Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line LIVE! Guidebook
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Exploring Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach

Exploring Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach

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Some of Florida’s best beaches line the Space Coast. Cocoa Beach offers miles of soft, white sand and rolling surf. Beach access is easy, with public access points every few blocks. There’s metered parking at the public accesses, or walk from the nearby motels. Cocoa Beach Pier at 401 Meade Ave. offers a variety of on-pier restaurants. For a back-to-nature experience, Canaveral National Seashore’s Playalinda Beach is just north of the Kennedy Space Center boundary line. The long, gorgeous beach is protected by a tall sand dune and has great views of the Kennedy Space Center gantries. The park opens at 6:00 am and closes at 6:00 pm winters, 8:00 pm in the summer. Camping on the beach is no longer allowed. Park fee is $5/car, or use your National Parks pass. Take I-95 to Titusville exit 220 then SR 406 east to the park. For additional information, call 321-267-1110 or visit http://www.nps.gov/cana.

Black Point Wildlife Drive

Endangered species such as bald eagles, manatees, and sea turtles call this area home. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, just north of the Space Center, offers hiking trails and incredible wildlife viewing. On your way in, stop by the Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center for information and some museum-style exhibits featuring the wildlife—there’s also a delightful boardwalk over a freshwater pond in the back. The seven-mile Black Point Wildlife Drive ($5/car fee) offers views of many kinds of birds, alligators, river otters, bobcats, and snakes. We visited the wildlife refuge just before sunset one December and were treated to beautiful panoramas and the sight of many birds roosting for the evening. A special manatee viewing platform is located at the northeast side of Haulover Canal, located on the road to Playalinda Beach (see above). Call 321-861-5601 or visit http://fws.gov/merrittisland.

This is the biggest sea turtle nesting area in the U.S. Nesting season runs April–August. Turtle encounters are organized at Canaveral National Seashore, Melbourne, and Sebastian Inlet. Call the Sea Turtle Preservation Society at 321-676-1701. More ecotourism opportunities exist, including kayak tours, airboat rides, and guided nature encounters. For listings, visit http://www.space-coast.com, or call 877-572-3224.

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Top Photo Slice: Manatees in Cocoa Beach (℗ 24147) Photo contributed by © rescuesk


      You are viewing page 234, which is section 6 of chapter 7 of PassPorter's Disney Cruise Line guidebook.
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