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Astronauts, Alligators and Other Marvels of Florida’s Space Coast

Program Number: 21295RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/2/2014 - 2/7/2014; 1/24/2016 - 1/29/2016; 2/14/2016 - 2/19/2016; 4/3/2016 - 4/8/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida
Price starting at: $999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; Outdoor Adventures, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

You probably know it as the home of NASA, but Florida’s Space Coast has a lot more to offer than just the space shuttle. On this unique outdoor adventure, combine all of the region’s treasures into one unforgettable experience that takes you from the launch pad to the lazy river and every local hotspot in between. In addition to fascinating experiences at the Kennedy Space Center, find yourself exploring swamps, backwaters and other eastern Florida ecosystems. Encounter migrating birds and unique wildlife in pristine refuges and come across Native American artifacts on expert-led field trips.


• Spend a day at the Kennedy Space Center and enjoy lunch with an astronaut.
• Take an exhilarating airboat ride through the backwaters of the “lazy” St. Johns River and the Cypress Forest.
• Paddle alongside an expert on a kayak excursion into areas known for sightings of manatees and dolphins.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles on uneven terrain. Paddling a kayak up to two hours. Getting in and out of airboat.

Coordinated by Stetson University.

Cocoa Beach

Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River Lagoon, about an hour east of Orlando, Cocoa Beach is at the center of Florida’s “Space Coast” where the highest technology peacefully coexists with beautiful beaches and natural wilderness.

Hotel steps from beach, pool, fitness center.
Meals and Lodgings
   Comfort Inn & Suite Resort
  Cocoa Beach, FL 5 nights
 Comfort Inn & Suite Resort
Type: Hotel
  Description: Enjoy a touch of Key West right in the middle of Cocoa Beach. Our convenient beach side location and a host of amenities make us one of Cocoa Beach's top spots.
  Contact info: 3901 N. Atlantic Ave
Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 USA
phone: 321-783-2221
  Room amenities: Each of the 170 rooms and suites in our Cocoa Beach hotel offer a host of conveniences like a safe to secure your valuables, flat-screen TV, hair dryer, coffee service, iron and ironing board, and free high-speed and wireless internet. In addition, each offers the contemporary style and comfort that sets us apart from other Cocoa Beach hotels in the same price range. And of course, every room is just a short walk from the beach. Suites are an additional cost.
  Facility amenities: High Speed Internet, Wi-Fi in all rooms and on property, Fitness Center, and on site laundry facilities.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call for pricing Call Michelle Martindale for additional room nights or information. 321-783-2221
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for pricing Call Michelle Martindale for additional room nights or information. 321-783-2221
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:30 pm on Sunday You will be staying at Comfort Inn & Suite Resort that night.
  End of Program:
Approximately 10:00 am on Friday You will be staying at Comfort Inn & Suite Resort the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Everyone must have their PIF (PARTICIPATION INFORMATION FORM) turned in online or health and safety forms signed and mailed to our office.
  Parking availability:
There is parking available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Cocoa Beach, FL
  Nearest city or town:  Cocoa Beach
  Nearest highway: I-95 and I-4
  Nearest airport:  Orlando International
  From End of Program
  Location: Cocoa Beach, FL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Cocoa Beach


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
phone: 386-257-3283
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Varies -approx. $65
Prices are subject to change.

Driving Directions
  I-4 East to International Palms, Cocoa Beach Take I-4 East towards Orlando, Take the SR-417 N. exit #62 toward Airport/Disney World/Celebration. Merge onto 417 N/Central FL. Greeneway toward Int'l Airport Sanford. Merge onto 528 Exit # 26 toward Cocoa/Kennedy Space Center. SR 528 becomes SR-528 E, then becomes SR A1A S. Stay on A1A S until you reach 1300 N. Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach
  I-95 South towards International Palms, Cocoa Beach I-95 S towards Miami, Merge onto SR-528 via exit 205 toward Canaveral/Cape-Port A.F.S. SR-528 becomes SR-A1A (Atlantic Ave) S. Hotel will be on the left. 1300 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach, FL
Equipment Requirements: If you choose to do the kayaking portion of this program, please bring appropriate clothing and shoes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Registration, get acquainted, dinner, orientation, and getting ready for a great week.
(Sunday, February 2)
 Arrive To: WELCOME to Cocoa Beach, FL and the Comfort Inn and suite Resort. REGISTRATION will begin at 4:30 p.m.
 Afternoon: REGISTRATION will begin at 4:30. This will include meeting the host of the group, your fellow participants, and getting to know one another.
 Dinner: After registration - you will have your opening banquet.
 Evening: Once you are finished with dinner we will have our ORIENTATION. You will be given your folders that will have your schedule included. We then will discuss your schedule for the week and answer any questions you may have. After orientation the rest of the evening is yours to relax, settle in and get ready for a great week!
Accommodations: Comfort Inn & Suite Resort
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Trip to the Kennedy Space Center. Enjoy lunch with an Astronaut.
(Monday, February 3)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel
 Morning: Trip to Kennedy Space Center. Guided walk through Space Center Welcome Center and into the park. You will have the opportunity to see a retired space shuttle, walk through history in the rock garden, and if you are up for it experience the "shuttle experience simulator" ride.
 Lunch: Lunch with an Astronaut. One of the most popular programs at Kennedy Space Center, “Lunch With an Astronaut” gives visitors a one-of-a-kind experience to enjoy a delicious meal and meet a veteran member of NASA’s Astronaut Corps.
 Afternoon: Here, in a spacious facility featuring a real Saturn V rocket, the Apollo program returns spectacularly to life. The Apollo/Saturn V Center is a tribute to the Apollo astronauts and the machines that got them there – and brought them home safely.
 Dinner: Dinner will be back at the hotel.
 Evening: The evening is yours to relax and get ready for another fun-filled day tomorrow.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn & Suite Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Trip to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Lunch at the world famous Dixie Crossroads, and finish the day with a trip to the Brevard Zoo.
(Tuesday, February 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the hotel
 Morning: Trip to Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge . Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1963 as an overlay of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center. Consisting of 140,000 acres, the Refuge provides a wide variety of habitats: coastal dunes, saltwater estuaries and marshes, freshwater impoundments, scrub, pine flatwoods, and hardwood hammocks provide habitat for more than 1,500 species of plants and animals. You will be guided along on an elevated platform walkway learning of the animals and plant habitat of the refuge. You will then board your bus as a guide takes you deeper into the refuge where you could see deer, tortoise, migrating birds, and possibly a bear.
 Lunch: Lunch at the World Famous Dixie Crossroads. The owners are active Audubon members and there is beautiful art displayed throughout the restaurant. They are also home of their famous rock shrimp.
 Afternoon: Brevard Zoo... A small group of people with a big dream...building a zoo. A world-class zoo that would serve as a conservation hub where people could gather to learn about animals. A place to escape from the urban world and get closer to nature, to be reminded of the diversity of the life with which we share this planet. Enjoy a hands on experience with some of the animals that call their home. Walk the raised platform to get face to face with giraffes, walk through the fly free zone where new friends may land on your hat, and enjoy time to walk among some of the Florida's unique residents.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn & Suite Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Jungle Adventures and Airboat rides
(Wednesday, February 5)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the hotel.
 Morning: Heading out for an adventure. We are going to get you on an incredible airboat ride with one on one contact with your captain. You will be wired to other passenger's and the option so you can communicate throughout the trip. Go by Indian burial grounds, see alligators in their natural habitat and possibly hold an alligator for that perfect photo opportunity.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at Jungle Adventure
 Afternoon: Jungle Adventure - Real Real as it Gets! Jungle Adventures Nature Animal Park is the natural habitat jungle home of our famous 200 foot long roadside wonder, Swampy, the World's Largest Alligator. Come and experience Live Guided Wildlife Encounters with Rare Florida Panthers, Black Bears, Gray Wolves, White-Tailed Deer, Tropical Birds, Reptiles and Mammals.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: Apollo 13 Movie Night
Accommodations: Comfort Inn & Suite Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Pontoon Boat - nature excursion. Kayaking or you may choose an alternate activity by visiting the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
(Thursday, February 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is at the hotel.
 Morning: Island Boats for a nature excursion on pontoon boats. You will be guided along the banana river and shown different water birds and have the opportunity to see dolphins and manatees in the wild. Ask the guide any questions you may have about the area.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Kayaking Experience in Mosquito Lagoon. (If you do not wish to kayak, you may choose to visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Entrance is free with your ticket from Kennedy Space Center.) Hopefully you will see manatees and dolphins in their natural environment. This is as close as you can get to Florida's natural beauty and the wildlife of the lagoon.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: Chris Kahl, local musician, will perform for you.
Accommodations: Comfort Inn & Suite Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Graduation and departure.
(Friday, February 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be at the hotel.
 Morning: Graduation
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Cocoa Beach, FL Cocoa Beach guide
There are trolley's available at your own cost that will take you around the area. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Cocoa Beach, Florida (Then and Now Series)

Author: Wade Arnold

Description: Cocoa Beach welcomes millions of visitors every year, but the city has always managed to keep a small town atmosphere. In 1940, it was a cozy little waterfront town with less than 50 people. A few years after World War II, America's space race began, and the city was never the same.

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