Best Outdoor Activities on the Space Coast: From Beaches to Camping

With sunshine nearly every day on the Space Coast, Florida, you won't need (or want) to spend much time under a roof. Get outside and explore the various bodies of water, powdery beaches, winding paths and exciting wildlife that abounds here. 

The Canaveral National Seashore is one of the most expansive places on the Space Coast to surround yourself with nature and stunning views. And of course, there are the Space Coast's dreamy beaches. A tourist fave is Cocoa Beach (fish off the pier or watch surfers and stand-up paddleboarders try to master the waves). For a quieter destination with softer sand, we love Melbourne Beach and Playalinda Beach. 

Beyond the beaches, ask any local where to hang out and they're sure to recommend Wickham Park. Bring a tent and go camping here, fish the lake, play disc golf, walk the paths – even bring your furry friend to the dog park here. Wickham Park is like many parks all in one. 

The Brevard Zoo is well-known for its unique attractions, such as night hikes and kayaking through the property. Or for something a little wilder, look for dolphins at the port or manatees at the park or drifting underneath canals. 

Here are our favorite 10 ways to enjoy the Space Coast's wonderful outdoors. 

Merritt Island
Banana River
Photo courtesy of Leonard J. DeFrancisci/Wikimedia Commons


The Banana River is a 31-mile-long lagoon stretching between Cape Canaveral and Merritt Island. It's the home to many marine critters, such as dolphins, manatees and stingrays, as well as plenty of waterfowl. Birdwatchers will be excited to see...  Read More

Jetty Park Beach and Campground
Photo courtesy of Bradley Buhro


Jetty Park is one of the Space Coast's best beaches, and a great place to go camping and fishing, too. With many campsites (for different types of camping, from rugged to RV), picnic tables, laundry facilities, hot showers and toilets, electric...  Read More

Manatee Sanctuary Park
Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey


The Manatee Sanctuary Park in Cape Canaveral is one of the best, most peaceful places near the port to enjoy the outdoors. This park spans more than 10 acres of nature on the Banana River. Plan a day excursion here. Talk the half-mile trail...  Read More

Playalinda Beach
Photo courtesy of Flickr user brownpau


Playalinda Beach, in Titusville, is housed within a natural reserve, the Canaveral National Seashore. It is also known for its private, nude beach (around parking lot 13, the farthest pier). The people here tend to keep to themselves, so don't...  Read More

Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral
Photo courtesy of Flickr user tomsaint


Port Canaveral is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Even though millions of cruise passengers pass through her every year, the atmosphere remains relaxed. Located off A1A in Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral serves as an industrial,...  Read More

Wickham Road
Brevard Zoo
Photo courtesy of Flickr user cyanocorax


The only zoo in the U.S. to offer onsite kayaking tours, Brevard Zoo features over 880 animals from around the world. Get up close and personal with a white rhino during a Rhino Encounter from noon to 1 p.m., ride the Cape to Cairo express...  Read More

The Cocoa Beach Pier
Photo courtesy of Flickr user RyanCrierie


Half a mile north of 520, off A1A, you'll find The Pier, an exciting extension of the city of Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast. Take in live music (the pier has welcomed the bands such as the Beach Boys and UB40) as you dine several hundred feet...  Read More

Melbourne Beach
Melbourne Beach
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ricardo Mangual


Melbourne Beach stretches across 33 miles of gorgeous, undeveloped sand, perfect for a walk walks or a jog along the water. The waves here offer nice surfing and snorkeling, and the bars regularly bounce with live music. Melbourne is a...  Read More

Wickham Park
Photo courtesy of Flickr user grendelkhan


Wickham Park is our favorite, off-the-beaten-path, non-touristy attraction on the Space Coast. This is a hotspot for college students, located adjacent to the Eastern Florida State College Melbourne campus, which means plenty of events, from a...  Read More

Canaveral National Seashore


Located midway down the Florida east coast between New Smyrna Beach and Titusville, the 24 miles of park is home to over 1,000 species of plants and 300 species of birds, including 14 threatened or endangered species. Sea turtles nest here. ...  Read More


Meet Aimee Heckel

Aimee Heckel’s passion for storytelling has brought her around the world as a journalist, writing award-winning articles about Haiti and Uganda. Aimee studied international journalism at the...  More About Aimee