Distance from Miami: 214 miles north; 3 hours, 10 minutes
Let’s be honest, you go here for the rockets. Cape Canaveral is less than 20 minutes from the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, but since there’s nothing to do on Merritt Island, you'll want to stay in Cape Canaveral. It’s a beach town with plenty of fishing, boating, water sports, and fun-in-the-sun to keep you busy for a weekend, but don’t forget the real reason you’re here: to spend a day at NASA. While there, check out the center’s different “Mission Zones” (dedicated to each era of the space program -- Gemini, Apollo, etc.), see if you can pilot a spacecraft in the Space Shuttle Atlantis® simulator, or sign up to attend lunch with an actual astronaut. Then, head back to Cape Canaveral for fish, “Tahiti taters” (it’s like a warm potato salad), and live music at Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar.
Where to stay: Radisson Resort at the Port because it’s right on the beach, offers a “Kennedy Space Center Package” that includes two tickets, and when NASA does nighttime launches, you can see the rockets from the sand.