This is one of the Space Coast's nicest beaches—and the place where the great professional surfer Kelly Slater got his start. The beach boasts one of the steadiest surf breaks on the East Coast and has wide stretches that are excellent for biking, jogging, power walking, and strolling. In some places there are dressing rooms, showers, playgrounds, picnic areas with grills, snack shops, and surfside parking lots. Beach vendors offer necessities, and lifeguards are on duty in the summer.
A popular entry road, Route 520 crosses the Banana River into Cocoa Beach. At its east end, 5-acre Alan Shepard Park, named for the famous astronaut, aptly provides excellent views of launches from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral. Facilities here include 10 picnic pavilions, shower and restroom facilities, and more than 300 parking spaces. Beach vendors carry necessities for sunning and swimming. Parking is $7, $10 on weekends and holidays March through Labor Day. Shops and restaurants
are within walking distance. Another enticing Cocoa Beach entry point is 10-acre Sidney Fischer Park, in the 2100 block of Route A1A in the central beach area. It has showers, playgrounds, changing areas, picnic areas with grills, snack shops, and plenty of well-maintained, inexpensive parking lots ($5 for cars). Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards (summer); parking (fee); showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: sunrise; surfing; swimming; walking.