Canaveral National Seashore

Space Coast

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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Space Coast attractions

1. Klondike Beach

0.54 MILES

The stretch between Apollo and Playalinda is as pristine as it gets: there are no roads and it's accessible only on foot or by bike (if you are skilled…

3. Playalinda Beach

7.98 MILES

At the southern end of Mosquito Lagoon, Playalinda is popular with surfers. Boardwalks provide beach access, but only 2 miles of park road parallel the…

4. Space View Park

11.25 MILES

Directly across the Indian River Lagoon from Kennedy Space Center, this park is one of the best spots on the coast from which to observe launches. Its 2…

5. Apollo Beach

11.51 MILES

This 6-mile beach, at the northern end of the park and immediately south of New Smyrna, attracts families. It has boardwalk access (wheelchair accessible)…

6. Eldora State House Museum

12.9 MILES

Eldora was a small waterfront community of around 100 citrus farmers and fishers, many of them veterans of the Civil War, who settled here between 1877…

7. Turtle Mound

14.38 MILES

Located at the northern end of Mosquito Lagoon, Turtle Mound is the largest shell midden in the mainland United States. It stands around 50ft high and…

8. Kennedy Space Center

15.78 MILES

Within this 140,000-acre campus, the dreams of some of the greatest scientific minds of the 20th century took flight all the way to the moon and back…