Special Issues » Annual Manual

Florida's Space Coast is more than just Elon Musk's backyard

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Though the Space Coast went through some tough times after the local economy was dealt a heavy blow following the shutdown of NASA's space shuttle program in 2011, things are looking up now. Much has been made of real-life comic book character Elon Musk's space cannons or whatever he's doing out there, but the area also boasts a booming craft beer scene and more than a few delicious bites to go along with its laid-back beach-town vibe – though there's plenty of other stuff to do if you're not interested in being a beach bum.

Dixie Crossroads

1475 Garden St., Titusville, 321-268-5000, dixiecrossroads.com

Lines frequently wrap around the building at this Space Coast mainstay serving lobster, steak and locally caught shrimp along with their famous corn fritters.

Cosmic Vinyl

1329 S. Washington Ave., Titusville, 321-514-1032, cosmicvinylrecords.com

Devoted to music, Cosmic Vinyl is both a record shop and intimate music venue. Plus, they can use their record lathe to cut a custom piece of vinyl just for you.

Victory Casino Cruises

180 Christopher Columbus Drive, B2, Cape Canaveral, 855-468-4286, victorycasinocruises.com

If you've got the cash to burn, Victory will help you lose it with a variety of slot, card and table games. And with free drinks while you're on the gambling deck, you'll still feel like a winner.

Da Kine Diego's Insane Burritos

1360 A1A, Satellite Beach, 321-779-8226, facebook.com/dakinediegos

This popular surfer hangout has been serving up massive two-hands-necessary burritos for more than two decades.

Lou's Blues

3191 A1A, Indialantic, 321-779-2299, lousbluesupstairs.com

A beachside blues bar with live music every night of the week.

Charlie and Jake's Barbecue

490 E. Eau Gallie Blvd., Indian Harbour Beach, 321-777-7675, charlieandjakes.com

This Alabama-style barbecue joint on the beach is the result of a NASA employee being transferred from Huntsville to Cape Canaveral more than 20 years ago.

The Original Bizzarro Famous NY Pizza

4 Wavecrest Ave., Indialantic, 321-724-4799, theoriginalbizzarro.com

A New York-style pizza mainstay that's so beloved by locals, they once changed the name of the street it's on to Bizzarro Way.

Heidi's Jazz Club

7 N. Orlando Ave., Cocoa Beach, 321-783-4559, heidisjazzclub.com

A date-night favorite, Heidi's offers patrons food and drink in an upscale setting along with live jazz performances from local and touring musicians.

Playalinda Brewing Co.

305 S. Washington Ave., Titusville, 321-225-8978, playalindabrewingcompany.com

Former Cask & Larder cicerone Ron Raike runs this celebrated brewery on the Space Coast.

Meg O'Malley's

812 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne, 321-952-5510, megomalleys.com

This Melbourne Irish pub is the spot to have a few pints and enjoy live Celtic music nearly every weekend.

Debauchery

807 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne, 321-821-4914, downtowndebauchery.com

Stop in early for the decent happy hour specials, but stay late for the eclectic entertainment offerings.

Brix Project

5220 S. Washington Ave., Titusville, 321-567-5974, playalindabrewingcompany.com

An offshoot of Playalinda Brewing, the Brix Project houses a production brewery in a renovated lumberyard and serves a variety of burgers, entrees and flatbreads.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

West Nasa Parkway, Merritt Island, 855-433-4210, kennedyspacecenter.com

Get an up-close look at the history and future of the U.S. space program with plenty of exhibits, tours and IMAX movies.

King Center for the Performing Arts

3865 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, 321-242-2219, kingcenter.com

Melbourne's performing arts center draws some of the best musicians, comedians, Broadway productions and more to the Space Coast.