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Port Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast may be home to the world’s busiest cruise port, but it is also a charming beach town with authentic Florida and family-friendly charm. Nearby cities such as Cocoa Beach and Titusville offer a wealth of activities for you, and there’s something for everyone here that’s easy on the budget.
From culture to exploring nature and hanging beachside, you’ll find that no matter what time of year you visit, these 5 free things to do before your Port Canaveral cruise will set the tone for your cruise vacation. You’ll be glad you arrived early and enjoyed all the area offers.
This 150-year-old area about 15 minutes from Port Canaveral is full of character and charm. During the day, visitors can check out historic buildings, one-of-a-kind storefronts, and local eats such as River Road Coffee & Popsicles, Ossorio, and Ryan’s Pizza & Pub. Not to mention, Cocoa Village’s Riverfront Park is home to a splash pad and playground for kids to enjoy. You may even see some locals walking their dogs as Cocoa Village is very pet friendly.
At night, this quaint district comes to life. From painting a masterpiece at Painting with a Twist and theatre shows at Cocoa Village Playhouse to trivia and karaoke nights at the Village Idiot Pub, there’s something for just about everyone. The Village Biergarten serves authentic German food with live music most nights while Villa Palma serves authentic Italian and craft cocktails with live music. There’s no charge to walk around the area, and there is complimentary parking available. Swing by and discover why strolling the streets of Cocoa Village is an enjoyable experience.
600 Florida Ave #104, Cocoa, FL 32922 | VisitCocoaVillage.com
Kick off your shoes and walk the sunny shores of Florida’s Space Coast. Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach are the closest beaches to the port.
There are four locations in Cape Canaveral that provide Mobi-Mats for those who need assistance getting on the beach. What’s a Mobi-mat® you may ask? Mobi-mat® is a portable and durable mat system that is designed to provide accessibility to beaches, parks, and other outdoor locations for individuals with limited abilities. These beaches are free to peruse, and there is no charge for parking at Cape Canaveral beaches (except Jetty Park.)
Cocoa Beach is home to the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier. It’s centrally located and provides all the amenities you need for a great day at the beach including volleyball courts, lifeguards, onsite showers, and dining options. Some amenities at the pier are complimentary to use; however, there is a charge for parking. Lori Wilson Park is one of the few public beach access points left in Cocoa Beach that provides complimentary parking. There are free showers and restrooms on-site, too.
Not up for the beach but want to explore the beach culture? Check out the Kelly Slater Statue at the entrance of Downtown Cocoa Beach. Who is Kelly? He is an 11-time world champion surfer who grew up in Cocoa Beach. Or check out the Florida Surf Museum for $3 per person. Cocoa Beach Surf Company is also a great spot to grab some last-minute cruise essentials or take a look at their 5,600-gallon fish tank, which is complimentary and part of the store’s ambiance.
Located just a mile from Port Canaveral, Carib Brewery produces 28 different styles of ales, lagers, and ciders. The tap room, also known as the 321 Lime house, overlooks the production area and is a great place to unwind before your cruise vacation. They have daily events such as Run Club on Monday (free beer if you participate!), Trivia on Thursdays, Open Mic on Fridays, and live music on Saturdays. Happy Hour takes place Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Brewery Tours are available Monday through Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. Let their team walk you through the process and see how they make grain into a brew. The tour also includes an immersive tasting with six beers of your choice.
200 Imperial Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | CaribBreweryUsa.com
Florida’s Space Coast is home to Kennedy Space Center, where rockets are being launched on the regular. There were 57 rocket launches in 2022, and in 2023, there are 80+ rockets projected to launch from here. If you can’t make it for a launch, there are other ways to explore Space history on the Space Coast.
Space View Park in Titusville is north of Port Canaveral and close to Downtown Titusville. This is the first and only park in America that honors astronauts and those who helped America lead the world in space exploration. Throughout the park, you can walk through the history of space and compare your handprints to those of Mercury astronauts. This park is free to visit and will help whet your appetite when it comes to all things space.
8 Broad Street, Titusville, FL 32796 | Space View Park
Guests staying at one of the area’s hotels that offer Snooze & Cruise Packages will love the option of taking a dip in the pool before they set sail. The Radisson Resort at the Port has an expansive pool with a waterfall. Plus, a smaller, kid-friendly pool, hot tub, and poolside restaurant. There’s really no better way to start a vacation than to take it easy poolside.
The city of Cape Canaveral offers a complimentary splash pad to both residents and visitors. Cape Canaveral City Park splash pad is open Monday – Saturday at 10 a.m. Closed Sunday. Additional splash pads are located in Cocoa Village, Sand Point Park in Titusville (close to Space View Park), and Avenue Viera.
With all the fun and free things to explore before your Port Canaveral cruise vacation, consider arriving early and taking part in one of the area’s many Snooze & Cruise Packages. Kick off vacation early and create memories that will last a lifetime.
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.
CALL US TODAY! 321.783.8655
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