Local's Corner: Cocoa Beach Best Kept Secrets
Sep 21, 2023 at 8:00 AM in Things to Do
Hi everyone! It’s time for another edition of The Local’s Corner.
Most Discovery Map franchise owners live and work in their map territories. The ones that do not spend significant time in those territories (think vacation home, seasonal visits). As a result, they’re experts in all things local.
We asked Jeff Willis from Discovery Map of Cocoa Beach, Cocoa Village, Cape Canaveral & Merritt Island, Florida about some of his favorite local spots. Read on for an informed local's perspective!
What are the best kept secrets, things to do off the beaten path?
Cocoa Beach, Florida has many hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path activities to offer. Here are some of the best-kept secrets and things to do in Cocoa Beach:
- Lori Wilson Park: This park is a great place to relax and enjoy the beach away from the crowds
- Cape Canaveral Lighthouse: This lighthouse is located on the Canaveral Space Force Station and offers tours of the lighthouse and surrounding area
- Historic Cocoa Village: This is a charming historic district with shops, restaurants, and galleries
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/HistoricCocoaVillage/
These are just a few of the many hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path activities that Cocoa Beach has to offer. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures, unique attractions, or a peaceful retreat, Cocoa Beach has something for everyone.
Where is the best breakfast/brunch?
Cocoa Beach, Florida has many great options for breakfast and brunch. Here are some of the best places to have breakfast or brunch in Cocoa Beach:
- 4th Street Fillin' Station is one of the best! A very popular spot for brunch and you can find them on the map!
- Flavour Kitchen: This restaurant is known for its delicious brunch menu, which includes items such as omelets, pancakes, burgers, sandwiches, and weekly specials. Complimentary mimosas are included in the price of a plate
- Juice and Java Café: This café is a popular spot for breakfast and brunch, offering homemade food and good coffee. They have a delicious range of burritos, salads, paninis, and wraps with a homemade touch
- Simply Delicious Cafe & Bakery: This cafe is known for its delicious breakfast and brunch menu, which includes items such as omelets, pancakes, waffles, and sandwiches. They also have a bakery with fresh pastries and desserts
- Southern Charm Cafe: This cafe is a great spot for breakfast and brunch, offering Southern-style dishes such as biscuits and gravy, chicken and waffles, and shrimp and grits
- Whisk & Grind: This cafe is known for its delicious coffee and breakfast menu, which includes items such as avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches, and waffles
- Merritt Island Pancake House: This restaurant is a local favorite for breakfast, offering a wide variety of pancakes, waffles, omelets, and other breakfast dishes
Photo courtesy of https://southerncharmcafefl.com/gallery/
These are just a few of the many great options for breakfast and brunch in Cocoa Beach. Whether you're looking for a classic breakfast spot or something more unique, Cocoa Beach has something for everyone.
What are the best places to hear music?
Cocoa Beach has a vibrant live music scene with many great options for live music venues. Here are some of the best places to hear live music in Cocoa Beach:
Coconuts on the Beach: This beachfront bar and restaurant is a popular spot for live music, with a stage that hosts local and national acts
- Heidi's Jazz Club: This club is a great spot for live jazz music, with a cozy atmosphere and a full bar
- Beach Shack: This beachside bar and restaurant is known for its live music, with a stage that hosts local and national acts
- Nolan's Irish Pub: This pub is a great spot for live music, with a stage that hosts local and national acts and a full bar
- Fishlips: This waterfront restaurant and bar is a popular spot for live music, with a stage that hosts local and national acts
- H&D Roadhouse: This biker bar is a great spot for live music, with a stage that hosts local and national acts and a full bar
- Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar: This restaurant and bar is a popular spot for live music, with a stage that hosts local and national acts and a full bar
Photo courtesy of https://www.grillsseafood.com/
These are just a few of the many great options for live music venues in Cocoa Beach. Whether you're looking for jazz, rock, or something in between, Cocoa Beach has something for everyone.
What is the history of this place and what historic sites can I see?
Cocoa Beach, Florida has a rich history dating back to the early 1900s. Here are some key facts and historic sites to explore:
- In the early 1900s, Cocoa Beach was known as Oceanus, a small community of fishermen and pineapple farmers
- In 1925, a group of businessmen purchased the land and renamed it Cocoa Beach.
- In the 1950s, Cocoa Beach became a popular destination for surfers and was even featured in the movie ""Gidget".
Today, Cocoa Beach is known for its beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, and rich history.
Here are some historic sites to explore in Cocoa Beach:
- Florida Surf Museum: This museum celebrates the history of surfing in Florida and features exhibits on surfboards, surf culture, and famous surfers
- U.S. Space Walk of Fame and Museum: This museum in nearby Titusville celebrates the history of the U.S. space program and features exhibits on the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions
- The Porcher House: This historic home in nearby Cocoa is a great example of Florida Cracker architecture and is open for tours
- Cocoa Village: This charming historic district in Cocoa features shops, restaurants, and galleries in a beautiful setting
- The Historic Derby Street Chapel: This historic chapel in Cocoa is a beautiful example of Gothic Revival architecture and is open for tours
Photo courtesy of https://www.cocoabaptist.org/chapel
These are just a few of the many historic sites to explore in Cocoa Beach and the surrounding area. Whether you're interested in surfing, space exploration, or architecture, Cocoa Beach has something for everyone.
What makes this place special?
Cocoa Beach is a special destination for several reasons. Here's what makes Cocoa Beach unique and special:
- Family-friendly atmosphere: Cocoa Beach is known for being a very family-friendly beach and town overall. It offers a safe and enjoyable environment for families to visit and explore
- Beautiful beach: Cocoa Beach boasts a wide and sandy beach with packed sand near the water, making it easy to walk on. The beach is clean and well-maintained, providing a great place to relax, play in the waves, and enjoy the sun
- Surfing paradise: Cocoa Beach is renowned for its calm and consistent waves, making it an ideal place to learn to surf. The water is shallow enough to wade out past the breakers, and visitors can take surf lessons, rent boards, or bring their own. It is considered one of the best places to surf in the state
- Live music and entertainment: Cocoa Beach offers a vibrant live music scene, with venues like Coconuts on the Beach hosting local and national acts. Visitors can enjoy live music performances while savoring specialty cocktails and delicious food
- Historic landmarks: Cocoa Beach has some notable historic landmarks to explore. The Cocoa Beach Pier is a popular attraction where visitors can enjoy beachfront dining, live music, and beautiful ocean views. Other landmarks include I Dream of Jeannie Ln and Sams House At Pine Island Conservation Area
- Outdoor adventures: Cocoa Beach offers a range of outdoor activities and unique experiences. Visitors can go kayaking in the Thousand Islands, take nature tours to spot manatees and dolphins, visit the Obloy Family Ranch, and climb Cocoa Beach for panoramic views
Cocoa Beach's combination of family-friendly atmosphere, beautiful beach, surfing opportunities, live music scene, historic landmarks, and outdoor adventures make it a special destination for visitors of all ages.
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/CocoaBeachPier/
Any other Recommendations for your area?
Here are some additional recommendations for things to do in Cocoa Beach:
Visit the Cocoa Beach Pier: This iconic pier is a must-visit attraction in Cocoa Beach. It offers beachfront dining, live music, and beautiful ocean views. Visitors can also fish off the pier or rent equipment to go surfing or paddleboarding
Take a sunset cruise: Cocoa Beach offers a range of sunset cruises that allow visitors to enjoy the beautiful Florida sunset from the water. Some cruises even offer dinner and drinks
Explore the Thousand Islands: The Thousand Islands Conservation Area is a beautiful natural area that can be explored by kayak or paddleboard. Visitors can spot manatees, dolphins, and a variety of bird species
Go on a nature tour: Cocoa Beach offers a range of nature tours that allow visitors to explore the local wildlife and ecosystems. Visitors can take tours to spot manatees, dolphins, and sea turtles, or explore the local mangrove forests
Visit the Brevard Zoo: The Brevard Zoo is a great place to visit for families. It features a range of animals, including giraffes, rhinos, and alligators, as well as a zip line and aerial adventure course
Take a day trip to Kennedy Space Center: The Kennedy Space Center is located just a short drive from Cocoa Beach and is a must-visit attraction for space enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the history of the U.S. space program, see real spacecraft and artifacts, and even meet an astronaut
Photo courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/BrevardZoo
These are just a few of the many things to do in Cocoa Beach. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures, family-friendly attractions, or unique experiences, Cocoa Beach has something for everyone.