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BEACHES IN COCOA BEACH AND SURROUNDING AREAS

Beaches in the Cocoa Beach area
A Cocoa Beach vacation wouldn't be complete without a trip to the beach. Cocoa Beach lays claim to some of the finest beaches in Florida, attracting families, newlyweds, and the older set alike. Soft brown sand leading to inviting warm water allows the visitor to feel they are truly in paradise. Whether you're looking for great surfing, abundant fishing or a romantic private retreat, nothing can equal a day along the beaches at Cocoa Beach.

Beaches at Cocoa Beach
The quintessential American beach awaits the visitor to the town of Cocoa Beach. The shoreline's languid green water and wide, brown-sand beach is peopled with visitors of every race, creed, color and swimsuit size. They tend to congregate most densely around the Cocoa Beach Pier on the north end of town. Surfers ride the waves on either side of the pier. Kids splash and frolic. Parents repose on chaise lounges and surf chairs. The only thing missing from this picture is the genie from the 1960's television show that made the town famous.

In addition to the large number of public beach accesses located at street ends, Cocoa Beach features four beachfront parks offering free or inexpensive parking, restrooms, outdoor showers, and picnic tables. All but one posts seasonal lifeguards, and Lori Wilson Park, a county run facility, has a wonderful boardwalk nature trail which winds through a patch of maritime forest. The others, running north to south, are Sheppard Park, Sidney Fisher Park and Robert P. Murkshe Memorial Park. Want to try surfing or boogie boarding? Boasting the best waves in Florida, Cocoa Beach at the Pier has long been a favorite of surfers. Hosting several annual surfing competitions, the atmosphere remains festive all year long. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, Crescent Beach, at the extreme south end of Cocoa Beach, offers some of the best surf fishing in Florida.

North of Cocoa Beach lies the small community of Cape Canaveral, which boasts two beachfront parks. Jetty Park features a campground close to the park's half-mile beach, which offers keen views of ships coming and going from the park. Cherie Down Park is a charming little county run park whose amenities include lifeguards, restrooms, picnic tables and showers.

Beaches at Melbourne Beach
The beaches at Melbourne Beach and the smaller areas of Melbourne Shores and Floridana Beach are wonderful vistas of brownish soft sand sloping dramatically to the water. Combined with plenty of public access, the beaches here easily accommodate the needs of residents and the seasonal and weekend swarms from nearby Melbourne. The entire area gives the feel of a true Florida beach town, dominated by residential areas and friendly faces.

The main beach access for visitors is an incredible facility called Spesser Holland Park. Located three miles south of the Melbourne Causeway, the park sprawls for a mile along A1A and features north and south entrances. Ample parking is available at only $1.00 per day, and picnic pavilions and facilities are available at both entrances. To the south in Melbourne Shores, Coconut Point Park is a county run facility with restrooms and limited free parking. Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge to the south of Melbourne Shores, provides a protected habitat for sea turtles and other endangered species. This 20-mile stretch of coastline is the most important nesting site for loggerhead turtles in the Western Hemisphere. A few access points to the refuge are indicated by signs, and several turtle-watching programs operate in the nesting season.

Beaches at Satellite Beach
Satellite Beach, the largest of Melbourne's beach towns, is also the commercial hub. The beach runs for two miles, and dune crossovers at street ends provide access to the shoreline. The brown sand and warm, inviting water are good for the beach basics of sunbathing and swimming. Nearby Patrick Air Force Base and several beachfront parks provide access to this aquatic wonderland.

Patrick Air Force Base, north of Satellite Beach, provides beach access at several points along A1A, along with ample parking in five separate parking lots. The beaches are clean, wide, and safe, and the north end of the base is known as a great surfing area. Seagull Park, in South Patrick Shores, is a small county run park to the south of the base. The park provides picnic shelters and is attractively landscaped with native plantings. In Satellite Beach itself, Pelican Beach Park is one of the best reasons to come to the town. The park has ample free parking, two dune crossovers, and an observation tower. The beach has wide, hard-packed sand with some of the only intact dune structure in the area. At the north end of town, Hightower Beach Park is a two-acre facility with little more than a small lot, outdoor shower, and dune walkover. The deserted beach, however, is tailor-made for surfcasting or soaking up rays.