Cape Canaveral Florida

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Cape Canaveral is a strip of land in Brevard County on the Atlantic coast. It is east of Merritt Island, approximately midway between Miami and Jacksonville and is slightly over 50 miles east of Orlando. It is limited on the west by the Banana River and on the south by Cocoa Beach. To its north is Port Canaveral. It is part of a region known as the Space Coast and is the site of the Kennedy Space Center and an air force base. From 1963 to 1973 it was called Cape Kennedy in honor of the late President John F Kennedy. The change was not popular in Florida and in 1973 the 400-year-old name was restored. The space center retains the name Kennedy. All manned US spaceflights have launched from Cape Canaveral.

It was first named "Cape of Currents" by Ponce de Leon in 1513. The name Canaveral was given to the area by Spanish explorers and means canebrake or "Cape of Canes." Cape Canaveral is a 1.9 square-mile beach and coastal community of almost 10,000 residents. It was incorporated in 1963 and is an integral part of the north beaches area of Brevard County, catering to vacation and seasonal visitors in addition to year-round residents. Other points of interest include Florida Solar Energy Center, Cherie Down Park, and 35-acre Jetty Park with a vast family beach, long fishing pier and 150 camp sites. It is also the site of a nineteenth century lighthouse that is generally not open to the public. The original fresnel lens which was changed in 1993 is on display at Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.

Residents of Cape Canaveral are young, mobile, and a floating population. Many live in shared households or in apartments though some live in homes in established neighborhoods. For entertainment, they enjoy outdoor activities and sports, as well as going to movie theaters and nightclubs. The community is an integral part of the retirement-resort-vacation-recreation complex of the north beaches area of Brevard County.

In 1920s, a group of vacationing retired Orlando journalists invested $150 thousand in beach property and named the development Journalista. This later became Avon-by-the-Sea. At that time, fishermen, a few retirees, and descendants the original lighthouse keeper of the Cape Canaveral were residing in the northern part of the area, called Artesia. After the World War II a descendant of one of the original owners of the property, Dickson Brossier who believed in the future of the beach and development of a port, helped create a new beautiful city. By1958 when NASA was established the beach area had grown in population. Property owners decided to incorporate a new city known as Cape Canaveral rather than be annexed by the neighboring City of Cocoa Beach.

There are plenty of recreational activities in the neighborhood. Manatee Sanctuary Park on the banks of the Banana River is a popular picnic spot with a boardwalk and pavilion. The Cape Canaveral Recreation Complex offers dance, martial arts and other skills to residents of all ages. It is very close to the Cape Canaveral Xeriscape Park, a beautifully landscaped wooded park with natural vegetation. The City Hall and the Library are also near by. Cherie Down Park is a large community scenic beach park with sand dunes. It is popular with locals for beach activities and surf fishing. There is a small pavilion, a dune crossover, and two sheltered picnic areas at either end of a boardwalk along the dunes.

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