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Florida Beaches Guide - Cocoa Beach

Beach 411 ~ Cocoa Beach

Space Coast near Cape Canaveral, Atlantic Coast (Central)

  • Beach type: family oriented, public access
  • Beach geography: miles of Atlantic beach-front, wide expanses of natural soft grey-white beach sand edged by dunes
  • Ease of access: very easy with ample parking along the shoreline, mixture of free and paid lots closer to the city center.
  • Extra costs: none
  • Beach amenities: beach strip fronts the town of Cocoa beach, so all manner of amenities are available for rent and purchase.
  • Special note: excellent beachfront to learn to surf
  • Geo-locator: Where is Cocoa Beach?

Cocoa Beach, FloridaA beach for surf, sand and rockets

A favorite of Florida’s Atlantic coastline for decades, iconic Cocoa Beach draws beach bunnies of all ages to this glorious strip of sand just south of Kennedy Space Center – and only an hour's drive from Orlando.

A family-friendly destination for playing in the surf, walking the beachfront and out the pier, the surfer wanna-be’s crave the opportunity to learn to surf or enjoying their first parasailing experience. Cocoa Beach offers everything from pristine nature reserves and the excitement of the beach, to watching the latest rocket launch into orbit. If fun in the sun is what you're looking for, Cocoa Beach is yours for the taking.

Cocoa Beach activities & attractions

Cocoa Beach activities center on 2 main themes – sea and sky – and there is lots you can do to keep the family entertained. Aside from hours walking and frolicking at the beach:

Sea-focussed activities:

  • Cocoa Beach surf conditionsTry deep sea fishing and discover the amazing aquatic wildlife on the Space Coast.
  • If you prefer your feet firmly rooted terra firma, consider fishing from the Cocoa Beach Pier (extending an amazing 800 feet out into the Atlantic). 
  • Take the family parasailing, scuba diving or snorkeling along the shores.
  • Visit Ron Jon’s Surf Shop (biggest in the land) and Surf Museum. As small wave conditions are almost always consistent, book your teens in “Learn to Surf” lessons from a local outfitter.

Sky-focussed activities:

  • The Kennedy Space Center lets you see where NASA prepared for and launched space shuttles.
  • Ride the Shuttle Launch Experience and experience the simulated 8-minute launch of the Space Shuttles.
  • Visit the IMAX 3D theatre for realistic shows and enjoy all the Kennedy Space Center tours, museums and exhibits.
  • Check out when the next launch is planned.
  • Keep the kids busy with a couple of kites and let them run along the surf.

Also consider in the area:

  • Cocoa Beach - Lori Wilson ParkLori Wilson Park  – a natural beach park maintaining the protected dunes and vegetation for birds and local wildlife. 1000 ft boardwalk, lifeguards at the beach, restroom facilities and an off-leash dog park make this a popular beach starting point for families.
  • Stop at I Dream of Jeannie Lane (from the popular 70’s sitcom filmed around Cocoa Beach) for a visit down memory lane.
  • Dinosaur Store – Museum, Adventure Zone and store with a huge range of prehistoric specimens and exhibits for kids and adults alike.
  • Visit the SpaceCoast CVB for other activities and events in the area.

Cocoa Beach events & nightlife

Embrace the Space Coast for it’s great surf, sandy beaches and rocket launches. Grab dinner and a cocktail at one of the many restaurants, pubs and piers oceanside and simply relax breathing the Atlantic salt air!

  • long walks along the Cocoa Beach surfRon Jon Easter Surfing Festival (Easter Weekend - March) & many more surfing festivals throughout the year
  • BeachFest (May): Memorial Day weekend is a celebration of live music, constant partying and contests including the $5000 Miss Beach Fest.
  • "Rockin' the Dock" New Year’s Eve Party on the Pier (December): Ring in the new year with live entertainment, champagne toasts, confetti cannons and the countdown to midnight on the Cocoa Beach Pier.
  • See the wider selection of Cocoa Beach’s Festivals and Events

GoGirlfriend Cocoa Beach Hotel recommendations

Family-friendly hotels and inns, Romantic B&B's and oceanfront hideaways are only the tip of Cocoa Beach's offerings. Bring the whole family including your much-loved pet at one of the many inland pet-friendly motels.

the Inn at Cocoa BeachInn at Cocoa Beach – boutique hotel ocean-side direct in the heart of the strip. A short walk to the Pier and to the amenities along N. Atlantic Ave. A small Boutique Inn feel rather than the large chain hotels offer – a great quiet getaway location if you love quick access to your sunrise walk on the beach. Visit The Inn at Cocoa Beach on Facebook and read travel reviews on TripAdvisor.    

Rent a Beach house: You’re heading to Cocoa Beach to spend your time walking the beach and playing in the surf. Why not consider renting a Beach house for your family? Amenities of a house often with kitchen and living room family size, beachfront to make the packing up the toys for the beach that much easier. Consider Beach Place Guesthouses in Cocoa Beach.

Do you remember I dream of Jeannie?Standard Hotel options: Want the ease of moving into a hotel and exploring the Space Coast from the comfort of a great hotel? Consider the range of Cocoa Beach hotel options from the La Quinta Inn Cocoa Beach, Holiday Inn Express, Courtyard by the Marriott, to the Hilton Cocoa Beach among many others.

Online searches: Condo’s, apartments and beachfront cottages on Airbnb and VRBO

For more hotel recommendations throughout Cocoa Beach, we recommend visiting Hotels.com.

Cocoa Beach weather

Space Coast, FL weatherThey don’t call Florida the Sunshine State for no reason! With great sunshine year-round, Florida’s Atlantic coast temps vary modestly depending on season. Summer brings temperatures in the mid-80’s °F, while winter temperatures drop into the lower 60’s °F with the rare, occasional frost thrown in when the jet stream pushes really low. As the summer heats up, so too does the chance of rain, high humidity and the risk of tropical storms. Understanding Florida is a warm climate overall, if you are from the upper states or Canada, even those winter temperatures are shorts and sandals season while the locals are bundled against the cold. Remember, you’re heading to the beach!

For more information or help planning your next Florida getaway, visit:

Read our other Florida beaches guide:

Ever been to Cocoa Beach in Florida? We'd love hear what you love about it! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook – and let's continue the conversation!

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We are proud to welcome our guests who come to Cocoa Beach just to experience the magic of our city and it's natural beauty. Cocoa Beach Spa understands the mind-body-spirit connection, and has treated hundreds of guests to a new level of healing and relaxation. This helps to rebuild the inner self that has been damaged by stress. Our first-class services include a variety of therapeutic massages, exotic body scrubs & treatments, hydrating and detoxifying body wraps, personalized skin care and custom facials. Our staff of licensed practitioners are professionally trained, certified and experienced in a wide array of modalities. Your privacy is always assured. Located on scenic Cocoa Beach, we are steps away from the beach, local hotels and shopping. Coming straight from the beach? No Problem! We have free indoor and outdoor shower facilities for you to use before your session. Appointments are recommended to ensure your desired treatment time will be available, however, we will do our best to schedule you on a walk-in basis. Cocoa Beach Spa believes that beauty of body and spirit comes from healing and relaxation. We welcome you to stop and come in for a tour anytime. You will never want to leave! The Cocoa Beach Spa Owners Dan & Mellisa Coates

I actually went to Cocoa Beach last April and loved it. It's a very laid back beach town with just the right amount of nighlife. We went parasailing with Cocoa Beach Parasail towards the middle of our vacation and had a blast. Even though I'm terrified of heights! Yikes. The area where you check in for parasailing is super fun. It's called the Cove and it's in Port Canaveral. We hung out there when we got back from parasailing because it was full of killer bars and restaurants...right on the water. I didn't want to go home! :)

Does anyone know which hotels in Cocoa Beach are having New Years Eve parties? Thanks

Great tips! I've heard a lot about Cocoa Beach and the surrounding area, and I've always fancied checking out the Kennedy Space centre! Must get round to visiting the area myself one of these days!

I absolutely love your blog! I live in Florida and have visited most of the beaches on your list.

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