6 Best Things to Do in Titusville, Florida
Space City USA (Titusville’s nickname) runs along the Florida coast and Indian River and is one bridge from Kennedy Space Center. It is near Merritt Island and north of Melbourne. Titusville is a great place for a road trip. It can also be reached by flying to Space Coast Regional Airport or Orlando Sanford / Orlando International (MCO) Airports, both 30 minutes away. As well as being home to the famous Cape Canaveral and a leader in the US space program, there are great museums, unique attractions, and the Canaveral National Seashore. Here are six great experiences to have in Titusville.
1. Visit of the Kennedy Space Center
One of the best experiences you can have in Titusville, maybe even nationwide, is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral. I’ve been a guest on tours to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) since arriving in Florida a few years ago, and every visit brings a wonderful time. KSC offers a guest experience at your own pace, including a tour of the Space Shuttle Atlantis (not to be missed), the Saturn V rocket, the Moon Tree Garden, and the Mercury Mission Control Room.
I never tire of walking around the Rocket Garden and seeing the Heroes and legends exhibition, especially the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, honoring well-known names such as Francis R. Scobee, Norm Thagard, Sally K. Ride and Buzz Aldrin, to name a few. Pay your respects to the fallen astronauts at the mighty Space Mirror Memorial, one of KSC’s most scenic locations. Cool off or take a break (or both) in the IMAX theater, with space-themed movies.
You won’t want to miss the world’s largest store for space gifts, memorabilia, and authentic NASA merchandise while you stay at KSC. There is an on-site restaurant, Orbit Cafe, which serves basic burgers, pulled pork, salads, and Little Caesars pizzas.
KSC opens daily at 10 a.m. and charges approximately $ 10 per automobile for parking (with an RV surcharge), and offers wheelchair and ECV rentals. Those traveling with pets will love the free kennel option in an air-conditioned facility. Customers can’t make reservations in advance – they’re first come, first served – and you’ll need your pet’s current vaccination record.
Pro tip: Watch the rocket launch program and make your visit coincide with the thrill of a lifetime. Joe Cuhaj, of TravelAwaits, has more on the experience of a rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center.
2. See Canaveral National Seashore
The Canaveral National Seashore is part of the National Park Service. The barrier island plant and animal sanctuary is a great place to explore and learn about hammock and lagoon habitats, hike, enjoy a dose of nature, fish, and watch a launch rocket. Be on the lookout for bobcats and eagles (one of the 310 species of birds found here) as they love this protected area. There are also 24 miles of undisturbed sandy beaches, so maybe consider bringing a picnic. There is an admission fee per car and per walk-in.
Note: The visitor center is located at the entrance to New Smyrna Beach in Canaveral National Seashore. There is a second entrance near KSC.
3. Stroll Space View Park
A nice addition to downtown Titusville is Space View Park, the only park in America dedicated to those who pioneered and advanced the space program. The beautiful park can be found across the Indian River from the Canaveral Spaceport launch pads. Space View Park is worth a visit to learn about historic NASA launches and astronauts via audio streams and exhibits. A fun thing is to put your hands in the handprints of Astronaut Mercury cast in bronze there. Around the center of the park is the Space Shuttle Memorial, with engraved photographs of the crew who helped these missions complete their work.
Look for alligators in the closed water next to the park. I saw one on each visit. It’s also within walking distance of downtown Titusville, with some lovely shops and restaurants to explore. There are also murals, statues and street art to soak up.
Pro tip: Due to the pandemic, you should all be an expert at using QR codes by pointing your cell phone camera at it to view a document that you can click for more information. You’ll find QR codes on many of Space View Park’s visual displays to learn more about what you’re seeing.
4. Eat along the space coast
You’ll find delicious restaurants in Titusville including Loyd Have Mercy, Dixie Crossroads Restaurant, and MoonLight Drive-In. These alone could be reason enough to visit.
Loyd Have Mercy is one of the only southern soul food menus I’ve seen on the east coast of Florida, and let me tell you… it’s fantastic. Start your dining experience with fried green tomatoes or fried okra, both Southern Girls approved. I love both meatloaf and fried chicken (which they are known for) with sides of perfectly cooked and seasoned collard greens or green beans and mac and cheese. Oh my God, this is a meal you won’t soon forget. Loyd Have Mercy was on a 2020 episode of Robert Irvine Restaurant: Impossible.
The world famous Dixie Crossroads in Titusville is a huge restaurant, which welcomes and attracts bus tours from across the country to eat fresh seafood, namely shrimp. Grilled, steamed or fried, the choice is yours and applies to almost any ocean-caught seafood dish on the menu.
For appetizer options, consider alligator bites (you’re in Florida, maybe too) or bacon-wrapped shrimp. Main courses include po ‘boys, ribs, fish tacos, salads, shrimp and grits, and steaks – alongside any seafood you can think of. Save room for the Traditional Key Lime Pie to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Fun Fact: Dixie Crossroads serves shrimp options including Rocks, Medium, Large, Boat and Royal Reds, the crown jewel of Gulf shrimp.
At MoonLight Drive-In, take a stroll through the past to a retro carhop-themed restaurant that has served Titusville since 1964. This family-owned gem’s nostalgic menu consists mostly of burgers, fries, onion rings, hand-spun hot dogs and shakes. . I go for the fried fish (cod) sandwich and the sweet potato waffle fries when I visit. Praise, this cute little establishment still serves root beer and Coca-Cola floats. Or does a fluffernutter tremor sound more tempting to you?
MoonLight Drive-In is wheelchair accessible, has indoor and outdoor seating, and is open seven days a week.
5. Visit unique museums
The Titusville American Police Hall of Fame is the one museum you won’t want to miss. I was shocked when I walked into this well-done museum, which intrigued me with the educational exhibits, artifacts, and fun photo ops and left me with a ball of tears after seeing the flag draped coffin American in the memorial area. The names of fallen police officers, both in the crosshairs and due to other causes of the work, are inscribed on marble plaques around the memorial. On the floor were photos, knick-knacks and mementos of relatives of the dead who visited the museum. It’s heartbreaking, I won’t lie, but the balance between happiness and sadness in the Hall of Fame and the American Police Museum, along with downright interesting exhibits, is sensational.
The United States Police Hall of Fame was the country’s first law enforcement museum. I doubt any of you are wearing the uniform in the convenient area, but if you are coming with grandchildren they will love it.
Pro tip: You can also use the Indoor Shooting Center, with gun rental, training, and targets all in one location.
Meanwhile, the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum, located at the Space Coast Regional Airport, is one of Titusville’s most visited attractions. This unique experience is filled with vintage military planes (warbirds) in the middle of a 30,000 square foot hangar. Mechanics are constantly rebuilding and preserving the warbird collection in their heyday. The collection (think B-25, Douglas C-47 and Huey) continues to grow tremendously.
The museum’s facade contains exhibits of artifacts and memorabilia, while the hangar has dozens of planes, from WWI to the present day, to admire and photograph.
Note: The Valiant Air Command Warbirds Museum is open Friday through Sunday, but is expected to resume normal hours in late summer.
6. Drink really good beer
Another great place to eat and drink is Playalinda Brewing Company’s Project Brix, serving up some of the best beers in Florida, in my opinion. Updating and styling an old lumberyard, the restaurant has a friendly and comfortable vibe, as well as indoor and outdoor seating (beer garden). Playalinda’s Irish nachos (corned beef, cheese sauce, sour cream, and pickled jalapeños) are a great appetizer to share, and gourmet burgers are perfect as a main course. Ask your server about daily ramen specials and weekly burgers.
I sampled a steal of Playalinda beer and didn’t know the brand until this day. The Pleasure Chest IPA and Barn Light Saison were both original and quite tasty. I was impressed with the unique ingredients in their beer recipe creations, such as marshmallow, lavender and Meyer lemons. If you are not a beer drinker, they also serve craft cocktails and wine.
Pro tip: As always, when visiting Florida, stay hydrated and wear proper sunscreen. A sun hat is recommended outside.