33 Things to Do in Cape Canaveral
There are so many things to do in Cape Canaveral. Whether you’re planning an Orlando vacation and looking to get away from the theme parks for a few days, or looking for things to do before a cruise out of Port Canaveral, this list of 33 things to do in Cape Canaveral will have something for you!
I recommend planning your things to do in Cape Canaveral carefully. You don’t want to wear yourselves out right away! Plus, this will allow you to have some time to add in new things you discover during your vacation.
So let’s get started with all the fun things to do on the Space Coast.
Rent a car in Cape Canaveral
If you decide to rent a car during your Florida vacation, I recommend renting a car from Discount USA Car Rental. If you’re flying into Orlando or most other destinations in Florida, you can pick up a car and get to exploring. Discount USA Car Rental offers the lowest rates through all the major companies, and you don’t pay anything until you pick up your car.
Things to Do in Cape Canaveral
Here are the best things to do in Cape Canaveral, in no particular order.
Visit the Kennedy Space Center
The most popular thing to do in Cape Canaveral is to visit Kennedy Space Center. So, I thought I would put it at the top of my list to get it out of the way.
What you might not know is you can take a guided tour of the space center, where you can even talk to a real astronaut. The kids will love that! You can also do a VIP tour which comes highly recommended by my parents.
Everyone’s favorite part will be using the astronaut training simulators. Or, it might be the microgravity in the ISS Triumph of Technology. Maybe it will be the shuttle launch experience.
I guess there are just too many favorites to choose from here! You’ll need to check it out yourself to find out all your favorites.
Attend Surfing School at Sandy Beach
Sandy Beach is the only place in Cape Canaveral that has a surfing school. If your family wants to learn how to surf, you can venture over here every day of the week.
You can learn all the basics before heading out in the water to catch a few bigger waves.
Check Out the Wildlife at the Banana River Aquatic Preserve
This 30,000-acre Banana River aquatic preserve is the perfect place to spot the native wildlife in Cape Canaveral. I recommend renting kayaks or canoes. Then head out in the water to see the manatees, sea turtles, and gators.
Enjoy the Views at the Canaveral Lock
A visit to the Canaveral Lock can have you watching boats travel between the Banana River and Port Canaveral. You can also spot dolphins and manatees in the water if you are patient enough.
I recommend taking a picnic lunch with you. This way, you can stay longer if you happen to spot marine life in the water.
Visit the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse
The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse was constructed back in 1848. The lighthouse is 151 feet tall. It is currently the only working lighthouse that the US Space Force owns.
Taking a guided tour will allow you to learn the history of the lighthouse. If the kids don’t want to do that, hang around outside. It is the perfect place to snap a few pictures.
Hang Out with the Manatees at the Manatee Sanctuary Park
One of the free things to do in Cape Canaveral is to visit the Manatee Sanctuary Park. You will find this 10-acre park right on the Banana River.
Your family can spend hours walking the paved trails. Standing on the boardwalk. And looking for manatees at the observation points.
This is another spot that is perfect for picnics. If you love manatees, check out the 12 best places to see manatees in Florida.
Have Fun at Cherie Down Park
Taking the time to visit Cherie Down Park is one of the best things to do on the Space Coast for families. Everyone can swim, surf, or boogie board in the ocean. The kids can build sandcastles while you relax in the sand.
When everyone tires of the sand, head out for a walk on the boardwalk. It is 200 feet long, so it is manageable for everyone.
Visit the US Air Force Space & Missile Museum
This museum opened back in 1966. It has been keeping families like yours occupied since then.
A trip to the US Air Force Space & Missile Museum is one of the educational things to do in Cape Canaveral. You can take a guided tour to learn all about rockets, missiles, and satellites.
Don’t forget to venture out to the rocket garden. That is where the retired control towers and launch pads are located.
Explore the Exploration Tower
The Exploration Tower is a museum that has 7 floors. Those 7 floors are filled with interactive exhibits. It also has an observation deck. That deck is perfect if you want to see views of the surrounding area.
This is one of the best things to do in Cape Canaveral on a rainy day.
Have Fun at Jetty Park
There are quite a few family-friendly things to do at Jetty Park. You can all go swimming, kayaking, or surfing. The kiddie playground is perfect for when the kids have a little extra energy.
The best feature is the 1,200-foot pier. Walk along it and check out marine life.
Watch the Sunset from Center Street Park
One of the best places to watch the sunset in Cape Canaveral is Center Street Park. Take a blanket, as well as a few snacks. Then sit and relax as the sun lowers over the horizon.
Experience History at The Historic Rossetter House Museum and Gardens
Visiting this museum and gardens will allow your family to learn about life during the 19th and 20th centuries. It is best to take a guided tour if possible. You learn so much more.
This is one of the best things to do in Cape Canaveral when you want a little history during your vacation.
Take a Tour on the water
There are a few different tours to choose from. They all take you out on the water to check out marine life, but each tour is slightly different.
If you prefer to stay on land, your family can rent beach bikes.
Visit the Wizard of Oz Museum
All Dorothy and Toto fans can now experience the best of the Wizard of Oz inside this museum. During your visit, you can wander through Poppy Fields. Munchkin Land isn’t too far away, nor is the Dark Forest.
It is Emerald City that will capture your attention. There is so much to do here. It is easy to see why this is one of the better things to do in Cape Canaveral.
Have a Few Thrills at Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures
There are 49 obstacles amongst the 100-year-old oak trees at Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures. Your family will experience an adrenaline rush as you tackle these obstacles on 7 different courses.
When you finish the courses, take a walk nearby to cool down.
Explore Historic Cocoa Village
There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options within Historic Cocoa Village. You will never find a bad time to visit this area. Although, I prefer to visit on the weekend during the fall and winter.
This is when numerous live performances and other events are held on the streets.
Go Deep Sea Fishing
Fishing is a popular activity in Florida. If you are looking for one of the more popular things to do in Cape Canaveral, deep-sea fishing is the answer.
Check out iOutdoor Fishing Adventures for several deep-sea fishing options.. There are a few different trips to choose from. You will catch all types of fish, depending on the season.
Play Some Mini Golf
Mini golf is popular in Florida. And it is the perfect thing to do in Cape Canaveral when you have some downtime. There are a few different mini-golf locations to choose from in this area.
You can drive to a highly recommended one or simply head over to the one closest to your accommodations.
Either way, you will have fun seeing who can come in under par.
Grab a Drink at Florida Beer Company
Kids are always welcome at breweries, and Florida Beer Company is no exception. Take a tour to get a few free samples. Then choose your favorite and sit back to listen to the live music.
Spend Time at Cocoa Beach Brewing Company
This brewery is perfect for grabbing a drink and getting out of the hot Florida sun. This brewery is off the beaten path. I promise it is worth the trip!
You can grab everything from a pale ale and stout to a porter or IPA.
Grab a Little Tropics Ice Cream
You can’t vacation in Cape Canaveral and not get a little ice cream. Tropics Ice Cream is the best spot to go. Although, you won’t get just a little ice cream. Their portions are huge!
They also have multiple flavors. Plus, they place all ice cream with nuts in a separate cooler. This is perfect for those families with nut allergies!
Be warned… Tropics gets busy in the late afternoons, as well as on weekends. Be prepared to wait in line if you arrive during peak times.
Explore Sebastian Inlet State Park
This state park is in Melbourne Beach. You can easily get there by taking Highway A1A.
It is best to plan almost an entire day at this park. Between the beach, scenic trails, fishing museum, and sunken treasure museum, you will be busy.
Walk Along the Cocoa Beach Pier
The Cocoa Beach Pier is a fabulous place to see dolphins and watch the sunset. You can also fish from this pier.
Don’t worry about taking food with you as there are a few places to eat near the pier.
You can also take surf lessons at this beach!
Take an Airboat Ride
One of the best ways to see the wildlife in Cape Canaveral is by taking an airboat ride. Most of the airboat rides are short. They are only about 15 minutes long.
However, you can go to the lagoon and the ocean to see dolphins, manatees, and other marine life.
You can find these airboat rides at most of the parks in Cape Canaveral.
Visit the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Out of all the things to do in Cape Canaveral, you may find visiting the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge the most rewarding. This area was established back in 1934 to protect native wildlife.
During your visit, your family can see turtles, alligators, pelicans, and snakes. One of the best ways to explore this area is by taking a boat ride.
Check Out the Ships at Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral happens to be the busiest cruise line port in the world. So, you will definitely see a few ships any time you visit.
See the Stars at the Eastern Florida State College Planetarium and Observatory
Eastern Florida College has a planetarium, observatory, and exhibition halls that are dedicated to space. If your family is interested in stars and planets, this is a must-visit.
See the Flowers at the Florida Tech Botanical Gardens at the Florida Institute of Technology
The botanical gardens are absolutely stunning at the Florida Institute of Technology. Your family can wander around to see the plants, flowers, and trees.
If you are lucky, you will visit when an educational program is taking place.
Hang Out with Dinosaurs at the Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures
The kids will love seeing all the dinosaurs at this two-story museum. There are exhibits of ancient human cultures too. But you know it will be all about the dinosaurs!\
Photo is property of The Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures.
If your kids love dinosaurs, check out our Dinosaur World Florida Review.
Explore the Cape Canaveral National Seashore
The Cape Canaveral National Seashore is located on a barrier island. The area was designated as a national park in 1975.
This is an excellent thing to do in Cape Canaveral if you want to spend an entire day hiking or kayaking.
Check Out the Adventure Zone and Eco-Park
Kayaking is one of the popular activities at the Adventure Zone and Eco-Park. You will want to reserve time so the kids can check out the numerous dinosaur statues though. There is also an obstacle course. It involves a driverless robot vehicle. Something the kids will love!
Kayak the Indian River Lagoon Park System
One of the best places to kayak in Cape Canaveral is in the Indian River Lagoon. You can head out on your own. Or take one of the many guided tours.
There are many places that offer kayak rentals. So, don’t let not having kayaks hold you back from this family outing.
Relax at Kennedy Point Park at New Smyrna Beach
Kennedy Point Park is one of the best places to sit down and relax while visiting Cape Canaveral. It is also the perfect place to watch the sunset.
The best part is the kids can run around while you are relaxing!
Things to do in Cape Canaveral
These are some of the best things to do in Cape Canaveral. What is your favorite thing to do in Cape Canaveral? Make sure to leave a comment below and let us know.
More Florida Travel Tips
I hope this list helps you plan your Cape Canaveral family vacation and make it the best vacation ever. Don’t forget to check out even more of our best Florida travel ideas:
- The 25 Best East Florida Beaches
- The best place to find sharks teeth in Florida
- 35 Things to Do in Key West with Kids
- The 10 best places to see sea turtles in Florida
- 12 best places to see manatees in Florida
- Things to do in St. Augustine with Kids
- First-Timer Tips for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- 50 free things to do in Tampa with kids
- 50 free things to do in Orlando
About Florida Travel With Kids
Florida Travel with Kids was started by a family who loves to travel the state of Florida with kids! This site will help you explore the fun state of Florida and all of the kid-friendly activities you’ll find here. If you want even more tips, join our mailing list. We’ll share any new tips and tricks we learn, along with Florida news and recent blog posts of our adventures.
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