Think Cocoa Beach and you may think space shuttles and world class beaches. If you do – you’re right on the money. Cocoa Beach is a family-friendly town with prices so low, it make great sense to headquarter here for your Florida vacation instead of Orlando. That’s what we did when we wanted to see the nearby Kennedy Space Center yet catch the Cirque du Soleil show at Downtown Disney that night in Orlando. The drive is like one CD long – and then you’re there.
Cocoa Beach has a beach, is minutes away from the Kennedy Space Center and a short hop from Disney. You’ll pay much more to stay near the parks and guess what? No ocean!
NASA’s influx in the early 1960’s put sleepy Cocoa Beach on the map. Hundreds of engineers, technicians, designers and assistants moved in and really, little has changed. You’ll find the same family-run motels that seem to be stopped in time.
Beach access in Cocoa can be found at the end of many streets that run to the ocean. We found this ideal as traffic flow around the Cocoa Beach Pier is nice. Parking is ample and there are a few parks where you can spend the day.
Cocoa Beach is an All-American beach: green water, wide, coarse-grained and sometimes brown-sand beach with every race imaginable (and swimsuit size). We found most people hang out around the pier area – on Atlantic and Meade toward the north end of Cocoa Beach.
Surf is best on the north side of the pier. The beach is ideal for kids on the south side. But we didn’t find any lifeguards. Make sure you’re watching where your kids are. And take note of possible rip-currents. We saw signs posted for them.
If your timing is right, you just might see a rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center, just north of Cocoa. You’ll know when it happens. Everybody and their brother will be looking skyward and taking in the majestic event. The orange flame in the picture here is the Space Shuttle. Click the picture for a larger view.
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