Your resource and information for the perfect beach vacation in the Cocoa Beach area in Florida
Legendary for a reason
Information About Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach, located on Florida’s Space Coast, has a rich history as a world-renowned tourist destination. This coastal town gained popularity in the early 20th century when entrepreneur Gus Edwards developed the area into a beach getaway. Thanks to its Atlantic Ocean shoreline, and improved accessibility via railways and roads, it drew many tourists.
The mid-20th-century space age, with the nearby Kennedy Space Center, drew scientists and space enthusiasts, cementing the town’s status. Historic launches like Alan Shepard‘s in 1961 and Apollo 11’s moon landing in 1969 further drew tourists. Besides space exploration, the town’s beautiful beaches and recreational opportunities add to its charm.
Today, with diverse accommodation options and attractions, Cocoa Beach is a testament to the power of tourism and its history reflects the blend of space excitement with coastal allure.
The Beaches of Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach’s famous beachline offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, exciting activities, and ample amenities. Its stunning scenery of golden sands and clear Atlantic waters provide a perfect setting for relaxation.
The beachline’s recreational activities including surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and beach volleyball, appeal to a wide range of interests, earning Cocoa Beach the title “Surfing Capital of the East Coast”. It has a vibrant beach culture with facilities like beachside rentals for surfing equipment and beachfront restaurants. Easily accessible from downtown, the beachline is a must-visit spot in Cocoa Beach.
Cocoa Beach, Florida is home to several beautiful beach areas that cater to a wide variety of interests. Some of the notable ones are:
Cocoa Beach Pier: This iconic spot is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The pier offers not just beautiful beach access, but also fishing, dining, and shopping opportunities.
Lori Wilson Park: A beach park that offers free entry and parking, complete with a playground, barbecue grills, and volleyball courts. It’s a great spot for family outings.
Alan Shepard Park: Named after astronaut Alan Shepard, this park has a beach that’s ideal for those looking to sunbathe, swim, or surf. It’s close to several restaurants and shops.
Sidney Fischer Park: This family-friendly park offers beach access, a picnic area, and public restrooms.
Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park: This beach park is less crowded than some of the others and offers a serene spot for beachgoers looking for a more laid-back experience.
- Cherie Down Park: While Cherie Down Park is in Cape Canaveral, it is very close to Cocoa Beach. This beach is a great options for families with children as the waves are typically very calm with a long stretch of flat beach.
Please note that some of these areas might require a parking fee, the City of Cocoa Beach has information on parking in Cocoa Beach. Always remember to check local guidelines and regulations, especially if you plan on doing activities like fishing or surfing.
Local Cuisine in Cocoa Beach
Seafood is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the local cuisine in Cocoa Beach. With its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the town boasts an abundance of fresh catches from the sea. Whether you’re in the mood for succulent shrimp, flavorful fish, or juicy lobster, you’ll find an array of seafood restaurants and eateries that serve up these delicacies in their most delicious forms. From casual beachside shacks to upscale waterfront establishments, Cocoa Beach has options for all seafood enthusiasts.
Another must-try specialty in Cocoa Beach is the iconic “surf and turf” combination like you can find at Florida’s Fresh Grill. This classic dish typically pairs a juicy steak with mouthwatering seafood, creating a tantalizing blend of flavors. Indulge in a perfectly grilled steak alongside tender lobster tail or buttery scallops for a truly satisfying and decadent dining experience.
In addition to seafood and surf and turf options, Cocoa Beach also offers a variety of international cuisines to cater to diverse tastes. Whether you’re craving Italian, Mexican, Asian, or Mediterranean flavors, you’ll find an array of restaurants that serve up authentic dishes from around the world. From traditional pasta dishes and wood-fired pizzas to spicy tacos and exotic curries, there’s something to satisfy every craving.
To complete your culinary journey in Cocoa Beach, don’t forget to indulge in the town’s famous tropical cocktails and refreshing beverages. From restaurant bars like Coconuts on the Beach you can expect to find fruity concoctions served in coconut shells to frosty margaritas and locally crafted beers, the vibrant beachside bars and waterfront lounges offer the perfect setting to sip on a cool drink while enjoying the ocean breeze.
For our list of amazing places to eat in and around Cocoa Beach check out our page on Restaurants and Bars in Cocoa Beach.
Attractions Around Cocoa Beach
In addition to the beaches and great foody life mentioned above, Cocoa Beach offers a plethora of fun attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. From outdoor adventures to unique experiences, here are some of the top attractions in and around Cocoa Beach:
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: Explore the wonders of space at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where you can learn about NASA’s space missions, view iconic spacecraft and exhibits, and even meet astronauts. Don’t miss the chance to experience a simulated shuttle launch or visit the impressive Rocket Garden.
Cocoa Beach Pier: Take a stroll along the historic Cocoa Beach Pier, offering breathtaking ocean views and a lively atmosphere. Enjoy fishing, dining at oceanfront restaurants, sipping tropical drinks at beachside bars, and browsing through the shops.
Ron Jon Surf Shop: Visit the world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop, a Cocoa Beach landmark. Browse through an extensive selection of surfboards, beachwear, souvenirs, and more. It’s a great place to find the perfect beach gear or take home a memento of your trip.
Canaveral National Seashore: Just a short drive from Cocoa Beach, Canaveral National Seashore is a pristine stretch of protected coastline. Explore nature trails, enjoy birdwatching, go fishing, or simply relax on the pristine beaches while immersing yourself in the area’s natural beauty.
Brevard Zoo: Located in nearby Melbourne, the Brevard Zoo offers a unique wildlife experience. Walk through lush exhibits and get up close to a variety of animals, including giraffes, kangaroos, alligators, and more. Don’t miss the opportunity to take an unforgettable kayak tour through the zoo’s picturesque wetlands.
Airboat Rides: Embark on an exciting airboat ride through the surrounding wetlands and witness Florida’s diverse ecosystem firsthand. Glide across the water, spotting alligators, birds, and other wildlife along the way. Several tour operators in the area offer these thrilling experiences.
Exploration Tower: Located at Port Canaveral, the Exploration Tower offers panoramic views of the Space Coast and serves as a gateway to the area’s history and culture. Enjoy interactive exhibits, learn about the region’s maritime heritage, and take in stunning vistas from the observation decks.
Manatee Sanctuary Park: Escape to nature at Manatee Sanctuary Park, where you can enjoy scenic trails, picnicking areas, and a boardwalk overlooking the Indian River Lagoon. Keep an eye out for manatees, dolphins, and a variety of bird species that call this area home.
Surfing Lessons: Experience the thrill of riding the waves with a surfing lesson from one of Cocoa Beach’s experienced instructors from a surfing camp from places like Cocoa Beach Surf Co. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to improve your skills, catching a wave in the surf capital of the East Coast is an unforgettable experience.
Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures: Challenge yourself at Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures, an exciting ropes and obstacle course set in a lush forest canopy. Swing, climb, and zip your way through various courses designed for different skill levels.
Where to stay in Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach offers a wide variety of hotel accommodations to fit all preferences and budgets, many boasting oceanfront locations for direct beach access. Its proximity to Port Canaveral makes it an ideal choice for cruise goers.
Many hotels are situated near popular attractions, restaurants, and shops for an easy, walkable vacation experience.
Additionally, several offer beach rental and shuttle services for hassle-free enjoyment of beach activities. Explore an extensive list of options, including beachfront hotels, those near the cruise port, or ones close to the local beach scene on Legendary Cocoa Beach’s hotels. They ensure a memorable vacation with easy access to all you need.
Frequently Asked Questions in Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach is approximately 60 miles east of Orlando, and the drive takes about an hour, depending on traffic. We wrote an article about How Far Is Cocoa Beach from Orlando? Best Ways To Get To Cocoa Beach
Yes, lifeguards are stationed on certain sections of the beach in Cocoa Beach for your safety. Look for the designated areas.
In January, you can generally expect weather in the high 60s to low 80s. The weather in Cocoa Beach is typically warm and sunny, with mild winters and hot summers. For specific month or season information, it’s best to check the local weather forecast or historical climate data.
In January, you can generally expect weather in the high 60s to low 80s. Weather in Cocoa Beach is typically warm and sunny, with mild winters and hot summers. For specific month or season information, it’s best to check the local weather forecast or historical climate data.
Absolutely! Cocoa Beach is known as the “Surfing Capital of the East Coast” and offers great waves for surfing. You can bring your own board or rent one from local surf shops like Cocoa Beach Surf Company.
At pet-friendly Cocoa Beach, dogs are more than welcome to join in on the beach fun! They are allowed on the stretch between 4th Street South and the north side of Murkshe Park. To ensure a clean environment, waste disposal points are conveniently available at the pet-friendly entrance, and owners are kindly reminded to clean up after their furry friends during their visit.
While dogs need to be on a leash that is under six feet long for the entirety of their beach experience, there is an exceptional off-leash dog park located within Lori Wilson Park. At this designated leash-free area, dogs can roam and play freely. For further details about the dog park, please refer to the Lori Wilson Dog Park page on our website.
It’s important to note that dogs are not permitted on the beach area at Lori Wilson Park itself, but exclusively within the confines of the designated Dog Park. Additionally, there are specific time restrictions for dogs on the beach. They are allowed between 6 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm during standard time, with an extension until 9 pm during daylight savings time.
Enjoy a delightful beach outing with your canine companion at Cocoa Beach, where pet-friendly policies ensure that both humans and their four-legged friends can savor the coastal experience together.
Check out Bring Fido for more Information.
Some things todo in Cocoa Beach include swimming, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, visiting the Kennedy Space Center, exploring nature parks, and enjoying the lively beachside atmosphere.
Be sure to learn more by checking out our Fun Things to Do in Cocoa Beach, We are always adding more!
Yes, Cocoa Beach offers a variety of beachfront hotels and resorts that provide stunning ocean views and direct access to the beach. You can find a range of options to suit your preferences and budget. See our list of hotels for more details.
If you’re flying into Orlando International Airport (MCO), you can rent a car, take a shuttle service, or arrange a private transfer to reach Cocoa Beach. The drive from the airport typically takes around an hour. Here’s an article we wrote about that!
Yes, there are several popular attractions near Cocoa Beach, including the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Port Canaveral, Brevard Zoo, Cocoa Beach Pier, and Ron Jon Surf Shop. Scroll up to “attractions” to learn more!
Rocket launches are scheduled throughout the year. Check the Kennedy Space Center website or local news sources for the most up-to-date information on launch schedules and viewing opportunities. Here’s a link to an updated rocket launch schedule.
Yes, Cocoa Beach offers various shopping opportunities, including the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop, local boutiques, gift shops, and the nearby Merritt Square Mall for a wider range of retail options.
Yes, many beach rental businesses in Cocoa Beach offer equipment such as chairs, umbrellas, beach carts, and water sports gear for rent. You can easily find these services along the beach or through local rental providers. Any hotel featured on our website will be happy to assist you with those details!
Absolutely! Cocoa Beach boasts a range of waterfront restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy delicious cuisine while taking in the scenic ocean views. From seafood to international cuisine, there are options to satisfy every palate. Here our list of restaurants.
Cocoa Beach is a family-friendly destination with activities like visiting the Brevard Zoo, exploring the Exploration Tower, enjoying mini-golf, taking airboat rides, and participating in eco-tours or kayak adventures.
Yes, there are several nature parks and wildlife preserves near Cocoa Beach, such as the Thousand Islands Conservation Area, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, and the Banana River Aquatic Preserve. These areas offer opportunities for hiking, wildlife spotting, birdwatching, and immersing yourself in nature. Here is some more info on wildlife preserve.
Fishing is a popular activity in Cocoa Beach. You can fish from the beach or piers without a license, but if you plan to fish from a boat or certain areas, a fishing license may be required. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the local fishing regulations and licensing requirements before casting your line. Here is a link to the City of Cocoa Beach’s beach rules regarding fishing.
Yes, there are various boat tours and water sports activities available in Cocoa Beach. From relaxing river cruises and eco-tours to thrilling jet ski rides and parasailing adventures, you’ll find a range of options to enjoy the water and explore the surrounding areas.
Cocoa Beach offers a vibrant nightlife scene with beachside bars, live music venues, and restaurants that transform into lively entertainment spots after the sun sets. Enjoy a night out with friends, catch a live band, or sip on tropical cocktails while taking in the beach atmosphere.
Yes, there are several golf courses in and around Cocoa Beach, catering to golf enthusiasts of all skill levels. Some popular options include the Cocoa Beach Country Club, Duran Golf Club, and Turtle Creek Golf Club, offering scenic views and challenging fairways.
To book a cruise from Port Canaveral, you can contact the cruise line directly or consult with a travel agent. As for transportation from Cocoa Beach to the port, many hotels offer shuttle services to the cruise terminals. Alternatively, you can arrange private transportation or take a taxi or rideshare service for a convenient transfer. Check out the Cruise Port’s Schedule.
We hope these FAQs provide helpful information for your visit to Cocoa Beach! Should you have any further inquiries, feel free to consult additional local resources or reach out to the Cocoa Beach Visitor Center for personalized assistance.
Cocoa Beach is only an hour from Orlando
Orlando's Closest Beach
Don't Miss a Launch!
Come to the Cocoa Beach area and witness history in the making as legendary minds work to make space exploration a reality for everyone. Companies like NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and more launch their rockets into space from Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center launch sites. Enjoy the marvel of space as you watch a launch from almost anywhere in the Cocoa Beach area!
Let's Go On a Cruise!
Cruises at Port Canaveral
Thinking about taking a cruise? Port Canaveral has many of the top names in cruise lines like:
- Disney Cruise Line
- Victory Cruise Casino
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Royal Caribbean
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- and more…
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Visit Shark Pit Bar & Grill in Cocoa Beach, offering a blend of American cuisine with a surf twist. Enjoy pizzas, burgers, and tacos in a vibrant, surf-inspired setting.
Discover Flamingos Restaurant at Radisson Resort, Cape Canaveral. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a casual tropical ambiance. Enjoy American cuisine and drinks at the Tiki Bar.
The Bistro at Courtyard by Marriott in Cocoa Beach offers a diverse dining experience with fresh, health-conscious options, including vegetarian, gluten-friendly, and classic American dishes.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront’s Waves Craft Bar Kitchen, offering an exclusive dining experience from February 13-17. Delight in the Valentine’s Specials