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    Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Considering a trip down to Kennedy Space Center and was suggested to stay in Cocoa Beach area. Going with a family (9 year old and wife).

    Anyone has any good tips, e.g. how many days to spend at KSC (was told at least 2 but that comes from the KSC Customer Service, so they might inflate the time required)? I've read several guides but as I always find in the past, my fellow Cyclones can always provide insights that cannot be found in the book.

    Anyone think Cocoa Beach is a good place or Cape Canaveral is a better place to stay? Since KSC closes at 7, we can still have some time to enjoy the beach.

    Thanks!



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    We were visiting family in Orlando when we went last. We were in the NE part of Orlando and drove out that morning, seems like it was only about a 45 minute drive.

    It was a fabulous place to go, we hadn't been there since the kids were little and we had done it as a side trip with Disney. In the years in between, they put a building up with the entire Saturn 5 set up and many displays and videos. Check their website to see if anything is launching, there was a launch the day we were there, private satellite or something.

    We drove down to Cocoa afterwards and hung on the beach a little, then went back to Orlando. Not sure, I am sure there are places in Cocoa to stay but it was a very easy drive from Orlando too.



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    I've been to KSC a few years ago. I feel most people would spend .5 - 1 day there. I spent a .5 day there due to limited time, saw most things, however could've stretched it out to a day at a more thorough and leisurely pace.

    As for Cape Canaveral vs Cocoa Beach, they're right next to each other and I didn't see a vast difference of the two. It's like asking about staying in WDM, Clive, or Urbandale.

    For restaurants, I've been to Florida's Seafood Bar and Grill and Roberto's Little Havana, both being excellent places.



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Just another option to throw in there, Canaveral National Seashore has a small road you can drive on for a couple bucks, see some wildlife and swampy stuff. Also, the beach in there is wide open and not commercialized at all, lot different from Cocoa Beach. Just depends on what you are looking for.



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    We were there a couple of winters back. We spent an entire day, took the extended tour around the center. It was just hubby & I though, no kids. Enjoying a full day depends on how interested in the space program your 9 year old is. We stayed in Cocoa Beach, but that was due to nostalgia. My father was a Boeing AeroE on loan to NASA from 1966 to 1969; I was a couple of years older than your kid. Daddy's responsibilities included the crawler and the launch tower. We lived in Cocoa Beach during the heyday of the Apollo program, and could see the launches from our front yard.

    Cocoa and Cocoa Beach are two different towns. Cocoa is on the mainland. Cocoa Beach is actually on an elongated sandy spit formed by the Indian & Banana rivers (bisected by Merritt Island) separating it from the mainland. The beach hotels are in Cocoa Beach.

    One of my favorite things to do when we lived there was take our kayak out on the rivers and paddle around exploring all the tiny islands. There are several small boat rentals along the rivers that rent kayaks & canoes. No gators, but plenty of other wildlife (including rattlensnakes, so be careful). The river is brackish water, so it wasn't uncommon back then to have porpoises and manatees in the canal behind our house. With all of the development now, that may no longer be true.

    Most of the things I knew & enjoyed there are long gone, or built over. It was different seeing it again...with much older eyes...



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Btw they have something I think they call the rocket garden with a bunch of rockets on display and places for the kids to go sit like they are in a capsule. My kids were in college when we last went but they still loved it, guessing your 9 year old will. They even opened up some kind of ride that I skipped cause I am a chicken.



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Datona is close. If you are looking for something to do you could go to the racetrack and then go drive on the Beach.

    Can't recomend where to stay. I prefer the Florida gulf coast.


    If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can't Swim."
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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Kennedy Space Center will not disappoint but one day should suffice.


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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    We were just there this summer. One day is enough unless you want to take the "extra" tours. That would run you into a 2nd day plus an extra $26 per head per tour. Cocoa Beach has more "stuff" and lodging options, from hotels to condo rentals. If you're staying several days to a week or more, I'd recommend VRBO.com. We stayed in Satellite Beach, but Cocoa Beach is fine. Hit a restaurant on the Cocoa Beach Pier for the novelty--the food is ok. Of course, you have to visit Ron Jon's. Drive down to Patrick AFB for less crowded beaches.



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyvilian View Post
    We were just there this summer. One day is enough unless you want to take the "extra" tours. That would run you into a 2nd day plus an extra $26 per head per tour. Cocoa Beach has more "stuff" and lodging options, from hotels to condo rentals. If you're staying several days to a week or more, I'd recommend VRBO.com. We stayed in Satellite Beach, but Cocoa Beach is fine. Hit a restaurant on the Cocoa Beach Pier for the novelty--the food is ok. Of course, you have to visit Ron Jon's. Drive down to Patrick AFB for less crowded beaches.
    Ron Jon's was a dinky little shack when I was there...but it was a very popular place for teens to congregate (I wasn't quite old enough, but my sisters were). It is so HUGE now...



  11. #11
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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Quote Originally Posted by ImJustKCClone View Post
    Ron Jon's was a dinky little shack when I was there...but it was a very popular place for teens to congregate (I wasn't quite old enough, but my sisters were). It is so HUGE now...
    HUGE is right. They've made themselves into a must-see tourist souvenir destination.



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach



    THIS is how I remember Ron Jon's. :)

    Older teens watched the submarine night races from under the pier. ;)



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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Wow. That definitely predates my time there. Now they're the largest surf shop in the world so they claim.

    Submarine races...riiiight. Can't see them at night.




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    Re: Kennedy Space Center & Cocoa Beach

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyvilian View Post
    Wow. That definitely predates my time there. Now they're the largest surf shop in the world so they claim.

    Submarine races...riiiight. Can't see them at night.

    Didn't stop the teenagers from trying, though!



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