Hear It From Locals

COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA

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JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH KEN AND KAREN FROM COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA !

Ken and Karen have lived in the Cocoa Beach/Merritt Island area since 1999. They love to travel the world, having visited 4 continents, 38 countries, and 31 US States so far but love to come home to “The Island”

 

Karen and Ken at KSC with Mobile Launch Platform on Crawler Transporter

 

Which is the best month to visit Cocoa Beach and why?

November would our pick for the best month to visit, especially if you want to escape winter where you live and spend some time at the beach. November is great because the weather has cooled off (high 70’s to low 80’s during the day) and the water temperature is still in the high 70’s. March and April are also great but the crowds can be a little heavy due to spring break and Easter holidays. We don’t have typical seasons here. The weather is still nice in December, January and February with average highs in the low-mid 70’s but can occasionally be a bit too cool for the beach. Try to avoid May through October when it is guaranteed to be very hot and humid, typically with daily thunderstorms and the occasionally hurricane threat.

 

Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of Cocoa Beach?

Even though our beach is world famous, we’re still a “small town” kind of place. A personal or rental car is definitely your best bet for traveling around the Cocoa Beach area and will likely be a necessity if you are traveling here from the Orlando. There are some public buses, but they are very limited in both how often they run and their routes. Taxi service is unregulated and can often be cost prohibitive. Ride share services such as Uber and Lyft are now operating in our area. While more affordable than a taxi they are still a bit on the expensive side and service isn’t always available.

What are the top 3 must visit places in Cocoa Beach?

Well, Beach is literally in our name so it is of course one of the top draws. Cocoa Beach is located in Brevard County Florida which has over 72 miles of beautiful beaches to enjoy. Besides our beaches, the top 3 most visited places would have to be:

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex where you can get up close and personal with Space Shuttle Atlantis in the very impressive exhibit built exclusively for it to call home and you can learn more about our Astronaut heroes in the newest exhibit “Heroes and Legends”.   On the guided bus tour, you can walk beneath a Saturn 5 rocket and see the other historic rockets and facilities that put man on the Moon, helped to build the International Space Station and more.

 

Satern V
Kennedy Space Centre Saturn V
Atlantis
Kennedy Space Centre Atlantis Space Shuttle

 

Ron Jon’s Surf Shop is likely the most famous surf shop on the planet and is indeed something to behold. The store is giant and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (like the beach). Here you’ll find some of the best beach wear around, great souvenirs and hand-built surf-boards. They also have a giant selection of unique high quality logo T-shirts for men, women, and children. They are a must buy for any visit to Cocoa Beach! Show your AAA card for a discount.

 

Karen at Surfin Santas with Richie (friend) to left and Seth (so
Surfing Santas

 

Port Canaveral may seem like an odd choice but we are the home port to 4 major cruise lines: Carnival, Disney, Royal Caribbean, & NCL. Why not combine your visit with a Caribbean cruise? If that isn’t an option, some of the best restaurants in the area are at the Port and you can watch the cruise ships as they depart if your timing is right! The port also hosts charter fishing boats, whale watching tours when in season, shark fishing, and even a casino boat cruise that departs twice daily.

 

Cruise Ship at Port Cananveral
Cruise Ship at Port Cananveral

 

Which is the most celebrated holiday of the year in Cocoa Beach?

Christmas is definitely our most celebrated holiday. In the past few years, Cocoa Beach has actually gained worldwide attention for how we celebrate Christmas Eve. Since 2009, each Christmas Eve morning Cocoa Beach is home to Surfin’ Santas.  Last year, over 850 surfers in Santa costumes came out to hit the waves with nearly 10,000 spectators cheering them on. Proceeds from the event benefit local charities.

Each Easter we also host the National Kidney Foundation Surfing Contest.

 

Which is the most happening area in Cocoa Beach and why?

In Cocoa Beach, the Cocoa Beach Pier or the beach access at Minute Man Causeway are great options during the day or evening. Both have a large outdoor restaurant and bar area with direct beach access and often have live music on weekends. Port Canaveral also has several good options for an nice evening out.

 

Where can one find amazing street food in Cocoa Beach?

We don’t really have a street food scene but there are often food festivals during different times of the year and sometimes there will be Food Trucks around during special events.

Where to head for affordable shopping?

We are not really a shopping mecca. However, you can find whatever you need on Merritt Island. The Island has Wal-Mart and Target as well as a fairly large indoor Mall that hosts Macy’s, JC Penny’s, Dillard’s, Sears and many smaller chain and local shops. There are other shopping options in the area, most of which are on Merritt Island. If you are looking for a quaint shopping experience, check out Cocoa Village in the town of Cocoa on the mainland.

 

Which is the most loved local food in Cocoa Beach, both sweet and savoury?

This is Coastal Florida so the seafood is what we love here and our options abound. Local shrimp dishes are always a favourite as well as fresh caught Mahi-Mahi, Tuna, and File. If you dare, try what some consider to be a delicacy, whole fried Lion Fish. We haven’t been brave enough but we have heard rave reviews. When you want something sweet, try the Key Lime Pie.

 

Which side of the road does Cocoa Beach drive on? Is it cycle friendly?

We drive on the right side of the road. With so many tourists, cycles are a bit dangerous but you will find plenty of folks riding them. There are dedicated bike lanes and paths in many places.

 

Would you recommend any popular local apps to tourists for transport, food and hidden gems in Cocoa Beach?

If you don’t have a car, Uber and Lyft are probably your best bet. Download TripAdvisor to find things to do, places to stay, and hidden gems. AirBnB is also a good option for lodging.

 

 

IF YOU ARE VISITING COCOA BEACH OR WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT KEN AND KAREN’S ADVENTURES THERE, BE SURE TO FOLLOW HER ON FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM

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