Good spots on the beach
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Good spots on the beach Cocoa Beach Reviews
getting to the beach... May 05, 2006
The easiest way to get to Cocoa Beach from Orlando is to take:
*Toll Road 528 Eastbound. (you can get on it from I-4)
*Exit on state road 520 eastbound (turn right at the stop-sign when you get off the highway)
*Follow 520 ALLLLLLLLLL the way down to the A1A.
*At A1A, turn right.
Then you're at the beach! From here, you have several options:
*There's a fair amount of meter parking right by the boardwalks in the streets that cut across A1A. Just pick a street, go left from A1A. But who the heck wants to pay to park?! And have to leave the beach to feed the meter?! Get real...
*If you don't mind walking a couple of blocks, after turning onto A1A, turn left between Ron Jon Surf Shop and Cocoa Beach Surf Company. If you're an early riser like me that likes to hit the waves before the rest of the world is awake, the parking lot at Ron Jon's is open 24-hours and accessible. If you wake at a more decent hour, turn right into the parking garage at the Cocoa Beach Surf Company. Believe me, in the Florida sun, you want to take full advantage of a free parking garage. The plus to parking by the surf shops: you have a bathrooms to change in afterwards. The minus: usually more people than other parts of the beach.
*If you don't mind driving an extra 20 minutes: turn right unto A1A and follow the road south towards Patrick Air Force base. When you see military housing on the right, and a little park on left, soon there will be an entrance to a parking lot on the left (right across from the housing). I think the land technically belongs to the Air Force, but there's no ID check or anything like that. This area is less crowded than the main strip, and in the afternoon sometimes you can catch the Air Force jets flying around. There's also picnic tables, a shower and a volleyball net (I think...). The minus: a bathroom so gross it shouldn't even be there. Seriously, I would rather change by my car.
And the best time to go to the beach? Beginning of May on a weekday, after the spring break madness and before schools let out and the summer heat starts to really cook. Unless you like complete madness, then go on a weekend in March/April or the summer-time.
Part of the Orlando Tidbits travel blog
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