This public golf course boasts three different nine-hole courses and 17 lakes, on a peninsula that juts into the Banana River. This country club is a favorite among visitors and locals alike, for its diverse courses that get you out in Florida's sunshine from a different perspective. The golf course is also home to many wild birds, so birdwatching is a bonus to the sport itself. On site, you may also run into turtles, see dolphins or even spot a gator. So don't go chasing your balls into the water. Grab a snack at the club's restaurant. The course was renovated in 2009.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: The Cocoa Beach Country Club is a golf course set on beautiful acreage with 17 different lakes.
Aimee's expert tip: Bring a camera. The wildlife-watching here is just as good as the game.
The Space Coast Brews Cruise offers beer enthusiasts a guided tour through some of the region's top microbreweries. You may visit the Florida Beer Company, Florida's largest craft brewery in Cape Canaveral; the Cocoa Beach Brewing Company, stationed in a quirky historical building in Cocoa Beach; Charlie & Jake's Brewery and Grille, where you can enjoy beer alongside BBQ; the Intracoastal Brewing Company, ideally located in the Eau Gallie Art District; or Merritt Island's Bugnutty Brewing Company, one of the newest breweries in the region. Of course, there is plenty of beer tasting (three to four four-ounce samples per brewery, plus snacking) involved, and it spans a wide range of beer styles – from stouts to pale ales – to appeal to a variety of taste buds.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: The Space Coast Brews Cruise is a fun way to see the region, and taste it, too.
Aimee's expert tip: Pick up a growler of your favorite beer and stash it in the bus's on-board cooler to enjoy by the beach or on your balcony when you get back to your hotel.
This theater is known as "Broadway on Brevard," for its high-quality community theater that has long been a staple in Cocoa, Fla. The Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse first opened in 1924 as The Aladdin. Back then, it showed silent movies and vaudeville. Today, the building itself is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The theater has underwent many notable renovations over the years, such as expanding the orchestra pit, adding a technical support annex and also adding more operations, such as a ballet company. Shows are known to sell out, which the playhouse considers a testament to its high level of quality and reputation as one of the top community theaters in the nation.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: The theater is located in Cocoa Village, so make a night out it. See a show, browse the shops and grab a bite to eat.
Aimee's expert tip: The theater is located in historic Cocoa Village, so make a night out it. See a show, browse the shops and grab a bite to eat downtown.
A surfboard isn't the only kind of board you can enjoy on Cocoa Beach. The Cocoa Beach Skate Park offers another outdoor activity under the beautiful Space Coast sunshine. The CB Skateboard Company operates the skate park and its on-site skate shop, located right behind the high school – so it always seems to be hoppin'. This concrete park has challenging "bowls," rails and a half pipe and cheerful staff. Best of all, the prices are super low. Even if you don't skate, pack a snack and a picnic blanket, watch the skaters get their wheels dirty to music and prepare to be entertained. Stay until after the sun sets; the park is well illuminated until it closes.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: The Cocoa Beach Skate Park is another way to enjoy the Space Coast's beautiful weather in Cocoa Beach.
Aimee's expert tip: The people-watching here is great, whether or not you skate. Pack a picnic and watch the action.
Step into a world of yesterday and catch a glimpse of life in the past with exhibits native to Central Florida and beyond. The goal is to preserve the natural beauty and history of the Space Coast region. So, here you will find historic artifacts, antiques, rockets and fossils and more. The By-Gone Beasts exhibit includes ancient skeletons of a saber tooth cat and mastodon, among others. Kids enjoy the interactive activities, like a rocket simulation. Also look for ecological and educational programs, a museum story, lobby and the special Winchester Wing, where you can find a permanent exhibit about Brevard County history. Bring a picnic and enjoy the museum outside, too. You will find picnic tables and a pavilion on site to make it a full occasion.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: Bring a picnic lunch and take a break on the picnic tables outside.
Aimee's expert tip: The Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science is a fun place to learn about the history and environment of Brevard County.
Ron Jon Surf Shop is the world's most famous surf shop, with a location in Cocoa Beach. You can find Ron Jon stores along the coast, from New Jersey to Maryland, but it's popular tourist attraction in the Space Coast, too. In fact, Ron Jon's Cocoa Beach location is the largest surfing shop in the world. Pick up souvenirs here, as well as some sunscreen, a new swimming suit and, of course, a surfboard. At Ron Jon's, you can find everything you need for a day at the beach. And whether you life chain stores or not, it is a Cocoa Beach landmark.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: Ron Jon Surf Shop is a must-see, famous shopping destination in Cocoa Beach.
Aimee's expert tip: Check Ron Jon's website for a surf report of the waves, to see if (and where) you want to take your board out.
Calling all surfing canines on the East Coast! The East Coast Dog Surfing Association presents the annual Florida Dog Surfing Championship in at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Yes. You read that right. Every November, the Space Coast is home to one of the quirkiest surf events of the year: a surfing competition for dogs. The event is not just limited to surfing. It also includes dock jumping, beauty (and ugly) contests, an agility competition, educational seminars and exhibitions and dog adoptions. Two-legged friends can enjoy live music, food and other funky activities. If you're lucky, you might brush paws with celebs, like the Guinness Book of World Record surf dogs, Abbie Girl.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: Dogs. Surfing. The ocean. Live music. What could be more entertaining?
Aimee's expert tip: Even if your dog can't surf, maybe she can win a trophy in the beauty pageant – or the ugly pageant.
One of the biggest annual events on the Space Coast – and also the largest charitable surfing fest in the world – transforms the Cocoa Beach Pier into a surfer's paradise at the end of every summer. The NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Surf Festival raises money and awareness for the National Kidney Foundation of Florida. Enjoy live music, parties, food and more. The highlight is the surfing competitions, where surfers of all levels take to the waves at the Cocoa Beach Pier. The hundreds of event participants also get excited about the mega silent auction. To date, the fundraiser has raised more than $4 million for National Kidney Foundation programs and patient support.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: This surf fest is one of the biggest annual events on the Space Coast.
Aimee's expert tip: Although the surfing is a highlight, don't miss the silent auction, featuring hundreds of great items.
The Space Coast boasts more than 70 miles of sand – most of which are free and open to the public. Build a sand castle, cool off in the waves and enjoy the sunshine, all without needing to drop a penny. Toss out a fishing line and maybe you can even catch dinner for free. One of the area's best beaches is Cocoa Beach; it was even voted one of the top 10 Best Beach Towns in Florida by USA Today. But beware: It can get excruciatingly hot and humid, so it's best to do your beaching early morning or late afternoon.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: The stretch of sand in Cocoa Beach is a great place to relax and cool down.
Aimee's expert tip: Grab a beach blanket and watch a rocket launch from the sand for free.
Half a mile north of 520, off A1A, you'll find The Pier, an exciting extension of the city of Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast. Take in live music (the pier has welcomed the bands such as the Beach Boys and UB40) as you dine several hundred feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Oh Shucks. Or walk down to the end of the pier for classic seafood at Marlins. The Boardwalk and Atlantic Ocean Grille offer great selections, as well. There are also gift shops, volleyball courts and fishing sites. This historical, 800-foot-long landmark is excellent for fishing, as well as playing beach volleyball and some of the best surfing in the area.
Recommended for Cocoa/Cocoa Beach's Best Attractions because: The Cocoa Beach Pier is a popular tourist destination, with great restaurants, surfing, shopping and nightlife.
Aimee's expert tip: Have lunch on the pier and get free entrance with your receipt.