Visitors to Florida have the most perfect getaway option in the form of Cocoa Beach, a fun beach town lying south of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. While most famous for the surf breaks and beaches, Cocoa Beach is also an ideal option for those who have a fascination for iconic artifacts and space exploration.
From the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to sports, outdoor activities, and more, Cocoa Beach has lots to offer in the name of entertainment and fun. Take a fishing charter, explore the area on a kayak tour, learn to surf, hang out at the beach, or enjoy some great shopping and dining. No matter what you’re looking for, Cocoa Beach has it.
Ready to get started? Here are 16 things to do in Cocoa Beach that you’re not going to want to miss.
BLAST OFF AT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
One of the primary attractions of Cocoa Beach is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the gateway to NASA. Lying just 40 minutes away from the city, this center is where you can see memorabilia from the United States space program, along with historic spacecraft.
This Space Coast facility offers visitors the chance to experience a space shuttle launch, take a closer look at the space shuttle Atlantic, and lots more. You can also visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame in Cape Canaveral.
The Gift Shop is another add-on attraction of the Center, where you can buy mementos to take back from your visit here.
Details: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953 | Website
Looking for online tickets to attractions or cool tours offering insider info? Get Your Guide is our family’s go-to resource for online purchases. Find Kennedy Space Center tickets here.
GRAB SOME GRUB AT COCOA BEACH PIER
Stretching for 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, the Cocoa Beach Pier is where you get a bird’s eye view of the entire city. The Cocoa Beach Pier is one of the premier Cocoa Beach attractions, and a place where you can find all sorts of awesome eats and things to do.
Here you’ll find restaurants, boutiques, shops, and entertainment. We know surfing and frolicking in the waves is sure to be the top priority when you get here, but also make sure to sample some of the amazing fresh seafood available here. The Atlantic Ocean Grille makes the best fish sandwiches you will ever taste in your life, and the area’s surf shop nearby is a must-visit.
Details: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | Website
LEARN TO SURF ON COCOA BEACH
Cocoa Beach is a renowned destination primarily for surfing. Its consistent and calm waves have earned it this title, along with the shallow waters that help you wade off the breakers and learn surfing quite easily.
If surfing is your plan, you can either carry your own surfing board for lessons or rent one at some of the water sports facilities within this vicinity.
You can head to the Cocoa Beach Pier, also known at the Cocoa Beach Boardwalk, to start your surfing journey on the Atlantic Ocean.
Details: 108 N Orlando Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | Website
Looking for more water fun in Cocoa Beach? Try one of these awesome activities!
- Explore the Thousand Islands of Cocoa Beach by kayak. On this Sunset Kayak Tour, you will be guided into the labyrinths of the mangrove forest, with keyhole openings, an overhead canopy and watery trails that will twist your sense of direction.
- Enjoy a Private Kayak Fishing Expedition. Kayak fishing in Cocoa Beach allows anglers to get into skinny water environments that are untouchable by the average boater. These shallow water grass flats and mangrove tree lines are key to the ecosystem and are home to some of the most sought after fish species: Spotted Seatrout, Red Drum, Snook, and even Tarpon.
- Go on a Daytime Guided Kayak Tour. Explore the Thousand Islands of Cocoa Beach on this daytime guided kayak tour. You’ll go through a mangrove forest and explore the area by kayak with a great guide.
- “Glow” on a Bioluminescence Eco Kayak Tour. During the summer months, the water of the Banana River Lagoon comes alive after sunset with Bioluminescence. A microscopic organism begins to activate one of the most amazing chemical reactions found in the world. Watch as every stroke of your paddle illuminates the water!
SHOP AT RON JON SURF SHOP
A visit to Cocoa Beach isn’t complete without a visit to the Ron Jon Surf Shop — the biggest surf shop in the world!
This humongous surf shop sprawls for 52,000 square feet and is an attraction that welcomes visitors 24 hours a day. If the beach lifestyle appeals to you, then head out to this surf shop for everything you will possibly need to enjoy life by the water.
This sprawling and incredible surf shop offers a variety of sports gear, surf boards, swimsuits, and more. Ron Jon is no ordinary shop, as even those who have nothing to do with watersports find themselves coming back here to admire the glass elevators, fish tanks and flowing waterfalls.
Details: 4151 North Atlantic Avenue Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | Website
LORI WILSON PARK
To enjoy some of Florida’s natural coastline, and take in a picturesque beach, you’ve got to visit Lori Wilson Park. This regional park and beach is more secluded, and allows visitors the chance to relax and swim the day away.
Take a walk on one of the short trails that pass through a maritime hammock, just beyond the boardwalk. The trails here can take you over sand dunes, and to the beach where you can enjoy facilities like picnic tables, changing areas, restrooms, and pavilions.
You’ll also find a dog park, volleyball court, playground, and BBQ grills here.
Details: 1500 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | Website
TRY SHARK TACOS AT FAT KAHUNA’S
Shark tacos are a must-try for everyone visiting Coach Beach, and you’ll find them at Fat Kahuna’s Beachside Grille. The stunning ocean views here, along with the breezy and charming outdoor seating, promise a delightful time and a perfect escape for locals and visitors alike.
Even the indoors seating has a beautiful environment where you can hang out with friends and family. The cool air-conditioning and soft Hawaiian music in the background makes a perfect retreat for all.
A night of delicious seafood, along with non-stop surf footage on the full-screen television and a wrap-around bar, is sure to feel like a trip to paradise.
Details: 8 Minutemen Causeway, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | Website
CLIMB TO THE TOP OF EXPLORATION TOWER
Exploration Tower is the newest architectural structure found in nearby Cape Canaveral. You will find it in the East Coast of Port Canaveral, and it offers an educational and fun experience in one.
This tower comprises seven floors, featuring a range of exhibits and options for interactive play. Regardless of one’s age, there’s something for every visitor.
With two observation decks, a café, an auditorium, an exhibition space of 5,500 square feet and tons more — there’s plenty to do here.
Details: 670 Dave Nisbet Dr., Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | Website
KAYAK THE THOUSAND ISLANDS
Taking a kayak tour while visiting Cocoa Beach is a must-do, and an especially great area to explore in the Thousand Islands.
The Thousand Islands are part of the Banana River Lagoon, and consist of a group of natural islands. Take a kayak tour through the mangrove tunnels and saltwater marshes, and experience how beautiful this area really is.
During your tour, you’ll see all sorts of wildlife, like dolphins, manatees, southern stingrays, bald eagles, white ibis, and more. Kayaking is a splendid way of exploring the diverse ecosystem of this city.
There are kayaking experiences for all skill levels here, even for those who have no prior kayaking experience. For something fun and unique, consider a nighttime bioluminescence kayaking tour, where you’ll get to see an ethereal vision of lights emitting blue-green glows onto the waters.
Looking for an amazing guided adventure? Try this Cane Creek Adventure along Melbourne’s riverfront or a Turkey Creek paddle along a beautiful protected area housing the perfect habitats for Florida’s wildlife.
HANG TEN AT FLORIDA SURF MUSEUM
The Florida Surf Museum is where you can learn about the city’s surfing history. The city has a unique surfing background unlike any other place in the world, and this museum features incredible exhibitions on the culture and history of Florida surfing.
Hang Ten was one of the first surfing clothing and lifestyle brands on the market, and you can buy their clothing at the gift shop here. In addition, there’s a large collection of stories, boards, videos, photos and Kahunas for you to peruse over.
Be sure to learn about the fascinating array of boards, surf spots and local surfers at this museum.
Details: 4275 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | Website
HUNT FOR FOSSILS AT THE DINOSAUR STORE
If you’ve got dinosaur lovers in your group — you cannot visit Cocoa Beach without a stop at The Dinosaur Store. The Dinosaur Store is not just a store — it’s also an amazing museum, that’s filled with fossils, exhibits, and more.
This attraction has souvenirs and collections of fossils that are the real deal, and is sure to appeal to all the paleontology fans visiting here.
The Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures is located on the top two floors of The Dinosaur Store. This 20,000 square foot museums is filled with hundreds of artifacts and fossils. In addition to authentic fossils, you’ll also find massive cast skeletons, and life-sized dinosaur models.
Details: 250 W Cocoa Beach Cswy, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | Website
STROLL HISTORIC COCOA VILLAGE
The Historic Cocoa Village is where you’ll find entertainment, shopping, dining, and much more. It’s the heart of the city, and a great way to learn more about this wonderful area.
The Cocoa Village Playhouse is the ideal place to start your exploration of this side of the town, where you’ll find amazing live performances and stage shows. As you move further down this area, you’ll come upon the Florida Historical Society, a series of boutique shops, art galleries and lots more.
You will not fall short of options for entertainment and fun here, what with the plethora of live events, bars, local dining, antiques and gifts shops.
Details: 600 Florida Ave #104, Cocoa, FL 32922 | Website
TALK TO THE ANIMALS AT BREVARD ZOO
Just 30 minutes away from Cocoa Beach in Melbourne, you’ll find the Brevard Zoo — a place filled with animals and fun experiences. There’s an endless amount of fun here, because the zoo is an open-air home to over 900 animals from various parts of the world.
At this zoo, you will get to talk to animals like never before, and even become best friends with a handful of them by the time you finish feeding the lovely creatures. The animals are just part of the attraction here though, as you can have another level of fun by taking train rides, kayak tours, or participating in aerial activities.
Details: 8225 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940 | Website
GO BACK IN TIME AT THE BREVARD MUSEUM OF HISTORY & NATURAL SCIENCE
Take a fascinating trip back in time at the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science. This museum is the hub of state and local history, from the Ice Age to the Space Age.
The museum sits in a fascinating location, sprawling over 22 acres and features a natural preserve of winding trails through the ecosystems of the city. The exhibit titled ‘The People of Windover’ is the centerpiece of this museum, displaying artifacts of the people from 7,000- to 8,000- years ago.
Details: 2201 Michigan Ave, Cocoa, FL 32926 | Website
TAKE AN ECO TOUR
There’s nothing like communing with nature and exploring the ecosystems of a city you’re holidaying in. For visitors who love exploring all things natural, there couldn’t be a better option than a guided eco tour with Cocoa Beach Kayaking.
Kayaking through the Thousand Islands is a combination of adventure and thrill because this expedition offers everyone a chance to see manatees, several bird species and dolphins as they paddle through the tropical mangroves.
Details: 5000 Tom Warriner Boulevard, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | Website
SET SAIL AT PORT CANAVERAL
Nearby Port Canaveral is ranked as the world’s 2nd busiest cruise port in multi-day embarkations — meaning it’s a great place to catch a cruise!
Take a luxurious or fun-filled cruise leaving from Port Canaveral, and experience fun on the sea.
Port Canaveral gives you a glimpse of nature at its best, with a chance of getting an up close look of sea life and other wildlife. Take a cruise aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Wonder — which leave from here, and enjoy a Disney vacation in a new way.
STROLL THE MANATEE SANCTUARY PARK
Manatee Sanctuary Park is the flagship park of Cape Canaveral. It spreads across 10 full acres and is a vision of riverfront beauty. Head over to the Banana River, by which the park sits, and revel in the lush greenery and stunning scenery of this place.
The park is also the perfect spot to head to when all you want is some refreshing exercise, a place to relax and breathe in pure air.
Details: 701 Thurm Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | Website
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO FLORIDA
- YOUR FLORIDA VACATION
- FORT MYERS: 19 Things To Do In Fort Myers For Fun In The Sun
- VERO BEACH: 17 Awesome Things To Do In Vero Beach, Florida
- DAYTONA BEACH: 15 Fun Things To Do In Daytona Beach
- CAPE SAN BLAS: A Vacation Guide To Florida’s Forgotten Coast
- ORLANDO FOR ADULTS: 27 Super Fun Things To Do In Orlando For Adults
WHERE TO STAY IN COCOA BEACH
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