Cocoa Beach is most known for its miles of beautiful beach and plenty unique things to do! So, when you’ve had your fill of sand and sunshine, make sure to explore some of the other things Cocoa Beach has to offer. You can see rockets, go clear kayaking through bioluminescence, or learn about surf legends like Kelly Slater at the Surf Museum. Keep reading to find out the best things to do near Cocoa Beach.
See a Rocket Launch
Here on Florida’s Space Coast, we have launches going off regularly! Make sure to check the launch schedule so that you don’t miss one while you’re in the area. Tip from a local – take a kayak tour at the same time as the launch. You won’t be stuck in the crowds that are on the ground, and you’ll have a perfect view of the launch from the water. You can also see great views from the beach on the north side of Cocoa Beach Pier all the way up to Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral.
Visit the Cocoa Beach Pier
The Cocoa Beach Pier is a must visit! Located on the beach, there are several restauraunts and shops to visit. You can also fish or take some surfing lessons. On certain nights, there is often live entertainment! While you’re visiting the beach, make sure to take a stroll down the pier to see all it has to offer.
See the Glowing Bioluminescence from a Clear Kayak
The Space Coast is home to a unique phenomenon – bioluminescence in the water! Watch as organisms in the water (called dinoflagellates and comb jellies) light up from movement in the water. These clear kayaks make for an even more unbelievable experience, as you get a total view of the water below you.
Explore the Exploration Tower
This tower is seven stories high and has something to do on each one! Go to the observation deck at the top of the tower and enjoy the 360° view of Port Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. The tower offers several exhibits on the history of Port Canaveral as well as the Kennedy Space Center. They also have a unique gift shop, as well as a cafe to visit at the end of your trip.
Do you love great views? Want to see the entire Kennedy Space Center from above? Cocoa Beach Helicopter has tours starting from $20 each. The Space Center fly over is spectacular and prices from $169 per person, but you can also take shorter flights around the area and get great views of Cocoa Beach, the surrounding islands, and Port Canaveral. There are 6 tours to choose from at a price for every budget. Local Tip: This is one of the best things we have done in this area!
Visit the Dinosaur Store
Take a step back in time and learn about the creatures that used to roam our planet. The Dinosaur Store offers a 20,000 square feet museum filled with actual artifacts and fossils. After strolling through the museum, visit their Adventure Zone, which has live reptiles, fossil panning, arcade games, and even a theme park style ride!
*Image Credit: https://www.dinosaurstore.com/plan-your-visit/
Walk the Banana River Aquatic Preserve
The Banana River Aquatic Preserve offers a great way to see the natural habitat of Florida. See both land and marine life, including birds such as eagles and ospreys, as well as manatees and dolphins. You can also see the variety of plant life that makes up Florida’s ecosystem.
Feed an Alligator… and Play Some Mini Golf
Golf n’ Gator not only offers mini golfing, but is also home to 30 American alligators. After a round of golf on one of their unique courses, stop to feed an alligator, or even hold and take a picture with one of the younger (and smaller) ones.
Visit the Florida Surf Museum
Perfect for those with an interest in surfing, the Florida Surf Museum dedicates themselves to preserving all of Florida’s surfing history. Currently, they have seven different exhibits exploring the start of surfing in Florida, the locals who have gone on to become pro surfers, and much more. They also frequently host or sponsor events (if you’re visiting in December – check out the Surfing Santas!)
Cocoa Beach Aerial Adventures is like no other ropes course or zip lining experience you’ve ever had before. First of all, because you don’t have to choose between ropes courses or zip lines – you get to do both! Second, their 7 different trails are suspended from 45 foot poles in the canopy of breathtaking 100 year old live oak trees! Each guest gets to start their climb on a beginner’s course to get a feel for the safety equipment being used, but from there you get to decide how you want to spend your time and have the opportunity to work your way through their intermediate and advanced ropes courses. There are always guides present who are ready and willing to help, but they allow guests to test their problem solving skills before stepping in to help (unless you ask for help, of course). This is the perfect way to see all there is to see of Cocoa Beach from one convenient location, climb your way to amazing views of the city, the Banana River, and the Atlantic Ocean!
Most people go their entire lives without ever seeing a manatee in their natural habitat. BK Adventure gives you not only the opportunity to see them, but to get up close and personal with them! Manatees are extremely curious creatures, and anything new that comes into their territory must be explored! Because of this, manatees coming right up to your kayaks is a pretty normal experience on these tours, and while it’s happening you’re allowed to take all the photos and videos that you want! Tour guides are all extremely knowledgeable and informative about these gentle giants and the entire ecology of the estuary that you’ll be paddling in. You won’t want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!
The Obloy Family Ranch is a 110 acre fully functioning ranch that has a little something to offer for everyone! There’s a petting farm with over 30 types of animals where you can get up close and personal with each animal, and have the option to purchase food so they can eat right out of your hands! They offer guided horseback trail rides for adults and children over the age of 10 and pony rides for the little ones. For the whole family there are train rides, monster truck rides, and more! If you’re looking to sneak away from the kids, they have their own saloon where they serve their homemade wine. This spot is ideal for a spontaneous day trip when you find yourself with some free time, as none of the above activities require reservations!
Eat at Historic Cocoa Village
Historic Cocoa Village is home to a variety of small businesses and restauraunts. Park and take a stroll through the area, stopping at some of the antique shops, speciality shops, and more. They even have a magic shop! With nearly twenty restaurants and bars, you can wind down at the end of the day with a good meal. Don’t forget to check if they are currently doing any shows at the Cocoa Village Playhouse or hosting any events in the area.