Florida’s Space Coast – Four Ways To Explore Nature
For those seeking fresh air and nature, the Space Coast of Florida has all that and more in its many beach and wildlife parks.
When thinking of Cape Canaveral, the first thing that comes to mind is rockets heading off into space. However, the Space Coast around Cape Canaveral has plenty to offer anyone wanting to get away in nature. Here are four options to choose from.
1. Manatee Sanctuary Park, Cape Canaveral
Located on the FL A1A route, Manatee Sanctuary Park nestles on the Banana River, with 10 acres of riverfront to enjoy. Seeing manatees is not 100 percent guaranteed – the wonderful creatures have a protected breeding area in the river. However, they are sometimes known to feed on seagrass along the boardwalk which makes for a fascinating sight.
Besides spotting manatees, the Manatee Sanctuary Park also offers picnic tables and grills, with a covered pavilion for shade. Those who want to exercise can take advantage of a paved fitness trail and ten exercise stations. Visitors can also take advantage of a Zagster Bike Share station, allowing them to cycle through the park. There is also a playground for the kids and dogs are allowed, as long as they are kept on the leash.
2. Hightower Beach Park, Satellite Beach
This lovely natural park offers a stretch of beautiful sand, hugged by dunes. However, the park is more than sunbathing and swimming, as the city encourages visitors to learn about how unique the dune and beach system is. This is to make a difference in the area and conserve the park.
Visitors are also urged to walk or use a bicycle to explore the park and can stroll on the boardwalk that lines the beach. It is also possible to visit an observation pavilion with stunning views over the ocean. Amenities include outdoor showers, restrooms, and parking. While the beach is ideal for children, parents are warned there is no lifeguard service.
3. Turkey Creek Sanctuary, Palm Bay
Heading to Palm Bay, Florida, the Turkey Creek Sanctuary is a small nature reserve, managed by the Eel program, the Audubon Society, and the city of Palm Bay. A boardwalk trail runs through the wet hammock of the park through to the sand pine scrub communities. This is an ideal spot to catch sight of the wildlife, native plants, and birds of the area.
Some of the boardwalks stretch along Turkey Creek, allowing access by canoe or kayak. While in the sanctuary visit the Margaret Hames Nature Center to view the interpretive exhibits and make use of the gift shop and restrooms. In the case of this park, bicycles and dogs are not allowed, except for service animals.
4. Joy & Gordon Patterson Botanical Garden, Melbourne
This beautiful botanical garden is set at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida. A pleasant walking trail heads through the campus and into a shady area of palm trees. These gardens have been created to protect the natural flora and fauna of the area.
Visitors can look, but not touch, as they are warned not to tamper with or cut the plant life in the botanical gardens. Families with children are also warned to take care, as there are several water features throughout the garden. There are also a number of specimens of plants that are poisonous to humans. The best way to enjoy the botanical gardens is to keep to the walking trails and ensure children do not get too close to the plants.
Enjoy the great outdoors along the Space Coast on your next Florida vacation, for a rewarding and refreshing experience.