Stay and Play in Cocoa Beach, Florida

One location on our family trip to Florida was a stay on the State’s Space Coast, primarily at Cocoa Beach, just after we left Daytona Beach. People from all over come not only for this famous beach alone, but Cocoa Beach is also just south of Cape Canaveral as it’s a popular cruise port. So the area does see it’s fair share of travellers coming for various reasons.

In fact, that is how I was first introduced to the area a few years ago. We got a small taste of what Cocoa Beach has to offer when are arrived the day before sailing a cruise.

When I think back to that vacation, the Space Coast was definitely a special piece of those memories. Since then I’ve wanted to return and dive deeper into the area.

cocoa beach florida

Well, my girls and I did just that. We got to check Cocoa Beach off the exploration wish-list, with an extended stay at Cocoa Beach, Florida. It quickly became obvious that it’s a location worthy of a stay, as it was a perfect blend of relaxation and beach-life with family friendly activities.

Watch our Space Coast Vacation Video for a glimpse of our adventures.



If I had to sum up our stay in this region of Florida, in a quick bio, it would read:

We stayed and played Cocoa Beach bums who got to kayak alongside a family of dolphins, hold alligators, see and touch actual space everything from NASA, and also feed giraffes. Again, again!

Sounds amazing for a weekend stay right? I’ll break it down for you now because I know I’ve piqued your interest.

For those that are coming to the Space Coast area to set sail, you just might want to come a tad early so you can soak in a piece of this Floridian gem. Whether it’s for a weekend, or a full-on vacation destination – here’s why you need to Stay and Play at Cocoa Beach!

A sign on a beach


Stay and Play at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Best Western Cocoa Beach Hotel & Suites

Not only with a beautiful location directly oceanside and so close to the pier, but this Best Western is so very unique. While I’m no stranger to the chain, it was the first time I’ve stayed at a complex layout of theirs. As in, everything is not just in the one standard building.

best western cocoa beach florida

The Best Western Cocoa Beach Hotel & Suites features a complex of buildings offering a diverse selection of room types for travellers. We stayed in the apartment tower, all with ocean view rooms. Our Cocoa Beach video includes a room tour, so have a look!


Cocoa Beach Activities


Cocoa Beach Pier

We were lucky that our hotel was so close to the pier, as it’s the ideal spot to get some great food from an amazing location. It’s a lively gathering place offering not only a break from the sun, but a chance to sit back and take in the surroundings.

cocoa beach pier

Stretching 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean, the Cocoa Beach Pier is home to restaurants, bars, gift shops and live musical entertainment.

cocoa beach pier family travel

This is a perfect location to claim a stretch of nearby sand as your own for the day, as it’s prime location to be close to the pier and various activities there. Join in on a volleyball game, and/or surf some of the best waves on the East Coast.

Wildlife Watersports

The girls and I were so excited to visit nearby Wildlife Watersports, and doing so surpassed our expectations.

wildlife watersports cocoa beach florida

We had our pick of activities, and chose to Kayak and Paddleboard around the Thousand Islands and in the Banana River.

There we were exploring the bay, both relaxed and having a little family friendly competition in racing, when a family of dolphins swam right next to us as we went along.

It was such an amazing experience, and one that none of us will forget.

waterpsorts florida travel

Set up for both beginner and advanced levels of skill, Wildlife Watersports has a friendly team of staff which made our time there that much more enjoyable.

A girl standing on surf board on a body of water

TIP: Spend the day if you can, as there’s also an outdoor pool for guests to use, shady spots of white pristine sand, picnic tables, and both showers and lockers available as well.

Golf N Gator

We do love a good round of mini golf, that’s for sure. Yet somehow mini golf is better amidst palm trees at sunset … and with gators! Yes, real live gators, and you can hold them as well.

Raising the bar when it comes to mini golf, Golf N Gator has brilliantly set up courses and lots of them. Getting bang for the buck, admission comes with a lengthy round of mini golf, a mining area, and an animal viewing area with feeding and holding opportunities.

golf n gator florida

Did we enjoy our time? Absolutely, see for yourself in our Cocoa Beach Vacation Video. They were building a go-kart track right next to the coarse while we were there, which by the looks of construction, will be rather remarkable when complete. One plans a second vacation around a go-cart track, right? Asking for a friend {I’m the friend}.

TIP: We ended a super hot Floridian day with a visit to Golf N Gator during the setting sun. The ambience there was beautiful, and the cool breeze was refreshing. If I were to do it again, this is the time of day I’d specifically choose, complete with an ice cream treat afterward.


Space Coast Activities


Brevard Zoo

We know Zoos well, but I’d say Brevard Zoo stands out as being one of the best we’ve ever visited. Why? Up close interaction!

Technically in Melbourne, Florida and totally worth the short drive from Cocoa Beach, Brevard Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 195 species from Florida, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

A leopard

It has a separate little kids area with petting zoo, splash park and play area. It’s a well laid out walking zoo that follows a strong commitment to conservation and education, and even has a Sea Turtle Healing and Rehabilitation Center.

Visitors will love each and every area offering learning and up close interaction. I didn’t expect to get so close to so many animals I never had before.

We were all in awe when feeding the giraffes. For my one daughter, interacting so closely with her favourite animal of all time, was an opportunity she’s never had before.

brevard zoo giraffe

Not just descriptive plaques for visitors to read, we were constantly met with knowledgable staff giving extra information on pretty much everything. It was such a fun day spent on the Space Coast, and if you are in the area, I’d say this is a must-do activity.

American Space Museum & Space Walk of Fame

Did you know that NASA was going to trash all the old space artifacts? ‘No way’, said astronauts and personnel. That is how the American Space Museum & Space Walk of Fame in Titusville came to be, and everything within is donated and real. It’s a building holding huge pieces of history and admittingly, getting the tour and story will give you goosebumps.

Did you think that we could possibly visit the Space Coast without learning about why it’s the Space Coast? Little did we know that we also got to touch actual original artifacts and play with the original computers and consoles that launched shuttles.

space museum titusville florida

The American Space Museum & Space Walk of Fame is a place where I wish we had spent more time, as there is so much there. The mission is to preserve the history, honour astronauts and aerospace innovators, educate on the early space program and inspire the next generation of scientists, innovators, and explorers. Mission, completed.

We found it beyond fascinating to see the first actual space food packets, shuttle parts, suits and more. The best part was the incredible tour by volunteer that provided inside information on astronauts and where each piece came from.

I’m not space-savvy to say the least, but I left with so much knowledge plus the desire to learn more.

space walk of fame museum

So much in fact, I’d love to visit the Space Coast again, and next time when there’s a launch. From someone that lives in inland Canada, this is something I’ve never seen and know it would be a surreal experience.

Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures

Right in the heart of main street, and located near shops, restaurants and hotels – is a chance for a little education while on vacation. The privately owned Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures has two floors of exhibits on dinosaurs and ancient human cultures. We loved roaming the areas and learning a new thing or two about the world before us.

dinosaur museum cocoa beach

Plus, the Museum has a great store and play area as well, complete with animals and games. We saw the biggest Crocodile on our trip here. We were shocked at how much it had to to offer in addition to a Dinosaur Museums. I’d compare it to more of a recreation center with the added bonus of education. For those that live in the area, they offer birthday party packages as well.

Florida’s Space Coast – it’s a place of beautiful beaches, family friendly activities, great food; and of course, the space program. The area is FULL of Florida at every turn, and no matter your reason for visiting, it’s the space for making memories.

Our next stop on this trips was LEGOLAND!

Have you ever been to the Space Coast?


Our stay was provided in exchange for this article,
yet as always, all opinions are my own.




  1. You are pretty incredible with photography. I love the way you captured each moment perfectly — what a beautiful story. I’ve been to Cocoa Beach a few times and always enjoyed my stay. We usually rent a condo right on Cocoa Beach. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Its been many years since I’ve been to Cocoa Beach. Had a great time and loved Ron Jon Surf Shop.

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