1. Orlando: Kennedy Space Center and Airboat Tour
Less than one hour from Orlando is NASA’s launch headquarters – the Kennedy Space Center. The visitor site offers a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the space program. Tour NASA’s launch headquarters, and see space shuttle launch pads from a four-story observation deck. Walk beneath a massive Saturn V moon rocket, and relive Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. Meet a real astronaut, stroll through the Rocket Garden, and enjoy five-story IMAX space films. The center also includes the space shuttle Atlantis, bringing visitors nose-to-nose with the priceless Atlantis spacecraft as only astronauts have seen it before. More than 60 interactive, touchscreen experiences and high-tech simulators bring to life the people, passion and patriotism behind NASA’s 30-year space shuttle program. Explore the complexity of the engineering marvel that launched the Hubble Space Telescope and built the International Space Station (ISS). Guests can practice docking to the ISS, extract cargo from the payload bay, and create sonic booms and glide to a landing on the re-entry slide. They can also experience the sensation of floating in space, explore a high-fidelity replica of the ISS, experience an orbital sunrise, and take the helm at the shuttle cockpit. On your airboat ride, glide through the grassy marsh of the St. Johns River and Lake Poinsett at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. As the boat slows down to an idle you will have several opportunities to take pictures of local wildlife, such as alligators, eagles, and several species of wading birds by the hundreds. Then visit a natural cypress swamp.