The Space Coast is a 72-mile stretch of coastline and beautiful beaches along the Central East Coast of Florida. Cocoa Beach makes up 6 miles of that stretch and is easily accessible from Orlando via SR 528, also known as the Beachline. At less than an hour drive from Orlando, it is the closest beach to Orlando International Airport (MCO), Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando and more!
Cocoa Beach is centrally located, making it a great place to explore neighboring areas like Cape Canaveral, Downtown Cocoa Village, Satellite Beach and Melbourne. It is situated 10 minutes from Port Canaveral where cruise ships set sail and less than 30 minutes to Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.
Best Known For:
Laid Back, Local Vibe: Cocoa Beach is a quintessential beach town where flip flops and sandy toes are the norm. Local businesses are plentiful with dining, shopping and touring options you won’t find anywhere else. In fact, don’t be surprised if you see a “no shirt, no shoes, no problem” sign or two. 🙂 The locals are welcoming to visitors and the area is known for being one of the most affordable vacation destinations in Florida.
Beaches: Along the 6-mile stretch of Cocoa Beach you’ll find FORTY (40) beach access points that the city describes as “stub-end streets”- where the street ends and beach begins. In addition, there are 4 oceanfront parks with restrooms, showers, picnic tables and of course, more beach access. The sun-bronzed beach sand is a favorite for sunbathing and sand castle making alike. Though its world renowned waves are a surfers paradise, they’re still calm enough that families and novice beachgoers are able to enjoy a swim or their first surf lesson.
Nature: The beaches aren’t the only way to enjoy the outdoors here. The year round heat creates a perfect climate for a variety of nature preserves you can meander through to spot wildlife, maybe even see a gator basking in the sun. Head to the beach at night during March through October and you may catch a nesting sea turtle or its hatchlings. For even greater chances of seeing these beautiful creatures, take a guided walk. From June to October, the neighboring bodies of water, Mosquito Lagoon, Banana River, and Indian River Lagoon light up at night. This phenomenon is called bioluminescence and a guided tour to witness it during your time on the Space Coast is highly encouraged.
Space: If you feel a rumble while visiting, don’t worry it’s not an earthquake. 🙂 It’s actually the sonic boom from a rocket being launched. Look up and you’ll notice a streak across the horizon. That’s right, our “beach doubles as a launch pad” too – from the northern parts of Cocoa Beach, you can even see it in the distance. How the Space Coast earns its name is that it is home to NASA and now SpaceX. Be sure to check the latest launch schedule. Learn more about space with a visit to Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex.
- Port Canaveral, Florida’s fastest growing port
- Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex
- Brevard Zoo, named among the top 10 zoos in North America
- Ron Jon Surf Shop
- Cocoa Village Mardi Gras (February in Cocoa, FL)
- Easter Surf Festival, featuring Surfing Dogs (Easter weekend in Cocoa Beach, Fl)
- Cocoa Beach Air Show (Spring in Cocoa Beach, FL)
- NKF Surf Festival (Labor Day weekend in Cocoa Beach, FL)
- Cocoa Beach Art Show (Thanksgiving weekend in Cocoa Beach, Fl)
- Space Coast Art Festival (mid-October in Viera, Fl)
- Surfing Santas (Christmas Eve in Cocoa Beach, FL)
- Place to Stay: Lunar Beach Bungalow
- Shop: The Funky Mermaid in Cocoa Beach
- Live Music: Grills at the Port
- Outdoor Spot: The Beach!
- Outdoor Activity: Bioluminescence tour
- Breakfast: Cafe Surfinista
- Coffee: Juice n Java
- Lunch: 4th Street Fillin Station
- Dinner: Fat Kahuna’s
- Cocktail: Sandbar Sports Bar