Cocoa Beach, Florida is a coastal city located in Brevard County, known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and a wide range of activities for residents and visitors. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, shopping and dining options, or exploring the local real estate market, Cocoa Beach offers a little something for everyone. From its origins as a small seaside town to its current status as a thriving vacation destination, Cocoa Beach has grown to become a popular spot for those seeking a laid-back lifestyle with plenty of amenities. So, whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, a foodie, or an investor, Cocoa Beach has something to offer. Let’s take a closer look at the history, activities, beaches, shopping and dining, and real estate in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
The modern history of Cocoa Beach began in the 1920s, when the town was incorporated and began to attract tourists with its beaches and warm climate. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s and 60s that Cocoa Beach became truly famous, thanks to the space race and the construction of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center nearby.
As NASA worked to launch the first manned spaceflight, Cocoa Beach became the hub for the space program, attracting scientists, engineers, and astronauts. The town grew rapidly, with new hotels, restaurants, and businesses catering to the influx of visitors.
In addition to its connection to the space program, Cocoa Beach also became a popular spot for surfers in the 1960s. The area’s warm waters and consistent waves drew surfers from around the world, and the town became known as a surfing mecca.
Today, Cocoa Beach is a thriving tourist destination, with a mix of beachside attractions, local businesses, and outdoor recreation opportunities. The town remains closely tied to the space program, and visitors can still visit the Kennedy Space Center to learn about NASA’s history and current projects.
Attractions and Activities
1. Surfing: Cocoa Beach is known as the surfing capital of the east coast, with consistent waves and warm waters that make it a popular spot for surfers of all skill levels.
2. Kennedy Space Center: The Kennedy Space Center is a must-visit attraction for space enthusiasts, with exhibits and tours that showcase NASA’s history and current projects.
3. Cocoa Beach Kayaking: Cocoa Beach Kayaking offers guided tours of the local waterways, including the Banana River and Thousand Islands, with opportunities to see dolphins, manatees, and other wildlife.
4. Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures: Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures is an outdoor adventure park that features ziplines, rope courses, and other challenges for visitors of all ages.
5. Lori Wilson Park: Lori Wilson Park is a popular beach park that offers a variety of amenities, including picnic areas, volleyball courts, and a dog park.
6. Cocoa Beach Skate Park: The Cocoa Beach Skate Park is a popular destination for skateboarders and BMX riders, featuring ramps, rails, and other obstacles.
7. Cherie Down Park: Cherie Down Park is a beach park that offers fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities, as well as a playground and picnic area.
8. Cocoa Beach Art Walk: The Cocoa Beach Art Walk is a monthly event that showcases local artists and their work, with live music, food vendors, and other entertainment.
For those looking for a more secluded beach experience, the Canaveral National Seashore is a must-visit. This 24-mile stretch of undeveloped beach offers a peaceful escape from the crowds, with opportunities for swimming, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
Cocoa Beach also has a variety of other beaches, including Alan Shepard Park, Sidney Fischer Park, and Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park. Each beach has its own unique charm and attractions, from playgrounds and volleyball courts to scenic nature trails.
Events and Festivals
1. Surfing Santas: Every Christmas Eve, the Surfing Santas gather at Cocoa Beach to ride the waves in Santa suits. This unique event has gained national attention and draws a large crowd every year.
2. Ron Jon Beach n’ Boards Fest: This event takes place in March and celebrates beach and board sports such as surfing, skateboarding, and kiteboarding. Visitors can watch competitions, attend clinics, and enjoy live music.
3. Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest: In June, Cocoa Beach transforms into a pirate haven with the annual Pirate Fest. The festival features pirate-themed events such as treasure hunts, live entertainment, and costume contests.
4. Space Coast Art Festival: This popular art festival takes place on Thanksgiving weekend and showcases works from over 200 artists in various mediums. The festival also features live music and food vendors.
5. NKF Rich Salick Pro/Am Surf Festival: This event is held in September and is one of the largest surfing competitions on the East Coast. The festival also includes a beach concert and various activities for visitors.
6. Cocoa Beach Half Marathon: In November, runners from around the country come to Cocoa Beach to participate in the annual half marathon. The scenic course takes runners through the city and along the beach.
1. Ron Jon Surf Shop: This iconic surf shop is a must-visit for anyone visiting Cocoa Beach. It offers a wide range of surf-related merchandise, clothing, and accessories.
2. Cocoa Beach Surf Company: This surf shop offers a wide range of surfing gear, as well as clothing and souvenirs.
3. Cocoa Beach Pier: The pier offers a variety of shops and boutiques, as well as beach gear and souvenirs.
4. Downtown Cocoa Beach: The downtown area offers a variety of small shops, art galleries, and antique stores.
1. Coconuts on the Beach: This popular beachfront restaurant offers a casual atmosphere and live music, as well as a menu featuring fresh seafood and American cuisine.
2. The Fat Snook: This upscale restaurant offers a menu featuring locally-sourced ingredients and innovative cuisine, as well as a wine list and craft cocktails.
3. Roberto’s Little Havana: This family-owned Cuban restaurant offers traditional Cuban dishes, as well as live music and a lively atmosphere.
4. Simply Delicious Cafe & Bakery: This cozy cafe offers a menu featuring breakfast and lunch items, as well as a selection of baked goods and desserts.
5. The Tiny Turtle: This beachfront restaurant offers a menu featuring fresh seafood and Caribbean-inspired cuisine, as well as a tiki bar and live music.
1. Location: Cocoa Beach is a highly sought-after location for real estate. Many properties offer direct beach access or stunning views of the ocean, making them highly desirable.
2. Property Types: There are a variety of property types available in Cocoa Beach, including single-family homes, condos, and townhomes. Condos are particularly popular among buyers due to their proximity to the beach and lower maintenance requirements.
3. Price Range: Real estate prices in Cocoa Beach can vary widely depending on location, property type, and condition. As of 2021, the median home price in Cocoa Beach was around $420,000, with many properties exceeding $1 million.
4. Rental Market: Due to its popularity as a vacation destination, Cocoa Beach also offers a robust rental market for both long-term and short-term rentals. This can make it an attractive location for investors looking to purchase rental properties.
5. Community: Cocoa Beach is a tight-knit community that offers a range of amenities and activities for residents. There are several parks, restaurants, and shops in the area, as well as frequent events and festivals throughout the year.