Port Canaveral, situated in the center of Florida’s east coast, is recognized as the second busiest cruise port in the world. People flock to this bustling port for all sorts of different reasons, but perhaps the most influential one is its proximity to Orlando’s famous theme parks (Walt Disney World and Universal). Since this port is positioned around so many fun and exciting attractions along the Space Coast, you’ll never run out of things to do. Without further ado, here are five places to bring your entire family in Port Canaveral.
5. Jetty Park
400 Jetty Park Rd
Cape Canaveral. FL 32920
If you’re an outdoorsy traveler that appreciates the beauty of nature, you’re going to want to pay a visit to Jetty Park. With a family beach encompassing 4.5 acres and over 150 camp sites, there’s no better spot to vacation with the kids and relax by the ocean. Since there’s a lifeguard on duty, you don’t have to worry about your little ones in the water. The park also has a 1,200 foot fishing pier, Malcolm E. McLouth, which is ideal for anglers or travelers who want to walk along the pier and see the ships come in.
4. Cocoa Beach
While you’re visiting Port Canaveral, it would be a sin not to spend the day at Cocoa Beach. This attraction (only 15 minutes away from Port Canaveral) is so much more than just a beach, so don’t think all you’ll see is the shore. Visit the Cocoa Beach Pier for some incredible fishing or hit up the world famous Ron Jon Surf Shop for a shopping spree. Take a walk on the wild side and tour the city on a personal helicopter tour or take a jungle cruise at the “largest gator farm in Florida,” Jungle Adventures.
3. Kennedy Space Center
Less than twenty minutes away from Port Canaveral is the attraction that everyone talks about: Kennedy Space Center. Explore Space Shuttle Atlantis, NASA’s space craft that journeyed through space for 307 days and accumulated a total mileage of 126 million. Find out what it’s like for astronauts in space during the Shuttle Launch Experience, a thrilling simulation that feels so real you’ll think you’re shooting off into infinity and beyond! Guided tours that will show you the ins and outs of the facility include the KSC Bus Tour, KSC Up-Close Launch Control Center Tour, KSC Up-Close Cape Canaveral: Then & Now Tour and the KSC Up-Close Explore Tour. Just make sure that you book these in advance, since they’re known to fill up fast.
2. Universal & Islands of Adventure
6000 Universal Blvd
Orlando, FL 32819
These popular parks may be 54 minutes away from Port Canaveral, but all of the fun and thrills you’ll have will make the drive worth it. Universal Orlando is actually made up of two parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. While the first park (opened in 1990) still has a few notable attractions like Terminator 2: 3-D, Revenge of the Mummy and Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, the second park takes the cake. Islands of Adventure made its grand debut in 1999 and was ranked 7th among theme parks in the U.S. in 2013. Some of the well-known rides you have to check out include The Incredible Hulk, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dragon Challenge and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. However, the trip wouldn’t be complete unless you stroll through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and taste some butter beer.
1. Walt Disney World
Orlando, FL 32830
Can you really visit Port Canaveral without traveling to the most magical place on Earth? Since Walt Disney World is located about 56 minutes away from the port, you might want to spend a few days in Orlando so you can really experience the whole resort for what it’s worth. Disney brings out the inner child in all of us, making it the perfect spot for a family-friendly vacation. There are four theme parks: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. Take your whole group to all of the parks by using park hopper tickets or spread out the visits on different days. Either way, you’re never going to want to leave the place where all of your dreams come true.
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