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A well-known surf haven and space mecca situated along the Florida coast, charming Cocoa Beach boasts several claims to fame: The town is just south of Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, and 11-time surfing world champion Kelly Slater was born and raised here.
Every year, millions of tourists flock to Cocoa Beach to take surf lessons at world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop, explore the historic, 800-foot pier, frolic in the Atlantic, and hike along lush nature preserve trails. The historic Cocoa Village, a revitalized riverside community brimming with shops and restaurants, is also well worth a trip. Plus, Orlando is just an hour’s drive east, which makes Cocoa Beach an ideal home base for theme park visitors. Here’s where to stay during your time on Florida’s “Space Coast”.
Best Overall: Beach Place Guesthouses
Of all the fantastic places to stay in Cocoa Beach, Beach Place Guesthouses takes the cake. These gorgeously furnished, fully-equipped oceanfront guesthouses are unlike any other lodging in town. For one thing, Beach Place is located along the peaceful south end of Cocoa Beach, smack-dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood, which gives the property a secluded, tucked-away feel. For another, the accommodations themselves are simply stellar: Guests can take their pick from 16 guesthouses, all of which are tastefully decorated with colorful, beachy accents, vibrant artwork, and plush, comfy furniture. You’ll also find a slew of amenities here, including kitchen appliances, dishware, bath towels, beach towels, beach chairs, coffee, toiletries, and more. Each guesthouse is like its own leafy, luxurious oasis, with a fully-equipped kitchen, dine-in living room, and best of all, a porch with soothing views of the lush gardens or glittering ocean waves. Throw in three ocean-view decks, free on-site yoga classes, wood-burning fireplaces, beachside BBQ grills, and cozy hammock groves, and the choice is clear: Beach Place Guesthouse is the No. 1 spot in town.
Best Budget: Anthony’s On The Beach
Established in 1958 and conveniently nestled right on Orlando Beach, Anthony’s On The Beach is the perfect lodging choice for the budget-conscious traveler. This recently renovated, centrally located gem features private beach access, clean and comfy rooms, and a lengthy list of amenities, especially considering how affordable the rates are here. Anthony’s offers one- and two-bedroom accommodations, each of which comes equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, flat-screen TV with HBO movie channels, coffee, and free Wi-Fi. Select suites have a full kitchen, sofa bed, and ocean views. There are several vending machines on the premises, parking is free, and the front desk is open 24 hours a day.
Guests will love Anthony’s prime, oceanfront location — the famed Ron Jon Surf Shop is six miles away, the drive to Cocoa Village takes just 20 minutes, Patrick Air Force Base is three miles away, and the Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal is an easy 11-mile drive from the property. When it comes to sheer affordability, location, convenience, and comfort, you won’t find a better budget hotel than Anthony’s On The Beach.
Best Boutique: The Resort on Cocoa Beach
Overlooking the glimmering Atlantic, the Resort on Cocoa Beach oozes style. This first-class, beachfront condo resort is a local favorite, thanks to its fabulous amenities and sleek accommodations — each two-bedroom, two-bath condo is decorated in bright jewel tones and comes equipped with full kitchen, private balcony, washer and dryer, jacuzzi tub, dishwasher, and three flat-screen TVs. Guests can choose between a partial ocean view and full ocean view.
Though the Resort on Cocoa Beach is located just minutes away from most attractions in the area, including all the major cruise terminals and the bustling Port Canaveral, it may be tough to actually leave the premises: The resort features several top-of-the-line amenities and activities, including a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, tennis courts, full basketball court, game room, tiki bar, BBQ area, movie theater, and state-of-the-art fitness center. In addition, there are daily scheduled activities that range from teen and adult scavenger hunts and hula hoop contests to canvas painting and live poolside music. There’s never a dull moment at the Resort on Cocoa Beach.
Best for Families: The Inn at Cocoa Beach
The Inn at Cocoa Beach is one of the most popular hotels in town, and it’s a particularly great pick for families vacationing along this slice of Florida coastline. Boasting European-style grandeur, oceanfront balconies, and plenty of activities and amenities to keep travelers busy for days, The Inn at Cocoa Beach has over 50 individually decorated rooms, all of which have an awesome view of the ocean, a large patio or balcony, and either a queen or king size bed. Guests can also opt for spacious deluxe rooms if traveling with multiple kiddos in tow, since these have a private balcony, sofa sitting area, and a dining table.
The Inn at Cocoa Beach also has an expansive list of amenities, including a fully-equipped exercise room, pool, massage room, and steam bath. Personalized touches in the form of homemade baked goods at the front door, a delicious continental breakfast, and a nightly gourmet wine-and-cheese selection add to the Inn’s already-considerable charm. Plus, the Inn at Cocoa Beach is located within walking or short driving distance of all the best restaurants, shops, and attractions in the area.
Best for Romance: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront
Romance-minded travelers will love staying at the modern DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront, whose location, rooms, and amenities are outstanding. Most rooms feature a private balcony with stunning views of the Atlantic, in addition to basic amenities like a mini-fridge, microwave, hairdryer, iron, coffeemaker, and flat-screen TV.
Couples will love sipping coffee in the mornings while gazing out over the ocean, working out together in the fully-equipped fitness center, lounging in the oceanfront open-air pool, and splurging on three-course dinners at Three Wishes, the on-site restaurant. The DoubleTree also has an elegant, oceanside ballroom and onsite catering and banquet services for lovebirds who want to get married in style; there’s even private beach access, which provides the perfect backdrop for a ceremony right by the water’s edge. The hotel can accommodate weddings of all sizes and offers specialized wedding packages that include a complimentary menu tasting, centerpieces, linens, bridal room, and more. When it comes to a romantic getaway for two, the DoubleTree by Hilton wins serious points for style, class, comfort, and accessibility.
Best for Luxury: Discovery Beach Resort
If it’s pure glamour and luxury you want, look no further than Discovery Beach Resort. This gorgeous eight-story high-rise is serenely tucked just steps away from the shoreline, and all 66 condo units are sleekly outfitted with all the best amenities and luxury perks you could imagine. Offering one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos for nightly and weekly rental, Discovery Beach also features an array of lavish amenities, including a sauna health club, heated outdoor pool, hot tub, tennis courts, and a full basketball court, while unit amenities include a washer and dryer, full kitchen, and two TVs. Sip refreshing cocktails by the oceanfront pool, lounge on the pristine stretch of sand right in front of the resort, or explore the many local shops, restaurants, and attractions that are within walking distance. Or, take part in the resort’s many scheduled activities that occur throughout the day, including painting classes, film screenings, and game nights. Guests routinely praise Discovery Beach for its prime location, opulent decor, cleanliness, and superb services.
Best for Singles: Courtyard Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral
The stately Courtyard Cocoa Beach Cape Canaveral is the ideal spot for single travelers, thanks to its location, variety of amenities, inviting common spaces, and cozy guest rooms. The room rates are also reliably affordable, regardless of which season you’re traveling in, which is always a plus for out-of-town visitors flying solo. The seven-story Courtyard Cocoa Beach is set back about 200 yards from the beach and features a private path from the hotel to the sand, and there are several attractions in the vicinity, including Ron Jon’s and the buzzing Cocoa Beach Pier.
Rooms here are clean, spacious, and comfortable, with all the amenities you could ever need, including a coffeemaker, daily housekeeping service, iron, kitchenette, microwave, mini-bar, and satellite TV. (Just be sure to request a room on the fifth, sixth, or seventh floor if you want an ocean view.) The hotel also has a well-equipped fitness center, mineral pool, whirlpool, 24-hour business center, and tasty on-site cafe called The Bistro. Of course, guests can also easily access all the main restaurants and bars of Cocoa Beach if they're looking to enjoy a night out on the town.
Best B&B: Port d’Hiver Bed and Breakfast
Though technically located in Melbourne, this outstanding B&B is worth the 30-minute drive it takes to get to Cocoa Beach. Port d’Hiver Bed and Breakfast is nestled amidst towering palm trees and colorful tropical flowers, right on the beach. Here, guests start their day with a gourmet breakfast that includes fresh fruit, Belgian waffles, homemade muffins, ricotta crepes, and apple maple bacon — from there, you can opt to wander along the peaceful brick paths, read a book in the sun-splashed courtyard, or take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic. Every evening at 5 o’clock on the dot, complimentary wine and delicious hors-d’oeuvres (cheese, grapes, pastries, hummus, and salsa) are offered in the main house, and most nights, guests like to congregate in the garden and relax by the fire together. You can choose from a variety of rooms, all of which are decorated with bright, vibrant colors, cherry wood accents, and tasteful artwork, and come equipped with basic amenities. You’ve been warned: This intimate luxury property, with its thoughtful amenities and personalized service, is bound to steal your heart.
Best for Business: Crowne Plaza Melbourne-Oceanfront
For those traveling on business, the Crowne Plaza Melbourne-Oceanfront features 270 plush guestrooms and a wide variety of amenities in the heart of Cocoa Beach. Guests flying into Orlando Melbourne International Airport should take advantage of the free shuttle that regularly runs to and from the hotel, and business travelers, in particular, will love the Sleep Advantage program, a special Crowne Plaza package that includes premier bedding, aromatherapy kits, and designated “Quiet Zones” so you can unwind after a long day of work. In addition, the hotel has complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi throughout, a 24-hour fitness center, a well-regarded on-site restaurant, a complimentary business center, and over 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting spaces.
Rooms come equipped with all the essentials, like a microwave, fridge, coffee, hairdryer, and flat-screen TV. When you’re done with work for the day, enjoy a glass of crisp white wine on the deck as you watch the sun set over the Atlantic, take a dip in the heated oceanfront pool, get pampered at the brand-new Ocean Reef Spa, or drift off to sleep, lulled by the sounds of the ocean.