And even further beyond: USA travel ideas

I know that this is a guide to New York, but every once in awhile I discover less-well-known travel destinations beyond our region, within the USA. And of course there are my favorites.

I got the idea for this new page from an article in Buzzfeed, August 1, 2013:

10 Underrated Vacation Spots You Should Probably Consider

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COCOA BEACH AND THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA: I’ve just returned from a short midwinter break in Florida. We opted to stay in Cocoa Beach, two hours north of Palm Beach on what is known as the “Space Coast,” because it is home to the Kennedy Space Center. And that’s what I want to recommend. If you’re planning a visit to DisneyWorld, or leaning toward Miami or the Keys, do consider this area instead. The beach here is wide and quiet, there are plenty of affordable, low-rise hotels and condos with ocean views, and the locals are friendly and low-key. We hung out every morning at either Juice n Java, with its comfy couches, coffee roasted on site, and tasty wraps, or Simply Delicious Cafe and Bakery, where the husband-and-wife team wow customers with homemade pastries and breads, and excellent breakfast and lunch choices, until 3pm daily. For dinner, we flipped for the baby back ribs and salads at Madd Jack’s Grillin’ Shack and fresh seafood and key lime pie at Seafood Atlantic on the water at the Cape Canaveral Port. Prices at both are VERY reasonable. But the high point of our trip was a day at the Kennedy Space Center. You may not think you’re interested in astronauts or space travel, but there you are, standing below a real Saturn V rocket and then the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis and a lifesize replica of the Hubbell telescope and you can’t help but be moved. We took the “close up” three hour Mega Tour, which took us by bus the length and breadth of the enormous Space Center campus at Cape Canaveral, and guided us through the security gates into the 52-foot tall Vehicle Assembly Building and to Launch Pad 39-A. If this sounds too “nerdy” for you, please reconsider. The tour guides and the docents within the exhibits are retired NASA engineers ready to share their vast scientific knowledge and recollections of their decades with the U.S. space program. And if you’re really lucky, as we were, you’ll be in town for a rocket launch. We stood on Cocoa Beach to watch the SpaceX Falcon 9 carry the THAICOM 6 Satellite across the sky and disappear behind the clouds into space. We felt like little kids. It was immensely thrilling.

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