Looking for space coast budget friendly activities? Look no further than the area of Rockledge, Cocoa, and Titusville. This area is known as the “space coast” due to its famous rocket launches from the Kennedy Space Center. While the Space Center itself if expensive to visit, you can catch a rocket launch from many of the beaches here for free! Check out the schedule from KSC.
In addition, while you’re here possibly catching a view of a launch, there are many other beautiful spots to visit in the space coast area. Most are free, and sparsely populated. Check out our list below and the map at the bottom to view locations:
1. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge – Free and $10 a car for Black Point Drive
This is one of the biggest national wildlife refuges in the area and one of the best of our space coast budget friendly activities. It has something for everyone. For fishing, you can head out to the Haulover Canal kayak launch (see map) or you can head to Parrish Park, which sits just past the bridge and has little beach areas. If you are hiking, you can hike sand pine trail. If you would just like to take a short walk on a boardwalk, you can stop by the visitors center, which is open 9-4, Monday through Saturday.
The most famous part of the wildlife refuge is called Black Point Drive. The website claims that is is 7 miles long, but it is much longer than that! It takes about an hour or so to drive through. Here you will see gators, turtles, tons of birds, snakes, and more. Bring a camera and some binoculars! There are two stops at mile 4 and mile 9 that you can get out of the car and explore a small trail. There is also a restroom at mile 9.
2. Sand Point Park – FREE
This park, located right on the river, is a great spot to launch your boat or kayak. It is right by the A. Max Brewer Bridge. The park also has a large and free splash pad, a playground, and more! There is a walking and running path that runs through the park. It is a huge park with a nice view and a perfect spot to have a picnic with your family or friends. Often people rent pavilions here for birthday parties and family reunions. It is usually not too crowded, unless there is a rocket launch! If you’re coming from out of town to view a launch from the park, arrive early because it fills up. In the summer, they also host a free movies in the park series!
3. Enchanted Forest Sanctuary – FREE
The enchanted forest sanctuary has a huge network of trails for hikers and nature lovers. Indoors, the sanctuary also has a nature center and hosts classes for kids and home-schoolers. Inside you can also use the restroom and grab a map of the trails – you will want one! Outside, you will find a butterfly garden and tons of trails. Many of the trails are titled “mesic hammock” trails, which means they are shaded by a canopy of trees. So crucial here in this heat!
Children’s pool, waterslides, diving boards and more! With a concession stand in the summer, a half day can easily be spent here in the pool. There are lanes for lap swimming and a playground as well.
This is a family owned farm in Mims, opened various times in the year for sunflower maze, strawberry picking, local vegetables and more. $5 Entry fee per person for the sunflower maze. See their facebook page (click title above) for daily updates on openings and closures due to the weather.
This conservation area is a small loop that you can walk or drive. Many people come here to view wildlife up close, such a birds or alligators. It is completely free and is a short trip to drive around the dirt path. Photographers and bird watchers would enjoy this spot the most. Easy place to make a short stop and take a break in nature.
If you are a plant and gardening lover, as we are in our family, you will really enjoy this particular nursery. It boasts a weekly farmers market, a slide for the kids, a barn with decorations for sale, and a beautiful garden. They sell every plant you could want as well! There is an entire section of vegetables, and another one for fruit trees. We have really enjoyed coming here just to walk around, or to attend one of their free events – check the schedule on their website for free events, workshops, and more.
This is a local spot to window shop – or actually spend some time shopping. There are many local craft stores, a donut shop, a olive oil shop, and much more. Next to the shopping area, there is also a park with a nice playground for children. It has a short path for taking a walk along the river.
9. EverAfter Farms– (blueberry picking April/May)
This family owned farm hosts weddings and also has blueberry picking in the spring! at $5 per pound for blueberries, you can get a huge bag for MUCH less than the stores! It was a fun (but hot… bring the sunscreen) experience for us. On site they have hayrides and a petting zoo, for an additional charge.
10. East Central Rail to Trail – FREE
Last but not least, for the cyclists and runners out there, check out the central Florida east central rail to trail. It runs for miles and miles (50+!), you can head towards Orlando or towards downtown Titusville. The trail is paved asphalt. You can click the link above to view the map of different parking areas. I recommend parking at the Aurantia Road trail head (see map below).
That wraps up the space coast budget friendly activities in the Rockledge, Cocoa, and Titusville areas. If you are looking further south, visit our page on the Melbourne and Palm Bay area as well!