Florida’s Space Coast has a lot to offer, including Port Canaveral, one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. To celebrate it’s 60th anniversary, The Canaveral Port Authority opened Exploration Tower in November 2013. This architectural beauty has 7 floors full of activities and exhibits that are dedicated to preserving the history of the port and it’s surrounding area.
As we walked up to Exploration Tower, we couldn’t help but admire the design of the building. Somewhat resembling a sail, the structure definitely stands out.
As we walked in, we immediately noticed the structures that were hanging above the space. They were whales and jelly fish, which once we looked a little closer, we realized were made of… garbage? We had to do a double-take. But we learned more about the structures once we got to the second floor.
We made our way over to the reception desk, got our tickets (only $6.50 per adult), and it was suggested that we work our way up the building, as opposed to starting at the top and working our way down. So we continued on to the second floor. There we saw exhibits about the Native Americans and early settlers of the area, the growth of Cape Canaveral, and the development of the nearby port. Oh, and we learned that the marine life structures were all made of recycled materials.
The third floor had a theater, which played a movie every half hour about the port’s history. The movie takes you “from surf to sand, sand to sky and from sky into orbit.” While we were waiting for the doors of the theater to open, however, we had to have a little fun…
The fourth floor was dedicated to special events. I personally think it would be pretty cool to have a meeting in this space. And apparently lots of people get married here as well.
Next was the fifth floor, which was all about Port Canaveral. It even had a simulator where you were the harbor pilot and could navigate ships through the harbor.
The sixth floor was dedicated to space exploration. There was lots of cool memorabilia, photos, and videos about the many launches that have taken place in nearby Kennedy Space Center.
And then there was the seventh floor observation deck… what a view!! From there we could see the cruise ships lined up at the port and if you looked off into the distance you could see Kennedy Space Center!
As an added bonus, there happened to be a free car show in the area across from Exploration Tower which was held by the Cape Kennedy Corvette Club. There were some awesome corvettes there, including one owned by Neil Armstrong.
Overall, I have to say it was a great trip to Port Canaveral. It’s definitely great for both adults and kids, with lots to see and do. Plus, it’s indoors which can be a blessing in the Florida Heat. 😉
670 Dave Nisbet Dr, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
Have you ever been to Port Canaveral or visited Exploration Tower? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂