1. Park Yourself by the Shore ~ You’ll find one of the area’s loveliest escapes at Lori Wilson Park. Besides a clean, wide beach, thick with golden-hued sand, the park boasts free parking. Remember to wander the nature trail while you’re there. It winds into a maritime hammock lush with live oak, palmetto and greenery, and you’ll feel like civilization is a world away.
2. Ride a Wave ~ Cocoa Beach is renowned for its calm, consistent waves. That, combined with the fact the water is shallow enough to simply wade out past the breakers, makes it an ideal place to learn to surf. You can take a lesson, rent a board, or bring your own.
3. Explore the Cocoa Beach Pier ~ This boardwalk stretches 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. Besides giving you a swell view of the beach, it’s brimming with shops, restaurants and boutiques. Don’t miss noshing on a juicy fish sandwich at the Atlantic Ocean Grille.
4. Discover Ron Jon Surf Shop ~ This iconic store is the world's largest surf shop, encompassing 52,000 square feet. Open 24 hours a day, it offers everything you could possibly need for the beach lifestyle, including bikinis, surf boards, clothing and sports gear. With its fish tanks, glass elevators and flowing waterfalls, it’s worth discovering even if you don’t feel like shopping.
5. Eat Outside ~ Fat Kahuna's Beach Side Grille boasts breezy outdoor seating and a gorgeous Ocean view. Or escape indoors, into a cool, air-conditioned paradise complete with soft background Hawaiian music, a wrap around bar and full screen television featuring non-stop surf footage. Shark tacos, anyone?
6. Have a Kayak Expedition ~ Enjoy a nature tour kayaking the Thousand Islands with Adventure Kayak or Fin Expeditions. You’ll see manatee, dolphin, and many species of birds while paddling through tropical mangroves.
7. Fun in the Sun ~ Take your pick from leisurely or extreme adventures at 321 Kiteboarding and Watersports. They offer stand-up paddle board and kayak rentals as well as kitesurfing and surfing lessons.
8. Munch on Lunch ~ If you have time for a beach lunch, make it Coconuts on The Beach. The location, smack-dab on the Atlantic, is a ten. But the view isn’t all Coconuts offers. Sink your teeth into a Fish Reuben, fish tacos, fish 'n chips, and make sure to try the sweet potato fries. Wash it down with an icy beach drink or a pina-colada smoothie.
9. Roll into Space ~ Space Coast Segway Tours invites you to experience the fun and adventure of riding a Segway through sunny Port Canaveral. You’ll snag an up-close-and-personal look around Ron Jon Cape Caribe resort and explore areas by the Ocean and the Port. You may catch a full view of the cruise ships or even a manatee in the locks.
10. Conquer the Half Pipe ~ Cocoa Beach Skate Park is lovingly described by teens as ‘sick.’ The Park, a friendly, inexpensive haven for kids, boasts two deep bowls and a half pipe, in addition to a grassy area and bleachers where parents can relax.
Photos by Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA