Avid surfers can brave the same waves Kelly Slater once rode at this Florida state park. Those who prefer swimming over surfing can splash in the gentle waters of The Cove. Meanwhile, the miles of pristine shores are suited for biking, walking, birdwatching, picnicking and just plain soaking up sun. For something extra, check out the nearby McLarty Treasure Museum and the Sebastian Fishing Museum to be dazzled by history.
Wickham Park Exercise Trail
Staying fit doesn’t have to mean an expensive gym membership and hours on the elliptical. To take your workout outside the box, take it outside. Wickham Park’s running trails are scattered with exercise stations. Stop by each one to add a different edge to your workout. This is a fun way to change up a personal workout or challenge friends and family.
The streets of Cocoa Village are lined with cafes, art studios and boutiques that are sure to inspire. Retro stores like Travis Hardware add a hint of history to the area, while trendy establishments like Pub Americana lend an eccentric energy that can’t be found anywhere else on the Space Coast. Besides fabulous shopping and dining, a journey to Cocoa Village might include a street art fair, a nighttime concert or a world-class theatre experience at Cocoa Village Playhouse.
Ride in and drive real military tanks at this 35-acre park. Based on the package you purchase, your tank experience could include beginner’s tank-driving instructions — a “brief” by the “Commander” — all the way to crushing a car beneath the powerful wheels of the tank. After, head inside to their elaborate, air-conditioned tactical laser tag labyrinth.
The Dinosaur Store and Museum
More than just a store, the Dinosaur Store in Cocoa Beach is a haven for lovers of archaeology, paleontology and Jurassic Park. Explore fossilized dinosaur bones, dinosaur eggs, shark teeth, meteorites and more. From the store, you can access the Adventure Zone, where big and little adventurers alike can play science games and meet face to face with live alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles. The Dinosaur Store is also attached to the Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures, home to exciting life-sized exhibits.
House of Pastel
Budding chefs and Francophile foodies will delight in House of Pastel’s “Mommy and Me” French Macaron course. During the two-hour course, pastry chef and House of Pastel owner, Lilly Jensen, teaches students the ins and outs of concocting these delicate confections. No aprons? No problem. Pastel House lends students all the equipment they’ll need for the class. Afterwards, each student gets to bring home their own macaron creations.
Rock walls, ninja-warrior courses, escape rooms and games like bocce ball and cornhole can be found at Adventure HQ in Palm Shores. Owned by a local family, Adventure HQ combines the action and adrenaline of bouldering with a spirit of community. Climbers can strike out on their own, take part in lessons or bond with coworkers, peers and friends in special team-building activities.
Located in – or should we say, above – the scenic Brevard Zoo, Treetop Trek consists of a series of aerial ropes challenges. The Canopy Walk takes beginners just twenty feet above ground and includes two zip lines. Once confident with the Canopy Walk, take a stab at the intermediate version that adds nine more challenges and nine more zip lines. Feeling at the top of your game? Take on the Black Diamond course to test your strength and stamina. The 14 ziplines incorporated into the course give you a break from physical efforts.
By day, Open Mike’s is a laid-back cafe. Hit it up for a fresh, satisfying lunch or an energizing afternoon espresso made with house-roasted coffee beans. With nightfall, Open Mike’s transforms into the Space Coast’s live music hub. Each night is something different, from acoustic open mic to blues jams to standup comedy – check their Facebook page to find out what’s happening tonight. If you’re searching for a night’s entertainment, sit back on one of their sofas beneath the fairy lights, order Mike’s Legendary Hummus Plate and take in the music. Or, take part in the music yourself.
Drum Circle at The Love Hut
At this unsuspecting fair-trade percussion shop, Saturday afternoons are for drum circles. You don’t need to be a master percussionist; you don’t even need to bring your own drum. Whether you’re an avid drummer or you’ve never touched an instrument before, join in the circle and let the rhythms take you where they will. Good vibes guaranteed.
In addition to writing and serving as Assistant Managing Editor for Space Coast Magazines, Heather Motro writes the sustainability blog The Blergh, manages social media for the Marine Resources Council and was co-Editor-in-Chief of Holy Trinity High School’s award-winning yearbook, The Tigrium. She is a member of Clemson University Honors College Class of ’24 (go Tigers!).