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Florida: Space Coast, Port of Call Canaveral Family Vacation Fun – Surfing, Baseball, and a Cruise.FLSpaceCoast780Cruise Consider arriving early or staying on for the fun. One trip, two vacations, and twice the fun, the rich diversity of activity choices makes Canaveral a "bonus" port of call for families on vacation.

Here's the scoop. There is something fun to do no matter your age or lifestyle. The large number of unique family vacation activities makes extending any vacation tempting. Assembled below are a few suggestions to serve as a starting point. So what will it be?

Cruise the lagoon. Island Boat Lines located in the heart of Cocoa Beach offers three pontoon- style eco-tours daily. The unique estuaries allow passengers the opportunity to observe manatees, birds and playful dolphins near rookery islands. Space Coast Nature Tours has a solar-powered vessel called the “Skimmer,” that allows passengers to see firsthand the wonders of the Indian River Lagoon, not just above but below as well. (Island Boat Lines, Water Taxi & Eco Tours. (321) 794-7717 or

Visit the King. At the King Center audiences may enjoy the finest in Broadway, dance, and opera. Traditional plays for all ages work in tandem with delightful children's theatre. This is also the location of the petit Studio Theatre, with seating for about 200. (King Center 3865 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, 32935; Ticket Office: (321) 242-2219 or

What’s in the attic? The cultural wild card in Titusville is "Emma's Attic," a small, alternative theatre experience home based at Emma Parrish Theatre. The community theatre produces a rich menu of entertaining productions spanning drama, comedy, and musicals. An additional bonus for all ages The Parrish is the home of The Rising Stars Children's Theatre that also stages productions throughout the year. (Emma Parrish Theater, 301 Julia Street. Titusville, 32781. (321) 268-3711Box office (321) 268-1125 or

Ball one, strike two! A bonus to families on vacation, the Brevard County Manatees (a Florida State Class A Club), take to the field on summer nights offering baseball like it used to be, fun. The games are fast paced with all the spirit of major league play, yet crowd-friendly because of the stadium layout. (Brevard County Manatees 5800 Stadium Pkwy. Melbourne, 32940. (321)633-9200 or

Not enough baseball? To the south in Vero Beach, the Vero Beach Dodgers (a Florida State Class A Club), also provide game play. And as a bonus during the summer months the Dodgers Rookie Team, the Gulf Coast Dodgers, also plays ball in Vero Beach. Need to know: In June each year the Dodgers conduct a baseball camp for kids ages 7-14. The three-day camp is coached by professional players and includes a ticket to one night game during the camp. ((561) 569-4929, Los Angeles Dodgers. Vero Beach. (561) 569-4900 or

Walk along the beach. By North American mainland beach standards the Space Coast measures up. The coastal ribbon of natural beauty spans 72 miles and provides not only a bonanza for beachcombers but quiet space for moon walks, star gazing and toe surfing. Playa Linda located within the Canaveral National Seashore under the rocket launch path provides walking trails to prehistoric as well as historic sites and in season great bird watching opportunities along the beach and on the lagoon side. (Canaveral National Seashore. SR 406 Garden St./Exit 80, I-95 Titusville. Visitor Information (321) 867-4077, Recorded Message (321) 861-0667 or

Go by canoe or kayak. FLSpaceCost780KayaksAt Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach there are interpretive canoe excursions through the Thousand Islands, as well as monthly scrub jay jaunts and storytelling sessions. At Erna Nixon Park, a natural Florida hammock and nature preserve southwest of the Melbourne Airport, guides lead nature walks and conduct strolls by moonlight that include stargazing and music. Kayak the Indian River Lagoon and estuary complex provide hours of paddling with plenty of discoveries to be made. For high-powered action the best choice is an airboat ride. Glide and slide along the St. Johns River. Discover the unique inhabitants of the cypress swamp or just enjoy the thrill of the ride. (

Kayak among giraffes. The 55-acre Brevard Zoo welcomes all ages with exceptional programs surrounded by an enchanting environment that is home to more than 475 animals. In addition to comfortable pathways on land there are also waterways within the zoo for guests to kayak. The guided tours are offered daily, weather permitting. The Brevard Zoo also offers expanded 4-hour eco-tours of the nearby Indian River Lagoon where manatees and dolphin abound. The new African area may be enjoyed on the Cape to Cairo Express, a train designed for access and enjoyment by all ages. (Brevard Zoo. 8225 N. Wickham Road Melbourne. (321) 254-WILD (9453) or visit

Find a sense of place. The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science provides easy access to the uniqueness and natural beauty of the area. The location demonstrates the obvious connection between man and nature by defining the three distinct eco systems in the area. Three nature trails supplement the museum experience, which highlights the history of Florida’s key industries: ranching, farming and fishing. (Brevard Museum of Art & Science. Admission is free every Thursday from 1 to 5 p.m.1463 Highland Avenue, Melbourne, 32936. (321) 242-0737 or

Become enchanted. The area is naturally rich with more than 250 square miles of protected wildlife refuges and sanctuaries that include marsh habitats, forests, rivers, lagoons, dunes and beaches. The 393-acre Enchanted Forest Sanctuary is located in Titusville. The Forest provides hiking trails through five diverse natural habitats enabling access to wildlife viewing and nature photography. The Visitor Center, complete with a gift shop, features a screened porch and walkway as well as outdoor amphitheater. A bonus to visitors, the Enchanted Crossing is an interpretive nature trail with a stabilized surface, which provides accessibility for all. (Enchanted Forest Sanctuary Management & Education Center 444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville, 32780. (321) 264-5185 or
Go when the surf’s up. FlSpaceCoast780SurfersThe Space Coast offers plenty of days with wild waves for surfers looking for a long ride. It is the location of more than 100 of the best surf spots on the East Coast. Newcomers to the sport may enjoy a few lessons at Cocoa Beach Surfing School. For the casual observer, the Cocoa Beach Surf Museum with its collection of surf memorabilia, artifacts and music, will do the trick. (2370 S. Atlantic Avenue at Natural Art Surf Shop, Cocoa Beach, 32931. (321) 783-0764 or

About Port of Canaveral. Port Canaveral, the largest passenger cruise port terminal in North and South America and the only quadra-modal port in the world, is a bonus port for vacationers. Easy access to the port along with state-of-the-art embarkation and debarkation make the transitioning part of the adventure. Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines depart to tropical destinations offering two, three, four, or seven-day cruising. Combing a Space Coast adventure with a cruise really means one vacation and twice the fun. To find twice the fun go to
Location on the planet. The Space Coast stretches 72 miles along Florida's East Coast and is best known as the home of Kennedy Space Center. Just 35 miles east of Orlando, it is also offers the closest beaches away from theme parks.  Area communities include Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Cocoa, Melbourne and Palm Bay.

Space Coast Family Vacations. The beaches are awesome; the area is it offers relaxation and inspiration. The unique combination of soft adventures, lively entertainment and sea breezes makes any Florida beach vacation perfect. Florida's Space Coast Office toll-free 1-877-57-BEACH (1-800-572-3224, (321)-443-4470 or

Content researched and ceated by Images provided by Space Coast Tourism. Copyright 2012.

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