Miles of white sand, gentle waves, throngs of people. That’s what Cocoa Beach is. For $10 each, we bought 3 body boards (available at Ron Jon but we got ours at a dollar store 5 minutes from the beach) and the kids filled my camera with shutter-priority action for two solid hours. Located just one hour east of Orlando, it has affordable accommodation, and is known as one of “the” best spring break destinations.

It is a great starting spot from which to enjoy adventures like deep sea fishing, airboat rides, kayaking, the Kennedy space station, golf, wind and water sports, and cruises (Port Canaveral). There’s even a zoo and a planetarium! A good resource to find more information on all of these things is

It is a bustling beach close to all amenities. But if you are looking for a quieter spot a little farther removed from the crowds, a quick drive just north of Cocoa Beach lands you at Playalinda Beach (we spent an afternoon shelling there!) Cocoa Beach is what you expect it to be: Beach umbrellas, sun-worshippers of every sort, pop music competing with the wind, and that feeling like you stepped into a 1950s surf movie. With ample parking and easy access, Cocoa Beach is at the top of our Florida list of “where to go!”

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