not a surfer.

Cocoa itself is one of the few appealing places along the Space coast Mainland Its historic district near where rout 520 crosses the Indian river to Cocoa beach is known as Cocoa village with buildings dated back to the 1880’s, brick sidewalks and replica gas lamps and up market boutiques.

When looking for somewhere to park up for your visit to the beach be careful as a lot of the beach areas are for US military personnel only. Keep on driving until you find a good area with facilities they are there and it is well worth looking to ensure that you get a good spot.

The beaches here are clean and have lifeguards, although there is warning about rip currents.

If you prefer getting close to nature The Canaveral National Seashore and Merrit Island are the places to be.

Here you can find an amazing range of habitats, from saltwater estuaries, marshes, pine Flatwoods and hardwood hammocks all thanks to the meeting of temperate and subtropical climates here.

You can often see many unusual and endangered species here such as Manatee and alligators and an amazing collection of bird life. The best time to view the birds is early morning or just before dusk when you may be able to spot Brown pelicans, Royal tern, Sandhill crane and also Black skimmer.

If you simply want to head for the Canaveral National Seashore you will find 24-mile strip of sand and dunes.

The beaches are great for sunbathing but swimming can be hazardous as there are no lifeguards here.

Behind Apollo, beach which can be reached by route A1A there is a 40ft high mound rubbish dump of oyster shells created by Timucua Indians between AD800 and 1400.

The beach gives you great views of the Kennedy Space Centres shuttle launch pads.

Merrit Island National Wild life refuge covers an area of 570sqm but most of this is within Kennedy Space Centre and is un-accessible.

There is a 6 mile Black point Drive with an excellent leaflet available near the junction of rout 402 and 406 at the track start.

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Page added on: 15 October 2004
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