With 72 Miles of shoreline, you’ve got a lot to explore. Dive in for a snapshot of the Space Coast’s Beach communities.
Canaveral National Seashore
What it’s like: The Canaveral National Seashore is one of the most pristine beaches in the US. This National Park makes up much of the Northern shoreline on the Space Coast and is adjacent to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. This natural space is untouched and home to shorebirds and a nesting ground for sea turtles. It’s an unforgettable way to enjoy a beach day and get close to rocket launches.
What you should bring: You’re going to need it all when you go to the Canaveral National Seashore. There are no beach rentals, no restaurants and no other amenities. Bring beach gear, cooler with plenty of water and food, sun coverage, and any sand or surfing supplies you like!
Things you should consider: A fee of $25 per vehicle will grant you access to the Canaveral National Seashore for seven days. The Seashore is open from dawn until dusk every day. However, this property is managed by the National Parks Service alongside NASA, and it may be closed at their discretion. Check their website for updates. There are no lifeguards on site. There is a clothing-optional beach at access 13 of Playalinda Beach.
What types of places can you stay and where: There are remote camp spots in the Canaveral National Seashore, but they are only accessible by kayak. If you’re visiting the Canaveral National Seashore, it’s nice to say in Titusville, as that is the closest town with accommodations to the Seashore.
Where can you eat: Restaurants in Titusville are great for filling up before or after you’ve spent a day at the beach.
Other non-beach activities: Hiking around the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a great way to round out the day. Stop by the manatee observation deck, take a drive around Black Point Wildlife Drive, or walk the scrub jay trails.
The City of Cape Canaveral
What it’s like: the City of Cape Canaveral is home to quiet sweeping beaches north of Cocoa Beach. Nearby Port Canaveral and Jetty Park offer prime views of cruise ships embarking on adventures and an awesome RV, cabin and tent campground. You’ll also find the beaches lined with quiet vacation rentals and hotels with oceanfront views. The largest collection of mobi mats are on the beaches of Cape Canaveral and you’ll find plenty of locally owned cafes and restaurants to whet your appetite as you walk off the beach.
What you should bring: Many vacation rentals and hotels in this area offer beach rentals for guests, but if you’re not staying there, standard beach gear is helpful. A cooler with snacks is also a good idea for the beaches of Cape Canaveral. While there are lots of places to eat, not many are a comfortable walking distance from the waves.
Things you should consider: there are free-roaming peacocks in the City of Cape Canaveral! And you are very close to both Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach so activities in both these areas are at your reach!
What types of places can you stay and where: Cozy vacation rentals, and comfortable hotels. The Campground at Jetty Park
Where can you eat : There are plenty of restaurants in the City of Cape Canaveral to choose from.
Other non-beach activities: Exploring the Cove at Port Canaveral, grabbing a flight at Caribe Brewing Company, or doing a tasting at Oceanside Distillery.
What it’s like: Cocoa Beach is the heart of the Space Coast. Here you’ll find the Cocoa Beach Pier with a tiki shack at the end, all the cool surf shops where you can schedule a lesson. Scooters you can hop on to explore, murals around every corner, and some incredible restaurants and bars to discover. Beaches are lined with umbrellas and people having a great time! And the waves are filled with surfers doing their thing!
What you should bring: Just yourself! In Cocoa Beach, you can rent everything you need to have a great day!
Things you should consider: Cocoa Beach is one of the busiest beaches on the Space Coast. All parking is metered and you can pay via cell phone. The Cocoa Beach Garage is a great option if you can’t find street parking.
Cocoa Beach is really split into two areas. Cocoa Beach by the Pier and Downtown Cocoa Beach, you can explore them all with the Cocoa Beach Trolley, our public transit system.
What types of places can you stay and where: Cocoa Beach has it all, brand-name hotels, budget hotels, vacation rentals in condos, and family homes.
Where can you eat: beachside eateries are all over Cocoa Beach!
Other non-beach activities: Enjoy tons of family activities here: shopping, museums, adventure parks, boat tours, and mini golf are just a few examples.
The Beaches of Patrick Space Force Base
What it’s like: Patrick Space Force Base is 8 miles of sparsely developed shoreline. West of the A1A you’ll see big military planes, fighter jets, helicopters and even Air Force One on special occasions. Since there are no hotels homes or condos in this area you won’t find many people. But you will find tons of shells and space to spread out.
What you should bring: A full day of beach gear, food, drinks umbrellas – the whole shebang
Things you should consider: These beaches are favorites of surfers and surf fishers and you’ll likely see some pretty cool aircraft cruise by. Parking is free, but there are not bathrooms and showers at every beach access.
What types of places can you stay and where: there are no lodging accommodations near the beaches of the Patrick Space Force Bay, but vacation rentals and hotels can be found north in Cocoa Beach, and South in Satellite Beach.
Where can you eat: Head north to Cocoa Beach or south to Satellite Beach for some great options
Other non-beach activities: When you’re here, you’re beaching!
What it’s like: Satellite Beach is an awesome little beach town with a vibrant community. Filled with local restaurants and boutiques you won’t find anywhere else. Beaches here are filled with locals surfing, biking and just enjoying the shoreline. Here you can go camping on a spoil island in the lagoon, or enjoy the ocean breeze from an oceanfront balcony.
What you should bring: You’ll want to bring your beach gear, but you won’t need much else. Surf Shops here are filled with local brands and boards for rent. You will absolutely want to plan on eating at one of the many local restaurants in the area.
Things you should consider: Beach parking in Satellite Beach can be a bit tight as most access points have less than 20 parking spaces. A few of the larger parks such as Pelican Beach Park and Hightower Beach Park are a bit more spacious and have bathrooms and outdoor showers and do charge a nominal fee for parking.
What types of places can you stay and where: Vacation rentals in the form of condos and single-family homes are readily available in this slice of paradise as well as boutique hotel and motel options.
Where can you eat: Beachside eateries that will delight all your senses are everywhere in Satellite Beach, take your pick!
Other non-beach activities: Samsons Island is an uninhabited spoil island in Satellite Beach that’s only accessible by boat. On the 1st Sunday of every month, you can get a free tour of the island from the City of Satellite Beach. Here you’ll find a few miles of trails to explore, primitive campsites, and a site where we are testing different methods for regrowing sea grass, placing oyster beds, and clam restoration. It’s really cool!
Indian Harbour Beach
What it’s like: Indian Harbour Beach is the amazing beach community you’ll find at the end of the Eau Gallie Causeway. Here you’ll find the Space Coast’s favorite dog beach, Canova Beach Park, as well as many other great lagoon-front parks and kayak launch points.
What you should bring: Your beach-loving dog and its leash, and your typical beach gear. Aside from the hotels in the area that offer beach rentals, this area is mostly residential. You’ll want to bring a chair and umbrella to enjoy the day!
What types of places can you stay and where: book your stay at several, full-service oceanfront hotels.
Where can you eat: There are tons of local gems tucked away on Indian Harbour Beach check out a local restaurant!
Other non-beach activities: in Indian Harbour Beach, stop by Oars & Paddles Park to enjoy some time on the lagoon, or check out a farmers market at Gleason Park.
What it’s like: Indialantic is an incredible beach town with many great experiences. Grab a slice of pizza at the boardwalk. Stop by the Sea Turtle Preservation Society to learn all about sea turtles and pick up some souvenirs. Check out the epic cuisine you’ll find along 5th Avenue and all over the city. And enjoy all the massive beach parks and amenities.
What you should bring: Just your happy family. Large beach parks like Paradise Beach and James H. Nance Park offer beach rentals of chairs and umbrellas. There are tons of places to grab a bite to eat around here or stock up on snacks.
Things you should consider: Free parking is plentiful in Indialantic. The public beach parks offer ample parking spaces, bathrooms, and even playgrounds.
What types of places can you stay and where: Here you’ll find vacation rentals, luxury bed and breakfasts, and small hotels.
Where can you eat: Food trucks, 5-star dining, rooftop bars, and family-friendly dining – you’ll find it all in Indialantic.
Other non-beach activities: Enjoy shopping and discovering new restaurants.
What it’s like: Melbourne Beach is a large stretch of beach on the southern end of the Space Coast. It’s home to the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, the most significant Loggerhead sea turtle nesting site in the United States, as well as miles and miles of uncrowded beaches.
What you should bring: Nature-loving beachgoers, snacks, water, and beach gear.
Things you should consider: Melbourne Beach is a largely residential area, instead of condos and hotels you’ll find luxury oceanfront properties and quiet neighborhoods. This sliver of the barrier island does not have many spots where you can stop for food or restrooms, however, parks like Coconut Point Park, Spessard Holland, and Juan Ponce DeLeon beach offer plenty of free parking and restrooms.
What types of places can you stay: Luxury vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts as well as secluded small hotels and motels.
Where can you eat: Restaurants in Melbourne Beach are few and far between, but the ones you’ll find are well worth a stop for both the waterfront views and mouthwatering cuisine.
Other non-beach activities: Access to the Indian River Lagoon is incredible here, check out Ryckman Park for a beautiful lagoon pier and playground.
Sebastian Inlet State Park
What it’s like: The Sebastian Inlet State Park is one of the most incredible experiences you can have on the Space Coast. On the beachside, you’ll find advanced surfing and a fishing pier. A full restaurant with souvenirs and beach supplies, and a full schedule of live entertainment. A man-made tide pool is the perfect spot to splash around in shallow, waveless water and watch boats head out to sea. They’ve got hiking trails, biking trails, campsites, and even kayak and boat rentals.
What you should bring: Your camping and beach gear, a bike and some good walking shoes.
Things you should consider: A day pass for the Sebastian Inlet State Park is $8. There are primitive camping spots on the north side of the inlet and RV hookups on the south side.
What types of places can you stay: Tent or RV Camping
Where can you eat: Bring your own food to cook at your campsite or enjoy fresh and flavorful options at BG’s Surfside Grill.
Other non-beach activities: A nature-lover dream, here you’ll find hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, boating, and nearby museums.