Extending from Florida’s Atlantic coast, Cape Canaveral hosts the NASA Kennedy Space Center—the hub of the US space program—alongside white-sand beaches, Port Canaveral cruise port, the lagoons of the Banana River, and the nearby town of Cocoa Beach. If you’re planning a day on this beautiful cape, here’s how to spend your 24 hours.
Morning: Kennedy Space Center
Most Cape Canaveral visitors head straight for the Kennedy Space Center—the primary base of NASA’s space missions. Book standard admission and factor in the morning and early afternoon to see its highlights. Take a bus tour; marvel at the gigantic space shuttle Atlantis and Saturn V rocket; experience the sensation of a shuttle launch; stroll the Rocket Garden; meet an astronaut; and much more. Make your visit extra special by upgrading to include lunch with an astronaut so you can find out firsthand what it’s like in space.
Afternoon: Get Active
Dedicate the rest of the afternoon to Cape Canaveral’s other attractions. If you’re still in space mode, get a new perspective over the Kennedy Space Center with a helicopter tour—soaring over its launch pads and shuttle runway. Another helicopter option takes in Port Canaveral’s cruise ships or Cocoa Beach and the Banana River’s wildlife-filled Thousand Islands. Alternatively, admire the cape’s beaches on an electric bike tour between Cocoa Beach and Port Canaveral. Water lovers can book surfing lessons or gentler river or sea kayaking trips. Choose a guided or independent paddle along the shoreline, mangroves, and lagoons while looking for manatees and dolphins.
Evening: Lights and Laughter
The lagoons of Cape Canaveral’s Banana River and Indian River are prime spots for seeing bioluminescence: neon-blue lights emitted by tiny marine organisms. View the phenomenon on a night kayak tour, using your paddle to churn up the blue swirls and illuminate the shallows—it’s a magical experience. Alternatively, ease down with dinner or drinks at one of Cape Canaveral’s many restaurants or bars. Perhaps finish your evening with a comedy show at Cocoa Beach, laughing along with top stand-up comedians at a hip comedy club.