If you’re a fan of surfing, then you’ve probably heard of Cocoa Beach, the little town that gets to claim itself as the birthplace of multi-crowned World Surf League Champion Kelly Slater. My good friend Lizzie Le, who’s a Cocoa Beach local, wanted to share her tips for those wanting to adventure through this charming beach town.
Lilo here, writing a guest entry for my good friend Michaela (the Bohemian Mermaid herself)! Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just simply wanting to try someplace new, there are a few tips that every good adventurer should know! Every beach town will be a little bit different as you travel up and down the east coast of Florida. In south Florida, everything has a faster pace. In north Florida, you get a more relaxing environment. In central Florida, you get a little bit of both. All in all, when you’re traveling to a beach town like mine, you should always carry a smile with you and share in all the good vibes!
Tip #1: USE SUNSCREEN!!!
Sunscreen is so important, especially when you’re visiting Florida’s beaches. Even as a resident, born and raised, I never go anywhere without my sunscreen. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Sun Bum without a doubt. Their products can be found just about anywhere in Cocoa Beach – and their headquarters are there too. Sun Bum smells like a mixture of bananas and coconuts, with tons of SPF choices for all your worldly travels. Use a banana face stick and at least SPF 50 while you’re here in Florida; you will still get tan even though sunscreen is applied. If you do get sunburnt (because you didn’t apply beforehand or “forgot”), they do sell an amazing cool down lotion, gel, or aloe vera spray. And if you still can’t get your perfect tan, there are also sunless tanning products for sale.
Tip #2: Ditch the Technology for Awhile!
Bikes can be rented in Cocoa Beach. It would be worth the rental money to borrow one and take a cruise up and down the town. While you’re beachside, check out some of the following restaurants and shops that you can cruise to on your bike!
- Long Doggers – local favorite with some locations spread out in Brevard county, has really good wings, poke bowls, live music, and supports a lot of grom surfers.
- The Sandbar – Fantastic Taco Tuesday specials and it’s located right on the beach. La comida y la playa? Sí, por favor!
- Surfinista Café -has the best acai bowls and breakfast sandwiches in the local area (their egg sandwiches are made with only egg whites), offers free wifi, and has a surf shop connected to it where Kelly Slater occasionally comes to dine (no big deal).
- The Green Room Cafe – offers healthy and vegan options but also satisfies meat lovers with their “secret spot” chicken wrap… lots of carbs (beans and rice, no added salts).
- Catalyst Surf Shop – Take a break from bicycling to peruse the surfboard collections here. The shop is next door to The Sun Bum HQ in the heart of downtown Cocoa beach across from Surfinista and Green Room Cafe.
Make sure to pack a couple water bottles (and sunscreen, of course)!! Enjoy the beach without a vehicle, and put the phone down while you’re cruising. There’s no better way to enjoy the fresh air and get some sightseeing in, especially on the beach.
Tip #3 Shop Local
If you’re going to shop anywhere, shop small. Shopping at your local surf shops can be super beneficial! You’ll find funky bikinis that you can’t find anywhere else, as well as souvenir t-shirts that literally don’t scream, “I’m a tourist.” Local knowledge is key when it comes to beach towns. Find all the best places to eat or explore by talking to the right people, who are all very friendly. You’ll get the best of the best when it comes to surfing, skating, and understanding tides and rip currents.
Tip #4 When in Rome…
Give surfing your best shot! You have to surf while you’re in Florida. There’s always a surf group paddling out. Rent a board, hire an instructor, and just go have fun! Sebastian Inlet, Jetty Park, and Lori Wilson Park have great beach access points, picnic areas, showers, facilities, and it’s perfect fun for the whole family. There are plenty of nature trails to explore, and so many great photo opportunities. Go searching downtown Cocoa Beach for art and murals.
I hope you guys enjoy my tips while you’re visiting Cocoa Beach!
Want to see more of what life is like in Cocoa Beach (and beyond)? Follow Lizzie on Instagram @sealillly