When it comes to amusement parks, few cities are on par with Orlando. Not only is it home to Disney World but Universal Studios, Seaworld, Blizzard Beach, and Typhoon Lagoon as well.
The problem with Orlando, however, is that it’s not on the ocean. And if you’re going to make a big trip to Florida, you certainly don’t want to miss out on seeing the ocean.
So, where can you see the ocean without straying far from Orlando’s confines? The answer lies in Cocoa Beach. Located approximately an hour east of Orlando, Cocoa Beach is a family-friendly ocean destination that frequently welcomes Orlando vacationers.
In this article, we’re going to show you options for getting from Cocoa Beach to Orlando, helping you plan your ultimate vacation in the process. Let’s get into it!
The Distances from Orlando to Cocoa Beach
First, you might be wondering about the distance from Orlando to Cocoa Beach. It’s approximately 60 miles regardless of the route you take. The distance from Orlando Airport to Cocoa Beach Pier is around 46 minutes driving.
Depending on the location of your hotel in Orlando, you’ll be traveling somewhere from 55 to 65 miles. On most routes, the vast majority of this traveling will be done along Florida State Route 528.
Options for Transportation from Orlando to Cocoa Beach
There are several ways to get from Orlando to Cocoa Beach, each of which has its upsides and downsides. We’ll discuss each option in detail below.
In most cases, people drive their own vehicles from Orlando to Cocoa Beach. This is not only the fastest option but the cheapest option as well. It allows you to leave at your leisure and burns up only minimal amounts of gas.
It’s important to note, however, that you will have to pay toll fees along FL-528. These generally run between $4 and $5 each way.
Nonetheless, if you have a vehicle with you, this is the advised way to go. It will allow for maximum flexibility throughout your trip and, despite the fees, will still be the cheapest option.
Take an Orlando to Cocoa Beach Shuttle
Another option is to take an Orlando to Cocoa Beach shuttle. These shuttles are offered by a variety of companies with the most prominent one being the Orlando International Airport.
A shuttle from the airport to Cocoa Beach costs approximately $30 one-way and $60 round-trip. This tends to be much more expensive than driving one’s own vehicle but is a viable option for those without a car on hand.
Of course, when taking a shuttle, you’ll have to depart at established times. This allows for less flexibility on your trip.
Take an Uber
The next option is to take an Uber. There are plenty of Uber drivers who will drive vacationers from Orlando to Cocoa Beach. It’s important to note, however, that this can be exceedingly expensive.
Uber prices fluctuate and therefore can greatly affect how much you spend on a single trip. They’re good for shorter trips but can be extremely costly for long trips like the one from Orlando to Cocoa Beach.
What is the typical Uber cost from Orlando to Cocoa Beach? For Uber X, around $60 each way. For other options, much, much more.
This is why it’s best to avoid Uber as a transportation method from Orlando to Cocoa Beach. In truth, it should only be used if you miss your shuttle or your car breaks down.
Rent a Car
If you flew into Orlando, you might have opted to rent a car as a means of getting around. As such, you could conceivably use your rental car to travel from Orlando to Cocoa Beach.
If you have unlimited mileage on your rental, this is probably a good way to go. Note, though, that if your mileage is limited, this could end up being exceedingly expensive.
Make sure to assess your rental options and do the math before making the drive. This could be the ideal method for you, depending on your circumstances. In other circumstances, it could be the worst choice possible.
Take a Bus
There is also an option to take a bus. Buses depart from the Greyhound Bus Station located at 555 N. John Young Parkway in Orlando. This bus can cost anywhere from $45 to $65 each way depending on the time of year.
It’s important to note that a bus trip from Orlando to Cocoa Beach takes approximately 6 hours. This is opposed to the approximately 1 hour that it takes with most other transportation methods. In short, a bus trip is one of the least ideal forms of transportation from Orlando to Cocoa Beach.
Routes from Orlando to Cocoa Beach
When traveling by car, there are several routes you can take to get to Cocoa Beach from Orlando. Some of these routes are simpler than others, while others are more complex yet laid-back. We’ll discuss these routes in detail below, helping you decide which is best for your trip and your driving style.
Taking FL-528 East By Way of FL-408 East
The first way to get from Orlando to Cocoa Beach is to drive straight down FL-528 East. This is a straight shot from the eastern boundary of the city and includes around 60 miles of driving. Generally speaking, the trip takes somewhere between 55 and 70 minutes.
FL-528 East is a toll road. You can access it by getting onto FL-408 East. This will lead to a toll booth which enables you to get on FL-528 East.
Once you’re on FL-528 East, you will drive for approximately 52 miles. You’ll then get off on FL A1A South, upon which you’ll drive for an additional 7 miles. This will take you to Cocoa Beach.
Curious as to what you’ll pay in tolls along the way? Use the state’s toll calculator for an estimate.
Taking FL-528 East By Way of I-4
Another way to hop on FL-528 East is to use the I-4 Express lanes. These point north-to-south from the middle of Orlando and, depending on your location, might make for a better launch point.
Once you’re on FL-528 East, your route will be the same as the route discussed above. This is to say that you’ll have something of a straight shot from Orlando to Cocoa Beach.
Get onto FL A1A South in Brevard County, drive for around 7 miles, and you’ll have arrived. Again, if you want to know how much you’ll pay in tolls, use the state’s toll calculator.
All in all, this route takes the same amount of time as the route discussed above. That said, it is a little longer, measuring in at 68 miles as opposed to 60.
Taking FL-528 East By Way of FL-50 East
One last option is to take FL-528 East by way of FL-50 East. This is actually the shortest route in terms of miles, but the longest in terms of time elapsed. It adds about 5 minutes to the above-reviewed routes while shaving off approximately 3 and 11 miles respectively.
In other words, this route is a little more leisurely in nature, especially in terms of when it leaves Orlando.
From downtown Orlando, you will head to the east until you hit FL-50 East. You will then take this road until you hit the exit for FL-520 East. In total, you’ll be on FL-50 East for around 12 miles.
On FL-520 East, you’ll drive for around 16 miles. You’ll then get off on the FL-528 East exit. This marks the moment at which you hit the toll road.
From there, you’ll drive around 22 miles until you reach FL A1A South. You’ll then take that road for 7 miles until you get to Cocoa Beach.
This is the cheapest route in terms of tolls. However, in terms of overall cost, it’s not much different than the other two routes discussed.
Taking FL-520 East
One last option we’re going to discuss is a toll-free option. This route goes primarily along FL-520 East and measures around 57 miles. On a typical day, it takes around an hour and 45 minutes to traverse.
You can access this route by way of FL-50 East. Take this for approximately 3 miles until you hit the FL-520 East exit. Then drive 53 miles on FL-520 East until you hit Cocoa Beach.
This is an exceedingly simple route. The only issue is that it takes much longer than the other routes reviewed. But if you want something with less traffic, and if you want to avoid tolls, this is a route to consider.
Parking in Cocoa Beach
If you’re driving to Cocoa Beach, you’re going to need a place to park. Fortunately, there’s a good amount of parking located all throughout the city. Some of these parking spots are located in a dedicated lot while some are located on the street.
Lori Wilson Park
Lori Wilson Park, which is famous for the I Dream of Jeanie street sign marking the home of the famous television show, has two free parking lots right on the beach, learn more about Lori Wilson Park here.
Alan Shepard Park
Alan Shepard Park is located at 216 E. Cocoa Beach Causeway. It possesses 323 parking spaces and costs $3.50 per hour or $20 for a full day of parking.
This is a busy area, as it’s right next to the beach and the ocean. That said, it’s a great place to explore, and is worth the extra effort.
Sidney Fischer Park
Another oceanfront park at which to find parking spots is Sidney Fischer Park. This park possesses 109 parking spots in total. These cost $3.50 for an hour or $20 for a full day.
Like Alan Shepard Park, Sidney Fischer Park sees a great number of visitors. So, if you’re planning on parking there, try to get there as early in the day as possible.
Orlando Avenue Parking Garage
There’s also a parking garage located on Orlando Avenue that visitors can park in. It’s located at 25 S. Orlando Avenue, specifically. It costs $3.50 an hour to park in or $20 for a full day of parking.
This garage contains 241 parking spaces overall, 2 of which are electrical charge stations. A popular destination for parking, it tends to fill up fairly quickly each day.
The Parking Lot at City Hall
There is also a parking lot at city hall, located approximately 2 blocks from the beach. Note, though, that from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays, only customers of the city hall building are allowed to park there.
On weekends, however, the lot is open to anyone at any time. It costs $3.50 per hour or $15 for a full day of parking.
In addition to the lots located throughout the city, there is also an abundance of street parking in Cocoa Beach. This parking is metered and can be paid for either through an app or at a parking pay station.
Some of the streets on which to find street parking include Hendry Avenue, Barlow Avenue, Columbia Lane, Palm Lane, Tulip Avenue, 1st Street North, and 22 N Atlantic Avenue. There is also parking located on a variety of side streets.
These spots tend to fill up last. So, if you arrive a little later in the day, they’re probably what you should aim for. That said, there are always new spots opening up in lots as well.
Cocoa Beach to Orlando Is as Easy as a Drive Gets
When it comes down to it, Cocoa Beach to Orlando is as easy as a drive gets. It takes approximately an hour and is essentially just a straight shot on the expressway. So, if you’re visiting Orlando, consider taking a quick drive out to the best beach in the area, Cocoa Beach.
Not only do we sport a beautiful white beach but an array of restaurants and attractions in our own right. Interested in making a stop? Learn more about Cocoa Beach by browsing through the rest of our website!