EXPLORE COCOA BEACH
COCOA BEACH, along Florida’s Space Coast, makes for an out-of-this-world family vacation. Your group can ride some waves, check out the world-famous pier, marvel at Ron Jon’s, the world’s largest surf shop, hike through nature preserves, and explore mankind’s greatest journey at the nearby Kennedy Space Center. NASA’s launch headquarters is the only place on Earth where you can tour launch-pad areas, meet a veteran astronaut, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators and – if your timing is just right – even view a launch. Don’t miss Historic Cocoa Village, a revitalized, nostalgic riverside community with more than 50 shops, restaurants, galleries and artist studios.
It’s been called the quintessential beach town, and Cocoa Beach, an hour’s drive east of Orlando on Florida’s beautiful Space Coast, offers endless ways to enjoy recreation and leisure. Whether you are planning a family beach vacation, leisure travel, a business trip, a weekend getaway, or just a day at the beach, you’ll find everything you need in Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast area to make your stay one to remember.
One of the more affordable vacation spots in all of Florida, there is never a lack of exciting things to do and see in and around Cocoa Beach. Besides offering the best of “sun and fun” at the beach, while on the Space Coast you can take an eco-tour adventure on a kayak tour or airboat ride to get up close and personal with Florida’s extraordinary wildlife.
You can visit area attractions like the Kennedy Space Center (maybe even see a rocket liftoff into space), explore the area’s rich history by doing some sightseeing at museums and historic sites, or soak up some beach culture while shopping for some fabulous finds. You can enjoy the great outdoors playing a round or two of golf on our spectacular courses, or get wet enjoying the absolute best in wind and watersports. You can even drive just a short distance to all the Orlando attractions, then return to Cocoa Beach to enjoy dinner at one of the many awesome dining spots on the beach, ranging from the elegant to sand-in-your-shoes casual. After dark, kick back and enjoy the easy beach-style nightlife activities that run the gamut from cool jazz clubs to beach side cafes. Then stay overnight in the perfect hotel room and wake up to a spectacular sunrise on the beach.
Cocoa Beach is situated just minutes from Florida’s fastest growing port – Port Canaveral – where you can embark from world class cruise terminals to exotic destinations. Disney Cruise Line makes its home in Port Canaveral, as well as Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. If you’re interested in reading more about the recent happenings, here’s a link to our Cocoa Beach Journal (blog) page.
Don’t Miss These…
COCOA BEACH PIER: In 1962 the first US rocket Ranger IV landed on the moon; the average cost of a new house was $12,500; the average income per year was $5,556; the average monthly rent was $110; the tuition to Harvard University was $1,520; and the iconic Marvel superhero Spider-Man made his first appearance in the Amazing Fantasy #15 comic; also making its debut in 1962 – Cocoa Beach Pier. Here’s the address if you decide to come here and explore – 401 Meade Avenue, Cocoa Beach 32931.
I DREAM OF JEANNIE LANE: In an effort to compete with the 1964 success of ABC’s “Bewitched”, NBC aired “I Dream of Jeannie” the following season. Starring Barbara Eden as Jeannie (a genie trapped in a bottle for 2000 years) and Larry Hagman as astronaut Captain/Major Anthony Nelson (who finds Jeannie’s bottle and ultimately releases her) the iconic hit series that ran for 139 episodes was set in Cocoa Beach and Cape Kennedy (actually filmed in California though). This is a pic of I Dream of Jeannie Lane named in honor of the TV classic and if you aren’t able to “blink” your way here to snap a pic, use the GPS address of 1500 N Atlantic Ave/A1A, 32931 (you’ll find the street sign and historical marker on the side of Lori Wilson Park).
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER: From NASA.gov we learned that the Kennedy Space Center is located on 140,000 acres and is a melding of technology and nature. Wildlife thrives here alongside the immense steel-and-concrete structures of the nation’s major launch base. The Center is a national wildlife refuge and part of its coastal area is a national seashore. Archaeologists have uncovered burial mounds and shell refuse piles left by small bands of prehistoric Indians who inhabited the area thousands of years ago. There are more than 1,500 acres of citrus groves on the Center. These lands are leased to individuals who care for the trees and harvest their fruit. Beekeepers collect honey from and maintain the hives of bees essential to the pollination of citrus trees. The nerve center of Kennedy Space Center however is Launch Complex 39, the location of the Vehicle Assembly Building where the Saturn V vehicles were once prepared for launch and is now the NASA assembly site for the Space Shuttle. Quite possibly our favorite entrance of any location, we shot this pic in front of the Visitor Complex and if you decide to make your way here and explore, head to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, SR 405, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899. Explorers’ Note: We recommend setting aside a full day to explore this fantastical destination. While discount admission is available for military and seniors, standard admission is $50 for adults, $40 for children, and although it’s one of our pet peeves, there’s a $10 parking charge ($15 for RVs).
RON JON “ONE OF A KIND” SURF SHOP: We’re suckers for a good episode of Shark Tank and had the series existed 50 years ago, this entrepreneur would likely have made the cut. According to their website (RonJonSurfShop.com) the Ron Jon mystique started back in 1959 New Jersey when the company’s founder (Ron DiMenna) wanted a custom surfboard from California. His father suggested that his son, “Buy three, sell two at a profit, then yours will be free”, his Dad was right and Ron Jon Surf Shop was born; the first tiny location opened in 1961 on Long Beach Island, NJ. Two years later, Ron Jon “One of a Kind” Surf Shop opened in Cocoa Beach. It’s the largest surf shop in the world where you’ll find more than two acres of adrenaline pumping gear in a facility that’s open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And if you decide to come check out this A1A surfing mecca for yourself, the address is 4151 North Atlantic Ave., 32931.
SEA DOGS: Here’s a bit of history we found on WestgateDestinations.com; built in 1962 by local businessman Richard Stottler, the Cocoa Beach Pier is a historical landmark on the Space Coast. Stretching 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, the Pier (originally known as “Canaveral Pier”) was constructed with more than 2.5 miles of boardwalk planks, 270 pilings, each 40 feet in length and has undergone many changes over the years. Longtime residents can recall the days in the early 1960s when visitors could drive their cars right up onto the Pier itself. The Pier also offered a “grandstand seat” for Mercury, Apollo and Space Shuttle launches at nearby Cape Canaveral which was known as “Cape Kennedy” in honor of President John F. Kennedy between 1963 and 1973. And, as snacking our way across A1A is part & parcel of our explorations, there are a handful of dining options at the pier; this is a pic of perhaps the most convenient place to snack, Sea Dogs where you can also rent a volleyball, surfboard or body board and if you decide to make your way here, head to 401 Meade Ave., 32931.
Following are few links you made find helpful (we certainly have). If you use the links, you’ll be leaving this website and will be redirected to another. Although we’ve found the links quite useful, we’re not making endorsements or claims about the accuracy or content of the information you’ll find there. Kennedy Space Center; Historic Cocoa Village; and Florida Surf Museum.