My family has with the exception of one trip driven to Walt Disney World. Driving or getting a rental car gives you the freedom you don’t always get when flying to Orlando. With the coast just a little under an hour drive from the Walt Disney World Resort we have drove over a couple of times on our past trips. We first went over in 2003 when we were going on our cruise on the Disney Wonder, that is when we decided that some day we when we return we should head back to the coast to visit Cape Canaveral to tour NASA. When we headed back to WDW in 2005 with my little cousin we took 3 days at the end of our stay and drove over to Cape Canaveral, we toured the complex and we really enjoyed it! It is a mix of walking and taking a ride on a bus to some of the different areas of the complex. You really learn a lot from the experience and I would recommend it to everyone, especially if you have someone in your group that loves space and history! Alas this is something for another post, but for now let’s get back to other parts of the space coast!
Not only is Cape Canaveral a home to NASA it is also a very big and thriving port for cruise ships and cargo ships, and a few marine animals thrown into the mix. Port Canaveral is home to Jetty Park, Jetty Park offers campgrounds, fishing areas, viewing areas for leaving ships and animal watching, also a very pretty beach. We have been to the coast three times and enjoy it very much, but this past trip in May of 2012 we wanted to watch the Disney Dream leave port and have a few hours of walking on the beach and relaxing so we decided to take a visit to Jetty Park. It is $10 for parking and access to the park for non residents for the day but it has so much to offer that it is well worth it.
The main building at the park offers restrooms and a bait shop I believe if you want to fish. I walked along the beach for awhile and enjoyed the water and sand, it was so peaceful and nice. After awhile when it got closer to time for the ships to leave my father and I walked out on the pier to watch the ships leave. We got a special treat while waiting, we got to see sea turtles, a manatee and even some dolphins! This day couldn’t get any better for me, it was my first time viewing a manatee, sea turtles and even dolphins in the wild. They all are so beautiful and graceful to watch.
After awhile of watching it came time for the ships to leave, we waved good bye to those on board the ships as the sailed out into the sunset on a voyage that was sure to be a magic one especially for those on the Disney Dream ( I have to note those passengers seem the happiest out of all the ships we saw). We drove back to Orlando after the day was over and got back for dinner and still had time to enjoy the evening.
So if you’re looking for a day at the coast or away from Orlando ,head to the Space Coast for a fun family friendly day!