16 Best Things to Do in Cocoa Beach, FL

Cocoa Beach, FL
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Cocoa Beach is the perfect beach holiday destination for families.

Besides its vibrant history and culture, this city in Brevard County, Florida, is teeming with charms and surprises.

It’s well-known for its beautiful beaches and excellent surfing spots.

Some of its most popular tourist attractions are Ron Jon Surf Shop, Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, and the Florida Surf Museum.

In addition, Cocoa Beach brims with entertainment, oceanfront parks, natural attractions, and water adventures.

From swimming, surfing, and fishing to shopping, dining, and relaxing, the city has a lot in store for its visitors.

To give you a glimpse, here’s a list of some of the best things to do in Cocoa Beach, Florida:

Spend Your Family Day at Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

Entrance to the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier
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Established in 1962 and originally known as “Canaveral Pier,” Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier is a perfect place for your holiday trip to the beach.

It’s world-renowned for its historical significance, exquisite beauty, and various activities that locals and tourists enjoy.

It spans 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean waters and rewards you with a picturesque view of the Cocoa Beach shoreline.

This iconic spot is teeming with bars, restaurants, and boutiques.

Colorful chairs along Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier
tamara321 / Shutterstock.com

You’ll also enjoy swimming, surfing with some famous surfers around the globe, and live music entertainment throughout the pier’s stretch.

If you’ve got some angling skills or want to try fishing, catch fish like redfish, snapper, wahoo, whiting, and more.

Join the more than a million annual visitors of Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier along Meade Avenue and see why it’s a favorite tourist attraction!

Aerial view of Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier
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See Aquatic Animals at Banana River Aquatic Preserve

Located along Ramp Road, Banana River Aquatic Preserve spans about 30,000 acres.

It features a marshland, mangroves, and various wildlife, including a large population of manatees, alligators, diamondback terrapin turtles, and more in the Banana River’s north end.

Several parks and boat ramps provide visitors direct public access to Banana River Aquatic Preserve.

These include Kelly Park, Banana River Park, Cocoa Beach Recreational Complex, Kiwanis Island Park, and Ramp Road Park.

If you’re game for a water adventure, you can rent a kayak or boat and equip yourself with a life vest, water shoes, and a headlamp to explore the warm waters.

Meanwhile, the Ulumay Wildlife is a haven for birdwatchers.

You’ll encounter dolphins and stingrays in the river, too.

Also, see natural bioluminescence with the local guides’ help.

Visit Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park

Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park is located on South 16th Street.

It’s a 2.5-acre ocean-front community park operated by Brevard County.

It gets its name from Robert P. Murkshe, a Cocoa Beach mayor from 1963 to 1972.

Available features in the park include picnic shelters, a grill, tables, a small parking space, an outdoor shower, and a paved walkway from restrooms to the dune crossover.

Besides picnicking, you’ll also enjoy swimming, surf fishing, and beach activities.

Enjoy your day in a charming landscape at Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park!

Watch Stellar Performances at Surfside Playhouse

When you go along Ramp Road, you’ll find Surfside Playhouse.

It’s a community theater that was founded in April 1959.

You will enjoy watching high-quality performances, from children’s plays and dramas to musicals and comedies.

Surfside Playhouse offers a seating capacity of 250 and a fully air-conditioned venue to make viewers comfortable.

Performances are sponsored locally, and players always give back to the community through charity, auctions, and fundraisings.

You’ll also notice its brightly decorated lobby, which gives an impression of its incredible shows.

Go Swimming at the Cocoa Beach Aquatic Center

The Cocoa Beach Aquatic Center is a public facility with several amenities.

You can swim in its 50-meter pool, which is temperature-regulated—heated in the winter and cooled in the summer.

The rentable open-air pavilion beside the pool is ideal for gatherings and events.

You can play a game on the volleyball court, too.

There’s also a children’s pool and a playground for kids’ recreation.

Other amenities include a jumbo water slide, a water spray park, diving boards, and more.

The Aquatic Center is located on Tom Warriner Boulevard.

Book a swimming lane and enjoy a memorable swimming experience.

Travel Back in Time at the Dinosaur Store and Museum

Adventure zone in Dinosaur Store and Museum
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The Dinosaur Store and Museum date back to November 1996.

You’ll see hundreds of fascinating authentic artifacts, fossils, and skeletons from around the globe housed in the dinosaur hall.

Its Mineral Cave contains minerals and crystals from around the world, and you can learn their interesting characteristics and view how they react to ultraviolet light.

Besides displays on two of history’s well-known rulers, its Ancient Culture section contains 5,000 years of history with authentic artifacts from China, Egypt, South America, and more.

It also has the Adventure Zone, where children can delight in science center activities, play arcade games, watch dinosaur movies in the Movie Cave, pan for minerals, and see live animals in the Reptile Run.

Before departing The Dinosaur Store & Museum, visit their gift shop for some items to add to your collection.

You can find this attraction on West Cocoa Beach Causeway.

Go Kayaking at Ramp Road Park

Flock to Ramp Road Park if you’re looking for an excellent place for kayaking.

This public park is situated on Ramp Road’s west end.

It offers both motorized and non-motorized boat launching ramps so you can enjoy paddling and exploring the waters of the Banana River Lagoon.

Expect to find birds, manatees, dolphins, and more.

Ramp Road Park is great for fishing, too.

Aside from water activities, you can also enjoy the land by playing tennis and horseshoes with your friends or family while on a picnic here.

Other amenities that will make the most of your day are a playground, restrooms, parking, a boat dock, and a fishing dock.

Sit on the grass under the shade of trees and relax while looking at the beautiful river.

Soak in the Ocean View at Alan Shepard Park

The five-acre Alan Shepard Park derived its name from astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space.

It’s a perfect spot for viewing space launches.

It has large pavilions, picnic areas, picnic tables, barbeque grills, a bathhouse with restrooms and showers, and beach access, perfect for a family summer vacation.

You can go fishing, swimming, and surfing in the waters or rent a beach chair and umbrella or just sit on the sand, relax, and adore the stunning view of the ocean.

Have kids with you?

Let them play in the playground.

Other features include parking, security, and lifeguards.

Moreover, this tourist spot provides access to nearby restaurants and shops.

Alan Shepard Park, located on East Cocoa Beach Causeway, is a must-visit.

Go Golfing at the Cocoa Beach Country Club

Golfing is another popular activity in Cocoa Beach.

In that case, head to the Cocoa Beach Country Club for a fun-filled golfing experience.

You’ll enjoy its three different challenging nine-hole courses: the River, Lakes, and Dolphin.

It also has a warm-up driving range and putting greens.

Besides golfing, the location embraces scenic beauty, from grassy dunes and trees to glassy waters and sunbeams.

It doesn’t end with those, as the golf course is surrounded by the Banana River and the 17 lakes, making it a habitat for waterfowl, other birds, turtles, dolphins, alligators, and raccoons.

The Cocoa Beach Country Club also has the 19th Hole Restaurant, where you can eat breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

That said, golfers and visitors alike will love their stay in this beautiful spot.

You can locate the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Tom Warriner Boulevard.

Drop by and Take a Selfie with the Kelly Slater Statue

When you’re in the city, drop by the little park named Triangle Park, which welcomes visitors to the downtown area.

It is situated on North Orlando Avenue, on the north end of Downtown Cocoa Beach.

Besides the downtown fountain in Triangle Park, you’ll notice the Kelly Slater Statue sculpted by Tasha Drazich, a Cocoa Beach artist.

This statue honors Robert Kelly Slater, a professional surfer of all time who grew up and still lives in the city and learned surfing along the Space Coast.

He has earned 11 World Surf League championships.

Take a Break at Lori Wilson Park

Sunny day at Lori Wilson Park
Rusty Clark from merritt usland FLA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lori Wilson Park sits on North Atlantic Avenue, spanning 32.43 acres with a maritime hammock.

Locals and visitors can enjoy numerous activities with its many amenities free of charge.

Have a summer outing with the ocean-front park’s pavilions, picnic tables, and barbeque grills.

Enjoy swimming or surfing in the beautiful waters, stroll the scenic coastline and the 3,155’ nature boardwalk through its maritime hammock, and play volleyball at the volleyball court.

Shoreline of Lori Wilson Park
Rusty Clark from merritt usland FLA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can also take your pooches to the dedicated dog park and let your kids play at the playground.

Other amenities include restrooms, outdoor showers, parking lots, and lifeguards.

Escape from your busy life and spend your family get-together at Lori Wilson Park for a break worth remembering.

Pavilion at Lori Wilson Park
Rusty Clark from merritt usland FLA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Recall the Surfing History at Florida Surf Museum

Cocoa Beach is a famous surfing destination in America’s east portion.

So, you shouldn’t skip visiting Florida Surf Museum.

Founded in 1999, this was formerly known as Cocoa Beach Surf Museum.

Besides learning about the preserved East Coast’s surfing history and culture, you’ll also get information about the evolution of surfing, iconic surfing locations, great surfers, and historic surfboards.

You’ll see various surfing exhibits, such as Hobgood-The Exhibit, Sebastian Inlet-The Accidental Wave, and Big Board Show 2.

There are also surf magazines, photos, trophies, and other memorabilia.

If you want to buy souvenirs like T-shirts, you can peruse them from the museum.

Florida Surf Museum is located on North Atlantic Avenue.

Relax at Sidney Fischer Park

Sidney Fischer Park is a 10-acre park that families also love to visit.

It’s excellent for outings and gatherings since it has shaded picnic shelters, tables, showers, and restrooms.

Kids will love the playground just as teens and adults will enjoy playing volleyball.

Get into the waters by fishing or swimming.

If you’re wondering why its name is Sidney Fischer Park, it was named after Sidney Fischer, a Cocoa Beach mayor from 1956 to 1960.

This ocean-front park also offers approximately 200 parking spaces.

Enjoy your family day at Sidney Fischer Park on North Atlantic Avenue.

Take a Stroll at the Maritime Hammock Preserve

The Maritime Hammock Preserve offers outdoor opportunities that reconnect you with nature.

It features a stormwater pond, nature trails, recreational activities, and more.

It’s perfect for those who want a tranquil, natural setting while enjoying the outdoors.

You can take a stroll, play frisbee, have a picnic, go birdwatching, or walk your dog.

In addition, you can do yoga, get some exercise, or photograph the beautiful preserve.

Fishing in the pond and biking on the trails are not permitted.

When you visit the Maritime Hammock Preserve, observe the rules and regulations.

You can find this preserve on North Atlantic Avenue.

Watch Boardsports Competitions during the Ron Jon Beach ‘N Boards Fest

The Ron Jon Beach ‘N Boards Fest is an exciting annual March festival launched by Ron Jon Surf shop started in 2013, drawing many residents and visitors from neighboring places.

You can enjoy watching various board sports under the sun, such as surfing, skating, paddle kiteboarding, and more.

However, surfing is the centerpiece of this event.

There are also other fun activities at the Ron Jon Beach ‘N Boards Fest, like live music.

Come and watch this free event, but if you wish to participate in particular sports events, there may be a registration fee.

Shop for Beach Outfits at Ron Jon Surf Shop or Take Surfing Lessons at Ron Jon Surf School

Exterior of Ron Jon Surf School
Leonard J. DeFrancisci, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In case you don’t yet, Ron Jon Surf Shop is the biggest surf shop in the world.

Founded in 1959, it boasts 52,000 square feet and is one of the famous attractions in Cocoa Beach.

Shop for surfboards, sports gear, beach accessories, and more—you’ll find them all at Ron Jon Surf Shop.

Furthermore, Ron Jon Surf School opened in 1993 and is the best place for you if you want to learn how to surf.

Surfboards displayed in Ron Jon Surf School
Leonard J. DeFrancisci, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whether or not you’re a beginner in this sport, their seasoned surfing instructors will teach you how to ride the waves.

What’s more interesting is they hold the lessons in the exquisite Atlantic Ocean.

Check out other things that Ron Jon Surf Shop and Ron Jon Surf School have to offer.

Interior of Ron Jon Surf School
Leonard J. DeFrancisci, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Cocoa Beach is a must-visit tourist destination for its many magnificent attractions and exciting activities.

You deserve a short break in this charming city from your life’s hustles and bustles.

So, plan your trip, explore, and enjoy the best things to do in Cocoa Beach, Florida!

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