I thought I’d kick off Beach Bum Wednesdays with my own local stomping ground, Cocoa Beach. It’s one of the most famous beaches in Florida, probably because it was the home of Major Nelson and crew on the old TV show I Dream of Jeannie. It’s also the hometown of surfer Kelly Slater. In fact, you can see a statue of him at Triangle Park in Cocoa Beach.
So…what’s so great about Cocoa Beach?
1. The Pier
It’s a classic that’s been around forever. Ownership recently changed hands the word is they’ll be renovating. The pier offers great views of the water and, typically, lots of amazing surfers. It also has shops, restaurants, and a bar at the end of the pier with incredible views.
2. Ron Jon Surf Shop
If you drive down to Florida you’ll see signs for Ron Jon’s for hundreds of miles. Literally. Wanna know why? It’s HUGE. Like, overwhelmingly huge. Right at the intersection of SR 520 and Highway A1A, you simply cannot miss it. Unless you get it mixed up with the similarly large Cocoa Beach Surf Company next door.
At Ron Jon, you can find just about everything. T-shirts, casual wear, surfboards, skateboards, home decor, souvenirs, beach gear, and swimsuits.
Our county boasts Cape Canaveral, so you can easily understand why we’re nicknamed the Space Coast. We even petitioned many years ago to get the “321” area code because it sounds like a launch countdown. Although the shuttle program has ended, you can still see launches of Delta, Atlas, and Falcon 9 rockets easily from the beach.
4. Sea Turtles at Cocoa Beach
We have a huge population of sea turtles, especially loggerheads, that make nests on Cocoa Beach and surrounding beaches. Many of our locals support local preservation efforts like the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. Sea Turtle Nests are clearly marked, nighttime lights are prohibited on beaches, and we’re even known for our annual Turtle Krawl 5K race every fall (just south of Cocoa in nearby Indialantic).
5. The Cocoa Beach Dinosaur Store
Finally, the Dinosaur Store and Museum is a not-to-miss attraction for all ages! They have incredible fossils you can view. They have a variety of hands-on activities suitable for all ages. You can pan for fossils in a sluice, play a variety of science-based games, and ride the Wild Nile Raft Ride (which is surprisingly exciting and fun!) You can meet over 25 animals, including alligators, snakes, and lizards. And their shop features dinosaur-related gifts, amber jewelry, real fossils, and unique home decor items. Find them online at https://www.dinosaurstore.com/