Before paved streets and residential blocks took its place, a maze of wetlands rife with rustling wildlife thrived in Central Florida. Such a scene is hard to imagine amid a backdrop of loud car horns, but skeptical visitors to The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science can travel back in time and see it for themselves on a stroll through the museum’s 19.5-acre nature preserve.
This remarkable preserve joins special exhibits dedicated to regional and cultural artifacts in fulfilling the museum’s mission to keep Florida’s heritage alive in the minds of its current inhabitants. Since the nonprofit facility first opened in 1973, an influx of state and philanthropic funding has spawned further expansion. One of the most crucial add-ons, the Taylor Wing, now houses a nonstop procession of visiting exhibitions and the kid-themed Imagination Center, where young hands can touch actual fossils of mammoths and 8-track tapes. Popular ongoing exhibits include large dioramas of local ecosystems and the Windover Story exhibit, which illustrates how the residents of Brevard County lived 7,000 years ago.
With an area encompassing a track and hobby shop, the nearly 14,000-square-feet state-of-the-art racing facility at Space Coast R/C is the ultimate pathway for high-speed competition enthusiasts. The venue offers track time to drivers of levels from avid racers to curious spectators. Drivers watch and control electric off-road 1/8 and 1/10 scale vehicles from the driver stand, which can accommodate up to 20 drivers, navigating them over the course's challenging turns and around sharp corners. Lap timing encourages racers to monitor their progress with increased speed, spurring them to take smoother turns and avoid bumping into the yellow tubing that forms the track's boundaries. After races, hobbyists can peruse the onsite pro-shop for new car chassis and replacement parts to keep their rides in top performing shape. Space Coast R/C also makes their venue available for guests looking to celebrate a variety of functions such as birthdays and business meetings.
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.
At each of five Surf and Ski Water Sports locations, staffers equip tourists and locals alike with ocean and river rentals and beach necessities. While some take advantage of boats and jet skis to glide along the water, others watch from atop surfboards or seated in beach chairs situated beneath the shade of giant umbrellas.
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.