Free Things to do in Cocoa Beach, Florida

Cocoa Beach isn’t your average beach destination. Instead, this short strip of Florida’s Atlantic coast is filled with entertainment and luxury resorts, aside from the laid-back seaside ‘soak-it-in’ attitude and the stunning sandy beaches lined with Cocoa Beach hotels.

This beach town is a must-see destination on the East Coast, with musical performances, the Cocoa Beach Air Show, cultural museums, and even some of the most fabulous shopping.

umbrellas and people on beach with ocean waves rolling in

Top Free Things to do in Cocoa Beach

Whether you’re on a family vacation or looking for a romantic weekend away, Cocoa Beach boasts many exciting and free activities to keep you entertained, informed, and interested.

The options for entertainment are limitless, from Cocoa Beach bike rentals to kayaking trips to Cocoa Beach restaurants. Continue reading for a simple rundown of enjoyable and free things to do in Cocoa Beach, broken down into bite-sized portions.

Hang Out at the Westgate Pier in Cocoa Beach

pier in cocoa beach florida

The Cocoa Beach Pier, which stretches out into the Atlantic, is a must-see local attraction. Tourists can find a diverse variety of gift shops, rental stores, diners, and live music along the raised promenade.

For enthusiasts of people watching or pelican spotting, strolling down the pier at a leisurely pace is a great activity. The pier is a well-known and easily accessible meeting spot for different groups. It is the beating heart of Cocoa Beach due to its strategic location and flurry of activity.

Allow the children to play in the waves while the adults compete on the beach volleyball court. Lifeguards are on duty at all times, and onsite showers make it easy to clean up.

(401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931)

Experience the Nature at Lori Wilson Park

Locals adore this regional park as it is one of the very few public access to the beach spots in Cocoa Beach that still has free parking. There’s plenty of room to throw a frisbee or arrange a beachfront picnic with 32 acres to explore.

For cleaning off sandy feet, there are free showers and bathrooms accessible. Then, when the midday thunderstorms arrive, seek shelter behind the forested pavilions, burn up the grills, and cook some food to share.

Are you traveling with a group? Make a beach volleyball team and play on the free sand court. On the elevated boardwalk walkway in the maritime hammock, nature lovers can discover native birds and species (coastal forest).

Lori Wilson Park is also available to your four-legged family members at the dedicated Dog Park. 

(1500 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931)

Visit the Florida Surf Museum to Discover about Legends of the Waves

surfboards in a surf museum

Please note that this is not actually a free activity. On the other hand, the local museum is only $3 and will enlighten you about Cocoa’s favorite sport and the local heroes who helped put the seaside town on the map.

Visitors may learn about Florida‘s status as one of the world’s surfing hotspots for less than the price of a cup of coffee. Vintage surfboards decorate the walls and dangle all through the museum, illustrating the story of how far the watersport has progressed.

The Florida Surf Museum is easy to overlook because it sits right next to the famed Ron Jon’s Surf Shop. Swing by the surf museum for inspiring education on the coast’s favorite sport while you’re shopping for swimsuits, beach gear, or sunscreen at the surf store.

(4275 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931)

The Liberty Bell Museum offers a Taste of History

The Liberty Bell Museum is a must-see for anybody interested in American history. The museum’s collection of American memorabilia and antiques educates visitors about the many divisions of the US military and their roles in prior battles.

Florida’s history also provides a fascinating local perspective on the state’s journey towards becoming the 27th state of the Union. Tourists can anticipate learning about how the Space Coast became known as a portion of the Florida shoreline. At the Liberty Bell Museum, you’ll discover a universe of knowledge.

(1601 Oak St, Melbourne, FL 32901)

At Manatee Sanctuary Park, Take a Selfie

people in water with manatees

10-acres of beautiful grass and public facilities are ready to welcome guests not too far from where the cruise ships disembark in Cape Canaveral. The Manatee Sanctuary Park recognizes these friendly sea cows by bordering the Banana River, a protected manatee habitat.

During the summer, fortunate park visitors may even see manatees feeding on seagrass on the park’s boardwalk. The Manatee Sanctuary park is also recognized as a paradise for outdoor activity and a great place to spend a fun-filled day in the sun.

Get some exercise by strolling along the designated walking route or borrowing a Zagster bike from the community bike share. Swing by the Little Free Library for bibliophiles to check what books the neighbors have left to enjoy. Then, find a peaceful spot in the park, spread out a blanket, and settle in for the day with an excellent book.

(701 Thurm Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920)

Window Shop in Historic Cocoa Village

This 150-year-old Cocoa Beach neighborhood is known for its colorful stores and tropically colored buildings. Cocoa Village’s rustic, original buildings are now a popular venue for art fairs, chili cook-offs, car exhibitions, and Sip N’ Stroll events.

The Cocoa Beach Playhouse and the Parish Grove Inn are just two historic structures that give this part of Cocoa its charm. Swing by the Historic Cocoa Village Association headquarters to discover more about the picturesque old town district and why wandering through it is such a calming and visually pleasing pastime.

(300 Brevard Ave, Cocoa, FL 32922)

Shoreline Through the Maritime Hammock Preserve

The beaches in Florida are more than just sand and saltwater. Florida’s Atlantic coast is a protected area of the state’s ecology, with maritime hammocks or coastal ecosystems of marshes and mangroves.

Intellectually curious nature enthusiasts can take a 2.8-mile journey through this unusual ecosystem, which borders the Indian River lagoon and Melbourne Beach. Along the way, look for native species, including Live Oak trees, Cabbage Palms, and Palmetto Brush.

(1235 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931)

Jam Out at Riverfront Park

Situated next to Historic Cocoa Village, Riverfront Park is a hot spot for the music enthusiast. The public park is renowned for its outdoor amphitheater events, many of which are free and open to the general public and attract famous musical visitors.

The interactive splash pad is an excellent place for kids to cool off after a day of exploring on the playground. A stroll across well-kept paths and among Florida’s plant and animal life is a pleasurable experience.

(401 Riveredge Blvd, Cocoa, FL 32922)

Take a picture with Kelly Slater

statue of surfer kelly slater

Kelly Slater, regarded as one of the greatest surfers of all time, personally greets all tourists and residents of Cocoa Beach, metaphorically speaking. In North Cocoa Beach, where the A1A highway splits, there is a life-size statue of Slater surfing.

Slater was born and raised at Cocoa Beach, where he learned to surf on the local breaks. Kelly Slater is a much-loved local icon in the surf community, having won eleven world championship titles. You can take a picture with the icon in his hometown at any moment of the day.

(n 32931, 505 N Orlando Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931)

Launch of a Rocket

Any local would tell you that watching a rocket launch is never dull. Experience the awe-inspiring and breathtaking sights that the Space Coast is known for up close at one of Cocoa Beach’s premier viewing points, from the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier to the neighboring Kennedy Space Center.

(401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931)

Brevard Veterans Memorial Center

A short drive from Cocoa Beach lies the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center on Merritt Island. This museum attempts to educate the public about military operations both past and present, with an extraordinary array of military items stretching from the Revolutionary War to some of the most current battles in the Middle East.

(400 S Sykes Creek Pkwy, Merritt Island, FL 32952)

Consider These Side Trips Nearby Cocoa Beach

Everywhere you look, there’s a burst of creativity. 

Take a walk through the Eau Gallie Arts District (EGAD) and look at the murals painted on the buildings that make up the “outdoor museum.”

You’ll get to see one-of-a-kind creations as you traverse the ancient alleys of Olde Eau Gallie, with more than 15 creations to see from artists who are well-known across the globe for their work. If your travels take you to Titusville, be sure to check out their downtown murals.

(1423 Highland Ave, Melbourne, FL 32935)

Strive for the Stars

The Space Walk of Fame at Space View Park is the place to go if you want to take advantage of the rich heritage of space exploration, which is why this area is known as the Space Coast.

Walk around this public park that pays tribute to America’s astronauts, the men and women who worked relentlessly behind the scenes to help the country lead the world in space exploration, including memorials to the Mercury and Gemini missions.

Also, with live audio feeds coming from NASA, this is a terrific site to observe a launch.

(308 Pine St, Titusville, FL 32796)

When is the Best Time to Visit Cocoa Beach, Florida?

view of cocoa beach with buildings and ocean

The spring season, which runs from March through May, is one of the greatest seasons to visit Cocoa Beach. You can enjoy the sunshine while simultaneously participating in beach activities.

The temperature swings from 60 to 80 degrees during the spring, making it ideal beach weather. The weather is perfect for visitors, so expect to see more people in the spring.

You can plan ahead of time and purchase your tickets to prevent any last-minute complications. If you want to dodge the masses entirely, schedule your trip for the fall.

In terms of tourism, the months of September to November are the slowest. You might be able to discover great prices on tickets and lodging.

Summer, which runs from June to August, is another popular tourist season. Warm, sunny, and long days are forecast for a fun day at the beach. Surfing, sunbathing, fishing, and cruise tours are all available.

The average temperature throughout the summer season is between 70 and 85 degrees. During the summer, it becomes humid, with a high likelihood of rain in July and August.

From December through February, you can visit Cocoa Beach to get away from the winter in your hometown. The typical temperature is 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You may enjoy sunny days without worrying about rain or snow.

Cocoa Beach’s winter season is relatively slow and peaceful. Visitors can join special holiday events such as the Boat Parade and the Christmas Parade in the city if you visit during the Christmas season.

How To Get To Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is located on Florida’s Space Coast, about an hour’s drive from Orlando. The easiest way is to fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO) and rent a car for the drive to Cocoa Beach.

There are many ways to get from the airport to your hotel in Cocoa Beach. You can take a taxi, an Uber, or a Lyft. You can also take the bus or rent a car.

Once you’re in Cocoa Beach, free parking for 90 minutes is available along A1A and side streets. You can also find paid parking lots near the main beach area.

Where to Stay in Cocoa Beach

There are many lodging options available in Cocoa Beach, from luxury resorts to more affordable hotels and vacation rentals.

If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, the Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront is the perfect place for you. This 4-star resort offers direct access to the beach, an outdoor pool, and a spa. The rooms are spacious, and it is located in the heart of Cocoa Beach, so you’ll be close to all the action.

The Best Western Cocoa Beach Hotel & Suites is a great option if you’re looking for something more affordable. This resort offers free WiFi, an outdoor pool, and a complimentary breakfast. The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable. The Best Western Cocoa Beach Hotel & Suites is a great location to spend the day at the beach.

If you’re traveling with a larger group or family, you may want to consider the Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort.

There are four-bedroom apartments that are ideal for big families and groups, with a fully equipped kitchen, four bathrooms, a spacious dining room, and a pleasant living area. One of the major attractions of this hotel is its state-of-the-art Wakulla Water Park.

Leandro is a digital marketer who one day discovered his love for blogging, SEO, and ways to make money online. Traveling and exploring cultures is another of his passions.