Lively Resort Steps from the Beach
Surfboards painted yellow, red, and green hang in the lobby of the International Palms Resort Cocoa Beach, a nod to the surf-friendly beach right outside the front door. Sand and sea take center stage in nearly every activity here. Grab a boogie board at the resort’s surf shop and hop into the Atlantic Ocean, or lounge on a reclining chair with a drink from the poolside bar. With courts for sand volleyball, tennis, and basketball, the resort provides plenty of opportunities for friendly competition. Meanwhile, a pirate-themed pool keeps kids occupied.
Your lodging options with this Getaway include standard double rooms, one-bedroom villas, and two-story lofts. The latter units feature two bathrooms each, full kitchens, and enough space for up to seven guests.
After a day on the beach, you can dine at one of the resort’s four restaurants. Head to Mambos Beachside Bar & Grill for casual Caribbean dishes served on a colorful deck. There’s live entertainment on weekends and live reggae every Sunday from March through November.
Cocoa Beach, Florida: White-Sand Beaches on Florida’s “Space Coast”
Nicknamed Florida’s “Space Coast” for the nearby Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach occupies a 72-mile stretch of scenic shoreline on a barrier island off Florida’s Atlantic coast. The Kennedy Space Center’s exhibits include hands-on replicas of astronaut capsules, an authentic Saturn V rocket from NASA’s Apollo program, and Alan Shepard’s space suit. After visiting the space center, take a scenic route through the 140,000-acre Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge; keep your eyes peeled for alligators, bald eagles, and shorebirds.
Cocoa Beach has also been called the East Coast capital for surfing; 11-time surf champion Kelly Slater got his start on these waves. You’ll find several surf shops offering lessons and gear, plus in-the-know staff who can show you where to find the best breaks. Hop in a sea kayak to explore peaceful inlets and scope out resident manatees. At the Cocoa Beach Pier, anglers can try to reel in gator trout or redfish off the long boardwalk that juts into the Atlantic.