Canaveral National Seashore

National Park in Merritt Island

Image by Jesse Kunerth Shutterstock

The 24 miles of pristine, windswept beaches here comprise the longest stretch of undeveloped beach on Florida's east coast. They include family-friendly Apollo Beach on the north end with its gentle surf, untrammeled Klondike Beach in the middle – a favorite of nature lovers – and Playalinda Beach to the south, which is surfer central and includes a nudist section near lot 13.

Mosquito Lagoon, with islands and mangroves teeming with wildlife, hugs the west side of the barrier island. Rangers offer two-hour pontoon boat tours (per person $20) from the visitor information center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In June and July, rangers lead groups on nightly turtle-nesting tours (adult/child eight to 16 years $14/free; 8pm to midnight); reservations required.

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