The entire sky along Florida's Space Coast is like one giant movie screen, regularly showing the story of rockets—some manned, some unmanned, others guided entirely by dreams. They launch gracefully towards the heavens, where they break through Earth's atmosphere and float out beyond it. It's a mesmerizing display, one that serves as the focal point for Space Coast River Tours's Rocket Tour. The Blue Dolphin, the company's 44-foot USCG-certified pontoon river boat, serves as the tour's mode of transportation. Its retractable roof pulls back to reveal unobstructed views of the sky above for all of its 49 passengers.
Captains Mark and Michele Anderson, who are both certified by the U.S. Coast Guard, have plenty to explore even when rockets aren't taking flight. Specialty tours are available at an additional cost. During the holidays, they show passengers the lights and decorations along residential canals in Sykes Creek, handing out some egg nog or hot cocoa to complete the experience. The Banana River Lagoon Tour, meanwhile, remains a daily feature. For two hours, the boat tours the Banana River and floats into the habitats of the area's many birds, dolphins, manatees, and gators.
Bikram Yoga on the Island's founders, Suzanne and Joe Elliott, draw inspiration from their students' physical progress and development each week, ensuring that each session addresses the needs of first-day students, casual practitioners, and lifelong yogis. Ten years of experience fuel Suzanne and Joe's work as instructors, with each tapping his or her encyclopedic knowledge to guide pupils through two breathing exercises and 26 poses. Along with a staff of instructors, the two founders demonstrate and describe the proper execution of each posture with the authority of an Olympic Twister medalist.
As students fold and unfold limbs, each movement helps promote healthy organ function by pushing freshly oxygenated blood throughout their entire bodies. Meanwhile, the studio's heating system helps them safely sink into each stretch and sweat out toxins by raising the temperature to 105 degrees with 40% humidity. After class, attendees can freshen up with the studio's indoor and outdoor shower facilities.
Carnival Cruise Lines entertains seafarers on a decorated vessel brimming with lively stage shows, upscale dining, buffets, and sweeping aquatic views. Kick back in the comforts of a spacious interior stateroom with a convertible king bed, full bathroom with shower, and closets roomy enough for stashing buffet leftovers. Vacationers can stretch their legs while dining on a rotating roster of food served three times daily before laughing the evening away at a comedy show.
Dolphin Jet Ski Rentals front-loads what is possibly its service's greatest attraction: the chance to see the dolphin's fin crest up close. This is a common occurrence for their riders, who may also encounter manatees as they cut a path through the waves. The watercraft are also simple to learn for first-time riders. Simply watch a brief video, undergo a safety briefing and operation instruction, and never press the button that activates submarine mode. As jet skis launch from the Harbortown Marina, numerous waterways provide riders with access to the Banana River and beyond.
Sky 1 Parasail's power boat departs from Banana River Park in Merritt Island, pulling behind it thrill-seeking patrons held aloft by a giant parachute. The outfit offers 300-foot, 500-foot, and 800-foot flights lasting up to 12 minutes, allowing up to three riders at a time to take in panoramic views of landmarks such as Space Coast and Cocoa Beach. All Captain's hold CPR and first aid certifications as well as a Coast Guard certified Master Captain's License - but participants need no special skills.
At Hydro Flight Extreme Water Sports, pilots surge into the air on the wings of high-pressure funnels of water. The dynamic, water-based jetpack uses focused streams of seawater to break the bonds of gravity and lift riders into the air. Pilots direct their own pace and direction, with an instructor accompanying them below to lend assistance or fend off any krakens that want to give you a high-five.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.