There’s a lot to love about living on the Space Coast. But if you reside here you already know that! SpaceCoast Living wanted to dig a little deeper and find those “must see” hidden gems for locals and visitors alike. Consider it your local “bucket list.” Whether you are a local, native, transplant, visitor or part-time resident these are some experiences you don’t want to miss!
See the waters come alive with bioluminescence during the summer months.
Two hour evening tours starting at Haulover Canal (20 minutes east of Titusville) are offered through A Day Away Kayak Tours.
Get Ready for Some Football
Florida Tech’s Panthers will play six home games this fall including a nationally televised game. In all, the Panthers will play 11 games, starting with the program’s first-ever game on September 7 against Stetson University at Pirate Stadium in Palm Bay. Season tickets are available for the Panthers’ inaugural 2013 season at $65 for adults, $40 for seniors ages 65+. FloridaTechSports.com, (321) 674-8032
The Great Squeeze
Harvey’s first began as a roadside fruit stand in Rockledge back in the 1920s, offering fresh, hand-squeezed orange juice that sold for 5 cents a glass on old U.S. 1. Today, the Harvey family manages 350 acres of citrus groves. Harvey’s Groves is one of the few remaining family-owned groves in Florida. Starting in August, stop in and taste Indian River citrus, then make your own fresh-squeezed orange juice. HarveysGroves.com
Run of Nature
Local natural sanctuary trails offer opportunities for those who enjoy mixing their passion of running with their love of nature.
• Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Titusville
• Pine Island Conservation Area, Merritt Island
• Malabar Scrub Sanctuary, Malabar
• Jordan Scrub Sanctuary, Malabar
• Fox Lake Sanctuary, Titusville
• Scottsmoor Flatwoods Sanctuary, Scottsmoor
Coming in for a Landing
The popular Angry Birds arrived at the Kennedy Space Center’s Visitors Complex in March.
The first comprehensive, interactive Angry Birds attraction in the United States is designed for people of all ages.
Be prepared to wait in line for this sweet treat fix. This small ice cream shop has a loyal following. Its claim to fame? Introducing soft-serve ice cream to Melbourne. Its secret to success is simple — good old-fashioned ice cream.
402 N Harbor City Blvd., Melbourne (321) 254-8381
Locals’ Sweet Addictions
Grimaldi’s chocolate-covered potato chips have been handmade for over 40 years. Entire boxes have been known to disappear in mere minutes. We dare you to try and eat just one.
See the New Launches
Now that we know what life after the shuttle is like, we can still enjoy the rocket launches happening in our backyard. River launch tours provide a new perspective that some natives have yet to see. SpaceCoastRiverTours.com
The Turtle Walk
The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is considered to be one of the largest loggerhead nesting areas in the world and Brevard County is considered to be the largest nesting area for greens in the US. Nesting season peaks in Brevard County in June and July. Teams provide Turtle Walks for the public several nights a week during June and July at three different locations in South Brevard County. Call (321) 676-1701 to make reservations for the next season.
Catch Your Own Dinner
Go deep sea fishing and catch your own dinner. Miss Cape Canaveral, Florida’s largest Deep Sea Fishing Vessel, offers half day or full day trips and charters for private groups.
Own a Piece of Art from a Local Artist
Visit one of the many art galleries in the county, find a local artist that you love and purchase your own original work of art.
Visit ArtsBrevard.org for a listing of local art galleries to get started.
Enjoy the Nightlife
In case you haven’t noticed, downtown Melbourne is having a renaissance of sorts. So have a drink and dance the night away. If you’re looking for a tasty libation, Mainstreet Pub makes all drinks with fresh fruit. Try the orange crush, made with fres juice squeezed right before your eyes.
You haven’t truly experienced the Brevard Zoo until you’ve seen it from the trees, going through obstacles and ziplining 40 feet above the ground. If you’re not feeling that brave, there are two alternate courses — one for the young and the one at just 20 feet above the ground.
Farmers’ markets have fresh fruits and vegetables at the peak of their season. They are grown near you and not thousands of miles away, so you’re also supporting the local economy.
Visit BrevardCountyFarmersMarket.com to find one near you.
Drive Tropical Trail
See some of Brevard’s most impressive waterfront estates.
Help a Citizen in Need
Walk in the shoes of your disadvantaged fellow citizens. Spend a day (or more) giving your time to a worthy cause. Serve a meal, help build a home or volunteer at a shelter.
Directory of nonprofits at SpaceCoastLiving.com
Travel from One End of the County to the Other
Travel U.S. 1 from the north to south or south to north to see all 72 miles of our impressive county. The road mostly follows the shore and intersects several local roads like the Indian River Lagoon Scenic Highway. Stop and enjoy the beauty on paths less traveled.
Ron Jon Late Night Shopping
Open 24 hours a day, the Cocoa Beach Ron Jon Surf Shop is the world’s largest surf shop at 52,000 square feet. You can shop at all hours of the day and night and avoid the tourists. Flip flops at 3 a.m., anyone?
Only found in Florida in the rare scrub ecosystem, there are only about 3,000 scrub-jays remaining. Listed as a threatened species, birdwatchers flock to Florida just to catch a glimpse of this species. Lucky for us, Kennedy Space Center has one of the largest contiguous populations. You can see one for yourself at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Get to Know Some History
Take a ride in Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum’s Tico Belle. Over 65 years ago this aircraft was a part of history, from the Normandy invasion to the Berlin Airlift and more. For $175 you can ride through the local area and receive an individual one-year membership to the museum. VACWarbirds.org