10 Free Things to do in Cocoa Beach

Jan 06, 2021

10 Free Things to do in Cocoa Beach
By Sydney Kleckner

10 Fun Free Things to Do in Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach isn’t your typical beach town. Aside from the laid back seaside 'soak-it-in' feel, and the gorgeous sandy shores dotted with Cocoa Beach hotels, this little strip of Florida’s Atlantic coast is alive with entertainment. Live music, the Cocoa Beach Air Show (depending on the time of year you go), cultural museums, and some of the Space Coast’s best shopping, make this beach town a must-visit destination on the East Coast.

But you don’t have to drop big bucks to have a good time on the delightful sliver of sand in the Cocoa Beach area. In fact, there are so many fun things to do in Cocoa Beach that are free and open to the public.

Cocoa Beach Things to do Free

Whether you’re visiting Cocoa Beach on a family vacation or seeking a weekend away for a romantic couple’s retreat, Cocoa Beach has a bounty of fun and free things to do to stay excited, educated, and engaged. From Cocoa Beach bike rentals to kayaking tours and Cocoa Beach restaurants, the possibilities for fun are endless. Keep reading this super easy list broken down into bite-sized chunks of fun and free things to do in Cocoa Beach!

1 | Hang Out at the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier | Reaching far out into the Atlantic, the Cocoa Beach Pier is one hard to miss local attraction. The elevated boardwalk is an eclectic collection of gift shops, rental shops, restaurants, and live music. Strolling down the pier at an easygoing pace is a prime activity for fans of people watching or pelican spotting. The pier is a recognizable and easy to find meeting place for all group types. Its central location and frenzy of activity make it the heartbeat of Cocoa Beach. Let the kids splash around the surf while the adults battle on the beach volleyball court. Lifeguards are always on duty, and onsite showers provide a convenient way to rinse off.

WHERE: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 783-7549


2 | Enjoy Nature at Lori Wilson Park | This regional park is beloved by locals, perhaps because it is one of the few public beach access points left in Cocoa Beach that offers free parking. With thirty-two and a half acres to roam, there is plenty of room to throw around a frisbee or set up a beachfront picnic. Free showers and restrooms are available for rinsing off sandy feet. When the afternoon thunderstorms roll in, take refuge under the wooded pavilions, fire up the barbecues, and grill up some grub to share. Traveling in a group? Gather a team together for a game of beach volleyball at the free sand court. Nature lovers will enjoy spotting native birds and species on the elevated boardwalk trail through the maritime hammock (coastal forest). Even furry family friends can enjoy Lori Wilson at the designated Dog Park.

WHERE: 1500 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931


3 | Get A Dose of History at the Liberty Bell Museum | Fans of American history can’t miss the Liberty Bell Museum. American memorabilia and artifacts showcased at the museum educate guests about the various branches of the US military and their involvement in historic wars. Florida-specific history also provides interesting local insight into Florida’s path to becoming the 27th state of the Union. Visitors can expect to learn how this particular area of the Florida coastline became known as the Space Coast. Incorporate education in your next family vacation to Cocoa Beach with a visit to this free museum. A world of learning awaits at the Liberty Bell Museum.

WHERE: 1601 Oak St, Melbourne, FL 32901 | WHO: (321) 373-2311


4 | Learn About Legends of the Waves at The Florida Surf Museum | Full disclaimer, this activity isn’t actually free. But it is only $3 to enter the local museum and learn about Cocoa’s favorite sport and the hometown heroes that put the beach town on the map. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, visitors learn about Florida’s role as one of the surfing hotspots of the world. Early surfboards adorn the walls and hang throughout the museum, which acts as visual storytelling of how far the watersport has come. Located next to the famous Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, the Florida Surf Museum is hard to miss. If you find yourself shopping at the surf shop for bikinis, beach gear, or sunscreen, swing into the surf museum for an inspiring lesson on the coast’s favorite sport.

WHERE: 4275 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 720-8033


5 | Take a Walk with the Sea Turtle Preservation Society | During May, June, and July, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Cocoa Beach, becomes a sacred space for the critically endangered Loggerhead Turtles. Guided by the light of the moon, mother Loggerheads come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand. The Sea Turtle Preservation Society is passionately dedicated to educating about and preserving this species. The Society provides hands-on learning and preservation tactics and offers night walks for nature lovers who wish to witness the Loggerhead season. Guests can reserve a spot on a night walk online.

WHERE: 111 S Miramar Ave, Indialantic, FL 32903 | WHO: (321) 676-1701


6 | Take a Selfie at Manatee Sanctuary Park | Not far from where the cruise ships dock in Cape Canaveral, 10-acres of green grass and public facilities sits ready to welcome guests. Bordering the Banana River, a protected manatee habitat, the Manatee Sanctuary Park honors these gentle sea cows. Lucky park visitors may even spot manatees munching on seagrass at the park’s boardwalk during Summer months. The park is also known as a haven for outdoor recreation and the ideal spot for a fun, and sun, filled day. Get some exercise by strolling the paved walking path or pick up a Zagster bike from the community bike share and go for a ride. For bibliophiles, swing by the Little Free Library and see what books neighbors have left to enjoy. Find a quiet corner of the park, lay out a blanket, and cozy up with a good book for the day.

WHERE: 701 Thurm Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920 | WHO: (321) 868-1226


7 | Window Shop in Historic Cocoa Village | Colorful storefronts and tropically tinted buildings characterize this 150-year-old area of Cocoa Beach. The rustic, original buildings in Cocoa Village now serve as a prime setting for art fairs, chili-cook-offs, car shows, and Sip N’ Stroll events. The Cocoa Beach Playhouse and Parish Grove Inn are just a few historic buildings that give this section of Cocoa style and character. Swing in the Historic Cocoa Village Association headquarters to learn more about the charming old town area and discover why strolling down this quaint district is a relaxing and visually entertaining pastime.

WHERE: 600 Florida Ave #104, Cocoa, FL 32922 | WHO: (321) 631-9075


8 | Jam Out at Riverfront Park | Neighbors to Historic Cocoa Village, Riverfront Park is a mecca for music buffs. The public park is known for outdoor amphitheater performances that attract notable musical guests, many of them free and open to the public. Kids can enjoy exploring on the playground or cooling off in the interactive splash pad. Well-groomed walkways and amid Florida flora and fauna make for a relaxing stroll.


WHERE: 401 Riveredge Blvd, Cocoa, FL 32922 | WHO: (321) 639-3500

9 | Coast Through the Maritime Hammock Preserve | There’s more to Florida beaches than just sand and saltwater. The Atlantic coast is a protected part of Florida’s ecosystem featuring what’s known as maritime hammocks, which are seaside forests of marshes and mangroves. A 2.8-mile hike takes inquisitive nature enthusiasts through this unique habitat boarding the Indian River lagoon and Melbourne Beach. Try to identify native plants along the walk like Live Oak trees, Cabbage Palm, and Palmetto brush.

WHERE: 1235 N Atlantic Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 | WHO: (321) 868-3200


10 | Get a Photo with Kelly Slater | Kelly Slater, noted as one of the best surfers of all time, personally welcomes all visitors and locals to Cocoa Beach….metaphorically speaking, that is. A life-size statue of Slater surfing lives in North Cocoa Beach, where the A1A highway splits. Born and raised in Cocoa Beach, Slater grew up learning to surf on Cocoa’s very own breaks. A much-beloved local hero, Kelly Slater is revered in the surf community for garnering eleven world championship titles. Grab a photo with the icon in the place he calls home at any time of day.

WHERE: 505 N Orlando Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931


Use Our Handy Map to Find Your Way Around!

Last Tips on 10 free things to do in Cocoa Beach

So, before you think that a trip to Cocoa Beach has to break the bank, be sure to check out these 10 Free things to do! Cocoa Beach can be a low-cost destination if you have a penchant for adventure and a flair for creativity. Perhaps Cocoa’s most shining trait is the ability to traverse it by bike, paving the way for easy self-exploration. Pack a picnic basket and hit the sand for a fun, free way to enjoy one of Florida’s favorite Atlantic destinations and Surfer Capital of the United States.


The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Cocoa Beach

At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your Cocoa Beach vacation awaits! Explore our Cocoa Beach resort today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.

When You Check-in, There's a Lot to Check Out

Sign up for our newsletter and check-in to great offers, secret stuff, and special events.

Thank You for Signing Up!

Exciting things are headed your way soon!