It’s kinda crazy to think that the first man who went to the moon did it from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, just a three hour drive from Miami.
Back in 2011, when NASA announced an end to the space shuttle program following the final launch in July 2011, some of us thought we’d never get to see anything go up into space ever. But in 2014, the launch pad was opened up again — this time testing the frontiers of commercial space flight with SpaceX.
People from all over the world fly to see the amazing Kennedy Space Center, and if they’re lucky, they get to plan their trip to coincide with a rocket launch. Here in Miami, it doesn’t take plane tickets and months of planning to see one of the coolest things human beings have ever figured out, EVER. All it takes is a weekend drive.
Launches happen about once a month, according to the schedule online here. In fact, there’s one happening on May 15, just a few days away. Can’t make that one? There’s another on June 1.
Here’s how it works
You pay general the admission fee for the visitor’s center, which is $50 for adults, $40 for kids. You can see the launch from the visitor’s center, but if you want to get closer (and you should) you can buy a transportation pass for an additional $20, which will take you to a closer spot with bleachers that offers an unobstructed view of the launch. Tickets for launches usually sell out, so don’t wait until the day-of to buy them.
It’s about a three-and-a-half hour drive up to the space center. And even if there’s not a launch happening that weekend, it’s totally worth the visit. For a non-launch trip, you can just show up and buy your ticket day-of. No pre-planning necessary.
There’s rides, awesome exhibits with movies (some of ‘em are IMAX), and you can see several space shuttles up close. So close you can basically touch them. There’s also a whole room of real astronaut clothes — so you can see the evolution of space fashion. And you can meet an actual astronaut.
You can even touch a piece of moon rock! That’s right, you can touch a part of the moon.
If you want to make a whole weekend of it, consider making a visit to Blue Spring State Park the day before. You can go kayaking and swimming in the fresh springs on Saturday and camp there (you’ll need to book your campsite ahead of time here).
Then, Sunday morning, pack up nice and early and get to Kennedy Space Center with enough time to spend a whole day there — trust, you’re gonna need it.
Hours: Everyday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: $40 to $70
Address: Kennedy Space Center, SR 405, Titusville, FL 32899
Phone: 1 (855) 433-4210