Cape Canaveral, FL
Merritt Island, FL
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Cocoa Beach has long been a popular Florida beach town. Located on the Space Coast south of Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach is set on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River. Not surprisingly, most of the city’s activities revolve around the water.
Visit the Iconic Cocoa Beach Pier
The Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier offers something for everyone. Extending 800 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, this expansive structure is an ideal fishing base camp. Beach volleyball fans will enjoy the regulation-sized courts that invite spirited games. Relaxation-minded visitors can browse the gift shops and beach boutiques. When shoppers get hungry or thirsty, they can refuel at one of the Pier’s enticing restaurants or bars. Live musical entertainment is another popular attraction.
Surf the Atlantic Ocean Waves
Hands down, Cocoa Beach, offers some of Florida’s best surfing. The shallow water enables surfers to easily wade past the breaking waves to their starting point. Once they get there, beginners, through experienced surfers, will enjoy the consistent wave action that drives them toward shore.
Surfers are welcome to bring their boards, although plenty of rentals are available. The relatively calm water makes Cocoa Beach a picture-perfect setting for beginners who want to sample a few surfing lessons.
Afterward, surfers of all levels should consider a visit to the world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop. This multi-level retail store is a “bucket list” trip for water sports enthusiasts within an easy walking distance.
Kayakers eager to see dolphins and manatees will probably get their wish. Visitors who remain quiet and observant will have the best chance of viewing the local wildlife. Search Boats
The largest stretch of water, the Indian River, contains several spoil islands that make ideal day trip destinations. Formed during the channel-dredging process, the islands are more appealing than they sound.
The spoil islands typically offer nice sandy beaches, lush tropical vegetation, and a refreshing sea breeze. Some larger islands feature beachside picnic tables and grills. Visitors can anchor their small powerboat offshore.
This popular fishing destination offers grass-covered flats, deeper waters, and mangrove-rich shorelines. Scattered islands and sandbars add to the watery ambiance.
Non-guided fishing enthusiasts must obtain a valid Florida saltwater fishing license. In Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (comprising most of Mosquito Lagoon), fishing fans must also have a free MINWR fishing permit.
The 30,000-acre Banana River Aquatic Preserve is a well-known fishing destination served by multiple public-access boat ramps. The Preserve is also an important haven for manatees, alligators, diamondback terrapin turtles, and pelicans. While boaters lookout for wildlife, they can enjoy casting their lines and soaking up some Florida sunshine.