Fort Pierce’s Downtown Farmers’ Market is a big draw on Saturday mornings from 8 AM to noon, rain or shine, with local foods, crafts and artwork for sale. Live music is also featured. Come and see why this farmers’ market consistently ranks among the top five in America.
For family fun-filled activities in Melbourne, visit the Brevard Zoo or Andretti Thrill Park. The zoo houses monkeys, jaguars, kangaroos, meerkats and a Komodo dragon, plus you can kayak through 22 acres of wetlands. The Andretti Thrill Park includes batting cages, kiddie amusement rides, paddleboats, a large arcade and indoor Lazer Tag. Best of all, there are several go-cart tracks, one of which is restricted to fans with a valid driver’s license who wish to travel 40 miles per hour on a European-style course.
One of Florida’s most famous attractions is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Discover what it means to be a hero through the stories of NASA’s Space Pioneers at Heroes and Legends featuring the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. Get a closeup view of Atlantis, the only space shuttle displayed in flight, with more than 60 interactive exhibits. A favorite activity is a buffet-style Lunch with an Astronaut in an air-conditioned setting, during which your host, a retired astronaut, shares some of his or her fondest memories via a slideshow. Following the meal, there’s time to have photos taken with the hosting celebrity. Be sure to check the center’s website for rocket launches.
The Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, Florida’s tallest, is located in the town of Ponce Inlet, slightly south of Daytona Beach. It’s a great place to watch the sun set or catch a moonrise.
Nature Lovers can choose from two botanical gardens in St. Lucie. Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce showcases the country’s largest public display of tropical bonsai trees while the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens feature myriad tropical habitats.
Feel the need for speed? Whether you are a devoted NASCAR fan or have no idea what all of the hype is about, the world’s first and only motorsports stadium, the Daytona International Speedway, will blow you away. Having recently undergone a US$400million renovation, there are tons of things to see and do. Book a 30-minute or a 90minute VIP tour. NASCAR fans should sign up for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, where they can drive on the track or be a passenger for laps with a professional driver. The Daytona International Speedway attracts millions of visitors annually.
Looking for quirky hidden gems in the Daytona Beach area? Visit Sugar Mill Botanical Gardens where dinosaur statues left over from a 1940s tourist attraction can be found. Or how about the wonderful, family-friendly, very affordable Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet where you can touch stingrays, play with an octopus, observe the sea turtle hospital and learn about Florida’s marine environment. And in DeLeon Springs State Park, you can make your own pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill, take an eco boat tour, hike nature trails and swim in the springs.
OPPOSITE TOP LEFT: Gallery in Eau Gallie Arts District. OPPOSITE TOP RIGHT: Sunrise Theatre in historic Fort Pierce. ABOVE: Daytona International Speedway.