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If you’re heading to Cape Canaveral, it’s likely your main focus is the Kennedy Space Center. You need not be there for an actual shuttle launch to get the feel for the “real” space experience.
If Cape Canaveral is to be a side trip from your Orlando vacation, you’ll probably want to have a rental car to help you get around. From the Orlando airport, you’ll take SR528 east and follow the signs. You’ll then take SR407 until it dead-ends into SR405; follow the signs from there. You really can’t get lost as the area is well marked.
Most experts recommend keeping your car in the parking lot at the space center and using the buses to get around. Several bus tours are offered that will give you an intimate look at America’s space program specifically as it applies to the Kennedy Space Center.
If you purchase one of the package deals, the buses will also get you to the IMAX theatre on time or other destinations.
If you want to end your day at the shore, take U.S-1 to County Road 402 and head to the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Stop first at the visitor’s center for information about the various wildlife that that lives in the refuge and what you might find there.
Regardless of your other plans, and where you’re coming from, traveling by car is by far your best bet in the Cape Canaveral area.