National Wildlife Refuge
There is a visitors centre which can provide you with info on flora and fauna.
Black Point Wildlife Drive is a 6 mile loop. It's free to all & makes for a nice, gentle, quiet and relaxed self-guided nature tour.
I have been here twice and each visit afforded me different sightings of animals. The second trip coincided with migrating birds stopping here for rest bite. Birds included some beautiful spoonbills.
The kids loved this little trail, excitedly looking out for gators of which there wre unfortuantely very few wishing to be seen.
My youngest son still maintains he saw an elephant but I'll let you make your own mind up about that!!!!!
- National/State Park
- Family Travel
Visit Kennedy Space Center
A visit to KSC is a must if you are in the Merritt Island area. The Visitors Complex is much more impressive than the air and space museum in Washington DC (in my humble opinion) since KSC is where the real action is.
I have been spoiled in the past, going on the VIP tours of KSC where I was able to view the launch platforms up close and personal since my Grandad gave tours to VIPs (I was one of them of course) in early retirement after being an engineer at KSC for 40 years!
Here are some details about admission:
*Space Shuttle 25th Anniversary Celebration* - Special Event
$70.00 adult/$50.00 child (ages 3-11)
Friday, April 7- This is your chance for an up-close and personal opportunity to share in the excitement as John Young and Bob Crippen tell you their personal stories and experiences of being the crew of the first Space Shuttle mission.
Maximum Access Admission
$38 adult/$28 child (ages 3-11)
Tour Kennedy Space Center, see IMAX? space movies and all exhibits and shows. Also includes the Astronaut Hall of Fame and interactive space-flight simulators.
$31 adult/$21 child (ages 3-11)
Tour Kennedy Space Center, see IMAX? movies and enjoy the exhibits and shows.
ATX - Astronaut Training Experience
$225 adult (includes ATX gear and meal)
Kennedy Space Center's new immersive interactive Astronaut Training Program.
There are more price options on their website.
From Orlando on State Road 528
Travel east on SR 528 until you reach the SR 407 exit going to Kennedy Space Center and Titusville. Take SR 407 until it dead ends into SR 405. Turn right (east) onto SR 405 and follow the signs for Kennedy Space Center. You will travel approximately 9 miles on SR 405. The KSC Visitor Complex will be on your right.
- Family Travel
Merritt Island is one of the best places to see wildlife. If you have not seen some of these creatures free in the wild before, you will feel like you are in the presence of magic when you do see one.
The best way to see them is to get up with the sun on a still day and head to the river. One side of the island is traced by a road called Tropical Trail which follows the Indian River. The ideal way to see the wild life is from a canoe or kayak, but if you merely drive your car along Tropical Trail with one eye to the river, you will see herons, pelicans, osprey, egrets, turns, seagulls, wood peckers, peacocks and possibly the dolphins. There are several parks with docks that jut out into the river for you to pull off at and have a nice breakfast picnic. I recommend sitting on one of these docks with a pair of binoculars and a bottle of sun screen. From this vantage point I’ve seen manatees, dolphins, puffer fish, skates, Jelly fish, lizards, and even a gator.
Often people miss a wildlife sighting because they do not know what to look for.
MANATEE- Often all you see is the bump of their noses coming out of the water or the top of the hump of their bodies, it looks like a log covered with moss. When they swim you see a wake with two sets of rings, one set from their front flippers followed by one set made by their tail. DO NOT TOUCH THEM, FEED THEM, OR ATTEMPT TO CALL THEM OVER TO YOU. Once a manatee’s fear of humans and boats is concurred, it's conquered for good; they will trustingly swim up to motor boats and get chewed up in the propeller. Petting/Feeding manatee = Killing manatee.
DOLPHINS- Mostly what you see is their dorsal fin rising up and down in the water. They swim in a sort of graceful sine wave. Since they move fast, you need to look several feet ahead of the last place you saw the fin to see the next surfacing. If you see a large fast moving wake or an unusual roll in the surface of the water there is probably a dolphin under it.
OSPREY – they nest in dead trees and look like smaller Eagles.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
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