Cocoa Beach is a favorite Florida Fun Travel destination. We have stayed at the La Quinta and The Beach Place Guesthouses. And have dined at some great restaurants- like Simply Delicious and Squidlips..
But until our last visit, we never had gone out on the famous Cocoa Beach Pier. Locals had recommended it both for the great view and the “vibe.”
From our experience, we can attest that Cocoa Beach is teeming with the “vibe.”
The famous pier first made its way out into the Atlantic back in 1962. Built by businessman Richard Stottler it was an impressive structure. It comprised more than 2.5 miles of boardwalk planks and 270 pilings, each 40 feet in length.
Over the years it evolved, undergoing a two million dollar renovation in 1983. It spawned a number of attractions – including the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop. That originally was on the pier, then moved to a lot nearby.
Now, the Cocoa Beach Pier is the 800-foot long centerpiece of the six miles of the Atlantic Ocean that is Cocoa Beach. It overlooks a sea of pop-ups, beach umbrellas, volleyball courts and serves as the launching area for hundreds of surfboards.
The Cocoa Beach Pier is a destination location that hosts a million visitors annually. It has a fantastic view and plays home to four restaurants, five tropical bars, gift shops and boutiques as well.
Would you like some clothing, beach towels, souvenirs and the like? Try The Pier Shop or The Tropical Threads Boutique.
The pier boasts a slate of bars and restaurants. There’s the Rickki Tiki Tavern, Pelican’s Bar & Grill, The Boardwalk Bar and Keith’s Oyster Bar. It’s a great expierence to sit on the rail at Pelican’s and enjoy the sun, the salt air, the view and a pina colada.
For anglers, there’s plenty of opportunity to fish. Fishing opens at 6:00 each morning. There is rental equipment available or bring your own. Depending on the season, you might hook Red Fish, Whiting, Pompano, Tarpon, Snapper, Wahoo, Sheepshead, Flounder, Jack, Blue Fish, Sea Trout, Black Drum, Croaker or Grouper.
Not to mention the big ones that got away.
It’s Not All Roses
There are some downsides as well. Fishermen say their area is small. Additionally, it shuts down at 5:00pm. Moreover, you only can walk so far out onto the pier – then it’s an additional two dollar charge. To be fair, they say they will give you a credit if you eat at the Tiki Bar at the end of the pier.
Also, it can be a bit pricey there – and it’s not just the shops and restaurants.
One of the biggest downsides is the parking, It costs $20 to put your car in the lot. Also, beware of the “Information Booth,” which is a place that is extremely interested in talking to you about a timeshare.
We have visited other piers on the Gulf Coast in Venice and Fort Myers Beach. There is no charge to walk out and enjoy the day. They also have restaurants, shops and other facilities. They are a magnet for for tourists who wish to watch the sunset and those who want to fish.
At Cocoa Beach, there are alternatives such as Alan Shepard Park. Lori Wilson Park and Sidney Fischer Park. In short, Cocoa Beach is a great place to have fun, try some fishing or surfing and simply enjoy the sun and sand.
In any case, you can bet we’ll be back – we love Cocoa Beach.