Just a short drive from Orlando, Florida’s Space Coast – home to Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, Kennedy Space Center, the Indian River Lagoon, and more – is an easy destination for Central Floridians to come over for a short getaway for dinner and stay overnight to see a rocket launch or watch the sun rise on the beach.
With over 72 miles of coastline, the Space Coast holds a special place in America’s history (and its future) in space as well as a shared history with Central Florida. Indeed, the University of Central Florida, once known as Florida Technological University, was founded by the Florida State Legislature and community leaders as a feeder school to the nearby Kennedy Space Center at the peak of America’s space race to the moon.
Florida’s Space Coast was recently honored to be one of National Geographic’s 25 destinations on the rise for 2021 in their yearly Best of the World rankings and is featured in the family travel section alongside locations in Canada, England, Hungary, and Romania. The section highlights Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the incredible opportunities to view launches, and also mentions the natural wonders of the surrounding Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (including the manatees and bioluminescence in the Indian River Lagoon.)
With five historic downtown districts with shopping, dining and entertainment, eight craft breweries, and food from fine dining to tiki shacks and everything in between, the Space Coast has something for everyone. We recently partnered with Visit Space Coast to bring readers a Foodie’s Guide to Florida’s Space Coast with a suggested itinerary of bites and sights.
Breakfast – Downtown Titusville
Sunrise Bread Company – Downtown Titusville
Open since 1996, Sunrise Bread Company specializes in baking speciality and whole grain breads, cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins and cookies. Their cafe features Batdorf and Bronson coffee with espresso brewed on a La Marzocco espresso machine. For those families with little ones, there is a “secret” hidden kids play area located under the stairs with games and toys – a perfect plce for them to enjoy some time playing while the parents enjoy their coffee. Upstairs, there is ample seating and wi-fi for those looking for a place to meet or work while enjoying their baked goods.
Homemade Bread Choices include: (Monday) Marble & 4 Seed (Tuesday) Rosemary Garlic (Wednesday) Cranberry Orange Walnut, Greek Olive, & Indian River (Thursday) 4 Seed & Marble (Friday) Wild Rice & Onion, Sourdough (Saturday) Cranberry Orange Walnut (Everyday Options) Jalapeño Cheese, Cheddar, Wheat, & Great White
Breakfast Sandwich (egg bite of your choice served on a bagel or homemade bread with bacon & cheese optional) – Gourmet Egg Bites (veggie, cheese, ham & cheese, jalapeño, ham, & cheese, jalapeño & cheese)
Muffins ( blueberry, orange crasin, chocolate cherry, zucchini, banana, pumpkin, morning glory, vanilla chocolate, double chocolate, lemon poppy, cappuccino chocolate, raisin bran, cinnamon coffee cake, fat free (raisin, crasin, blueberry )
Scones (blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, chocolate, orange date, orange chocolate)
Sunrise Bread Company
315 S Hopkins Ave
Near Main Street and Southbound US1
Suggested Activities – Downtown Titusville
Explore Downtown Titusville’s Murals
Visit the American Space Musuem and US Space Walk Hall of Fame– Downtown Titusville
You may have heard of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, but not many know of Downtown Titusville’s American Space Museum and US Space Walk Hall of Fame. Stroll on over to the American Space Museum which illustrates America’s history in space exploration by displaying hundreds of artifacts, including photos, hardware, flight suits, Space Shuttle tiles, space patches and pins, and other memorabilia from personal collections of space workers, including astronauts and their families.
The collection also includes the actual (and still working) launch controls from the Space Shuttle and Atlas-Centaur missions. Be sure to visit the STEAM Shop as well — a unique retail space dedicated to science, technology, engineering, art and math.
When you’re done at the American Space Museum, head over to the Space Walk of Fame right down the street beginning at Space View Park, named in part for the spectacular views of launches across the river from Kennedy Space Center. Here, you’ll find stunning monuments dedicated to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs as well as bronze handprints of famous astronauts .
American Space Museum and Space Walk of Fame
308 Pine Street, Titusville, FL 32796
(321) 264-0434 • [email protected]
Lunch – Cocoa Beach
Q’s Crackin Crab and Seafood Kitchen – Cocoa Beach
Head on down to Cocoa Beach for lunch at Q’s Crackin’ Crab and Seafood Kitchen, a locally and women owned “Soulful Seafood” Kitchen.
Quinisha and Anthony Bredwood, founders of Q’s Crackin Crab
Q’s Crackin’ Crab & Seafood Kitchen opened up their dream spot in world-famous Cocoa Beach, Florida in the middle of the pandemic in 2020, but have found great success with their delicious crab cluster platters, rib-eye bowls, garlic-infused lobster, and more.
Q’s Crackin’ Crab & Seafood Kitchen and its owner, Quinisha Bredwood, have been named Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Champion of the Month in August of 2021 and was nominated and became a Finalist for Business start-up of the year from the Cocoa Beach Chamber. Together with her husband Anthony, the couple hope to open a second location soon.
Bredwood’s business philosophy is “focus less on money and more on relationships. Relationships will open doors that money cannot.”
Q’s Crackin’ Crab Platter – (2) snow crabs, (1/2 dozen) EZ peel shrimp and 1 premium side, 1 corn and potatoes.
Q’s Crackin’ Mac & Cheese
Fried basket – Fried fish, clams and shrimp
Q’s Crackin Crab & Seafood Kitchen
5240 N Atlantic Ave UNIT 100, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Dessert at The Florida Key Lime Pie Company – Cocoa Beach
The Florida Key Lime Pie Company is a store with an eclectic Key West and Island Lifestyle feel featuring not only Key Lime Pie and Ice Cream , but also a selection of Key Lime Beers, Key Lime Cooler Cookies, Key Lime Candies, Key Lime Chocolates, Key Lime Pretzels, Key Lime Wines and a selection of over 500+ different Hot Sauces, Grilling Sauces and Marinades. There is Fresh Locally made “Gator Jerky” and “Python Jerky” which is made with a slight smokey flavor and lightly spicy finish.
The Florida Key Lime Pie Company
102 Dixie Ln, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
Suggested Activities in Cocoa Beach
Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier
A historic landmark on Florida’s Space Coast, the world-famous Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier stretches 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean and is home to restaurants, bars, gift shops and live musical entertainment. In addition to great fishing, the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier offers fishing equipment rentals, beach rentals, fresh water showers, regulation beach volleyball courts, lifeguards year round and some of the absolute best surfing on the East Coast.
Originally built in 1962, Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier (originally known as “Canaveral Pier”) was constructed with more than 2.5 miles of boardwalk planks and 270 pilings, each 40 feet in length. Throughout the years, it has been a favorite of both locals and tourists and undergone many changes.
Grab a drink or bite while you are there at one of the many bars and restaurants on site including Rikki Tiki Tavern, The Boardwalk Bar, Pelican’s Bar & Grill, Sea Dogs, and Keith’s Oyster Bar.
Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier
Dinosaur Store and Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures
Imagine the excitement of uncovering fossils in the Egyptian ruins, panning for treasures at a working sluice, or braving the wild rapids of the Nile River all within 2 blocks from the Ocean. You can do all of that and more at The Dinosaur Store in Cocoa Beach.
The Dinosaur Store first opened its doors in Cocoa Beach in November, 1996 and quickly branched out to designing small museum exhibits, which grew to a full business exhibiting dinosaur exhibits nationwide, including Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Science Spectrum in Lubbock, MOSI in Tampa and many more museums across the USA.
Known as having the most ‘elaborate array of fossils in the world,’ The Dinosaur Store is committed to providing a place that is both fun and educational for the whole family.
The Dinosaur Store houses both an interactive adventure zone, filled with an array of games, live animals, and science center activities, and a museum dedicated to dinosaurs and ancient cultures. This is an indoor facility and is perfect for a day full of fun, rain or shine.
From French Lascaux cave-paintings to an impressive collection of fossils, minerals, and specimen, start your Jurassic journey today at The Dinosaur Store.
One of the most terrifying birds to live on earth – was also found in Florida.
The Dinosaur Store
250 W. Cocoa Beach Causeway Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
More Suggestions for Activities in Cocoa Beach
Dinner at Port Canaveral
Port Canaveral is only 6 miles north of Cocoa Beach and is home to not only the 2nd busiest cruise and cargo port in the world, but also some of the best waterfront dining on the Space Coast.
Voted as the Best North American Homeport by Cruise Critic, Port Canaveral is the fastest growing cruise port in Florida and is a homeport to the industry’s top cruise lines.
Here you can choose from many local restaurants serving up fresh seafood, pub food, cold brews and tropical cocktails while watching cruise ships, wildlife, and SpaceX boosters glide effortlessly through one of the busiest ports in the US.
Rising Tide Tap & Table – Port Canaveral
Grab a seat on the lakeside deck overlooking the water to watch the sun set at in Port Canaveral, where everything is made fresh from scratch with hand-cut daily meats and fish, creatively flourished with seasonal flavors.
Led by Culinary Institute of America (CIA) trained Executive Chef Jeff Kainz, the menu is bold and creative. Chef Kainz is also a Central Florida native, having worked at Chatham’s Place among other Central Florida restaurants while growing up.
Their famous burgers are hand-formed double patties and served with fries made from hand cut Idaho Russets. Corn tortillas are light toasted to order for their Mahi tacos and the stone-baked pizzas start with house made, artisan dough.
Florida craft beers are featured on most of their 60 taps, and craft cocktails and house made frozen drinks are their specialties.
CALMARI – Crispy squid, feta crumbles , onion and radish, burnt tomato jam, lemon garlic aioli
BUFFALO BIRD – Roast chicken with some kickin’ – honey butter, mackin’ cheese fritters, charred broccolini, blue buffalo sauce, smokey blue cheese, carrot-cauliflower giardiniera
KEY WEST CREME BRÛLÉE – Key lime custard, burnt sugar, mint funnel cake, candied lime
RISING TIDE tap & table
523 Glen Cheek Dr, Port Canaveral, FL 32920
Goodies and Gift Ideas from the Space Coast
Grimaldi Candy Company’s milk chocolate Chips n’ chocolate
- Since 1969 Grimaldi Candy Company, located in Florida’s Space Coast Brevard County has been offering the finest gourmet chocolates in the country including our famous and the original “Chips ‘N Chocolate” Chocolate covered potato chips. When our customers come into our stores not only do they get to sample some of our delicious products they also get a little taste of history and nostalgia by showcasing some of our antique chocolate making equipment as well as being able to see the magic happen in our Rockledge, Florida production location.
- Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/grimaldicandies, https://www.instagram.com/grimaldicandycompany/
Southern Caramel’s original caramel
- Southern Caramel is family-owned and operated by a Daughter/ Father duo. Sarah and Jimi have spent some of their most memorable years together in the Florida woods. They would talk about the joys of life and share about their fears, hopes and dreams. Sarah Smith started Southern Caramel in 2013 as a way to be home with her newborn daughter. She had been making the caramels for family, friends, and co-workers when she was encouraged to take the leap from her life in the aerospace industry to full-time mom and entrepreneur. They manufacture and ship from sunny Melbourne, Florida.
- Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/Southern-Caramel-343804439118770, https://www.instagram.com/southern.caramel/
Joy’s Gourmet’s basil pesto & garlic
- Joy’s Gourmet is named after our daughter Joy and based on family recipes from my Grandparents. With Joy’s Gourmet, we bring the taste of the Mediterranean to America’s table. Starting with our secret mix of garlic and spices we grew in popularity with friends and family. We finally took the plunge and began producing our dairy free Garlic Joy Spreads and selling them at local gourmet markets in early 2003. The all-natural versatility and unique flavor of Joy’s Gourmet products have created a loyal following all across the Southeast. Made with raw blended ingredients, Garlic Joy is vegetarian, vegan, and free of preservatives, dairy, cholesterol, trans-fats and sugar!
- Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/JoyOfGarlic/, https://www.instagram.com/joys_gourmet/
Space Coast Spreads’ Amy’s candied jalapeños
- Space Coast Spreads started from simple candied jalapeños homemade in Amy’s kitchen, but quickly expanded to jellies, jams and other spreads after friends and family raved about her talent. Amy’s passion and skill for finding unique balances between sweet and savory, smoky and spicy and more has won her recognition at farmer’s markets and other food festivals, and she continues to experiment and introduce new flavors unheard of in the spread realm. She loves showing people that jellies and jams are meant for much more than just toast. So, enjoy your jar and experiment away!
- Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/Amyscandiedjalapenos/, https://www.instagram.com/spacecoastspreads/
Staying Overnight in Florida’s Space Coast
From large national hotel chains lining the beaches along Cocoa Beach down through Melbourne Beach to boutique motels and quaint bed and breakfast inns, Florida’s Space Coast has accommodations to please all types of visitors.
For the leisure traveler, traditional lodging choices are available including campgrounds, condo and home rentals. Business travelers will have no problem seeking a property that makes life away from the office easier and more productive. Most lodging options on the Space Coast are conveniently located in proximity of local shopping, dining and attractions.
For more information on accomodations, visit https://www.visitspacecoast.com/accommodations
For more information and to plan your next visit, Visit Space Coast on social media and online at: