Posts Tagged With: Cocoa Beach

Christmas Trip Recap

This is simply a rollup of our trip….

Two tickets on Southwest paid with cash and 1 ticket with points.  We booked these is early September to avoid high prices.

Two nights at the Radisson Resort at the Port free on points.

Three nights at the Radisson Oceanfront hotel, two on points and 1 on cash AAA discount.

The rental car was through the mousesavers discount and the lowest I could get was a little over $200.

Hands down our largest expense on the trip was dinner each night.  With two seafood lovers in the family the nightly bill usually topped $50+.  I need to increase my food budget for future trips now that Daughter is older and not stuck on Mac-n-cheese.

You cannot put a price on spending a week together in the warmth relaxing.  I think we did alright on expenses like paying for fishing, a Christmas light festival and mini golf during the week.  I would have liked more Groupons for dinner but I was unable to find any for local seafood restaurants.

We are tossing around where to go next winter.  Husband wants to go back to Texas, I want a new state and Daughter wants to eat rock shrimp.  Might not be lucky enough to go at Christmas again, that did not go over well with a few people. Husband wants to go over his birthday instead. Next time I guess I would do it in reverse and be in the very touristy area of Cocoa Beach on Christmas day.  Toss up between waking up on the ocean or having breakfast options outside the hotel.

 

 

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Florida Seafood Restaurant Cocoa Beach

After the prior nights raves about rock shrimp we set out to find them one more time before we left Florida for the snow.  Florida Seafood Restaurant showed them on their menu.  We made time to have a nice seafood lunch before finishing our drive to Orlando.

Florida Seafood Cocoa Beach

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The interior is very entertaining.  We saw fish wearing Santa hats, and tiki faces.

Florida Seafood

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We were quickly seated as it was a little past one.  We asked the server for the rock shrimp appetizer to be told they did not have any…  (Big sigh!) They had Sweet Georgia’s instead.  The family went with the suggestion but Daughter will tell you they are NOT the same.  They offer the butter melted over a warmer which is a nice touch at the table.

Florida Seafood Sweet Georgia Shrimp

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Husband ordered some fried seafood, Daughter had Alfredo and I had the burger.

Florida Seafood Cocoa Beach

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Florida Seafood Cocoa Beach

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The service was good, the food was good and we would be willing to go back if they had rock shrimp.  I think next time we will call ahead to avoid disappointment.

More information: http://www.floridas-seafood.com/index.php

Florida’s Seafood Bar & Grill
480 West Cocoa Beach Cswy. (520)
Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931
(321) 784-0892

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Cocoa Beach Pier

We had a bit of a hard time finding this place.  Its more in a residential area than I expected.  We have the past couple of times talking about visiting the pier but never got around to it.  The Saturday morning we were headed back to Orlando was perfect, almost 80 and sunny.  Great time to hit the beach for a little.

Cocoa Beach Pier

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Husband likes to see what people are fishing for and catching.  They do offer fishing from the end of the pier.  A fishing license is not required to fish from the Cocoa Beach Pier

  • Hours: Open daily at 7 AM
  • $7 fishing fee if you bring your own equipment
  • $5 fishing fee for seniors, ages 55 & older, and ages 12 & under
  • $15 fishing rod rental fee (includes bait). A $20 deposit is required.
  • $2 spectator fee (required to access Mai Tai Bar)
  • $5 frozen bait – shrimp, squid, mullet & clams
  • Fishing Passes: 1 Week ($20), 1 Month ($30), 3 Month ($75), 6 Month ($125), 1 Year ($200)

There are a couple of tourist stores, and some restaurants on the pier.  We paid $2 each to visit the fishing end of the pier.  There is also a little bar out there and some benches.  Parking ranges from $5-8.

Cocoa Beach Pier

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There were a lot of surfers out here around the pier.  Someone had set up a stand near the pier renting boards for $20.  Daughter was not happy that we were not staying long enough to surf, it was one of the better days for waves.

More information here: http://www.cocoabeachpier.com/

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Ron Jon Surf Shop

Stopping at the Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach has become a tradition.  This year was no exception, in fact we stopped there twice this time.  The first trip I grabbed a t-shirt and a cool stocking stuffer for husband.  I gave it to him on Christmas Eve and he wanted to grab one for our friend who was house sitting.  Hence the 2nd stop on the way back to Orlando.

Parking can be a pain here, people often park and walk the block to the beach.  Usually we have better luck in the larger lot near the bus parking.  I will admit when we want to quick spend 15 minutes checking out the waves we have left our car in the lot after making a purchase.

Ron Jon Cocoa Beach

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This is the flagship location and its open 24 hours a day.  On Christmas this place was open!  Across the street is a little rental shop for chairs, boards and the like.  Here is more rental info: http://www.ronjonsurfshop.com/location/beach-rentals-cocoa-beach.aspx

Ron Jon Cocoa Beach

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Sometimes upstairs they have some items on discount.  We always head up there for the juniors section for Daughter.  She likes the souvenir shirt that does not make her look like a tourist, like Roxy items.

More information can be found here: http://www.ronjonsurfshop.com/location/detail.aspx?LocationId=7

4151 North Atlantic Avenue, Cocoa Beach FL, 32931

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The Dinosaur Store in Cocoa Beach

IF you have anyone in your family into dinos you need to check out this store. (Or anyone into fossils, rocks, or insects.) We first heard about this place in the hotel brochure rack.  We figured IF we had time on the way back to Orlando we would swing in and check it out.

Cocoa Beach Dino Store

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We easily found the store on the edge of Cocoa Beach.  Upon entering you can see how this place resembles a museum or someones collection. They have a little bit of everything in here!

Cocoa Beach Dino Store

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I loved looking at the Amber and the butterflies.

Cocoa Beach Dino Store

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If you have the time swing in and poke around!

More information here: http://www.dinosaurstore.com/dinosaur%20store%20home%20page.htm

50 W. Cocoa Beach Cswy. Cocoa Beach, FL  32931
321.783.7300
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Golf n Gator – Christmas Gator Cuddling

Golf n Gator was open on Christmas afternoon!  It was exactly what we were looking for.  The chance to compete against each other and show off our lacking skills!

They offer two 18 hole courses, we had a coupon from a brochure at the hotel with a $1 off on 18 holes or $2 off on 36.  We chose to go with 18 holes because we had dinner reservations and other things to do later. Where you pay also offers souvenirs and snack items, so Daughter grabbed some food.  Afterward we purchased a nice Christmas ornament for our tree to remind us of our fun.

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Christmas Day Park Hopping

We had figured out nothing was open in Melbourne Beach on Christmas day outside of the hotel.  We decided to head back to Cocoa Beach figuring more would be happening with more tourists in that area.

Great plan!  We spent at little time at Manatee Park, Daughter hates it there but I always stop to look for manatee.  Seeing two in the bay a couple of days prior while fishing I thought we might see some at the park.   Have not seen one yet there but this time we did see a dead horseshoe crab.  We are all about expanding our horizons!

Then we wanted to visit Jetty Park.  We had seen it a couple of times from the cruise ships.   Its now $15 a day for non-residents to enter by car.  No thanks, I don’t need to see it that bad.  As we drove out we saw a Holiday Inn on the same road. I didn’t even know it was there but something I will keep in mind.

 

Manatee park in port canaveral

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This took up a little of our afternoon but then we discovered Golf n Gator! This is what we were looking for, a little competition!

 

  • Manatee Sanctuary Park
  • This waterfront resource offers exercise stations, a boardwalk, picnic facilities & horseshoe pits.
  • Address: 701 Thurm Boulevard, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920
    Park

 

 

  • Jetty Park
  • Port Canaveral site featuring fishing, camping & swimming plus chances to watch cruise ships.
  • Address: 400 Jetty Park Road, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920

 

 

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Surfin’ Santas Cocoa Beach

Our goal on this trip was to experience things we could not in the snowy cold Midwest.  Surfin Santas definitely qualifies!

DSCN2085

 

We checked out of the hotel a little before 8:45 and we were parking the car around 9am.  We paid a local group $5 to let us park on their lawn off from A1.  We had a short walk across the street to the beach by Coconuts.

The large group sang a couple of Christmas songs, took photos and it was time to hit the waves.  Daughter was so jealous but being sick with a cold we were not going to let her surf in the 50 degree ocean.

Surfing santas

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It was very festive!  You could purchase a $12 bloody mary for breakfast or a beer. LOL!

We chose to wait for the skydivers at 11am and people watch.  They cleared the beach several times for the sky divers to come back in 20 minutes to push the people back again.  That was kind of silly, wait until 10:40 or later and do it once…

Surfing santas

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The sky divers were impressive.  I think there was close to 20 flying in the air and landing on the beach.  They were even dressed as Santa!

A very fun was to get in the holiday spirit on Christmas Eve morning!!!!

They estimate there were 300 surfer and 4,000 spectators…  A nice write up is here: http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2014/12/24/surfin-santa-event-attracts-record-turnout/20865211/

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Cocoa Beach Killing Time

We had fished and looking to kill some time before hitting an early dinner on Tuesday.  We decided to head up the road to Cocoa Beach to see what was in the area.  And we wanted to scope out where we needed to be for Surf’n Santas the next morning.

We found easy free two hour parking and poked around the couple of shops that were open.  Several said they were closed for the week which surprised me thinking it would be busier in the area over Christmas.

Then we set off to the beach one block over.  It was in the high 70’s and perfect for walking the beach.

bird

We spent almost an hour on the beach walking in the waves and looking at shells.

This beach is perfect for families.  Lots of places to park and walk out onto the beach.  And if you are a little older Coconuts was right on the beach at the causeway for an adult drink.

coca

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Fishing Anyone?

A week before we left Husband and i were perusing Groupon looking for our trip activities.  He saw a couple of listings for fishing and thought it sounded fun.  I went to yelp and tripadvisor to check the company reviews, not something i thought would be a good fit for us.  The reviews were horrible, check before you buy!

I then started to look at any fishing trip in the area either Cocoa Beach or Melbourne area.  Most of them were expensive charters that went on the ocean with your group.  I couldn’t spend $600 and hope the ocean would not make me sick.  Husband didn’t want to go alone with another group either.  Fishing was not looking likely!  Then tripadvisor had a promising listing: Cast Away Adventures.  They had 100% positive reviews.  And they did not go out on the ocean so that is a plus for me!

I was hoping they had openings when I called the next morning.  Sue answered the call and walked me through the fishing options.  They offer two and four hour trips for up to 6 people a time.  No one was booked yet on the morning I requested so we were able to pick an 8am start time. (If you are coming from Orlando they can start later if you need travel time.)  Husband was happy so I was happy!  Fishing is one thing we still had not tried on our travels.

Sue sent me directions in the confirmation and the dock was about 5 minutes from the hotel.  We woke up that morning to a very foggy port.  We couldn’t see our car from our room window at 7am,.  I checked my phone a couple of times but there was no cancellation.  A fishing we will go!

We arrived at the dock a little before 8 and easily found our guides for the morning, Sue and Tony.  The boat set off through the fog across the bay, they explained with the manatees that the boats were required to idle slowly to keep them safe.  By 8:30 the fog was burning off and we were catching fish near the lock.

fish

Daughter caught the first fish, a puffer.  We went on to catch lots of puffers!  The guides were patient with our re-baiting, casting and other mishaps.  i caught rocks, the side of the locks, anything that will keep your tackle.  Husband loved it because he could fish without having to help us all the time.  I just liked being out on the water and viewing nature.  Daughter won our family bragging rights for most different fish.  Husband might have landed the most and he caught the most variety of items.  A clam shell, a bird stole his bait, & he landed a rock into the boat.  Husband has skill, my rocks stayed on the the bay floor!

fish 2

We also saw a couple of dolphins by the locks and manatee swam past us by the bridge.  I was so excited, we had not seen manatee in the wild before!  The four hours flew past, I had taken water and a few snacks but we really didn’t need them.

We all agreed this was a trip highlight!  We already are talking about going fishing again next time.

IF you have any inclining to go on a nature tour or fishing trip please call up Sue. They took care of everything and it was so nice to relax.  For more information:  http://castawayfl.com/

Ph: 321-506-3507     email: castawayfl@hotmail.com
 
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