10 Top Places to Watch Space Coast Launches

May 30, 2023

10 Top Places to Watch Space Coast Launches
By Westgate Resorts

10 Top Places to Watch Space Coast Launches

You may think helicopter tours in Orlando are exhilarating, but just wait until you watch an actual rocket launch! Florida’s Space Coast is one of the only places in the world where you can watch spaceships take flight.

If you’re looking for things to do in Orlando for adults, catching a space launch is one of the most memorable experiences imaginable.

We’ve put together a list of the top Space Coast launch viewing sites, so you can plan your trip around catching a glimpse of history in the making!

Best Places to Watch Space Coast Launches

These are the best places to watch Space Coast launches in Florida. Whether you want to relax by the beach or prefer indoor activities in Orlando, we have a great collection of the top 10 locations that will wow you.

1 | Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier | Cocoa Beach Pier is a historic landmark in Florida, built in 1962. It stretches 800 feet out into the Atlantic and covers 2.5 miles of boardwalk, so it’s a great place to come for fantastic rocket launch views.

Westgate’s renovation of Cocoa Beach has imbued it with exciting new restaurants and shops, making it the perfect place to stop by with the family for some beachfront fun.

Grab a cocktail from the Rikki Tiki Tavern and watch from the pier railing as the spaceship takes flight and soars over the ocean. One part of the pier has a $2 admission fee, which grants you complete access to all of the local shops, unique restaurants, and great views Cocoa Beach has to offer.

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: Pier Phone: 321-783-7549



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2 | Kennedy Space Center | If you want to get as close to the launch as possible, you can head over to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. You’ll be able to actually feel the rumble of the rocket’s engines as it takes off, making for a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience.

Ticket prices vary depending on where you want to sit; some are seven miles from the launch site while others are close to the launch pad.

Main visitor complex tickets include live commentary from space experts during the launch, minimal view obstructions, and access to all of the main complex’s shows and amenities for the rest of the day.

As you increase your ticket price, you get more features, like a free souvenir and closer seating to the launch pad.

WHERE: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953 | WHO: 321-867-5000


3 | The Riverfront Cocoa Beach | The Riverfront Cocoa Beach offers all types of water sport activities for fun in the sun in Brevard County. Guests can rent a kayak or paddleboard, lounge by the onsite pool in a cabana or listen to live music while enjoying the best sunsets the area has to offer.

The Riverfront also offers monthly memberships for unlimited kayak, paddleboard and more. If you want a relaxing day or a fun day on the water, you have to check this place out!

WHERE: 129 Manatee Ln, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 506-2209


4 | Playalinda Beach | If you head north of Kennedy Space Center, you’ll find a beautiful stretch of shoreline known as Playalinda Beach. It can offer some of the closest launch views on the Space Coast, but sometimes, it’s not open during them for visitors’ safety.

You can check with Canaveral National Park if Playalinda Beach will be open for any upcoming launch you want to attend.

Typical beach hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. You will have to purchase a park pass for access, which is good for one week.

WHERE: 1000 Playalinda Beach Rd, Titusville, FL 32796 | WHO: 321-267-1110


5 | Jetty Park | Jetty Park and its accompanying campgrounds make an excellent launch viewing destination.

Outdoor lovers can make a weekend out of their trip, renting out a cabin, pitching a tent, or bringing their own RV.

The park is generally open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, and you want to book reservations in advance to ensure you have access.

If you don’t stay at the campgrounds, you can simply enjoy Jetty Park and its fishing pier, which sits along 4.5 miles of beach and spans 1,2000 feet out into the water. You will need to reserve a parking spot, which costs $16.

WHERE: 9035 Campground Cir, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | WHO: 321-783-7111


6 | Indian River/ Mosquito Lagoon | If being grounded isn’t your style, try hopping into a kayak to watch the rocket launch from the Indian River or Mosquito Lagoon.

There are views of both the launch pad and Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) building from this spot; tours are available through A Day Away Kayak Tours at $85 for up to 3 hours.

If you plan to take your own kayak onto the water, make sure you check if it's accessible. The U.S. Coast Guard issues special regulations across the water during the launch time.

WHERE: Off U.S. Hwy A1A, Indian River, FL 32951 | WHO: 321-984-4852


7 | The Space Bar | Fancy a cocktail with your rocket launch? Then head over to the Space Bar! This themed restaurant serves signature drinks like The Shooting Star, Intergalactic Planetary, and The Space Shuttle.

They offer snacks and entrees to suit every appetite, ranging from Space Bar Nachos and a variety of flatbreads to mahi mahi tacos and a Korean BBQ bowl.

This is the perfect place to grab something to eat, sit back with a good drink, and watch the launch for free.

The Space Bar is located in the Courtyard by Marriott Titusville; guests can enter for free, but visitors must pay $10 during the launch.

WHERE: 6245 Riverfront Center Blvd, Titusville, FL, 32780 | WHO: 321-966-9200


8 | Rotary Riverfront Park | Enjoy a day at this 5.8-acre community park along the Indian River, featuring four large octagonal picnic pavilions, a playground, and fishing pier. It’s a great location to catch launches taking off and returning to the launch pad.

If you want to rent one of the pavilions for your own private viewing party, you can contact the Sandrift Community Center.

Stop by in the afternoon, pack a picnic, and enjoy the gorgeous Florida sunshine before gathering to watch the rocket launch.

WHERE: 4141 S Washington Ave, Titusville, FL 32780 | WHO: 321-264-5067


9 | Exploration Tower | The Exploration Tower puts you above the crowds and in the center of the action; sweeping panoramic views of Port Canaveral, the Kennedy Space Center, and cruise ships await on this 7th-floor observation deck.

As of May 2023, the tower is currently closed for maintenance, but it’s worth adding to your travel list as a potential spot to watch the launch.

When it reopens, you can enjoy some of the best rooftop views for photographing or filming the rocket launch.

WHERE: 670 Dave Nisbet Dr, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | WHO: 321-394-3408


10 | Jetty Park Campground | Connected to Jetty Park is its very own campgrounds, which feature bath houses, communal fire pits, cabin rentals, and great views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Nestled inside Port Canaveral, these campgrounds are a favorite spot for local families and tourists who come into town to view the launch.

You’ll see plenty of wildlife thriving in the beautiful coastal ecosystem, like turtles and birds, as well as native Florida vegetation in its natural habitat, and there is easy access to the Jetty Park beach.

If you want to use one of the pavilions, you must reserve it beforehand by calling management.

WHERE: 9035 Campground Cir, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | WHO: 321-783-7111


BONUS | LC-39 Observation Gantry | You can get as close as 3 miles from the rocket launch by stopping by the IC-39 Observation Gantry!

Depending on the launch pad location, LC-39 offers some of the closest views imaginable to the rocket. Seeing it this close is something out-of-this-world, and an absolute dream come true for space enthusiasts and astronomy buffs.

The location of the Gantry actually lies on the exact same spot the Apollo crew launched on their historic trip to the moon!

Book your tickets through the Kennedy Space Center and enjoy a spectacular show as the rocket takes off right before your eyes.

WHERE: Space Center, 100 Saturn Causeway, Space Center, FL | WHO: 877-436-9660


Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!

Last Tips on Places to Watch Space Launches

The rocket launch locations vary, so it’s important to research before you choose your viewing spot. If you’re in Florida for the first time, or an out-of-towner stopping by for the space launch is definitely worth doing.

There are plenty of relaxing things to do in Orlando while you wait, and our blog has the best list of all the must-see attractions in the city. Or, if you want some family-friendly fun, check out our round-up of the top arcades Orlando offers. For more itinerary inspiration for your time in NYC, check out the Westgate Resorts Travel Blog!


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For more information, please contact a Vacation Specialist at 888-852-2959. Westgate Owners: To book your week online, please visit: https://my.westgateresorts.com.

At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your vacation awaits! Start planning your next vacation today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

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