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Centrally located on the east coast of Florida, Port Canaveral is one of the most popular cruise ship destinations in the USA, and for good reason – the all important theme parks are an hour away by car or bus. It’s a large port servicing ships all year round, and it enjoys ideal proximity to plenty of local attractions. With plentiful shopping, a range of cultural experiences to enjoy and the great weather of Florida’s western Atlantic location, this is a popular port with tourists.
It goes without saying that some of the most fashionable tourist attractions in the Port Canaveral area include the many theme parks of Orlando. From Disneyland to SeaWorld there are plenty of adventures to be enjoyed a short drive from your ship. While these are exciting for most tourists, not everyone wants to spend their days away from the ship in busy parks. There are plenty of other destinations to enjoy, and some of them require very little travelling time:
Manatee Sanctuary Park: Right next to the port and within walking distance from docked ships, this marine reserve is dedicated to the preservation of Florida Manatees in one of their last natural habitats. It’s a ten acre parkland that offers guests the chance to view these fantastic creatures in the wild, but it also offers great picnic spots and a half mile nature trail to hike.
Kennedy Space Centre: The road to the cruise ship port is Astronaut Boulevard and unsurprisingly it also leads to the famous space centre, the site of rocket launches to the moon. The visitor centre really is a must-see attraction, with simulator rides, talks with real astronauts and video footage of launches to enjoy.
Daytona Beach: Travellers who want to experience some relaxation on land should head north to Daytona Beach. It’s considered the prettiest beach in this part of Florida and it regularly plays host to some of the State’s biggest sporting events.
Florida is well-known as a shopping destination, with cheap prices and numerous outlets offering some of the best discounts in the USA. Tourists who are prepared to travel can head into Orlando where outlet malls offers brand name goods at last season’s prices. The Florida Mall is one of the biggest and most popular shopping centres in the city and it’s just an hour away from the port. You’ll find department stores like Sears, as well as popular fashion chain stores and electronic shops.
Port Canaveral does offer its own shopping mall. The Cove Marketplace is located right at the oceanfront. As well as hundreds of stalls from local artisans where tourists can pick up bespoke artwork, unusual jewellery and handcrafted pottery items, it also boasts a private jetty, a pier with amusements and several restaurants to enjoy.
Restaurants near to Port Canaveral are plentiful and exciting. Cuisines reflect are truly international flavour with countless countries from around the world represented here. Italian restaurants, Filipino, and Spanish feature locally, and fresh seafood is a firm favourite. While there isn’t really a speciality dish here, many of the local restaurants regard oysters as typically Floridian and you can find them served up in ocean view restaurants within walking distance of the port. If you leave your cruise ship for dinner in Port Canaveral, head across to Rusty’s Seafood and Oyster Bar where you can enjoy al fresco dining on the Tiki deck.
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