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Posts Tagged ‘Florida Atlantic Coast beach’

Get Away from the Crowds at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Posted by Jody on April 19, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Post Writer is Bridget Sandorford:

Florida is known for its beautiful and diverse beaches, which offer a little bit of something for everyone, from families with small children to retirees to college students looking to have a fun vacation. Daytona Beach, Palm Beach and South Beach get some of the most attention with vacationers, but Cocoa Beach offers a much more relaxed experience for those interested in getting off the beaten path.

Empty Cocoa Beach on a cloudy day (Dennis Adams, Federal Highways Administration, via Wikimedia Commons)

Empty Cocoa Beach on a Cloudy Day (Dennis Adams, Federal Highways Administration, PD-USGov via Wikipedia)

Cocoa Beach is located about an hour-and-a-half south of its more popular cousin, Daytona Beach. But when you drive up to the soft, white sandy shore of Cocoa Beach, you won’t be inundated by droves of college students and other partygoers. The vibe at Cocoa Beach is much more relaxed and peaceful — which makes sense considering that it’s a mecca for retirees. According to the 2010 census, the median age in Cocoa Beach is 54, with 62 percent of the population being older than 45.

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot for families to enjoy at Cocoa Beach! There are a number of attractions in the area, including the Cocoa Beach Pier and the Alan Shepard Beachfront Park. Of course, the two most notable landmarks are Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, which receives 2 million visitors a year, and the Kennedy Space Center. Though you can no longer watch the space shuttle launches from the shores of Cocoa Beach – – something I enjoyed doing as a child growing up in Florida — you can still take your children to the space center and learn a lot about our explorations into the final frontier.

Cocoa Beach Pier Cocoa Beach, Florida (Lane 4 Imaging via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Cocoa Beach Pier, Cocoa Beach, Florida (Lane 4 Imaging via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

If all that’s not enough for you, you can also check out the Thousand Islands Conservation Area and the Cocoa Beach Aquatic Center and Pool Complex. Of course, a drive down the scenic A1A — and enjoy sharing your love of “Ice, Ice Baby” with your kids (who just won’t get it).

With the summer months approaching, the beaches are bound to start getting crowded. If you want to get off the beaten path and enjoy a little slower pace that will allow you to truly enjoy your vacation and spend some quality time with your family, consider Cocoa Beach.

 About the Author: Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching culinary school in Hawaii. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.


Even more helpful links: Visit Cocoa


Visit Space Coast Blog

*Bridget, you are so right! Cocoa Beach is a lovely place to visit. The girls and I once took a day trip to this area just because Major Nelson and Jeannie made their home in Cocoa Beach. It was a beautiful day on a very clean, uncrowded beach! Thanks so much for the wonderful post and for reminding me of a great day at the beach! ~Jody*

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Featured Guest Writer, Friday Finds | Tagged: , , , | 15 Comments »

Two Chi-Town Gals on Daytona Beach, Florida

Posted by Jody on September 17, 2012

Today’s Featured Writers are Mary Hilgart and Linda Kolman

Daytona Beach Shores, Florida (Photo by Mary Hilgart)

I had a wonderful opportunity last week when an old friend of mine asked me to join her in Daytona Beach.  We stayed in a condo in Daytona Beach Shores, which is very residential.  There are many high-rise rentals and a few hotels.  This area is a bit south of the touristy area of Daytona Beach proper.

Photo by Mary Hilgart

From one side we could see the Atlantic Ocean, and the other side was the Halifax River.

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse (Photo by Mary Hilgart)

A short distance to the south is Lighthouse Point Park and Recreation Area.  There is a nice lighthouse that you can tour for $5 per person.

Photo by Mary Hilgart

There is also a turtle refuge nearby and a jetty on the beach which attracts many surfers just waiting for the right wave.

Photo by Mary Hilgart

Oh, looks like they found one!

Crabby Joe’s Deck & Grill on the Sunglow Pier in Daytona Beach Shores (Photo by Mary Hilgart)

Another popular attraction to this area is Crabby Joe’s Deck & Grill.  This is a very large pier that stretches over the ocean.  On the opposite side of this structure is a bar, restaurant, and a gift shop.

North Turn (Photo by Linda Kolman)

There are many places to eat along the shore or on the river.  North Turn had a great outdoor deck with a beautiful view.  We got caught in a little rain, but there is also a large covered open air space that is just as nice.

Photo by Mary Hilgart

The thing that makes Daytona Beach different from any other is that you are allowed to drive your car on the beach!

This area is a very beautiful and peaceful one.  The sand on this beach is fine and packs easily, without too many shells.  So, it makes it easy to walk, run, or even ride a bike!

Photo by Mary Hilgart

The best thing of all is that you can catch the most beautiful sunrises on the beach.  I’m sure the birds agree, as they have all come out to be spectators!

Childhood friends: Authors Mary and Linda (& Jody)

St. William School, Class of 1972

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Featured Guest Writer, Lighthouses, Monday Miscellaneous, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

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