Category Archives: Florida

Greetings from The Sunshine State!
Active City Travel’s guide to Florida’s top hotels, restaurants and attractions. Tips for your next Florida vacation from the Emerald Coast to the Keys.

Visit Florida’s Space Coast

The billionaire space race has reignited public interest in space exploration and travel, an interest not seen since millions watched Neil Armstrong make one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

It’s easy to forget that space travel was the dream of one man. In 1961 John F. Kennedy asked America to commit to sending men to the moon “before this decade is out.” Sadly President Kennedy did not live to see his dream come true.

JFK at Kennedy Space Center
JFK at Kennedy Space Center

When the space program began, NASA chose Merritt Island, Florida for two reasons: the launch would occur over unpopulated areas and an east coast location meant rockets leaving Earth would get a boost from the Earth’s rotation.

Explore Kennedy Space Center main gate
Explore Kennedy Space Center main gate

If you’re interested in space travel and the science of space exploration,  a visit to the Kennedy Space Center on Florida’s Space Coast is probably on your bucket list.

Top Tips for Kennedy Space Center Visitors

First time visitor? KSC is overwhelming. Will you have time to see everything? What should you see first? Start early and make use of the helpful concierge at the information center.

They can plan out a visit based on what you most want to see and your time available. The free map has good must see suggestions. A multi day ticket is also available – good for multiple admissions within one year.

Tip #1. 

My suggestion: Start where it all began – take the bus ride from KSC to Launch pad A. The world’s fascination with space travel was ignited by Apollo 11, the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, on July 2oth 1969.

Apollo 11 Control Room, KSC
Apollo 11 Control Room, KSC

See the actual control room, not a replica but the control room used for the first moon landing in 1969. These computers cost $3.5 million a piece and were the size of a car. Now your smartphone is millions of times more powerful than the Apollo 11 guidance computers. You can walk under a gigantic Saturn V rocket and touch a moon rock, which unremarkably feels just like an earth rock.

Saturn V Rocket at Kennedy Space Center
Saturn V Rocket at Kennedy Space Center

Looking like a model kit built by giants, theSaturn V rocket fills the room. The three-stage liquid-propellant reliable, but non-recyclable Saturn V was the NASA rocket that launched humans to the moon.

Tip #2. 

After you return, join the timed entry for space shuttle Atlantis. Choose your KSC visit partner carefully. This is not the time to have the argument that space travel is a waste of government money – money better spent improving lives on earth. That may be true but it’s a total buzz kill.

Tip #3.

After all that time on your feet, you’re ready to sit down. Visit the Imax Theaters for a film. When you visit the IMAX theater, take the stairs to the very back – the experience will be more immersive.  Also families with fidgety, coughing children will stay together on the first level by the entry doors.

While the Kennedy Space Center is the feature attraction of Florida’s Space Coast, there are plenty of other places and attractions to visit. Cities in the area include Titusville, Cocoa, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Merritt Island (unincorporated), Cocoa Beach, Melbourne, Indialantic, Palm Bay, and Viera.

Cocoa Beach, south of Cape Canaveral, is known for its beach and surf breaks. Inside a surf shop, the Florida Surf Museum traces the sport’s local history. Nearby Cocoa Beach Pier has eateries and shops. The maritime forest at oceanfront Lori Wilson Park attracts birdlife. If you’re looking for unique crafts and curiosities or vintage clothes, check out Historic Cocoa Village.

Duran Golf Club
Duran Golf Club

Viera’s Duran Golf Club features a championship 18-hole links-style Florida golf course which plays 7151 yards from the tips. Designed by Chip Powell, Duran opened to the public in 2005.

The par-4  18th is the signature hole at Duran. This long, sweeping dogleg left wraps around a large lake, a challenging finale to your round.

Duran Golf Club Invitational annually hosts top women’s college golf teams from Louisville, Florida, Florida State and UCF,South Carolina, LSU, and Auburn.

Where to Stay on Florida’s Space Coast

Just steps from the Atlantic, the pet-friendly Windemere Inn by the Sea is situated on a barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Indian River to the west, located on A1A, in Indialantic, Florida. 

Windemere Inn by the Sea
Windemere Inn by the Sea

The Windemere Inn B&B features eleven comfortable guest-rooms. 

Pet-friendly Windemere Inn
Pet-friendly Windemere Inn

Tesla and Universal/J1772 charging stations are provided as well as parking.  Pets travelling with their owners are welcome in the secluded English Garden and the Windsong rooms.

Guests have the choice to swim in the ocean or the heated pool. Beach towels, umbrellas and beach chairs are all available to take to the nearby beach. 

Windemere Inn by the Sea
Windemere Inn by the Sea

We enjoyed comparing notes with other travellers over delicious homemade complimentary breakfasts and our genial host had great suggestions for local bars and restaurants including Meg O’Malley’s Irish bar in downtown Melbourne. Try the famous 18-cent bean soup and the best Guiness ever – in Florida!

Can Pritikin Help You Achieve Your Health Goals?

Plan a healthy vacation at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, and you’ll learn how to lose weight with better diet and lifestyle decisions.

It took nearly 40 years for the world to catch up to Nathan Pritikin and his then-radical ideas about diet and lifestyle. What is conventional advice today – eat more fruit and vegetables, consume less salt and sugar and exercise regularly – was once hearsay.

More than 100,000 guests worldwide have visited the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa to prevent and reverse problems such as excess weight, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cancer risk factors.

A hallmark of Pritikin is its strong medical presence. Upon intake, your current health and fitness levels are assessed. Certified physicians provide each guest with the expert medical attention required for achieving major life changes. A stress test is given to make sure those not used to exercising don’t overextend themselves.

Pritikin Center Lap Pool
Pritikin Center Lap Pool photo credit: John Cameron

You’ll stay on-site at the Pritikin Center in a Standard Villa room or at luxurious Trump National Doral, a short walk away. (Either way, your stay at Pritikin gives you access to the Doral facilities, which include the beautiful swimming pools and championship golf courses.) Here, you’ll be in a community of like-minded individuals who want to transform their lives.

A typical day at Pritikin starts with breakfast, followed by 45 minutes of cardio, then followed by weight training and alternating days with stretching. After a buffet lunch, where diners are encouraged to start with large salads followed by hot vegetable–based entrees, participants attend lectures to learn the skills to maintain the Pritikin lifestyle when they return home in a week or two or three, depending on the client.

Pritikin Center weight room
Pritikin Center weight room photo credit: John Cameron

Two factors set Pritikin apart from all other health resorts:

1. Scientifically documented results

2. An education program that teaches guests how to sustain these results.

Pritikin’s faculty – leaders in the fields of medicine, nutrition, psychology and exercise – lead eye-opening classes focused on subjects including dining out, reading labels and calorie density.

The popular lecture on processed food label reading is put into practice with a fun shopping trip, complete with a scavenger hunt for the healthiest products at a local supermarket. You’ll learn to decipher the correct information on the back of the package. 

A few pointers: Never believe anything on the front of the package, as it’s all unregulated marketing. Make sure the first ingredient is not sugar. Red flags are fat, sodium, added sugar and refined grain.

Another popular lecture – “Sitting Is the New Smoking” – challenges our contemporary sedentary lifestyle. Continuous sitting for more than three hours per day means you’re 64% more likely to die from heart disease.

Pritikin Center Dining Room
Pritikin Center Dining Room photo credit: John Cameron

In other lectures, participants learn about mindful eating. Did you know that stomach receptors malfunction if you multitask while eating?

Stop eating while comfortable. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for your stretch receptors to work. Start with servings of vegetables and fruit, and you’ll feel full sooner. The concept of food displacement is related to calorie density, a key Pritikin idea.

Pritikin is more than a diet; it’s a lifestyle. A one-week stay at Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami is the inspiration for permanent change that includes weight loss, a sensible exercise plan and effective tools to make good nutritional choices, both at restaurants and supermarkets. 

Previously Published on USA Today