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Photo Safaris and Nature Tours in The Space Coast

Perfect for nature lovers looking for an outdoors vacation, the Space Coast is the only place where mega space shuttles and delicate sea bird sanctuaries entwine along the Atlantic.  The area is a natural enticement for visitors seeking a unique vacation experience- adventure, ecological or educational- and for capturing priceless memories with a camera. The area is an unmatched canvas for individualized wildlife photography tours - from nature trails in four national wildlife refuges and dozens of area manatee overlooks to canopied boardwalks in birding sanctuaries and kayak or airboat tours through marshes.  Home to more than 25 mammals and 310 types of birds, fall and winter months ignite an influx of migratory birds, bald eagles, white pelicans and manatees.  To assist venturesome nature enthusiasts, renowned wildlife photographer, Bob Paty, provides 10 recommended sites for capturing the best shots.  For added value, Space Coast visitors pick up free brochures - " Great florida Birding Trail" and "Outdoor Adventures" - at the Space Coast Office of Tourism, local visitor centers, area hotels and attractions.

Wild Shots: Top Locations to Photograph Wildlife on Florida's Space Coast

Canaveral National Seashore:  At the North Entrance there is access to beach, platforms and trails for views of gulls, raptors, shorebirds and migratory ducks.  At the South Entrance, spot scrub-jays, plovers, terns, gulls, sea ducks and loons from trails or the beach.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge: Observer Black Point Wildlife Drive for ducks like pintails and teals.  Bald eagles and white pelicans retrurn in fall and winter months.  Spy migratory birds on the hammock and scrub walking trails.  Vacationers can spot manatees and turtles at Haulover Canal. 

Indian River Lagoon and Banana River: Scope for migratory ducks in season near Scottsmoor Landing .  Admire harriers prowling the black needle rush marsh where rails skulk tall reeds.  Meander in boats, kayaks or canoes to inspect migratory bird clusters on the riverbanks of Bird Island, and dolphins and manatees in the inlets and sounds.

St. John's River: Scan the river for snowy egrets, wrens, sparrows and alligator nests from boats or kayaks. Birds dot dusk's rust-colored sunset skies.

Turkey Creek Sanctuary: Mosey down the creek in a kayak beside alligators and manatees.  Walk the canopied birding boardwalk to appreciate the more than 30 species of warblers.

Lori Wilson Park: Check the hammock and coastal scrub adjacent to Cocoa Beach for migratory songbirds, scrub-jays, shorebirds and seabirds.

Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary: Wander along walking and learning trails through ecosystems with a variety of endangered and threatened species.  Navigate the trails to the coquina rock ridge, magnolia loop and canal gorge.

Rotary Park on Merritt Island: Stroll along boardwalks to sneak peeks of songbirds and spectacular sunsets.

Blue Heron Wetlands: Patrol dikes, fresh water marshes and unspoiled wetlands for northern harriers, bitterns, winter ducks, American wigeons and pintails.

Port Canaveral: Visit Jetty Park and the Locks area for shorebirds, brown pelicans, ducks, looms, great blue herons and snowy egrets.

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