Titusville Florida
| | | |

Titusville Florida’s Private Islands

A private island in Titusville, Florida? This can’t be right. If you head out onto the Indian River Lagoon – an estuary, you will find a few! And they are like a scene from Robinson Crusoe. I’m willing to bet most boaters don’t think about sandbars or having a private island when you mention Titusville. Even better, for those of us in Central Florida, Titusville is only 45 minutes away from Orlando, and you can be on the water in 10 minutes easily.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure and privacy policy for more information.

Titusville Florida

Titusville is probably best known as the Kennedy Space Center host, although most think rockets launch from neighboring Cocoa Beach. Sometimes referred to as Space City, USA” and “Miracle City” – nicknames the city earned as the community’s population, economy, and tourism grew in the 1950s due to Cape Canaveral’s growth and later the Kennedy Space Center.

This town stuck in time was once pegged to be the next town to make a significant comeback. That is until the space shuttle program ended, crashing any dreams of an east coast Tampa or urban mecca on Florida‘s eastern coastline.

Simply put, there aren’t jobs to support a comeback without the space shuttle program. Those left behind live with a crime rate higher than the national average. When this article was initially published in 2018, it was ~51% higher.  Fast forward to 2020, and the crimes have dropped and continued to do so.

Sadly, Titusville it’s not on the top of everyone’s list of places to visit “yet”; however, it is making a comeback!

Crime rates aside, let’s understand why you should consider a day out here – particularly if you enjoy being on the water in Florida. Titusville is situated on the Indian River Lagoon and is home to several spoil islands!

What Are Spoil Islands?

A spoil island is an artificial island, often created by channel dredging. To promote boating and commerce throughout Florida over the years, countless channels have been dredged through the state’s shallow inshore and coastal waters to provide enough depth for vessels to travel.

There are several spoil islands all over Florida’s Intercoastal waterways, and the ones in Titusville are a treat.

Titusville Tubing

The Indian River Lagoon, Titusville Florida

The Indian River Lagoon is home to 1/3 of Florida state manatees and is home to a native dolphin group. It’s impossible to be on the Indian River and not see a dolphin – we have seen them every time we go. Sometimes they come right up to you chasing fish. We’ve also seen manatees at the islands, especially the big one near the water tower, sometimes in shallow water chilling on the sand bar.

Accessing the Islands via Titusville Marina

Titusville Marina has tons of parking and four boat slips. I would not say this is an overly busy marina. Getting on the water takes 10 minutes, assuming there are no idiots that tie their boat in a slip blocking everyone. Yeah, this happens a lot, and it’s not cool. And, ladies, you are usually the culprit waiting on the man to return. One of my biggest pet peeves is a woman that can’t or won’t help dock, launch, load, or tackle any of the boating necessities. If you own a boat – learn to operate it!

You’ll see the first and biggest island to your right when you take off. It’s called Horseshoe Island, and it’s busy. People camp overnight in droves on this island. We have fished here, but it’s not an island we spend much time at. It’s just too busy.

The next island, Dolphin Tail Island, is popular but smaller than Horseshoe. We’ve repeatedly seen the same boats here, and they all arrive early to claim their turf.  Keep going north. Once you’ve gone under the old railway track bridge, you will see palm trees in the distance. Head towards them! You’ll have a choice of three tiny islands; typically, if you get there first, others won’t join you.

Titusville Marina

Titusville Boat Ramps

  • Bairs Cover Boat Ramp – SR 3 Haulover Canal, Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville 
  • Bio Lab Ramp – Bio Lab Road, Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville 
  • Fox Lake Park – 4400 Fox Lake Rd, Titusville 
  • Kennedy Point Park – 4915 S. Washington Ave, Titusville 
  • Marina Park – 501 Marina Rd Titusville 
  • Old Beacon 42 Camp Boat Ramp -SR 3, Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville 
  • Parrish Park – 1 A Max Brewer Causeway (SR 402), Titusville 
  • Sand Point Park – 101 N. Washington Ave, Titusville 

Map of Titusville, Florida

Map of Titusville Florida

If you keep going north towards the water tower, you’ll get to one of our favorites, which has a long sandbar.

Essentials You Will Need To Enjoy Titusville, Florida, On The Water

Titusville Florida Hotels


Things to Do In Titusville

  • Float on the sandbars. We bring noodles and spend whole days floating on the sandbars.
  • Collect shells or horseshoe crab shells; there is an abundance.
  • Fishing is a favorite activity. We often fish, but we seem only to catch catfish.
  • Snorkel, the water around the islands is clear.
  • Tube – you can often find us tubing the Indian River in Titusville.
  • Nature watch. There is so much concentrated wildlife here you can sit back and watch.
  • Picnic on the islands. There is nothing better than mooring on an island and eating your lunch.
  • Find your inner photographer and capture the beauty through your lens – or smartphone!

Titusville Sand Bar

Restaurants in Titusville

Typically, we head home and grill after a day of boating. However, sometimes we eat on the way back. There are two places we enjoy:

Dixie Crossroads

A seafood restaurant that is somewhat famous in Florida! Almost everyone in Central Florida has heard of Dixie Crossroads, and once upon a time, we used to all make the journey for the rock shrimp alone. In my opinion, this treasure has not aged well with time. The menu is the same as it was twenty years ago, the décor is beyond stuck in time, and the rock shrimp is just not as good as it once was. Regardless, it’s a place worth checking out if you have never been, and the food is local and decent.

Pier 220 Seafood and Grill

It is located directly under the Max Brewer Memorial Highway (the central bridge). This place has an outside tiki bar and great views. This is the hot spot, and it gets packed. They have a super happy hour, a killer margarita, and a diverse menu. We’ve eaten everything from gator to crab and back. Not a high-end restaurant. A casual one, but the food is good, and the atmosphere is the beach! It’s directly on the water, but you can’t drive your boat up and park.

Here are some additional local restaurants in Titusville:

  • Shilo’s Steak and Seafood 
  • Third Culture Kitchen
  • Playalinda Brewing Company-
  • Loyd Have Mercy Fried Chicken
  • Bagel 13
  • Steve’s Family Diner Country Fried
  • Orleans Bistro and Bar Pasta
  • Kelsey’s Pizzeria and Eatery
  • Chamberlains Good Thymes

What You Need to Know:

  • We have been boating out of Titusville for three years. We have never had any issues or encountered any crime!
  • You must wear water shoes! Unfortunately, some people have left broken bottles on the island. The glass is not always noticeable. We clean up and remove any glass we find. Please do the same.
  • Please don’t leave any trash anywhere; it’s dangerous and illegal.
  • Don’t poop on the islands; they cannot break down human waste. This ultimately means it will eventually make it into the lagoon – gross! Bring bags and take your trash with you. Better yet, relieve yourself before you head out for the day.
  • The weather changes on a dime in Florida. If you go up as far past the bridge, you need at least 30 minutes to outrun a storm. Trust me; we nearly had an accident once when we did not get out quickly enough, and someone called the rescue services. We made it back safe, but we were the last boat in.
  • If you get stranded in a storm, try to moor up under as much vegetation as possible and stay put. The last thing you need is sitting on the water as a target for lightning.
  • Occasionally, there are gators at the marina. Yes, gators!  They won’t mess with you. They go underwater as you pass. This is because the Indian River is an estuary combining salt and freshwater. We’ve never seen one near or at any islands, just by the marina.

Water Floats & Mats You Need To Enjoy Titusville:

floating water mats

Interesting and Unusual Facts About Titusville, Florida

  1. Titusville is known as the “Space Capital of the World” due to its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center and the birthplace of American manned spaceflight.
  2. The city is home to the oldest-operating restaurant in Brevard County, named “Dixie Crossroads Seafood Restaurant.”
  3. Titusville was the first city in Florida to have electricity, thanks to the local power company, the Indian River Company.
  4. In the late 1800s, the city was a hub for orange growing and was known as the “Orange Capital of the World.”
  5. Titusville has a significant population of manatees, and the local manatee observation center offers visitors the chance to view the sea creatures in their natural habitat.
  6. The city is also known for its bird-watching opportunities, with several species of rare and exotic birds in the area.
  7. Titusville is the site of the first recorded meteorite impact on Florida, with the meteorite remains now on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
  8. The city was a filming location for the 1976 movie “Taxi Driver,” starring Robert De Niro.
  9. Titusville is the birthplace of former NFL player and coach Tony Dungy.
  10. The city has a rich history of Native American culture, with the remains of a Timucuan Indian village and shell mounds found near the Indian River Lagoon.
Titusville Sand Bars

Facts About Titusville Florida

  • Titusville is located in Brevard County, Florida, and was named after the city’s founder, Henry T. Titus.
  • Titusville is home to the Kennedy Space Center, which has been the launch site for all of NASA’s manned space flights since 1968.
  • In 2013, a 53-pound meteorite fell from the sky and crashed into a house in Titusville, causing minor damage.
  • The city is also home to the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum, which features exhibits on the history of law enforcement in the United States.
  • Titusville is located on the Indian River Lagoon, home to more than 4,000 species of plants and animals.
  • The city’s annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival is one of the largest birding festivals in the United States, attracting thousands of birdwatchers each year.
  • Titusville was once a major center for commercial fishing, with fishermen catching everything from mullet to shrimp and blue crabs.
  • The city was also a major hub for the citrus industry in the early 20th century, with orange groves and packinghouses dotting the landscape.
  • Titusville is the birthplace of musician Jim Stafford, best known for his hit songs “Spiders and Snakes” and “My Girl Bill.”
  • In 2010, the city gained national attention when a woman was arrested for riding a manatee in the Indian River Lagoon, an offense under Florida law.
Titusville Florida


Living in Titusville has a dense suburban feel, and most residents own their homes. There are many parks in Titusville. Residents of Titusville tend to be conservative and include many young professionals and retirees. There is a high rating for the public schools in Titusville.

Aside from being next door to Kennedy Space Center and a great place to see shuttle launches, Dummitt Grove began shipping Indian River Citrus from Titusville in the 1880s. Titusville’s claim to fame is that it is the “redfish capital of the world.” Other places also claim this title. However, the lagoons that border Titusville are known for their plentiful supply of large redfish.

The best beaches in Titusville are on the Space Coast; Cocoa Beach is one of the best in Titusville.

Oh yes! It’s one of Florida’s hidden gems that is often overlooked. Titusville is less crowded than many other towns on the east coast, and it offers some of the region’s best boating.

As the ‘Gateway To Nature And Space,’ Titusville is ideally situated near many super landmarks and spaces, such as the Indian River, the Atlantic Ocean, and multiple beaches. 

Closing Thoughts

We take all our friends and family boating all summer long. Everyone has their favorites for different reasons. Titusville, Florida, stacks up to the Rainbow River as a constant first or second choice because it’s one of the lesser-known spots where you can have an island to yourself for the entire day!

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Brit On The Move™ Travel Resources

Ready to book your next trip? Use these resources that work:

Was the flight canceled or delayed? Find out if you are eligible for compensation with AirHelp.

Need more help planning your trip? Visit our Resources Page, which highlights the great companies we use for traveling.

Share with others!


  1. Sadly, this river is not safe to swim in anymore. They are constantly monitoring it but results are never put out there.

    1. Hi Rexanne,
      I’ve not been there this year but loads of people have been telling me the same thing. So sad as it’s so beautiful. Do you happen to know where I can view the monitor results? Nikki

  2. Born and raised in Titusville and all my life the islands were called spider monkey and turtle islands
    I’ve never heard them referred to otherwise from old timers who have been on the river their whole life
    Btw way we have a lot of people who kite and wind surf in the river by monkey island all the time
    Our wildlife refuge is also world renowned for the refuge itself and bird watching
    Miracle City was a city in the middle of town that Titusville incorporated just like Indian River City and Lagrange which is where the namesake of Titusville is buried
    I don’t mind the information you provided because if an out-of-towner comes here locals won’t tell nor correct them thank God for they are the ones that leave a large amount of trash everywhere

    1. Hi there,
      I never knew this, very handy to know. I have seen the wind surfers but further south than the ramp we usually use. Yeah, I agree it’s the non-locals leaving the trash. We’ve removed many a bottle off the islands over the years :( Nikki

  3. Please ref. the algae growth some people has breathing problems which can give them trouble. I learned about algae by going there to fish and found out about it. I fish to eat, can’t do it now. There are two sides to very story please share all for people that doesn’t now..

    1. Hi Don,
      I would be more than happy to add some info about it but I don’t know anything about the algae and not sure I am the right person to add it. If you have some sources that you can share I’ll gladly add it in.
      Thank you for sharing – hope to hear back from you. Nikki

      1. 30 years ago there were many spoil Islands from the 407NASA causeway to the new bridge. They were handy places to pause when windsurfing the Indian River. These days the water quality is so poor that I no longer find being in the waters of the lagoon appealing. The recent manatee deaths due to starvation have reached new records and are a testament to the magnitude of the problem.

  4. To get to these little spoil islands do you need to boat there? Can you get to the private little beaches by car?

    1. Hi there,
      Technically no – you don’t need a boat. You can kayak or canoe but there’s no road connection to them. Also, the closest one is the first and biggest island to your right – it’s called Horseshoe Island. You can access this one from the opposite of the marina (right next to the bridge) and kayak over.
      Hope this helps. Nikki

  5. It is obvious people are a little sensitive to what they read and that is great!! That means they love this town and are protective of it. I personally really enjoyed reading what you wrote. I have spent hours researching this town to possibly move to and liked your personal info about why you enjoy going there. It really seems to be a nice little town with a big city close enough so you don’t feel like you’re in the sticks! Thanks for the info!

    1. Hi Denise,
      I totally agree people are sensitive to what they read, and it’s all good:) I love this little town; by far our favorite for boating locally! I am glad you enjoyed the article and I hope you get on the water. Titusville has hidden gems for people that most do not know about. And, I think this area will boom again – especially with jobs coming back to the area. We’ve actually been looking at property out there as now would be the time to jump in. Another thing I love about this area is few to few tourists – way better than Daytona or Cocoa :) Nikki

  6. We stayed in Titusville 13 years ago to watch a shuttle launch, which was spectacular from the shores of the Indian River. We stayed in a really quirky B&B and just had to walk across the road to watch the launch.
    Would love to go back, especially now I know about the Spoil Islands.

    1. Hi there,
      Titusville is our first choice for boating on the east coast:) We typically spend most of our time on the Westcoast as we scallop:) I’m glad you got to see a shuttle launch, it’s something all should see:) Nikki

      1. I’m a Titusvillian, lol, Dixie Crossroads is excellent these days along with newer restaurants like Pizza @ and a Thai restaurant on Park and South St. ALSO Loyd Have Mercy on US 1. Love my Tville!

        1. Hi Tammy,
          That is so great to hear! I have not been out there this year as we moved houses but will be this year so I’ll check it out again. Way back in the day we would drive all the way from Orlando just to eat there. I will have to give the other places a try as well. You guys have one of my all-time favorite boating spots:) Nikki

  7. How about changing. A place no one wants to visit. We host the country largest birding festival in the USA. Going on 22 years. This brings in people from around the world. We have fishing contest, large groups for cycling. You come over for the river, many other come here too. Not sure why you think that you had to put in falsehood in an article about the lagoon and spoil islands.

    1. I wrote about something I love and appreciate. There was no falsehood and I did not say no one wants to visit. I said it’s not on the top of everyone’s list of places to visit.
      If you would like to write about bird festivals, cycling or fishing go for it. I am not going to go line by line through an article because it does not suit your agenda, fit your bill or your interpretation of my intent. I’m not sure why you think your thoughts are more important than someone else’s. But hey, tomorrow is another day. Enjoy the rest of your night! How about we leave it there.

  8. wow this is way off on what Titusville is. As someone mention, the spoil islands were from dredging the channel. As for crime, you are going to the wrong source. You need to talk to the police and use FDLE stats, not some website that does not scrub the stats right. Our crime is nowhere near 51% higher than other parts of the county, in fact it has been declining. As other industry, we have it, go to the south end of town, where you will see many companies there, not related to the space program, such as PAA, Embraer Air, Ecklers, Barn Light Electric, and others. Maybe instead of just going to the river and to two restaurants in town, you actually visit other place. The wildlife refuge, our museums, take a ride on our trials, eat at our other local restaurants, met locals.

    1. Hello Lisa,
      I used many sources and all sources aggregate from the same public sources including FDLE. All say the same thing sliced and diced differently but same numbers.
      You are correct that the crime rate has declined and now it’s ~40% vs. 51% higher. The article was written in 2018. I will gladly update it to state that the statistic is 2 years old, that crime rates are declining and I’ll add the original date. As for the reference to spoil islands, I will update it so it’s clear that this particular area was not dredged for cruise ships.
      Regarding the last comment about where and what I should do. I appreciate the suggestions but I have already experienced all of your suggestions except the museums which I have no interest in.
      Lastly, I have eaten at more than two restaurants over there. And, I’ve met tons of locals past and present.
      Thanks for the feedback.

    2. LISA MOSIER, Not true, the crime here is horrific, it goes right along with the huge drug trade that’s the biggest source of income for many! This town has been so mismanaged for so long hanging on the neck of the dead albatross of NASA, we have terrible low wage jobs, more dollar stores than necessary, some times more than one on a single corner!
      This town has a small business hate squad in the Community development office and is bed with Cumberland farms!
      Titusville is only 29 square miles but has big city issues when it comes to crime, drugs and poor infrastructure! OMG… KEEP BUILDING
      Get out of your condo or out of your Windover mansion and take a walk with the real folks of Titusville, the ones starving for livable wage jobs! Sheesh we don’t even have a FREAKING BEACH, and don’t even mention that one in the North end you have to pay a days wage to get into and has no lifeguard or reasonable bathroom facilities, that’s not our beach that’s the STATES BEACH.
      Come on Lisa don’t you want to mention how we have polluted the Indian River Lagoon so badly we are killing all the birds and any other wildlife that comes in contact with it… NOBODY SHOULD EVER BE IN THAT SEWAGE SLUDGE IT’S TOXIC, that the City has stolen our 1/2 cent sales tax for river clean up, but won’t tell us where the money is actually going HINT IT’S NOT GOING TO CLEAN UP!
      Don’t you want to mention that our gateway to nature is being bulldozed and filled in for massive cheap growth, that we will all be paying for flood insurance soon due to land mismanagement.
      OH poor naive Lisa, take your rose colored glasses off, leave the house and walk the streets, count the pot holes in the roads that haven’t been paved in 30+ years and the homeless holding signs on every corner.
      Ahh the smell of sewage first thing in the morning, smells like home…SMDH

  9. Hi David,

    I don’t ignore feedback and I’m happy to make corrections when they are needed.

    The references in the article are correct. Perhaps I should clarify and tighten up the reference to the spoil islands to make it clearer that that dredging was for all large vessels – not just cruise ships.

    Any search on the crime rates will confirm the reference and you can view detailed statistics on everything from violent to non-violent and so on. Crime rates are calculated on the population.

    There are tons of restaurants, I mentioned two – not all and I did mention that I don’t think Dixie Crossroads is as good as it once was.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    What is a Spoil Island?
    A spoil island is a man-made island, often created as a byproduct of channel dredging. In an effort to promote boating and commerce throughout Florida over the years, countless channels have been dredged through the state’s shallow inshore and coastal waters to provide enough depth for vessels to travel.

    1. Titusville is NOT the “host” to Kennedy Space Center. That belongs to Merritt Island, which KSC actually sits on.

      1. Hi Lyle,
        You are correct. However, the article states “best known as the host” – not “is the host”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *