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Day Trip: Merritt Island National Wildlife Center

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One of the best things about living in Florida is that there are so many beautiful places to visit. This makes it possible to take a different day trip out of the Vero Beach area almost every weekend. The Treasure and Space coasts of Florida are home to many of the state’s natural wildlife, including the Merritt Island National Wildlife Center.

Visiting this refuge is an amazing opportunity for those who love being in the great outdoors. The location offers plenty of chances to spot wading birds, bald eagles, alligators and so much more. Guests visiting the area will be able to take the six-mile nature driving tour or enjoy similar paths by walking or biking. The walking trail has a breathtaking view of the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building.

Other activities in the area include relaxing on the manatee observation deck, fishing, hunting, boating and paddling.

During your visit to the center you will also see a variety of coastal dunes, saltwater estuaries, marshes, freshwater impoundments, scrubs, pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks. The Merritt Island National Wildlife Center is home to more than 15,000 different species of plants and animals.

The Merritt Island National Wildlife Center, also known as the Canaveral National Seashore, was founded in 1963 as a complementary feature to NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center. The refuge is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System which has 522 refuges across the nation that protects more than 150 million acres.

The Merritt Island National Wildlife Center is located just off of U.S. Highway 1 at State Highway 402 in Titusville. That is less than a two hour drive from the Vero Beach area. The visitor’s center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and is closed on Sundays and federal holidays. Black Point Wildlife Drive and all other public areas of the refuge are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

For more information about the Merritt Island National Wildlife Center call 321.861.0667 or visit the official website by clicking here.

After you have spent most of the day exploring the Merritt Island National Wildlife Center, take some time to visit the Cocoa Village, which is just a short drive away from the center. There you can enjoy some coffee, dinner or go shopping.

Hope this helps you plan a day trip to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Center. Happy traveling!!

Warning: If you come across an alligator do not attempt to approach or taunt the them. This goes for any other wildlife. Even if they do not pose a threat, they are in their natural habitat and should be left alone.