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Best Places to Watch a Rocket Launch

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One of the coolest things about living in Orlando is proximity to the east coast, allowing us to actually see rocket launches! With locations only being about an hour away, it’s the perfect activity for a mini road trip to watch something that’s out-of-this-world (literally)! We’ve gathered some of the best places on the Space Coast for you to enjoy a rocket launch. Pack your bags and hit the road, because we’re about to blast off!

Of course, we had to start this list at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex! Not only can you see future rocket launches, but you can also learn about Florida’s historic rocket launches of the past. This location also offers you the closest viewing spots and live commentary from space experts during the launch.

If you purchase tickets to the Visitor Complex, you’ll have access to watch a launch from “Space Shuttle Atlantis”, the Observatory Gantry, or Banana Creek Launch. You’ll have a a great time learning about literal blasts from the past at the KSC Visitor Complex.

Monday-Sunday | 9AM-5PM

📍Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953

Cherie Down Park is a 6.99-acre beach park featuring sand dunes and seagrasses that are the perfect backdrop for a rocket launch picnic. Whether it’s a daytime launch or a nighttime launch, you’re sure to see the rocket take off over the Atlantic ocean as you sit back and enjoy the sounds of the waves.

Cherie Down Park is also a perfect beach trip location! With restroom amenities and easy access, it’s a local favorite for activities like boogie boarding, surfing, and fishing. If you’re lucky, you might even see an astronaut walk by!

Monday-Sunday | 7AM-7PM

📍8492 Ridgewood Avenue Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

Titusville

If you want to feel like you’re a part of the action, then Playalinda Beach is the place to be! Located along the Canaveral National Seashore, this beach is undeveloped, so it’s known for its pristine environment and serene shoreline. It’s also known as one of the best places to view a rocket launch!

Playalina Beach is part of the National Park Service, so there is an entrance fee, but it’s definitely worth it to be this close to the launch. If you have any questions for your visit, be sure to stop by the Apollo District Visitor Center.

Monday-Sunday | 9AM-5PM

📍Florida State Road 406/402 Titusville, FL 32796

Sand Point Park is one of Titusville’s community parks. Located on the water, it’s a great spot to catch a rocket launch over the bridge. Here you can find playgrounds, pavilions to rent, a splash pad, and even an astronaut memorial at the front of the park to commemorate fallen heroes.

A great thing about Sand Point Park is that it’s free! Experts say the best way to view a night launch is to park by the Max Brewer Bridge and to get there early so you can get a good spot. Pack a picnic for dinner, and enjoy as the rocket lights up the night sky!

7AM-6PM

📍101 N. Washington Ave. Titusville, FL 32796

With a name like Space View Park, you just know the views are going to be good! Space View Park is close to downtown Titusville and only 15 miles away from the launchpad. You can even feel the ground shake during a launch! 

Space View Park was the first and only park in America that honors the men and women who’ve led the way in space exploration. Throughout the park you’ll learn about the history of space and those who helped us get there with the spacewalk of fame. If you’re going for a rocket launch, be sure to get there early to check out the rich history throughout!

Always open

📍8 Broad St. Titusville, FL 32796

Located on both sides of the Max Brewer Bridge is Parrish Park, another fantastic place to watch a rocket launch on the space coast. This 36.6-acre park is a local favorite to launch kayaks, canoes, boats, jet skis and the like, as it leads right up to the security gates of Kennedy Space Center. 

With easy access to the water, this is a great location to launch your boat and watch the rocket launch from the Indian River. If it’s a clear day you can even see the massive Vehicle Assembly Building in the distance.

7AM-7PM

📍1 A. Max Brewer Memorial Pkwy. Titusville, FL 32796

Port Canaveral

Just a little south of Titusville is Port Canaveral, famous for their cruise ships and their prime viewing for rocket launches. Jetty Park holds a campground, beach, a pier, and offers different viewpoints to watch the launch, whether on land or on the water.

With more than 30 acres to explore, there’s something for everyone at Jetty Park, so if you’re going to watch a rocket launch make sure to bring beach supplies or fishing gear. It’s a great spot to set up camp for the night, especially if you plan on catching a night launch!

Monday-Sunday | 7AM-9PM

📍9035 Campground Circle Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

Sit back and relax along the Banana River in bleacher seating as you watch a rocket launch across the water! This is one of the best spots to watch because there is plenty of seating for everyone to space out and watch. Grab a picnic basket, blankets, and get ready for some spectacular views!

This is also a great area to launch a boat and watch the rocket launch from the water. After the launch head across the bridge to enjoy a drink (or two) at the tiki bars right along the water. It will be a night to remember! 

Always open.

📍FL 401 Cape Canaveral 32920

Get a bird’s eye view of a rocket launch from the 7-story Space Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral! This tower has 2 observation decks, interactive exhibits, as well as a 5,000 square foot event space. Not only can you see rocket launches from the tower, but you can also watch cruise ships and boats coming in and out of the port.

The Exploration Tower at Power Canaveral is nestled right in downtown Port Canaveral, so you can easily make a day of it by bopping around the shops and bars. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars to the top of the tower so you can look for native wildlife in the area!

Monday-Thursday | Closed
Friday-Saturday | 10AM-5PM
Sunday | 10:30AM-5PM

📍670 Dave Nisbet Dr. Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

Cocoa Beach

Stretching 800 ft over the Atlantic Ocean, Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier is a historic landmark in Florida and is a great place to watch a rocket launch. With 5 different restaurants and bars to choose from, it’s also a great spot to grab a bite to eat or a few drinks before watching the blastoff!

You can also bring your fishing gear or rent equipment from the shop, as well as rent beach equipment to spend the day out on the water. It gets busy during the rocket launches, so make sure to get there early to secure your spot!

Monday-Thursday | 11AM-8PM
Friday | 11AM-10PM
Saturday | 8:30AM-10PM
Sunday | 8:30AM-8PM

📍401 Meade Ave. Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

Named after the famed astronaut, Alan Shepard Park is a fun, 5-acre, oceanfront park that allows for perfect rocket launch views over the ocean! Bring your surfboard, boogie board, and picnic basket to camp out while waiting for the show. You can make a trip of it and stay the night at a hotel nearby or just hang out for the day! At the park, there are 10 large picnic pavilions and smaller shaded picnic areas to enjoy as well.

Monday-Sunday | 8AM-7PM

📍299 East Cocoa Beach Pkwy. Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

Last on our list is Sidney Fisher Park. Located right on the Atlantic Ocean, Sidney Fischer Park is a 10-acre oceanfront park that is an ideal space for a dip in the ocean. You can bring your pool floaties and watch a rocket launch while swimming in the water! 

You can also bring your surfboard and catch some waves or enjoy a beach day with your friends and family. Cocoa Beach is the perfect day trip and one of the coolest ways to watch a rocket launch. How lucky are we that we live near such a cool place to enjoy?!

Monday-Sunday | 8AM-6PM

📍2200 North Atlantic Ave. Cocoa Beach, FL 32931

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Thinking of watching a rocket launch? Check out these awesome spots on the Space Coast and be sure to follow @StuffToDoInOrlando  and tag us in your pics! 

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