By Lazydays

While Taking a Look at the Past and Into the Future

Rewritten by Joseph Garnett, Jr. - From the Archives

September 7, 2015

Located on Florida’s “Space Coast”, Merritt Island is one of the state’s most beautiful and natural environments. This small land is part city and part nature preserve with eagles, alligators and migrating birds come to escape the cold winters.

Venture here and you will meet many locals who tell stories of the days when astronauts blasted off for the moon and the sonic booms of the space shuttles as they made their approach for landing.

Most of the locals you will meet are still working as the Kennedy Space Center makes its next transition in manned space flight.

Florida Scrub-jay Merritt Island NWR has one of three strong hold populations of the threatened Florida scrub-jay.
The endangered Florida Scrub Jay is one of three species that flourish at the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Visit Nature

So, relax, take plenty of pictures as you visit scenes of history and walk through the woods and along the shore of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

Located right in the middle of Merritt Island’s natural beauty is NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The scientists, astronauts and other locals are surrounded by an environment with a proud and long-lived history. Scientists believe the three bodies that define Merritt Island were formed from prehistoric glacier runoffs. The Indian River, Banana River and Mosquito Lagoon surround the island and its attractions.

Things to Do in Merritt Island

The space shuttle program has ended, but NASA, with the help of private contractors, is continuing its pursuit of manned space flight to learn more about the universe. When visiting the space center, you will see exhibits from the birth of the space program through today’s ventures. Some of the places you will be able to visit is the Apollo Center, Observation Gantry and Imax theaters that show the Hubble Space Craft, the International Space Station and a shuttle launch experience.

Stand beneath the awesome 363-foot Saturn V moon rocket; check out the world’s first interstellar RV, the lunar rover; overlook mission control during a launch; and get an up-close look at spacesuits and other artifacts of the Apollo Program.
Engines of a Saturn V rocket
Lazydays Photo

If you love the beauty of nature, then the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is the place to visit. There are 140,000 acres of forest and marshland dedicated to nature. It includes multiple habitats from saltwater, freshwater marshes, coastal dunes and pine woods. The refuge is home to more than 1,500 species of plants and animals. Of course, there are humans, too! Best of all, during migration season, the refuge is a great place to see numerous species of birds.

A day at the Space Center immerses you in where we have been and how we got there, before introducing you to the pioneers and crafts that will take America into the next stage of space exploration.
Apollo Mission Control
Lazydays Photo

Where to Stay?

The Lazydays Tampa Resort is a great centralized location to camp in your luxury RV or motorhome while you make a day trip over to Merritt Island. If you are planning to spend more than one day on Florida’s east coast, there are a few RV resorts located near Merritt Island. Perhaps the most convenient is the KOA Campgrounds located next to the Astronauts Hall of Fame.

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