Canaveral National Seashore
Guide

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Introduction

If you've got adventure on your mind, consider a visit to Canaveral National Seashore. It's the ideal spot to enjoy some sand and surf in a secluded tropical paradise.

Canaveral National Seashore is a Florida barrier island that is a haven for families in search of a quiet place to enjoy some R&R. The property is a sanctuary for many different rare and endangered animal and bird species and is home to over 1,000 varieties of plants and 310 types of birds. Fifteen of the animals that claim the seashore as their residence are in danger of extinction.

With 24 miles of undisturbed shoreline, Canaveral National Seashore feels like a private oasis for families who are looking to stroll along the coast for hours, drinking in the air of tranquility and peace. The area is quite popular for fishermen who roam the waters in search of clams, finfish, oysters, blue crabs, and shrimp.

Mosquito Lagoon lays claim to 2/3's of the property and bears the distinction of having been awarded the Outstanding Florida Water designation. It also forms a part of the 156 mile Indian River Lagoon, a popular place for canoeing and fishing.

Canaveral National Seashore offers many attractions for families to enjoy. Though the beach is one of its strongest appeals, many flock to the area in the hopes of spotting some rare species of sea turtles sunning along the shore or to participate in a guided Night Sky watch. To the southern portion of the island lies John F. Kennedy Space Center which is also a home to many activities throughout the year.

Canaveral National Seashore enjoys hot and humid weather in season but otherwise is known for its mild climate. Hurricane season occurs between the months of June and October.

For an idyllic vacation in an island paradise, plan a trip to Canaveral National Seashore. You'll have an amazing time.

Park Alerts (5)

[Caution] Rip Currents and Rough Surf

Remember that rough surf is dangerous & rip currents can be deadly. Please use caution when swimming at Canaveral National Seashore.

[Information] Recreational Crab Fishing At Playalinda Beach

Effective May 22, 2017, recreational crab fishing along Mosquito Lagoon in the Playalinda district of Canaveral National Seashore will be prohibited. Alligators are now accustomed to visitors crabbing or stopping on the roadway & associate food w/ people.

[Information] Area's Closed Temporarily

Turtle Mound is closed for board walk repair in the Apollo Beach District until further notice. Seminole Rest is closed November 29, 2019.

[Information] PICKING SAW PALMETTO BERRIES PROHIBITED

The picking of saw palmetto berries within Canaveral National Seashore is prohibited.

[Park Closure] Rocket Launch Viewing Information [+ Info]

For launches occurring on Kennedy Space Center that are within park operating hours we plan to remain open. Incoming traffic may close for park safety/capacity. NASA has the authority to close parts of the seashore for Kennedy Space Center operations.

RV Rentals in Canaveral National Seashore

Transportation in Canaveral National Seashore

Driving

The journey from Daytona Beach to Canaveral National Seashore is short and direct at only 15 miles. To follow this route, begin by heading southeast on US-1 S/S Ridgewood Ave toward W International Speedway Blvd. Remain on US-1 S until you reach Florida A1A. Merge onto this highway, continuing onto S Causeway which leads directly to the Seashore. The roads along this trek consist of two lanes and are kept in excellent condition. Traffic moves along well, and there is rarely any road construction.

Parking

Parking is available in various different locations throughout Canaveral National Seashore including in a lot at the entrance to the park.

Public Transport

There is no public transportation available to to park as it is accessed via a Causeway or boat.

Campgrounds and parking in Canaveral National Seashore

Campsites in Canaveral National Seashore

Reservations camping

Backcountry Canaveral National Seashore Campground

Backcountry Canaveral National Seashore Campground offers campsites for tent camping year-round by reservation only. There are 14 campsites that are accessible only by boat, spread out on the small islands that make up the National Seashore. Canoes are available for rental if needed.

Dogs are not permitted at the campsites, and RV camping is not allowed.

There are no on-site amenities provided. A permit is required to camp at Backcountry Canaveral National Seashore.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Canaveral National Seashore

Spring

Turtle Watch

Certain times of the year the conditions are right for families to see the unique phenomena of many different species of sea turtles gathering along the shoreline to sun themselves. With 24 miles of coastline to choose from, you can find your own unique vantage point where you can sit in the sand and wait for the right moment.

Charge up your cell phone to get some rare footage of this unique scene. Don't forget to bring drinking water and snacks to enjoy while out on "Turtle Watch."

Summer

Wildlife Viewing

Canaveral National Seashore is a haven for many different species of plant and animal life. With over 1,000 varieties of plants and 310 types of birds alone, there is lots for the avid naturalist to see. Fifteen of the animals which inhabit this region are currently on the endangered species list. These include Loggerhead Sea Turtles, Green Sea Turtles, Leatherback Sea Turtles, Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles, and Hawksbill Sea Turtles.

Other wildlife that you might be lucky enough to see includes Eastern Indigo Snakes, Atlantic Salt Marsh Snakes, Western Indian Manatees, Southern Beach Mouses, and Right Whales.

Bring along some drinking water, your camera, some sun protection, and your naturalist's guide. Do take care not to disturb any of the plant and animal life.

Canoeing on Mosquito Lagoon

Mosquito Lagoon, the large body of water which encompasses 2/3's of the property at Canaveral National Seashore, is an excellent place to do some fishing or canoeing. There are many guided tours available by reservation. Stop by the visitor's center to inquire about availability.

If you don't own your own canoe, you can rent one at one of the rental shops near to the beach.

Fall

Hiking

With so much land to explore, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to hiking opportunities at Canaveral National Seashore. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes to protect your feet against injury.

Some of the most popular hiking paths include Castle Windy, Turtle Mound Trail, and Eldora Hammock Trail. Chart your own course along the coastline or through the wooded regions. The terrain is varied and alternates from areas of pine flatlands and open lagoon.

Photography

Canaveral National Seashore is an extremely picturesque spot. Whether you love shooting photos of plant and animal life or scenery, you won't want for subject matter here.

Wander along the coast in search of picture perfect moments from the sea or snap a few photos of the abundance of plant and animal life to be found within the park itself.

The area is also the ideal spot for taking a few family photos as a souvenir of a wonderful Florida vacation on the coast.

Winter

Night Sky Watch

Night Sky Watches are an extremely popular activity at Canaveral National Seashore. Due to its 24 mile length coastline and open lagoon, the area is a prime location for viewing the stars and planets on a beautifully moonlit night.

You can join an organized Night Sky Watch party or choose a spot to create your very own; all you'll need is a lawnchair, a soft blanket, and some binoculars or a telescope.

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