Aerial view of the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

Enjoy the beach at the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier

Is Cocoa Beach Really Orlando’s Closest Beach?

A hop, skip, and a jump away

The truth will set you free! And in this case, it will give you extra time to enjoy one of the most famous beaches in the world: Cocoa Beach. Truth be told, most people do not realize how close to proximity the city is to Orlando. It’s pretty much a hop, skip, and a jump away. So skip the traffic jams and head east for the beach this vacation. Need more convincing? Here are some other incentives to head east.

Easy Access

When you arrive into Orlando, whether by train, plane, or automobile, it’s easy to think that getting to the beach is still a bit away especially if you have the itch for some fun in the sun. Since Orlando is one of the main vacation hubs in Florida and with it being centrally located, deciding which beach to actually go to, if you want to get there quick, is easy. Cocoa Beach is your closest beach.

Most visitors think heading northeast to Daytona Beach or west to St. Petersburg or even Clearwater is closer, but going in either of those directions you’ll not only have anywhere from a 70-110-mile drive, you’re likely to hit traffic in Tampa and there’s no way around it. Is it beautiful? Of course! All of Florida’s beaches are, but why sit an extra hour, or possibly more, in traffic and drive an extra 20+ miles, when you can take that hour back and sit on the beach with your toes in the sand. All you have to do is head due east to where the sun rises for your quick getaway to the beach.


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Indoor and Outdoor Recreation

No matter what time of the year you visit, the temperatures here are one of the main reasons why people flock to this area for vacation. And there is always something for you to do, whether indoors or out. One of the reasons why Cocoa Beach is a great choice is that the surfing is better on the East Coast compared to the West Coast. The West Coast features the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the only swell you get is if there is a storm off in the distance. If you want to learn to surf or already know how, Cocoa Beach offers a consistent swell of good waves to hang 10 on. If surfing is not your thing, but still want to be at the beach, there are other activities like bikingkite-boardingpaddle-boardingkayaking, just to name a few, or get a birds eye view of Cocoa Beach at Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures, that allows you to be at the beach but have another enjoyable experience.

Looking for some indoor options that give you a chance to cool off for a bit and take a break from the sun? For those of you with children or enjoy a bit of the prehistoric world, check out the Dinosaur Store. Or step up to the challenge of cracking codes, solving puzzles, and finding hidden items by heading over to The Escape Room, where you’ll have a real-life adventure as you attempt to escape the room in less than an hour.


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Safety First

No matter how great of a swimmer you are, it’s always best to ensure that you and your crew stay safe during your visit. Cocoa Beach is home to four, year-round lifeguard stations. Those stations are located at the following beaches:

Each of these locations offers the safety and security of an extra pair of eyes plus there are additional on-site amenities that will make it easy to enjoy a full day at the beach.


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Unique Perks

For those of you who consider your dog as part of the family and include them on vacations, you’ll be delighted to know that Cocoa Beach now has a place for your furry friend to experience what it’s like to have sand between its paws. Another great perk is that you can now enjoy an adult beverage on the beach whereas the beaches of St. Petersburg and Clearwater do not. Keep in mind that glass bottles are prohibited on our beaches, and it’s highly encouraged to drink responsibility, which means you must be 21 and older.


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There are many more incentives for choosing Cocoa Beach and to find out more, take a look at the online vacation planner, specifically pages 8-17, and see how you can enjoy this beautiful city in several different ways. Not a planner, but like to peruse and find hidden gems? Then check out the links below to map out a few places to eat and things to do, then pick your accommodations that will ensure a good night’s rest.

Places to stay

Where to eat

Things to do

We want to see how you spent your extra time because you vacationed in Cocoa Beach so post pictures and videos and tag us using #SpaceCoast                               

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Vacation Planner for Florida’s Space Coast

The official Space Coast Vacation Planner Guide is now available. There are two ways to get yours: