Have you ever gone for a surf in the morning, paddled out to the break, looked up and seen a rocket launching into outer space? Neither have we.
But we didn’t get your hopes up for nothing.Florida’s Space Coast is known for sunny beaches, warm water you never need more than a 3/2mm in, and for sending rockets to outer space. Also for sending Kelly Slater, well, just sending Kelly Slater. You’ve got 72 miles of surf up and down the coast with launch views to explore. Stretching for 25 miles along the central east coast, Cape Canaveral itself is the site of frequent take-offs of NASA spacecraft. So if you’re from out of town, let’s say way out of town, and need to catch a ride home, this is your spaceport.
Some of the best surfers in the state come from this stretch, including 11 time world champion Mr. Slater. Has he seen a rocket launch while hanging a left? Is that how he learned his focus? We’re unsure, but the opportunity awaits.
No matter what planet you’re from, we wanted to provide a little guide to where to go, sleep and surf, and suggest a few things to eat besides that astronaut ice cream (but there’s that, too).
First, A Handy Map
And Here’s the Lowdown…
Where to Eat
Cafe Surfanista: Coffee and grub. Melbourne Beach
Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burritos: Making the argument for largest burrito in Florida. Satellite Beach
Long Doggers: Trust us. Satellite Beach
Jazzy’s Mainely Lobster: Eat your heart out. Cocoa Beach
Ocean 302: Seafood, Pizzas, Craft Beers. Melbourne Beach
And Where Just to Get a Drink
Grills Riverside Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar: Guitars and tiki bars
Earl’s Hideaway Lounge: see above^
Intracoastal Brewing: Host to local events and rotating taps
Meg O’Malleys: an Irish pub for all your late-night needs.
Where to Stay
The Azure Estate: Steps from the sand. Melbourne Beach
Port D’Hiver B&B: Breakfast in bed? Melbourne Beach
Crowne Plaza: There’s a pool—a big pool. Not a wave pool. Melbourne Beach
What to Do When the Waves Aren’t Good
Kennedy Space Center: Consider your mind blown
Rent paddleboards: PSA these require coordination
The Brevard Zoo: get wild
Mountain Bike: Florida may be pretty flat, but the Grapefruit Trail is a good time. Palm Bay
Where to Surf
Sebastian Inlet: Could make a case that this is the most important site for competitive surfing on the East Coast. Melbourne Beach
Picnic Tables at Patrick Air Force Base: Prepare for takeoff.
Playalinda Beach at Canaveral National Seashore: Private (but we hear it’s nice).
Out To Launch?
One way to find out when the next launch is would be to look up in the sky until you see a rocket and smoke. Another way would be with Launch Console app. It’ll count you down to everything, whether it’s SpaceX or NASA. And the launch compass will point you in the right direction to look with some nifty AR if you’re nearby.