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The 24 miles of pristine, windswept beaches 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 campers and nature lovers – and Playalinda Beach at the south end, which is surfer central.

Mosquito Lagoon, with islands and mangroves teeming with wildlife, hugs the west side of the barrier island. Rent kayaks in Cocoa Beach. Rangers offer pontoon boat tours (per person $20) from the visitor information center on most Sundays. From June through August, rangers lead groups on nightly sea turtle nesting tours (adult/child 8-16yr $14/free; 7am-11:30pm); reservations required.