This Warm Year-Round Beach Town Doubles As A Space-Lover's Paradise

Florida offers tourists relaxing sandy vacations and endless theme parks to explore. However, the Sunshine State also has a lesser-known region in Central Florida, the Space Coast. The Space Coast was founded in the 1950s but was put on the map in the early 1960s with the establishment of NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island. 

In July 1969, the Kennedy Space Center and the United States made history when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. With that said, the Kennedy Space Center led the cities on the Space Coast to flourish. This included Titusville, founded in 1867. 

With temperatures rarely dipping below the 70s at any given time of the year, the lesser-known beach town is a place where visitors can escape the cold. During the 1960s Space Race, many NASA employees called Titusville home. However, this is not its claim to fame. Titusville is known for its rocket launch viewing sites like Space View Park and Playalinda Beach. The latter is on the shores of the Indian River across from the Kennedy Space Center's launch pads.

Playalinda Beach, located at the Canaveral National Seashore, is much closer to the Kennedy Space Center. An entrance fee, which ranges from $15 to $25, is required. A schedule of all future launches can be found online. Likewise, Titusville has more out-of-this-world attractions for wannabe space explorers of any age.

Must-visits for space enthusiasts in and near Titusville, Florida

One of Titusville's most alluring tourist draws is its American Space Museum. The museum details NASA's history through artifacts and photographs. Notably, the museum has a section dedicated to female astronauts. Another highlight is the Apollo Gallery, an exhibit that presents the missions that came before Apollo 11. The American Space Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. At the time of this writing, admission ranges from $5 to $10. The museum is self-guided, but you can ask if a docent is available for a guided tour.

Only a 10-minute walk away is the American Space Museum's Walk of Fame at Space View Park. Besides being an optimal spot for rocket launch viewing, the park serves to honor past space programs. This includes the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects, which ultimately made the 1969 moon landing possible. In addition, the Space Walk of Fame has engraved monuments dedicated to those who died in space-program-related accidents, including the crew of the space shuttle Challenger.

Although the Kennedy Space Center is not in Titusville, it's only 20 minutes away. Space lovers can visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and will find that the short trek is worth it. Here, they can ride a shuttle launch simulation and see the retired Space Shuttle Atlantis (pictured) and rocket launch sites up close and personal. One-day admission to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex ranges from $60 to $75. Tickets can be purchased online, and hours vary per season.

Lodging options in Titusville, Florida

Titusville, Florida, is an excellent gateway to the Space Coast. It's less than an hour from Orlando and Orlando International Airport (MCO). The city also has various non-space-related attractions. For example, the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum houses several historic warplanes from World War II and beyond. At The American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, visitors can learn more about this age-old profession. 

Having said all that, Titusville has several chain hotels that provide accommodations. This includes the Courtyard by Marriott Titusville Kennedy Space Center. The top-rated hotel on Trip Advisor (seen in the TikTok above) has a pool and offers contemporary-style rooms with space motifs. In addition, there is a space-themed rooftop bar that doubles as a rocket launch viewing site. You can expect to pay under $300 a night for a standard room with a king or two queen beds.

A cheaper alternative is the Days Inn by Wyndham Titusville Kennedy Space Center. The no-frills hotel has free wifi and breakfast. Likewise, you can often find rooms for under $100 per night. There are also more than 1,000 listings for Titusville on Airbnb. One includes a highly rated remolded two-bedroom loft in Downtown Titusville that is $162 a night at the time of this publication. The loft is above the Playalinda Brewing Company – Hardware Store, a popular eatery that serves craft beer, pot roast sliders, sandwiches, and more.