Beach breezes ruffle explorers’ hair as they wend their way through Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and Port Canaveral atop two-wheeled steeds from Beach Classic Scooter. Patrons can rent from the center and choose their own route or follow veteran guides to hidden local gems, such as the mayor’s underground office. Each tour comes with a free pickup service from local hotels, which ferries clients to the scooter center.
Originally founded in 2005 with help from a sister shop in South Africa, Bilt now employs its own team of surfboard-smiths—including a craftsman named Bagel—who lovingly shape its signature paddleboards, longboards, and surfboards. Managing Member Craig Hiller says one of his favorite parts of the job is watching people succeed at surfing who never dreamed they could do it, like the 67-year-old grandmother who amazed everyone when she soundly trounced her grandchildren in a surfing challenge around Thanksgiving of 2010.
While some people scream for ice cream, the staffers at I Dream of Yogurt scream for the live cultures of soft-serve fro-yo. They carry 18 different flavors, including pistachio, strawberry banana, peanut butter, and cake batter. Once fro-yo swirls into cups, waffle bowls, or waffle cones, more than 70 tasty toppings, such as fresh fruit, candy, and hot fudge, make for custom treats.
James Stadler grew up in Maryland, going to school during the week and working in local seafood eateries on evenings and weekends. One summer, more than 40 years ago, he took a spring break vacation with school mates to Cocoa Beach, and immediately decided it was the place for him to be. It took him a few decades to make his way down, mostly because of traffic in Atlanta. But when he arrived, James set about opening his very own restaurant by the sea. He called his diner Paradise Cove, and in it he combined the Northeastern seafood he so loved with steaks, sandwiches, and a bit of Floridian flavor.
James curates an extensive menu, from which he particularly recommends the Maryland-style crab cakes, a specialty of his that he learned to make in his youth. Of course, he makes many dishes that incorporate more local, tropical flavors, such as the jumbo shrimp grilled on sugar cane skewers. Whatever his guests have a hankering for, he ensures that their appetite for live entertainment is satisfied with nightly events, including karaoke and performances by local musician Brian Blatz with the nearby ocean on percussion.
It has been said that smell is the sense most closely tied to memory, which explains why visitors to Scentchips Cocoa Village often linger in nostalgic reverie over the store’s 64 varieties of wickless candle chips. The possibilities don’t stop at these elemental aromas, as each can be blended with up to three others to create more than 30,000 unique scent combinations. Carved into the shapes of leaves and flowers, the chips simmer in warmers that diffuse their scents throughout the rooms of your home, masking pet odors and the smell of fear that emanates from under your child’s bed.
For more than 35 years, Knit and Stitch has fueled the creation of woolly masterpieces with a stock of more than 30 brands of yarn and 4,000 cross-stitch patterns, fibers, specialty threads, and accessories. Thimble-thumbed patrons can knit sweaters, tea cozies, and actual tea reproductions with yarn skeins from Plymouth Jeanne ($3.95), Universal Uptown ($4.99), and Kertzer Marble Chunky ($13.95). Fiber and specialty threads intertwine on hand-painted and blank cross-stitch canvases ($4–$20) to craft embroidered effigies. More than 600 titles of counted thread leaflets and charts are available to guide crafters through cross-stitch projects, just as a beloved family recipe guides confused grandchildren into ominous shops full of herbs and potions. Customers can select their weapons of choice from a selection of embroidery hoops, Gingher scissors, and needles from Anchor, John James, and Piecemaker.