Florida Beaches – Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach FloridaCocoa Beach is one of those wonderful vacation spots in Florida that sometimes gets overlooked.  It’s been known to get overshadowed by its neighbor to the north (Daytona Beach), as well as one a bit further off on the south (Ft. Lauderdale Beach).  Which is a shame, because Cocoa has a lot to offer.

For example, did you realize that it’s the closest beach to Orlando?  Or that one of the best surfing spots in Florida is on the southern end, near Sebastian?  And as anyone who has traveled in Central Florida, Ron Jon Surf Shop makes its considerable home here.

Oh, and did I mention — a beautiful ocean and beach?  🙂  The photo above doesn’t do it justice, since the surf was low and the sun had run behind the clouds when I took the picture (darn).

On the Beach

Cocoa Beach Florida - side street entranceThere are a lot of entrances to this beach.  Some are along designated beachfront “parks”, others are tucked away along side streets.  And naturally, the hotels have their own beach entrances.  Be sure to keep plenty of change handy for parking on the side streets!

If you like more action, your best bet is to go to one of the beachfront parks along A1A.  You’ll find a place to park your vehicle, along with restrooms, a shower to get sand off, benches and picnic tables.  Access to the beach is easy and fast.  There are usually plenty of people around these areas.

If you’re more into a quiet Florida beach, think about one of the side street entrances.  There generally isn’t much parking — maybe five to ten spaces — but that just means that you’ll hear more ocean and bird sounds than “people sounds”.  The photos on this page were taken along a side street entrance to the beach.

Cocoa Beach Hotels

When all the hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 went through, Cocoa (along with a lot of other Florida Atlantic coast beaches) saw a lot of renovations in the beach accommodations.  On the plus side, things are more up-to-date and modern.  On the other side, gone are some of the wonderful quaint spots.

Be aware, if you have your heart set on staying beachfront, it’s not cheap to do so.  Not as expensive as a lot of the other beaches, but you’ll do well to get a room much under $100 a night, unless it has a parking lot view, LOL.  Some of the popular places to stay are:

  • Inn at Cocoa Beach
  • La Quinta Inn Oceafront
  • Discovery Beach Resort (more like a timeshare, but rents out some of the apartments)
  • Resort on Cocoa Beach

Naturally, there are plenty more places to stay as well — these are just a smattering that are on the beach.

Things to Do

If you’re looking for things to do aside from the beach, one of the first suggestions is to check out Ron Jon’s.  Even if you don’t particularly need or want anything, it’s kind of it’s own little world and makes for an interesting hour ot two.

There is a pier on Cocoa Beach, so you might take a stroll down it, to see the beach from a different perspective.

There are one-day cruises to nowhere out of Port Canaveral — just expect to lose money on the slots and gambling aboard.  😉

Take a trip down to Sebastian Inlet State Park (not far at all) and take in all the things to see and do there.  The park is partly on the ocean and partly on the Intracoastal Waterway.

Kennedy Space Center is a popular attraction, just up the coast a smidgen in Titusville.

And of course, you aren’t all that far from the attractions in the Orlando area — Disney, Universal and Seaworld.

All in all, Cocoa Beach is a wonderful Central Florida vacation spot that is well-worth visiting.

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