Things to do

20 Things To Do In Cocoa Beach Florida

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Cocoa Beach, Florida, is a charming coastal city known for its beautiful beaches, laid-back vibe, and rich history. Located on Florida's Space Coast, it's just a short drive from the Kennedy Space Center, making it a popular destination for space enthusiasts.

The beach itself is perfect for surfing, sunbathing, and beachcombing, with warm waters and golden sands that attract visitors year-round. Cocoa Beach Pier is a must-visit spot, offering restaurants, bars, and shops, along with stunning ocean views.

Whether you're catching a wave, exploring space history, or simply soaking up the sun, there are many things to do on Cocoa Beach, Florida out of which we have collected 20 most interesting ones below.

1. Relax and Enjoy by the Sandy Shores of Cocoa Beach

Stretching for miles along the Atlantic Ocean, this renowned beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing. Its gentle waves make it an ideal spot for novice surfers and those looking to enjoy a leisurely day by the sea.

The beach is family-friendly, with plenty of space for picnics and beach games, and amenities like lifeguards and restrooms are available for added convenience.

Cocoa Beach also features a lively boardwalk area with shops and eateries, allowing visitors to enjoy a relaxed beachside atmosphere. As the sun sets, the beach transforms into a picturesque setting for evening strolls, offering breathtaking views of the horizon.

2. Visit the Beautiful Beachfront Lori Wilson Park

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It is a beautiful beachfront park in Cocoa Beach, Florida, known for its lush green spaces and family-friendly amenities. The park features picnic areas, pavilions, and barbecue grills, making it an ideal spot for gatherings and outdoor meals.

Visitors can enjoy walking trails that wind through coastal hammocks, providing a glimpse of native wildlife and plants. The park also offers a dog park, so it's a great place to bring pets.

With direct access to the beach, it's perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. Restrooms and outdoor showers are available, ensuring a comfortable visit for all.

3. Explore the Thousand Islands with a Kayak Tour

One of the exciting cocoa beach tourist attractions is exploring the Thousand Islands area with a guided kayak tour. This activity offers a unique way to experience the natural beauty of Cocoa Beach, as the mangrove tunnels and winding waterways are home to diverse wildlife, including manatees and dolphins.

Kayak tours through the Thousand Islands are perfect for nature enthusiasts, providing an up-close look at the lush mangrove forests and the serene aquatic environment. These tours are suitable for both beginners and experienced kayakers, making them an accessible and enjoyable activity for visitors of all ages​.

4. Visit the Iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop

Ron Jon Surf Shop, one of the most famous surf shops in the world, is a must-visit when looking for stuff to do in Cocoa Beach, FL. Established in 1961, it spans over two acres and operates 24 hours a day, offering a vast selection of surfboards, beach gear, and apparel.

The shop also features a surf museum showcasing the history of surfing and some of the sport’s legendary figures. With its vibrant atmosphere and extensive inventory, it’s not just a shopping destination but a quintessential part of the Cocoa Beach experience.

5. Discover Wildlife at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

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The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, located on Florida's Space Coast, is a vast and diverse sanctuary spanning over 140,000 acres. Established in 1963, it serves as a crucial habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including more than 1,500 plant species and 500 wildlife species.

The refuge is renowned for its exceptional birdwatching opportunities, particularly during the winter months when migratory birds flock to the area. Visitors can explore its numerous habitats, ranging from coastal dunes and saltwater marshes to hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods.

Scenic drives, such as Black Point Wildlife Drive, offer a chance to see alligators, manatees, bobcats, and an array of bird species up close. The refuge also provides ample opportunities for hiking, fishing, and kayaking, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and tranquility of the region.

6. Participate in a Yoga Session on the Beach

These beach yoga classes are typically held during sunrise or sunset, providing a breathtaking backdrop of the ocean and sky, enhancing the relaxation and mindfulness experience.

Instructors often tailor the sessions to accommodate all skill levels, making it a welcoming environment for both beginners and seasoned practitioners. The fresh sea breeze and natural surroundings help deepen the connection between body, mind, and nature, offering a holistic approach to wellness.

Additionally, these sessions foster a sense of community as participants share the invigorating experience of outdoor yoga, often leading to lasting friendships and a greater appreciation for the coastal environment.

7. Enjoy Dining and Shopping at Cocoa Village

Cocoa Village is a delightful historic district in Cocoa Beach that offers a charming blend of dining, shopping, and entertainment. The area is renowned for its quaint, tree-lined streets and well-preserved early 20th-century architecture, which creates a nostalgic ambiance.

Visitors can enjoy a diverse array of dining options, from cozy cafes and family-owned restaurants to more upscale bistros, offering everything from fresh seafood to international cuisine.

The shopping experience in Cocoa Village is equally varied, featuring unique boutiques, antique shops, and artisanal stores that offer everything from handmade crafts to vintage treasures. The village also hosts regular events and festivals, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.

8. Explore the Cocoa Beach Public Library

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Located centrally in Cocoa Beach, it serves as a gathering place for local events, educational programs, and cultural activities. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of resources, including free Wi-Fi, public computers, and an extensive collection of books and media.

The library frequently hosts workshops, author talks, and family-friendly activities, making it a great spot for both relaxation and enrichment. Its welcoming atmosphere and commitment to community engagement make it a valuable resource for residents and visitors alike.

9. Try Local Seafood at Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar

One of the must-visit spots for seafood lovers in Cocoa Beach is Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. This local favorite is renowned for its casual atmosphere and fresh, flavorful seafood.

Located right on the water, Rusty’s offers a fantastic view of the Intracoastal Waterway, which adds to the dining experience. The menu features a wide range of dishes, including fresh oysters, succulent shrimp, and mouth-watering fish tacos.

The laid-back vibe, combined with live music and a friendly staff, makes it a great place to enjoy a relaxed meal while savoring the best of local seafood.

10. Discover Marine Life at the Cocoa Beach Aquatic Center

The Cocoa Beach Aquatic Center offers a variety of activities in Cocoa Beach, providing a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement for visitors of all ages. Situated near the beach, this family-friendly facility features a large swimming pool with slides, diving boards, and areas for lap swimming and water aerobics.

It's a great spot for both leisurely dips and energetic water play. The Aquatic Center also hosts swimming lessons and water safety classes, making it an ideal place for families looking to learn and have fun together in the sun-drenched paradise of Cocoa Beach.

11. Visit the Dinosaur Store and Museum

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Located near the beach, it stands out as a unique attraction among the many things to do at Cocoa Beach, Florida. Inside, you'll find a fascinating collection of fossils, replicas, and interactive exhibits that bring dinosaurs and ancient sea creatures to life.

Highlights include a life-sized T-Rex skull, a Megalodon jaw, and hands-on activities like fossil digging and gem mining, making it an educational and entertaining stop for families and dinosaur enthusiasts alike.

The museum also features a gift shop with dinosaur-themed merchandise and a Cosmic Gems & Minerals section for those interested in rocks and minerals.

12. Experience Nightlife at Cocoa Beach's bars and Clubs

Cocoa Beach's nightlife offers a lively and diverse scene that enhances its reputation as one of the area's top cocoa beach attractions. The local bars and clubs cater to a range of tastes, from laid-back beachside pubs to energetic nightclubs.

You can start your evening with a relaxed atmosphere at oceanfront bars like Coconuts on the Beach, where you can sip tropical cocktails while enjoying live music and stunning sunset views.

Local hotspots such as The Green Kilt and Shark Lounge provide a mix of entertainment, including karaoke nights, trivia competitions, and sports on big screens.

13. Go Kyaking or Paddleboarding on the Banana River

The Banana River, part of the Indian River Lagoon system, offers calm waters and stunning views of mangrove forests, islands, and diverse wildlife such as dolphins and manatees.

Renting equipment is easy from local outfitters, and guided tours are available for those seeking expert insight into the area's ecology and history. 

Whether you're a beginner or experienced paddler, the river's tranquil waters and abundant wildlife make it an ideal spot for a peaceful day on the water, amidst many attractions in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

14. Cruise the Indian River Lagoon on an Eco-tour

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The Indian River Lagoon is a stunning and ecologically rich estuary that stretches along Florida’s Atlantic coast, encompassing a diverse array of habitats and wildlife.

Spanning approximately 156 miles from the Ponce de Leon Inlet to the Jupiter Inlet, this lagoon system is one of the most biodiverse estuaries in North America. It supports a wide range of species, including manatees, dolphins, and various species of fish, birds, and reptiles.

The lagoon's shallow waters and seagrass beds provide critical nurseries for many marine organisms, while its mangroves and salt marshes offer vital protection against erosion and serve as crucial feeding and breeding grounds.

15. Explore the Cocoa Beach Skate Park

Located in the heart of Cocoa Beach, this well-maintained park features a variety of obstacles and ramps designed to challenge skaters and provide a fun environment. The park includes a range of elements such as half-pipes, quarter-pipes, rails, and ledges, catering to both beginner and advanced skaters.

Its spacious layout allows for plenty of room to practice tricks, while its concrete surface ensures a smooth ride. The park is also known for its friendly and inclusive atmosphere, often hosting local skate events and competitions that draw a lively crowd.

16. Take a Sunset Cruise along the Space Coast

The Space Coast, located on Florida's eastern shoreline, earned its nickname due to its close proximity to the Kennedy Space Center, NASA's primary launch site for manned space missions since the 1960s.

This region encompasses Brevard County and stretches from Titusville in the north to Melbourne in the south, offering visitors a unique blend of aerospace history, stunning beaches, and diverse wildlife.

Beyond space exploration, the Space Coast boasts 72 miles of pristine Atlantic coastline, making it a haven for surfing, sunbathing, and eco-tourism activities.

17. Play a Round of Golf at Cocoa Beach Country Club

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Renowned for its well-maintained grounds and scenic views, the club features an 18-hole, par-72 championship golf course designed by architect Joe Lee.

Golfers of all skill levels can enjoy playing amidst lush fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and water hazards that add both beauty and challenge to the game. The facility also includes a driving range and putting green for practice sessions, while golf carts equipped with GPS systems enhance the overall experience.

The club's clubhouse provides amenities such as a pro shop stocked with golfing essentials, locker rooms, and a restaurant offering delicious meals with panoramic views of the course.

18. Watch a Rocket Launch from Cape Canaveral

Cape Canaveral, located on Florida's Space Coast, is home to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, where numerous space missions have been launched since the 1960s.

The launch experience typically begins with a countdown that builds anticipation as the rocket is prepared for liftoff. Spectators can choose from various viewing areas, including public parks, designated viewing spots, or even guided tours that offer closer views.

The experience is often enhanced by the opportunity to learn about the mission's objectives, spacecraft, and the technology involved, making it not just a visual spectacle but also an educational event.

19. Try Deep-sea Fishing with Local Charters

Charter companies provide fully equipped boats and experienced captains who know the best spots for catching a variety of fish species, including mahi-mahi, grouper, snapper, and even sharks. Trips typically range from half-day excursions to full-day adventures, catering to different preferences and schedules.

Charters often include all necessary fishing gear, bait, and tackle, ensuring a hassle-free experience for guests. Many captains are knowledgeable about local marine life and ecosystems, providing insights and tips throughout the trip.

20. Visit the Florida Surf Museum

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The Florida Surf Museum, located in Cocoa Beach, is a unique and fascinating spot dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history of surfing on Florida's east coast.

Established in 1999, the museum started as a small collection of surf memorabilia in a local surf shop and has grown into a comprehensive exhibit space that chronicles the evolution of surfing in the region.

Visitors can explore exhibits featuring vintage surfboards, photographs, and artifacts that highlight the sport's development and the local surf culture. The museum also hosts events and educational programs, making it a must-see attraction when exploring Cocoa Beach, FL things to do.