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  • KARS, Cape Kennedy, FL


    The Kennedy Athletic, Recreation and Social Park is located on Merritt Island just east of Cocoa, FL, and south of the Kennedy Space Center. It's a great place from which to watch a launch. It's available for use by NASA employees and military personnel only.

    We arrived in early February and unlike our vist two years ago, there were no waterfront sites available, so we ended up on site 60 back behind the bathhouse. Not a bad spot, but it does get rather muddy when it rains.

    Date of visit: Feb-Mar 2015

    A week after our arrival we were able to move to a riverfront site. Site selection here is akin to the Wild West - every man for himself. If you see an empty site and can get there first, it's yours. So here we are on site 3, which as you can see is right at water's edge.

    The Kennedy Space Center is right across the river from the KARS campground, so campers get a fantastic view of launches. During our 5 week stay we saw three.

    Our first visit here was in January 2013, when we fortunate to drive in and get a watefront site, #5, without any wait at all.

    Sites 70-74.

    Near the back of the park are some small sites which have the attraction of having cabanas to shade campers from the summer sun. Shown here are sites M - Y.

    Sites 47-50 are located in a grassy area just north of the community building.

    Along the north side of the community building are sites 41 to 46. 41 is closest to the water, which is behind me.

    Up at the north end of the park are some shaded sites, 21 to 30. These sites are quite a ways from the bathhouse.

    Behind the shaded sites shown above is another semi-circle of sites, 31 to 40, which are more open.

    The sites along the waterfront are numbered 1 to 20. Here are 9 to 20.

    Site 18 along the river. In the background is a cruise-ship over at Port Canaveral.

    The bathhouse is small and adequate, although it could be a bit cleaner, and offers free hot showers. The dump station is located beside it.

    Since our visit two years ago the office was moved from this building to another one closer to the park entrance. Now it is a community building, home to a small laundry facility with two washers and two dryers, all at $1.00 a load. There is also a treadmill here, as well as a book swap and a large-screen TV with lots of videos available.

    Right across the river is Port Canaveral, a major cruise ship embarkation point. One day we could see six large ships tied up. It was interesting to note they come into port sometime after dark and depart the next day in the late afternoon. Amazing that they can clean, replenish and board a new set of passengers in less than 24 hours.

    I mentioned mud earlier - this class C got totally mired down and could not move. Even this tractor coouldn't get him out; it took a large truck hooked to the tractor to finally get him free,.

    Over the second weekend in March KARS hosts a large Florida gathering of Indian Guides, with hundreds of dads and kids attending. It's quite a mob-scene with lots of golf carts and motorized scooters dashing about.

    I know, it has nothing to do with camping, but you have to admit it's pretty cool! He came cruising through the park one afternoon.

    Sunrise from our window.


    Sites along the river are $20 a night, while those "inland" are $15. All 104 sites have water and 20/30 amp hookups. Stay 7 nights for the price of 6. You also must purchase a KARS membership for $20, good for a year. 

    Dump station, showers

    Coordinates: 28.437872 N, 80.659903 W

    Elevation: 5'


    Boating, fishing, kayaking

    Kennnedy Space Center


    kars map