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As a cruiser, when Port Canaveral, Florida comes to mind, you likely associate it with the beginning or conclusion of your cruise adventures. Whether you plan to arrive early on a Snooze & Cruise Package or extend your cruise vacation with a stay on Florida’s Space Coast, there’s an array of activities available for cruise passengers to enjoy while spending time in the area.
Port Canaveral is not only the busiest cruise port in the world but also an enticing out-of-this-world destination that everyone should explore and experience at least once or many times in their lives. Here’s a list catered to cruise ship passengers who are looking to fill up their time with fun things to do and see in the area before or after their cruise.
Port Canaveral is located on Florida’s Space Coast 45 minutes east of Orlando International Airport. It’s the busiest cruise port in the world, with most cruise itineraries transporting passengers to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Given that this cruise port is the busiest in the world, most passengers choose to arrive early and take advantage of Snooze & Cruise Packages offered by many area hotels. These packages cover all your pre-cruise travel needs, including hotel accommodations and airport and cruise transfers.
Most hotels offering these packages are located in nearby Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. What’s the difference between Cape Canaveral and Port Canaveral? We cover that here.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a captivating destination that offers a unique and immersive experience at the heart of space exploration. Located about 16 miles from the cruise port, the complex serves as the gateway to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, providing visitors with an opportunity to witness the incredible achievements of space exploration up close.
From iconic spacecraft and rocket exhibits to interactive astronaut encounters, the visitor complex offers an educational and thrilling journey through the history and future of space exploration. Visitors can explore the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit, touch a moon rock, and even participate in astronaut encounters to gain insights into the challenges and triumphs of space travel. With a blend of educational exhibits, awe-inspiring artifacts, and hands-on experiences, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers a memorable and inspiring adventure for space enthusiasts of all ages.
The Cove is the entertainment district of Port Canaveral that is home to several waterfront restaurants and family-friendly activities. It is located right next to Cruise Terminal 1.
With several waterfront restaurants to choose from, the options are endless. From bar bites to full-course meals, you can indulge in local seafood dishes such as shrimp tacos, shark kabobs, grilled mahi-mahi, and much more. There are also endless opportunities for fun at The Cove. Check out all the details here.
The Brevard Zoo, located about 30 minutes south of Port Canaveral, features a variety of exhibits showcasing animals from different regions of the world. Some of the exhibits include Expedition Africa, Wild Florida, Lands of Change: Australia and Beyond, and the Paws On Play area. Each exhibit is designed to provide a naturalistic environment for the animals while allowing visitors to observe and learn about them.
In addition to animal exhibits, the Brevard Zoo offers various attractions and activities such as kayaking tours, a train ride, a zip line course, and a tree-to-tree climbing adventure. These attractions provide visitors with unique perspectives and experiences within the zoo.
Historic Cocoa Village is a charming and historic district located in Cocoa, about 20 minutes from Port Canaveral. It’s a popular destination for shopping and dining, where visitors can find quaint shops, boutiques, and art galleries. There are also several restaurants and cafes where visitors can enjoy a meal.
Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, both situated along Florida’s Space Coast, boast beautiful beaches that attract locals and tourists alike. Here’s an overview of the beaches in these areas:
The Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum in Titusville is dedicated to preserving and showcasing historic military aircraft, particularly warbirds from various eras. The museum boasts an impressive collection of vintage military aircraft, ranging from World War I to the present day. Visitors can explore a diverse array of warbirds, including fighters, bombers, trainers, and reconnaissance aircraft. The collection includes both restored and operational aircraft, allowing enthusiasts to get a close look at these historic flying
Indulging in craft cocktails the night before you set sail creates a perfect prelude to your adventure, setting the stage for relaxation and anticipation. The Alibi in Cocoa Beach is an upscale cocktail bar and restaurant specializing in handcrafted cocktails, fine wines, craft beer, and chef-driven small plates. The decor pays homage to the golden age of speakeasies and supper clubs with exquisite lighting, luxurious wall coverings, and multiple intimate seating areas.
Many nature tour options in the Port Canaveral area offer eco-friendly tours that may include kayak tours, airboat tours, wildlife tours, bird-watching tours, and guided boat tours. These tours provide a chance to observe local wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, alligators, and other native flora and fauna. Check out a comprehensive list of tour operators here.
Cocoa Beach provides excellent bike-friendly paths along the coastline and throughout scenic areas. Rent a bicycle or an E-bike from Cocoa Beach Surf Company, where rentals start at only $10.
The Canaveral National Seashore stretches across 24 miles of undeveloped barrier island along Florida’s Atlantic coast, just north of Port Canaveral. The seashore is renowned for its natural beauty, featuring a diverse range of ecosystems, including dunes, salt marshes, lagoons, and maritime hammocks. It is home to some of the most pristine and unspoiled beaches in Florida. Visitors can enjoy long stretches of sandy shoreline, where activities like beachcombing, birdwatching, and swimming are popular.
The Cocoa Beach Pier is a popular landmark featuring restaurants, bars, shops, and fishing opportunities. The lively atmosphere makes it a great place to stroll, shop, dine, and enjoy live music. Stop by the Rikki Tiki Tavern, located at the end of the 800-foot-long pier, which features spectacular ocean views, open-air seating and specialty drinks.
Discover a diverse range of fishing charter experiences departing daily from Port Canaveral. Whether you prefer a full-day adventure, a 3/4-day excursion, or a half-day outing, these charters offer flexibility to suit your preferences and accommodate your party, making them ideal for both seasoned anglers and beginners, including kids.
Embark on an offshore fishing expedition to target Florida gamefish like king mackerel, wahoo, mahi-mahi, and sailfish. Venture to the backside of the Gulf Stream for encounters with yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, and white marlin. The best time to fish is year-round, with each month bringing different opportunities.
Jetty Park is situated at the entrance of Port Canaveral. One of the main attractions of Jetty Park is its beautiful beach, offering a pristine stretch of shoreline where visitors can relax, sunbathe, swim, and enjoy the coastal scenery. The beach is known for its soft sand and family-friendly atmosphere.
The park features a fishing pier and jetty that extend into the ocean. It’s a popular spot for anglers to try their luck at catching various fish species. The jetty also provides an excellent vantage point for watching cruise ships departing and arriving at Port Canaveral.
Port Canaveral beckons with a vibrant blend of coastal allure and cultural charm. Make the most of your time ashore, create lasting memories that extend beyond the seas, and enrich your overall cruise experience.
Booking your pre-cruise stay on Florida’s Space Coast doesn’t have to be a hassle. Trust our team at Sail Port Canaveral to find the best price and accommodations for you.
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