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Cocoa Beach

It's hip, it's happening, it's surf... it's just an hour from Orlando!

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Cocoa Beach
Compliments of Dawn Henthorn
Just an hour east of Orlando is the Atlantic Ocean and the closest beach to Central Florida's attractions — Cocoa Beach — the hippest, happening, all-around place that has surf.

When coastal Brevard County got picked 40 years ago to power the race to space, Cocoa was but a sleepy community — and Cocoa Beach its little known treasure. Today, its close proximity to the Kennedy Space Center (only 20 minutes away) and Port Canaveral (just a 10 minute drive) makes it a convenient get-a-way from the theme park scene and a popular vacation destination.

Located on a barrier island nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River on Florida's central east coast, twelve miles of motel-lined beaches combine with tropical breezes and casual beach lifestyle to draw thousands to the area each year.

It is the great beach, along with a variety of activities, that draws my family to the area. Our favorite place to stay — LaQuinta Inn (formerly Cocoa Beach Oceanside Inn) — is adjacent to the Cocoa Beach Pier where you can enjoy variety of dining and shopping experiences as well as live entertainment. If you are fortunate enough to book a room during a scheduled space shuttle launch, you can see it from their awesome rooftop observation deck.

Airboat rides from the nearby Lone Cabbage Fish Camp will take you on an adventure to see alligators and other Florida wildlife. Vegas-style casino cruises depart twice a day from Port Canaveral for a short sail into the Atlantic where you can enjoy your favorite games and live entertainment. And, a visit to Ron Jon Surf Shop is a must on everyone's list.

So, if you want the beach, but also want to be within an easy drive to Central Florida's attractions, this is the place to go!

Directions:

From Orlando: Take the Bee Line Expressway (Hwy. 528) east direct to the Coast.
From Out-of-State: Follow I-95 South to the junction with 528 East. Take 528 direct to the beach.

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