Our Guide to Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach Florida

If you’re wanting to enjoy a beach day near Orlando, Cocoa Beach on the east coast offers the ultimate coastal adventure. This well-maintained beach offers an endless list of exciting activities to enjoy in the sun.

Located near to Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach is just over an hour away from our villas in Orlando. It has year-round free beach access and is known for its great surfing conditions and one of the best spots to watch a rocket launch.

Top Features:

  • 6 miles of beaches with excellent beach access
  • 4 ocean-front parks with easy access to the beach
  • An outdoor 50m public swimming pool
  • A state of the art skate park
  • Numerous children’s playgrounds
  • A wide range of dining choices

Beach Access

Listed below are four Cocoa Beach parks, which include access to the beach. These parks also provide parking and several facilities, including picnic tables, toilets, and showers.

Alan Shepard Park: There are more than 300 parking spaces available at this 5-acre park. Access to shops are within an easy walking distance.

Sidney Fischer Park: This 10-acre park is family friendly with picnic pavilions and a playground. It has roughly 200 parking spaces.

Lori Wilson Park: Operated and maintained by Brevard County, Lori Wilson Park is a 20-acre, ocean-front park, with toilets, a boardwalk, a nature trail and a dog park. It’s a lovely escape featuring a clean, wide beach, thick with golden-hued sand. Parking is also free here.

Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park: Murkshe Memorial Park is also maintained by Brevard County and offers toilets, showers and picnic areas. This 2-acre park is named after Robert P. Murkshe, who served as Cocoa Beach mayor from 1963 to 1972.

It’s usually about $15 for the day to park at some of these parks.

Beach Rules

  • Stay off the dunes to help protect them - It’s the law on Cocoa Beach and every other beach along the Atlantic Coast. Dunes are the mounds of sand on the landward side of the beach. They act as barriers to protect properties from high tide and storms. Many of the dunes rely on vegetation to stay in place as both wind and sea work at relocating them.
  • No open fires, including any type of charcoal
  • No glass on the beach
  • Please do not dig large holes, for safety reasons

Cocoa Beach Pier

Cocoa Beach Pier

Cocoa Beach Pier is a prime fishing spot, stretching 800ft over the Atlantic Ocean. This historic landmark is decked out with gift shops, bars, restaurants and live entertainment. The pier also offers beautiful views of the beach.

Banana River

This 31-mile lagoon is located between Cape Canaveral and Merritt Island and is home to a variety of marine wildlife such as dolphins, manatees and stingrays. Boat and kayaking tours are available on the Banana River, giving you a chance to experience the amazing wildlife up close.

This area is also great for birdwatchers, who can look out for the occasional bald eagle, little blue heron, pelican or white ibis.

Learn to Surf

Cocoa Beach is well-known for its calm, consistent waves. The water is also shallow enough to wade out past the breakers, making it an ideal place to learn how to surf. There are a few places you can rent a board and take some lessons, if it’s something you’ve always wanted to try out.

Surfing at Cocoa Beach

The world’s largest surf shop is also located here. The iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop is one of the top attractions at Cocoa Beach and offers everything you could possibly need for the beach lifestyle. It’s worth discovering even if you don’t feel like shopping, as it also has fish tanks, glass elevators and flowing waterfalls.

Watch a Space Launch!

Kennedy Space Center is just a few miles north of Cocoa Beach, which means you can watch a space launch from the beach! If you’re not able to get tickets for a space launch at Kennedy, Cocoa Beach is one of the next best places to see one. It’s popular with the locals as well, offering spectacular views of day and night launches.

Rocket launch from Cocoa Beach

Restaurants and Nightlife

You’ll find lots of dining spots along the beach, with local restaurants offering a variety of food options for every appetite. Fat Kahunua’s Beach Side Grille is a great place to visit featuring signature seafood selections, fine steak, chicken and vegetarian options. It also boasts a gorgeous view of the ocean.

With a variety of nightlife activities, you could also stay into the evening at Cocoa Beach, after a day of fun at the beach. There are a variety of places to go from beach side bars to cool jazz clubs.

Address: Cocoa Beach Causeway East, FL 32931

There’s so much to explore at Cocoa Beach and it’s a great day out for the whole family. If you’re looking for ideas for other day trips from Orlando, take a look at our previous blog which gives you 12 of the best locations to visit!