Prelude: The Space Coast

Cocoa Beach Travel Blog

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Ron Jon Surf Shop

Ready for more seagoing adventure, we left Springfield on a Thursday morning and headed down I-95 towards Florida. It's a route I've driven many times now, to Orlando, to Tampa, and to South Carolina. After spending the night in Santeee, SC, it was a quick trip across the remainder of South Carolina and then Georgia.  A stop at the Florida Welcome Center for a cup of orange juice and grapefruit juice was obligatory. Then, it was on through Jacksonville.

About 150 miles south of Jacksonville is the exit for Florida 528 and Cocoa Beach. State road 528 leads directly East and across the Indian River and the Banana River.

Tikis at Ron Jon
(Aha, so that's where Indian River fruit comes from!)  Hopeful fisher folk dotted both riverbanks. Shortly we were in the city of Cape Canaveral

Upon checking into the Marriott Residence Inn, the front desk staff knew we were going on a cruise the next day. "Only one night?" they asked.  Indeed, I saw people who were moving in for the duration. One couple had brought their crab pot. I imagine they planned to go crabbing and then prepare their catch. The Marriott would be a good choice as a base for an extended stay along the Space Coast.

The Space Coast! That's the area between Titusville, Cocoa Beach, and Melbourne, Florida.

Evening at Cocoa Beach
It has an excellent public beach and the Kennedy Space Center as the main attractions. I was eager to see something of the area before dark. So, while the rest of the famly relaxed, I hopped in the car and headed to the neighboring town of Cocoa Beach. It's perhaps only two miles until Florida 528 makes a sharp turn at the Cocoa Beach Pier and becomes the famous A1A coastal highway. Soon I was at the legendary Ron John Surf Shop. This was a photo op only, as the rest of the family wanted to come to shop after dinner. 

Well, I suppose I certainly looked the tourist. A denizen of the beach riding on a bike stopped to chat and asked me where I was from. He told me of his beach travels along the New Jersey and Maryland shores, though now was resident in Cocoa Beach.

I walked one block over to see the beach. It was early evening and surfers were returning with boards in hand. A nice park ran the length of the beach here, offering beachgoers parking ($6) and picnic areas. It appeared, however, most beachgoers parked in the Ron Jon parking lot.

After returning to the hotel around 7:30 p.m., we went to dinner at Grills Seafood Deck. Afterwards, we went to the Ron Jon Surf Shop, that famous beach apparel and accouterments emporium. Up and down the coast one sees vehicles displaying a Ron Jon decal. This is the source! On the way in, one fellow warned us "You won't leave without buying something!" True enough, we could not and came away with T-shirts, magnets, and sundry.

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Ron Jon Surf Shop
Ron Jon Surf Shop
Tikis at Ron Jon
Tikis at Ron Jon
Evening at Cocoa Beach
Evening at Cocoa Beach
Ron Jons annex
Ron Jon's annex
Ron Jon by Night
Ron Jon by Night
Marriott Residence Inn, Cape Canav…
Marriott Residence Inn, Cape Cana…
Cocoa Beach
photo by: keypunker22