Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Cape Canaveral, FL

  • Published 2022/08/06

A city in Florida’s Brevard County, Cape Canaveral is an excellent travel destination.

Whether you are planning a day trip, a weekend-long getaway, or a long-haul vacation, this place will definitely be an excellent option for you.

Cape Canaveral is not only more advanced than other places in terms of technology and space traveling but also in terms of its historical eminence.

Situated in a very central location on the east coast of Orlando, Florida, the city is a very famous place in terms of space and space travel.

Here are the best things to do in Cape Canaveral, Florida:

Visit the Historic Cape Canaveral Lighthouse

Exterior of the Cape Canaveral lighthouse

Guy In Utah /

Existing for more than a century and a half, the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is a massive structure that’s almost 150 feet tall.

This lighthouse served the purpose of warning the mariners of high tides and dangerous shallows in the sea.

Its light beam is believed to be extremely powerful and is capable of stretching out light more than 20 miles into the sea.

In addition to its massive structure, there are a number of touring and trip options available.

Silhouette of Cape Canaveral Lighthouse during sunset

Rachel Sanderoff /

If you are looking forward to learning more about the history and function of this lighthouse, these tours are perfect for you.

Managed by a local organization, the lighthouse offers beautiful scenery and is an exquisite location for photography and romantic dates.

The organization managing the lighthouse also organizes various educational, historical, and awareness programs and events on a regular basis with the motive of raising funds for its maintenance.

These events are incredibly informative and fun to attend, and you should definitely check the schedule to participate in a promising event.

Witness a Live Rocket Launch at Kennedy Space Center

Interior of Kennedy Space Center

Zhukova Valentyna /

The most famous and visited attraction in Cape Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center is a beautifully managed place providing deep and insightful explorations into the world of science, space, and technology.

Various tours with the help of local guides are available.

The space center also features various behind-the-scenes areas, which are quite interesting to explore.

It also organizes various exhibits from time to time.

Rockets on Kennedy Space Center grounds

byvalet /

Moon rocks, space suits, space equipment, photographs from space, and many more space-related artifacts are kept on display.

What makes the center more attractive is that you can also witness a live rocket launch in the space shuttle Atlantis.

Kennedy Space Center’s on-site gift shop will cater to all your gifting requirements at very affordable prices.

Rockets launching from Kennedy Space Center

Michael Seeley from Melbourne, FL, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn More about Space Travel at the Air Force Space and Missile History Center

GPS Monitor station at Air Force Space and Missile History Center

Bubba73 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on the spaceport way, the Air Force Space and Missile History Center has been attracting people since the late 1960s and continues to do so.

The center is a great place for people who are interested in learning about the military, space missions, NASA, the Air Force, and other technology and organizations that have formed the basis of space exploration by scientists.

It is focused on acknowledging the efforts of various scientists and astronauts, with special references to female members.

The Air Force Space and Missile History Center has many different exhibitions that provide useful information about manned and unmanned space excursions, missiles, and technological developments.

An outdoor garden displays old rockets and technological space equipment that are no longer in use.

Head to the Iconic Exploration Tower

Exterior of the Exploration Tower

Solarisys /

Exploration Tower is another famous tourist attraction located on Dave Nisbet Drive.

The tower is counted among the most iconic places in the area.

Exploration Tower is a perfect place for enjoying breathtaking views of the islands, barriers, and ocean vistas in the Cape Canaveral area.

Front view of Exploration Tower's exterior

Thomas Kelley /

Built with multiple floors and observation decks, the tower offers many exhibitions.

Most exhibitions are centered on local culture, wildlife, the natural world, the history of the area, and its space exploration programs.

With on-site cafes and gift shops, Exploration Tower is perfect for enjoying some time with the family and indulging in beautiful views of the sea and the coast.

Have Coffee with a View at Cafe Monte Carlo

Cafe Monte Carlo is the perfect place to go if you are looking to get your hands on the best coffee and light snacks.

The cafe is famous for serving freshly made organic coffee, along with sweet baked snacks like croissants.

Their macchiato and homemade lemonade are among their most famous drinks and are definitely worth trying.

Cafe Monte Carlo offers indoor as well as outdoor seating options.

The outdoor seating area allows you to enjoy the view of the nearby port.

You can also customize your drinks and get items on the go.

With satisfactory service and a great menu, Cafe Monte Carlo is worth checking out, especially when you are tired after a long day of adventuring and looking forward to some organic refreshments.

Spend Your Down Time Relaxing at Manatee Sanctuary Park

Located on Thurm Boulevard, Manatee Sanctuary Park is a beautiful area comprised of scenic views of the Banana River and covers almost 10 acres of land.

This sanctuary park is a great way to explore the natural environment and wildlife in Cape Canaveral.

The park has various amenities that include a few paved trails, a broad walk, a barbecue grill, shaded seating areas for comfort, a playground, and a number of observation points to spot and observe manatees in their natural form and habitat.

Manatee Sanctuary Park is a nice place to hang out, as it is cozy and allows you to have some comfortable and peaceful walks.

Cool Down with Sweet Treats from Tropic Ice Cream

Located on North Atlantic Avenue, Tropic Ice Cream is famous for its cozy and traditional ice cream parlor, along with different and unusual ice cream flavors.

The serving sizes are quite impressive, and the prices are affordable.

Grabbing a bite at Tropic Ice Cream is a perfect way to end your day at Cape Canaveral, as it is located right next to some of the most famous attractions in the area.

The ice cream parlor gets quite crowded at times due to its location, and it is advisable to reach it before peak hours if you are looking forward to dining in.

Tropic Ice Cream is a fun-filled place with a happy environment.

Watch the Mesmerizing Sunset at Center Street Park

Center Street Park is a great place to visit if you are looking for a place that will not burn a hole in your pocket.

This beautiful waterside park allows you to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery and observe the area’s local wildlife without additional costs.

The park is a famous spot for people who love spending time in the lap of nature and watching breathtaking sunsets.

It is also a great place where most wildlife photographers can be spotted trying to get a good shot of the creatures.

Center Street Park has other additional features as well, which make it quite a comfortable place to visit.

Tour the Historic Rossetter House Museum and Gardens

The Historic Rossetter House Museum and Gardens is a famous historical attraction for travelers who are looking for less commercialized natural destinations in the area.

This place is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and gives visitors a detailed insight into the lives of the locals who inhabited it during the 19th and 20th centuries.

You can also go for guided tours of the property’s indoor and outdoor areas.

Educational and entertaining tours of the gardens are also available.

A gift shop with a great collection of books and other gift items is also located nearby, which is perfect for grabbing some unique gifts for your trip back home.

Treat Yourself to a Unique Experience with Victory Casino Cruises

The Victory Casino Cruise is an experience that is not limited just to a casino.

It is a casino facility organized on the deck of a cruise ship.

The ship has facilities for two-day excursions around the Cape Canaveral area.

In addition to the casino, the ship has various facilities to ensure the most comfortable and enjoyable experience.

The cruise ship serves freshly caught seafood, and the nights are as lively as the waters.

The drinks are refreshing, and each stroke of breeze hits harder when the sun shines down on the top of the ship.

Offering a perfect experience, the Victory Casino Cruise is definitely a service worth adding to your Cape Canaveral itinerary.

Play Mini-Golf and Meet Alligators at Golf N Gator

Golf N Gator offers a mini-golf facility to visitors of all ages.

In addition, it also has alligators, turtles, and other animals to make the entire golfing experience an adventurous one.

With two 18-hole courses, Golf N Gater is loaded with beautiful landscapes and is designed in a very lively manner.

It has flowing streams, waterfalls, dark ponds, jungles, and other attractions for visitors.

The place has a total of 30 American alligators that are safe to be played with.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Witness Amazing Wildlife at Banana River Aquatic Preserve

Located in the neighboring city of Cocoa Beach, Banana River Aquatic Preserve covers almost 30,000 acres of land.

Most of the area in the preserve is covered by water and can only be accessed using the boat launch facilities provided by the preserve itself.

This preserve is a perfect place if you are looking forward to spotting different species of wildlife, including alligators, sea turtles, and manatees.

Banana River Aquatic Preserve is famous for birdwatching and is also one of the largest pelican rookeries in the surrounding areas.

You can also enjoy various adventure sports like boating, canoeing, and kayaking.

For more adventurous people, excursions to the nearby wild areas are also a great sport.

Take a Side Trip to Historic Cocoa Village

Shop house in Cocoa village

Ramunas Bruzas /

Located in beautiful Cocoa Beach, Historic Cocoa Village is a perfect mixture of historic charm and modern and trendy dining, entertainment, and shopping.

The village’s streets are covered with perfectly lined trees that make it a great place for afternoon walks.

Historic Cocoa Village is also famous for its quaint yet unique shops, eateries, and galleries, which are a treat for all visitors.

In addition to its beautiful infrastructure, the village also organizes various events and live entertainment performances on a regular basis.

A theatre at Cocoa Village

Gerardo Rivera /

The village is extremely lively on the weekends during the fall and winter seasons, as the weather is perfect during these times of the year.

There’s also a popular community playhouse, which is a great place where you can get in touch with the locals and learn about the village’s historic attractions.

As it offers tourists the complete package, visiting Historic Cocoa Village alone is already like a short trip in itself.

Observation deck at Cocoa Village's water

Marie Hansen /

Grab an Ice-Cold Beer at Cocoa Beach Brewing Company

If you are looking forward to having a relaxing time with a refreshing beverage, Cocoa Beach Brewing Company on North Atlantic Avenue is the perfect place to visit.

The brewing company is located in a historic building that was initially an essential part of the Naval Air Station.

It was renovated and is now one of the classiest destinations in the area.

The brewing company is also famous for its brews, some of which are dedicated to the Space Coast Renaissance Period.

Cocoa Beach Brewing Company has a collection of premium drinks offered on a seasonal as well as a regular basis.

Do not forget to try their pale ales, porters, and stouts for a remarkable experience.

See Animals from All over the World Brevard Zoo

Exterior of Brevard Zoo

Thomas Kelley /

Located 30 minutes away from Cape Canaveral, Brevard Zoo is a different type of tourist attraction.

This zoo in Melbourne, Florida sets itself apart from other zoos in the area, as the animals are kept in natural-looking barriers and water bodies that allow them to feel more at home and safe.

A lorikeet in Brevard Zoo

Alicia Castro /

Brevard Zoo is home to more than 100 animal species from every continent.

In addition to the general zoo facilities, Brevard Zoo also offers activities like zip lining, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

The zoo is spread in over dozens of acres of land and has various themed areas like the African Savannah.

A giraffe in Brevard Zoo

MeganStephens /

Feel Young while Touring around the Wizard of Oz Museum

Exterior of the Wizard of Oz Museum

JennLShoots /

The glitzy new museum allows visitors to step inside the Wizard of Oz universe and revel in the timeless allure of the beloved classic tale.

The 20,000-square-foot venue immerses visitors in the first American fairy tale.

With the magical displays and features of the museum, you may go through the Poppy Fields and into Emerald City, or you can experience Munchkin Land and the Dark Forest.

Signage of the Wizard of Oz Museum

JennLShoots /

Using more than 30 laser projectors, you may use the most modern technology to display images on the walls and floor.

A few treasures just waiting to be discovered dolls, comic books, collectibles, maps, original props and costumes, collectible figurines, and posters.

Take Surfing Lessons with Sandy Beach Surfing

The one and only surfing school in Cape Canaveral is conducted by Sandy, who has been teaching his love of surfing for 24 years.

Sandy holds first aid and CPR certifications and has worked as a lifeguard.

He will teach you the fundamentals for around ten minutes on dry land before getting you in the water.

In addition to teaching you some useful surf language, Sandy will teach you how to paddle, pop up, and stay in place while also teaching you to appreciate the waves.

The surfboard, rashguard, and wetsuit are all provided by Sandy.

If you’re interested in giving surfing a try, people of all ages may visit Sandy Beach Surfing.

Unwind at Cherie Down Park

A bird at Cherie Down Park

Archaeopteryx Tours /

Cherie Down Park is a park built in 1983 and named after the Brevard County biologist Cherie Down.

At this 6.99-acre beach park in a residential area, dunes and seagrasses are conserved.

Located in a neighborhood, it’s ideal for Florida family holidays or beach adventures like fishing or surfing.

At either end of the boardwalk along the dunes, facilities include bathrooms, a drinking fountain, public showers, benches, a family picnic shelter, grills, and covered picnic spaces.

Order Seafood at Crackers Island Grille

In a small tropical paradise called Cape Canaveral, there is a restaurant called Crackers Island Grille, where the islands meet old Florida.

The comfort food menu at this lively, colorful restaurant has tacos, burgers, and entrees with a seafood emphasis.

Mahi Tacos, Angus Burgers, Mahi Rueben, Fish and Chips, Clams & Bouillabaisse, and many other meals are available on their extensive menu.

Additionally, from 3-6 p.m., they offer happy hour every day.

Therefore, drop by after a day at the beach to discover why Crackers Island Grille is a neighborhood favorite.

Be Adventurous at Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures

Visitors of all ages, physical abilities, and adventurous spirits are welcome at Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures.

It is situated directly between the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River and is surrounded by a magnificent canopy of 100-year-old oak trees.

With 49 obstacles made of wood, cables, ropes, stir-ups, and cargo nets, distributed across seven different paths, and three different levels of difficulty, visitors may put their bodies to the test and demonstrate their bravery.

Enjoy the stunning Florida sunlight and the soothing wind as you hike the various pathways.

Come play in the outdoors and reawaken your spirit!

Final Thoughts

Cape Canaveral, situated in the middle of Florida’s Atlantic coast east of Orlando, is best known as the hub of the nation’s space program.

There are spectacular beaches, parks, restaurants, and various other attractions at Cape Canaveral.

It is known for its picturesque beaches, but those aren’t the only things to see if you also want to take in some art, culture, and history.

You can take surfing classes, play mini golf, ride cruises, and enjoy brewery tours.

With the list of the best things to do in Cape Canaveral, you can be sure to have a great holiday.

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