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“Get away from Mickey and Donald and see real Florida”

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This wildlife conservation park is home to more endangered species than anywhere else in America.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Get away from Mickey and Donald and see real Florida”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We visit the Merritt Island national Wildlife refuge every visit. It takes you back to real Florida, and gets you away from the commercialised centres. Start at the visitors centre then move out. We always head to the Manatee viewing platform however if they aren't there go to the boat launching area on the other side of the river and they normally hang around there, magical creatures. There is lots of wildlife, beaches, viewing platforms and no crowds, it makes such a refreshing change. Well worth a visit, will we be back?, hell yes.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Merritt Island, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Habitat for over 600 Birds and Wildlife, only 40 minutes from Orlando International Airport!!!”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

This is a great place for photographer. Consisting of 140,000 acres, the Refuge provides over 1,500 species of plants and animals. If you want to watch wildlife, best to start early before sunrise. There are hundreds of bird still in the water awaiting sunrise. Roseate Spoonbills, Egret,
Blue Herons Duck and Gators. At sunset you will find Bobcat crossing the road. There is $5 Entrance fee for Black Point Wildlife Drive and you can launch a boat from ramps at three locations. The Visitor Information Center is open Mon-Sat 9am to 4pm. After visiting the park, you might want visit the Playalinda Beach. If you want to spend a quiet time with your family, this Canaveral National Seashore is for you!!!!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Dizzygizmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Merritt Island, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Don't go too far out of your way for this...”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

I live fairly close to this place and so I am a little jaded in that seeing a few heron and egrets is not very exciting anymore. That said, I took my parents (in their 70s) there last month, and I had previously taken them there 7 or 8 years ago, and both times we saw next to nothing. I am told the best time is as early or late as park hours allow, and to be fair, we were there mid-day. I would say that we say 5-6 white egrets, several small heron, and a couple of great blue heron. On most days, I can see that much wildlife on most bodies of water while driving around Brevard County. On good days, I can spot multiple dolphin, a couple of manatees, Pelicans and Osprey while driving along the causeways that connect Merritt Island to Cocoa Beach and Cocoa.

One thing I would recommend in this same area is the 'Canaveral National Seashore' beach area just up the road. I am not a big beach person, but the remoteness of this particular area is much more appealing to me than the crowds in Cocoa Beach. One note: Rumor holds that there is a beach that is unofficially 'clothing optional' called Playa Linda in this area... we've never encountered it, but fair warning....

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Jesse S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
103 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Pack a picnic and make a day out of it”
Reviewed 10 May 2014 via mobile

We used to live in Florida and knew of this area , so on our vacation, we brought the kids, as with nature , nothing is guaranteed , plenty or birds etc, only saw 1 gator this go around, and a ton of manatees . Well worth the drive and time if you can swing it

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank massmom2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful!!!”
Reviewed 29 April 2014 via mobile

The refuge belongs to the Kennedy Space Center. It's 140,000 acres, as soon as I drove in, I was lucky enough to see a bobcat hunting a Rabbit! Across the road was a wild hog, grazing along the pavement. We decided to go to the 'black point' wildlife drive. We did not get to see much, other than a few birds. The birds were beautiful! They have a few hiking trails you can walk by foot. The scenery was beautiful! It was definitely worth the drive, but don't expect to see much wildlife. They have a manatee viewing area which is pretty cool. But I didn't see much. Then we went to the Cape Canaveral Beach, which is next to the 'KSC' launch pad. It was very beautiful! I saw a small shark, and a few dolphin. Overall very pleased! Definitely going back!!

Helpful?
1 Thank Patrocluss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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