Cocoa Beach became a popular destination in the 1930s and 40s, but it was NASA and “I Dream of Jeannie” that made it world famous. The neighborhoods are intertwined with majestic mangrove trees, azalea bushes, and colorful muhly grass speckled with wildflowers. The beaches are pristine and the gold and red particles in the sand make for a glimmering golden showcase when the sun hits it just right. A perennial vacation destination during Spring Break and all summer long, there is always a lot of activity in and around the area.
There are many walkways and paths along the beach that provide spectacular views. The coast is also dotted with public parks and parking. Alan Shepard Park just south of the Pier is a popular spot for those wanting to hit the beach in the morning and have a place to barbeque for lunch.
The Cocoa Beach Pier is home to several bars and restaurants and unique gift shops. Plus there are two ice cream stands. Who doesn’t want ice cream on a hot summer day? The Pier is also a frequent backdrop for live bands during the summer concert series. Ron Jon’s Surf Shop is another local icon. First opened in 1959, Ron Jon’s has grown into an enormous three-story surf shop that sells surfing equipment, clothing and home décor. The surf shop rents surfboards and boogie boards and provides lessons. They also operate a great surf n’ turf restaurant called the Ron Jon Grill.
Nearby is Historic Cocoa Village, which is home to a small group of artists. The eclectic collection of painters and artists operate several small galleries that display their paintings and crafts. This area is great for window shopping and strolling down the promenade or just relaxing at a colorful sidewalk café. There’s also a small farmer’s market.
Also nearby are the Brevard Zoo and Kennedy Space Center. The zoo is a great treat for families and animal lovers alike. Kennedy Space Center is an attraction that needs no introduction. For decades they have been delighting people of all ages with up close encounters with our nations space program. They also occasionally host air shows for the Blue Angels. Space launches can be easily viewed from anywhere in the Cocoa Beach area.