Satellite Beach is located in Brevard County along the central portion of the Sunshine State’s Atlantic coast.
It sits on a long barrier island between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean, and is relatively equidistant from Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach to the north and Melbourne to the south.
At the time of the last census, Satellite Beach had a population of about 10,000 residents. It’s ideally situated to give visitors access to a wide array of activity options, including historical, artistic, and natural attractions.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Satellite Beach that rank high on many visitors’ itineraries.
1. Pelican Beach Park
Florida’s Atlantic coast is full of amazing beaches stretching from Jacksonville in the north to Miami in the south.
Pelican Beach Park is one of Satellite Beach’s most visited beach parks and is open daily from 9 AM until sunset.
The park is just a short drive from many area hotels that are popular with visitors. There’s ample and free onsite parking, making it not only convenient, but an inexpensive way to spend a day as well.
Of course, the beach and surf are the park’s centerpieces, but there’s also a playground, beach volleyball courts, and covered pavilions.
2. Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burritos
Located on Highway A1A in Satellite Beach, Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burritos is a favorite post-beach stop for those looking to fill their empty stomachs without spending an arm and a leg.
Burrito’s come with plenty of ingredient options – from rice and meat to veggies and cheese – and there are a variety of sauces available as well.
Previous guests have noted that their burritos were big and full of vibrant flavors, and for those who’ve sworn-off meat, they offer vegetarian options as well.
They have a limited beer selection as well as soda, tea, and juice. Their burrito bowls are a big hit with those who’d rather not devour a carb-laden tortilla.
3. Samsons Island
Though much of Florida’s coastline is touristy and developed, for those who’d like to forego the crowds and experience nature as it was in years past, there are still places to do just that.
Samsons Island is located between the Indian and Banana Rivers and is only accessible by boat; each Sunday, the city provides free ferry service from the mainland to the island.
Those interested need to meet at the city’s fire department on South Patrick Drive at 12:30. Spaces are limited, so it’s best to arrive early.
Once on the island, visitors will have a variety of activity options at their fingertips, like hiking, fishing, and bird-watching.
4. Manatee Sanctuary Park
Though alligators bask in the spotlight most of the time, manatees are iconic Florida marine mammals that grow to impressive size and are big hits with visitors – especially children.
Manatee Sanctuary Park in nearby Cape Canaveral is one of the best places to get an up-close look at these marine herbivores as they swim slowly through the warm coastal waters and graze on submerged vegetation.
The park is comprised of more than ten acres and includes trails and boardwalks leading to a number of viewing areas.
The sanctuary is free to visit and includes exercise stations and covered seating areas, making it a great place to spend a fun and relaxing day.
5. Gleason Park
Located just a few miles south of Satellite Beach on Yacht Club Boulevard in Indian Harbour Beach, Gleason Park is on the Indian River side of the barrier island and is the perfectly scenic destination for those who’ve tired of crowded urban beaches.
Gleason Park is just a few blocks inland from the Indian River and is open every day of the week year-round.
There is a full-size swimming pool, walking trails, covered picnic areas, and two playgrounds. Throughout the year, the park hosts a variety of fairs and special events, like an arts and crafts show, Easter egg hunt, and a Christmas celebration.
6. Liberty Bell Memorial Museum
Though the real Liberty Bell is more than 1,000 miles north in The City of Brotherly Love, visitors to the Sunshine State can still check-out an impressive replica at the Liberty Bell Memorial Museum.
The museum is free to visit and includes several historic exhibits detailing the country’s history dating back to the pre-Revolutionary War period.
Located on Oak Street in Melbourne just a short drive from Satellite Beach, it includes sections on nearly all wars fought over the years, as well as memorials to each branch of the armed services and special sections dedicated to local servicemen and women.
7. Canova Beach Park
Comprised of nearly ten beachfront acres in nearby Indialantic, Canova Beach Park is one of the area’s most pet-friendly parks.
It features a beautiful stretch of beach that’s popular with swimmers, anglers, and surfers, and there are pavilions with built-in barbecue grills as well.
The park is open daily from 7 AM until 7 PM, but remember; if you plan on spending the day with your pooch, you’ll need to bring a valid proof of rabies vaccination and make sure that he or she is leashed and cleaned up after.
Since Canova Beach Park is really all about dogs, it’s probably not a good fit for cat people.
8. Turkey Creek Nature Sanctuary
Turkey Creek Nature Sanctuary is comprised of more than 100 acres of natural habitat that are home to a variety of Florida wildlife.
It’s a popular destination for hikers, explorers, photographers, and nature lovers. The sanctuary is open every day, and there’s no charge for admission.
There’s also a multi-use trail that stretches for nearly ten miles and passes by a few Native American archaeological sites from long before the area was officially settled by those of European descent.
The sanctuary’s nature center features permanent exhibits, and the staff often offer ranger-led tours and programs, so check their website for complete details.
9. Florida Tech Botanical Gardens
Located on the campus of Florida Tech on University Boulevard in nearby Melbourne, Florida Tech Botanical Gardens contains hundreds of species of common and exotic plants, flowers, and trees in a variety of distinctly themed cultivated areas.
Previous guests have noted that the gardens were an idyllic oasis that made them feel like they were farther away from the city’s hustle and bustle than they really were.
The grounds include a variety of well-marked trails featuring informative signs, so you’ll not only appreciate the beauty of the things you’re seeing, but learn about them as well.
Stop by the historic schoolhouse first and pick-up a free garden map before heading out.
10. Brevard Zoo
From rhinos and tigers to parrots and monkeys, the Brevard Zoo is home to an exotic array of animals from all over the world.
It’s located on Wickham Road in Melbourne just a short drive from Satellite Beach. In addition to their animal exhibits, they offer guided tours, staff-led programs, and a children’s water recreation area that’s the perfect place to cool off after a long day in the sun.
There’s also a train tour option that’s a big hit with kids; it’s the perfect excuse to sit, relax, take in the splendor, and listen to the informative narration along the way.
11. Manatee Cove Golf Course
Manatee Cove Golf Course is located on nearby Patrick Air Force Base, and playing requires a military ID or civilian pass, which is relatively easy to get.
The course features pre-round practice areas, a fully-stocked pro-shop, and a restaurant that is known for tasty grub and cold drinks.
The par-72 course plays just less than 7,000 yards and is considered a good value by price-conscious local golfers.
Carts are available for those who’d rather not walk, and for those who plan on playing during the dog days of summer, it’s a good idea to bring water, sunblock, and a hat.
12. Foosaner Art Museum
Melbourne’s Eau Gallie Arts District is one of the area’s most popular art and culture attractions, and the Foosaner Art Museum is one of its centerpieces.
The museum is located along the Indian River and features an impressive collection of thousands of individual works, including both contemporary pieces and those from thousands of years ago.
Works include a variety of international influences in a number of mediums – like drawings, paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.
The museum also hosts temporary exhibits and special events, many of which are in the cool fall and winter months when the Florida weather is just about perfect.
13. Astronaut Memorial Planetarium & Observatory
The Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory is located on the campus of Eastern Florida State College and is widely regarded as one of the best facilities of its kind in the country.
In addition to the indoor planetarium, there’s also a massive rooftop telescope that’s the largest of its kind in the state. The staff frequently host evening stargazing events that include knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers from local astronomical societies.
They also host cool laser and music shows that are big hits with children, and there’s an IMAX theater on-site as well.
14. American Space Museum
Located in Titusville near Cape Canaveral, the American Space Museum gets a lot less foot traffic than the Kennedy Space Center, but it’s one of those off-the-beaten-path gems that deserves a look for history-minded travelers who find themselves in the area with an hour to kill.
The museum’s exhibits include equipment and space-related artifacts; some of the most popular are the bronze hand imprints of some of the country’s most dedicated astronauts.
The museum touches on nearly all eras and launches, including Mercury and Apollo all the way up to the Space Shuttle.
Guided tours are available and can last up to a few hours, depending on the interests of the guests.
15. Florida Surf Museum
Florida’s Atlantic coast is one of the country’s premier surfing destinations, and it sports an interesting history that dates back to the turn of the 20th century.
The Florida Surf Museum is located on North Atlantic Avenue in Cocoa Beach. Even for those who’ve never tried the iconic sport, it’s well worth a visit.
The museum’s exhibits include a variety of boards, historical photos, and first-hand accounts of famous professional surfers.
There’s also a section of the museum that’s dedicated to women surfers and the impact they’ve made on the sport over the years – especially in the beginning when it was seen as a male-only recreational activity.