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Author Topic:   Kennedy Space Center hotels and attractions
spaceman48263
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Posts: 75
From: Michigan
Registered: Aug 2004

posted 07-15-2008 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman48263     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After five years I will be returning to Florida and want to visit the Kennedy Space Center again. Is there anything new to check out since my last visit? Also, what would be the best attraction to see in the Cocoa Beach area that would be space related?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2631
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-16-2008 04:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Check out the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex website. Suffice to say there too much that is new to list here. You'll be pleased.

Outside of KSC the only space themed attraction would be the Space Walk of Fame Museum in downtown Titusville as well as the Astronaut Hall of Fame (which is included in your KSC ticket).

After that, for something space related you have to go to Orlando and Epcot to ride Mission Space. Have fun!

alanh_7
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Posts: 1047
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 07-16-2008 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just down at the KSC for STS-124 launch. The first trip there in over 20 years and I was really surprised at the changes the visitor complex.

For sure give the Astronaut Hall of Fame a shot. We were there the day after the launch and no one was there. We had the place to ourselves. It is crammed full of interesting items including Apollo 14 command module and Wally Schirra's Sigma 7.

NavySpaceFan
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Posts: 649
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: May 2007

posted 07-18-2008 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just did a quick fly-by of both KSC and the Hall of Fame yesterday (only had a few hours before my flight from Jacksonville). The new Shuttle Launch Experience is worth the price of admission! I also enjoyed the new exhibit of shuttle-era artifacts at the Hall of Fame.

MarylandSpace
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Registered: Aug 2002

posted 01-04-2009 07:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Visitors can probably save money by buying a yearly pass to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and Astronaut Hall of Fame. I enjoy looking at all the astronaut childhood memorabilia at the Hall of Fame seeing what made these astronauts tick as children and young adults. Ken Havekotte has a tremendous Apollo 11 display there that I circle and circle and circle in amazement.

I also enjoy the Space Walk of Fame Museum and Park in Titusville.

My good friend Bryan likes Mission:SPACE, the centrifuge ride at Epcot... I was lucky not to spill some cookies on this one.

Be sure to attend the astronaut lectures and IMAX theater presentations at KSC.

The place that I enjoy eating at the most is Shuttles Bar and Grill located just a few miles south of the KSC.

Ben
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Posts: 1861
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 01-04-2009 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarylandSpace:
The place that I enjoy eating at the most is Shuttles Bar and Grill located just a few miles south of the KSC.
Unfortunately, I believe Shuttles is out of business. They closed for what I first heard was renovation but now there is a sign saying coming soon "Dugout Sports Bar and Grill."

If it is no longer space-themed it will be sorely missed.

astro-nut
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Posts: 604
From: washington, Illinois USA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 01-05-2009 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shuttles Bar and Grill will be truly missed if it does goes out of business. When I was at KSC in 2005 I went to Shuttles for lunch everyday. When I was at KSC last November for the autograph/air show, I went to Shuttles for lunch and saw the renovation sign. I will truly miss Shuttles next April when I go to KSC. IT WILL BE MISSED!!

tegwilym
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Posts: 2303
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 01-05-2009 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, on a non-space related thing, there is that Warbirds restoration museum nearby, as well as the Fantasy of Flight in Kissimee that is worth a visit if you like airplanes.

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 2752
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 01-05-2009 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There must be more than a few members of this forum who have stayed in the Cocoa Beach/Titusville area for launches, holidays and the likes.

Anybody care to recommend a good clean hotel inclusive of breakfast that offers reasonable rates?

BMckay
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Posts: 2120
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 01-05-2009 06:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I like the Days Inn in Titusville. It is right next to a Walmart, a Cracker Barrel restaurant plus lots of other stuff. It is an easy drive to KSC. Right near 95.

It is clean and a good deal. Book now before flights are official. The minute they are official or close to it, all of the places raise their rates.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30371
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-05-2009 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by astro-nut:
Shuttles bar and grill will be truly missed if it does goes out of business.
A website for Shuttles Dugout Sports Bar & Grill (the new owners have apparently decided to keep "Shuttles" in their name, at least for now) describes their plans:
Our main objective is to open and operate a restaurant with great food and a family friendly atmosphere with a fun sports theme. We believe with the addition of the new 100+ acre Sports Complex in North Merritt Island, our Sports Themed Family Restaurant will be a perfect addition to our neighborhood. Our menu will be moderately priced with something for everyone's taste.

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 2018
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 07-19-2009 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarylandSpace:
Ken Havkotte has a tremendous Apollo 11 display there that I circle and circle and circle in amazement.
Thanks for the plug on my Apollo 11 memorabilia display at the Astronaut Hall of Fame. A second exhibit may be added in the new shuttle wing in commemoration of STS-1 that I am hoping to put together soon.

Secondly, yes, Shuttles Dugout Sports Bar and Grill has been opened for a few weeks now. My previous visit there was only 3 weeks ago and I did notice some definite major changes inside the restaurant. Some of the old space pictures are still on the walls, however, the majority of their photos and memorabilia are sports-related.

idrvball
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Posts: 150
From: Burke, VA USA
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 01-03-2010 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for idrvball   Click Here to Email idrvball     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm heading to Florida next week and planning to spend one to two days doing my "Space Fun" around KSC. I've been to KSC about 10 years ago. Now, I'm wondering if anyone could recommend some out of the way places or stores to visit. So far I'm guessing I'll go to KSC and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Any other thoughts?

Editor's note: Threads merged

KSCartist
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Posts: 2631
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 01-03-2010 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Make sure you visit the best little museum in the state. The Space Walk of Fame Museum. If you're lucky Sam Beddingfield will be there to give you a personal tour.

Have fun!

idrvball
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Posts: 150
From: Burke, VA USA
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 01-04-2010 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for idrvball   Click Here to Email idrvball     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks a lot. I'll give that a try.

Philip
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Posts: 5023
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 01-19-2010 06:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Any other nice places to have dinner? I guess as in most museums and visitor centers you have to avoid their "restaurants".

idrvball
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Posts: 150
From: Burke, VA USA
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 01-19-2010 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for idrvball   Click Here to Email idrvball     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I just got back from visiting KSC and the Astronaut Hall of Fame. I have to say, the Hall of Fame was great! I didn't go there last time, which was about 10 years ago.

However, I was shocked with the condition of the way that KSC Visitors area was. Things were faded, not well kept at all. The paint looked really old. There were a lot of cracks. Just not good.

I just did the tour to the Saturn V Building because my time was running out, but that was still amazing.

Hopefully they will refurbish the Visitors area.

Thanks for the information before I went down.

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 2018
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 01-19-2010 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Philip:
Any other nice places to have dinner?
Yes, indeed, there are a few choice restaurants on the Space Coast that I could recommend that have space and astronaut ties. But if I recall, this topic may had been posted on another related thread.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30371
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-19-2010 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Possible related threads:

drjeffbang
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Posts: 109
From: Virginia
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 01-19-2010 05:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for drjeffbang   Click Here to Email drjeffbang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Philip:
Any other nice places to have dinner?
We've been to Dixie Crossroads twice. Last time we went, during the STS-119 launch, my daughter was wearing her pumpkin suit and we met a nice guy who worked at the OPF and delighted her with inside pics of the facility on his iPhone.

mjanovec
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Posts: 3636
From: Midwest, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 01-21-2010 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will also highly recommend Dixie Crossroads, if you like seafood.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2270
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 01-22-2010 01:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I ate at Shuttles Dugout in October when I was down for Ares IX. Plenty of the KSC crowd still hangout there as I sat next to one worker from there while eating (we chatted about other things) and also had a discussion with some of the other KSC employees as well as we talked about "tribo-electrification".

I also bought a couple space T-shirts from the T-shirt printing business next door (also worth a stop as their mission T-shirts in my opinion look way cooler then what the visitor center sells).

Valiant Air Command museum at the Titusville Regional Airport is also worth a stop. They have a pretty decent collection of aircraft on display.

When I was down in 2004, I also got to take a ride in a Stearman biplane when I visited. I don't think that particular perk is offered anymore though as I believe the company that had the biplane closed up shop in the wake of the really bad 2005 hurricane season (their main hangar was in Kissimmee and it got destroyed).

Granted you can still get helicopter rides at the law enforcement museum, but for me it was a life changing experience to witness KSC, Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach from the front seat of an open cockpit biplane (life changing as I went back to flight school and got my private pilot license a few months later due to that flight).

Tykeanaut
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Posts: 1866
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 01-22-2010 06:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The last and only time so far I have visited was in 2000 for my 40th and the STS-106 launch. We stayed at the Best Western in Titusville and the Luna Sea B&B in Cocoa Beach which was really nice.

BMckay
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Posts: 2120
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 01-25-2010 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If anyone is going, let me know. I might be able to help with discounted tickets, ideas and do's and don'ts.

Tykeanaut
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Posts: 1866
From: Worcestershire, England, UK.
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 02-01-2010 04:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If it's still there and the same as it was when we visited in 2000, I would definitely recommend that you stay clear of the Budget Motel in Titusville.

Unfortunately we had to spend one night there prior to the morning launch, it was the "House of Horrors". We hardly slept and even pushed a chair up against our room door for added peace of mind. At least we didn't have to worry about over-sleeping and missing the launch!

Surely it's now gone or had a makeover??

drscoop
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Posts: 23
From: Macclesfield, UK
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-18-2010 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for drscoop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would also appreciate any comments on anything related to the era worth seeing around Cocoa Beach whilst I'm there? I'll likely go hunt down the Glass Bank building, the old Mousetrap site and the Walk of Fame museum in Titusville but would welcome suggestions if I'm missing anything else.

Editor's note: Threads merged.

FFrench
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From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 10-18-2010 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by drscoop:
Would also appreciate any comments on anything else related to the era worth seeing around Cocoa Beach whilst I'm there?

I'd be tempted to make a stop in your own home town before leaving. I was in Macclesfield last year and took a fascinating tour of the Paradise Silk Mill with its working Jacquard silk looms. The technology goes back over 200 years and uses punch cards to create the patterns - essentially, a very early form of computer programming in the industrial revolution.

To then be at the Cape and see perhaps the ultimate expression of industrial innovation - the Saturn V rocket - developed and launched in the era of punch card computers with cards quite similar to those looms - there is a sweep of history that few people get to see in a short period of time.

spaceman1961
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Posts: 7
From: Tampa, Fla, USA
Registered: Jul 2010

posted 10-19-2010 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1961     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by drscoop:
Would also appreciate any comments on anything else related to the era worth seeing around Cocoa Beach whilst I'm there?
Glad to hear you're making the trip. I'm sure you will love it. Unfortunately, there is very little from the 1960s era to see in Cocoa Beach. Everything is either demolished or remodeled beyond recognition. You might want to skim back over the earlier posts in this thread from some good ideas of seeing what little is left to see (the Moon Hut sign inside the Mexican restaurant, the Mercury 7 sign now at the La Quinta Inn, etc.).

I would also suggest taking time to go to the new Air Force Space and Missle History Center at the south gate of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This is a new facility and not to be confused with the Air Force Space and Missle Museum located within the Air Force Station grounds, which is still open but only accesible via Kennedy Space Center's Then and Now tour (which, by the way, is worth the extra money). The admission to the new History Center is free. It features diplays from all of the launch pads (active and inactive) on the grounds of the CCAFS. It is entirely run and operated by volunteers. The displays are quite nice and interesting, and you could spend roughly 1-2 hours there. There is also a little gift shop with the proceeds going to the volunteer Museum Foundation for operating expenses and to help refurbish the rockets and displays. They are open every day except Monday. Hours are limited, so check before you go.

Have a great trip!

drscoop
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Posts: 23
From: Macclesfield, UK
Registered: Oct 2010

posted 10-19-2010 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for drscoop     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for your tip off about the new museum at the Cape; I had seen mention of this and assumed it was the one on the "Then and Now" tour. The clarification is appreciated and I'll do my best to make sometime to pop by.

In terms of the "Then and Now" tour, this is the primary reason for the trip, as I've wanted to see the older facilities for some time. I'm presently planning to arrive in the area mid-afternoon on day one and hopefully making the "Spacewalk Hall of Fame" in Titusville that afternoon, followed by the "Then and Now" tour and KSC the next day.

I'd planned to do the Astronaut Hall of Fame the following day, then use the second day of my KSC admission ticket to do anything I'd missed that afternoon. I can see fitting in the museum before doing these last two.

quote:
Originally posted by FFrench:
I was in Macclesfield last year and took a fascinating tour of the Paradise Silk Mill with its working Jacquard silk looms.
Your points regarding the Silk Museum are well made and correspond exactly with the conclusions I got my 10 year old son to work out: he took me to see the looms after we'd been to see "Baby," the world's first programmable computer, built just up the road at the University of Manchester.

I spent some time getting him to compare the two and realise that the looms were (exactly as you state) an early machine operating a pre-programmed set of instructions to producing a desired, specific and predictable output and therefore, to all intents and purposes, a computer. It was great to see the light dawn and it all make some sense to him!

spaceman1961
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Posts: 7
From: Tampa, Fla, USA
Registered: Jul 2010

posted 10-20-2010 05:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1961     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, it would certainly be a busy day, but I think you could manage to squeeze the new History Center into the third day of your trip as described. If your primary interest is in the older facilities, then you should really enjoy it, even if it means a bit less time at KSC. It's certainly only my opinion, but the only things worth seeing at KSC are the Early Space Exploration exhibit (which includes the recreation of the Mercury Mission Control), the Apollo/Saturn V Center, and the Rocket Garden. Other exhibits are more geared toward a younger crowd and have a "Disney" feel to them.

Whatever you do, I'm sure you will have a great time! Remember to call ahead to make sure the History Center is open when you want to go!

moorouge
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Posts: 1817
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-20-2010 09:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not space related, but a fun place to visit if you have kids, is the Liberty Bell Museum on Oak Street, Melbourne.

Here you can give a full size 'Liberty Bell' a bash with a hammer and see all sorts of other memorabilia. When we were there, the owner/curator was a very interesting and attentive person to talk to.

MrSpace86
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Posts: 1433
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 09-11-2014 10:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is Cocoa Beach a nice place to stay? If so, any recommendations of hotels that are right next to the beach that would help with relaxation? Thank you!

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Cozmosis22
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Posts: 394
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 09-11-2014 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MrSpace86:
If so, any recommendations of hotels that are right next to the beach that would help with relaxation?
Wakulla Suites at 3550 North Atlantic Avenue (A1A).

Rick Mulheirn
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Posts: 2752
From: England
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 09-11-2014 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I stayed in the Holiday Inn Express in Cocoa Beach last August. Nice enough. Reasonably priced and 100 metres walk from the beach. Well placed for local attactions and easy to find.

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