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Cocoa Beach - Florida’s Best Daytime Beach Scene

June 02, 2011 By Matt Meltzer in Miami: Travel News  | 8 Comments


When you live in Miami, the thought of leaving town for a beach party seems preposterous. Why would you waste your gas and time when you live in the beach party capital of America, right? But if you think about it, we really don’t have much in the way of actual parties on the beach here. Sure, there’s the trendy upscale Sunday shindig on the sand at Nikki Beach. And the weekly collection of Kendall and Hialeah All-Stars on 8th Street.  But if you want that young, All-American, chug-some-beers-and-play-some-pong beach scene, you have to look to the north. And that, friends, means Cocoa Beach.


Cocoa Beach, long known as the home of Major Nelson, is now home to the best weekend beach party in the state of Florida. Yeah, I said it. People like to talk about South Beach like it’s the be-all, end-all of parties in this state. But if you’re not down to party with South Americans and Eurotrash, the daytime sand scene leaves something to be desired.


In Cocoa, the crowd is All-American, like an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog dumped onto the Central Florida sand. The people hail largely from UCF and various Central Florida Community Colleges, with some service industry folk and strippers sprinkled in. Basically, it’s exactly the kind of people you want to be partying with on an 85 degree day in June.

Every Sunday,  right behind Coconuts Beach Bar on Minuteman Causeway,  hundreds of 18-34 year-old American partiers cram the sand for what can only be described as a reigned-in Spring Break. College girls in bikinis everywhere. Domestic light beer, everywhere. Beer pong, flip cup, barbecues and good old fashioned binge drinking, everywhere. Right on the sand. As long as you don’t have glass, nobody bothers you.



Cocoa Beach is also the only beach in Florida that is at all known for its surfing. So it is no surprise that the scene here is reminiscent of Fourth of July in Newport Beach, with a little less tattoos and a lot less meth. Those girls you just don’t find in South Florida. The ones with the long legs and slim waists, with long blonde hair that can only be described as Heaven in flip flops, those girls are as ubiquitous as the beer cans. And they all seem to flock to the rows and rows of tents that guys have set up to attract them.

Yes, unlike in South Beach where you need $700 worth of mediocre vodka to get a girl that hot to talk to you, all you need in Cocoa is some Natty Light and a tent. And so people get there as early as 8 or 9 a.m. to set up shop right behind Coconuts. Some with grills. Some with full liquor bars. But all with tables set up for drinking games. Because nothing gets the bleached blonde beach bunnies in a partying mood faster than a good old fashioned game of flip cup.


The party rages on into the early evening, and people begin to make their way into Coconuts or one of the nearby beachfront bars. After another few hours of shots and suds, they somehow drive back to Orlando or Sanford or Lake Mary or Lakeland. This is the event of the week for young Central Floridians. And while they may not be able to compete with us in South Beach when it comes to nightlife, they’re kicking our ass during the daytime.

Related Categories: Miami: Travel News,

About the Author: Matt Meltzer is a featured columnist at Miami Beach 411.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer.

See more articles by Matt Meltzer

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8 Comments on

"Cocoa Beach - Florida’s Best Daytime Beach Scene"

Yaniel says:

You’re doing a disservice to the Florida surf scene by saying cocoa beach is the only beach known for surf. Sebastion Inlet has Pro tour contests that come through all the time, and New Smyrna has the some of the best surf in Florida. Cocoa just has a Ron Jon for tourists and the fame from being Kelly Slater’s home town but the surf isn’t all that great.

Posted on 06/02/2011 at 11:08 PM

Melissa says:

Wow, racist much? I’ll take an upscale lounge with respectful latin patrons over a bunch of drunk rednecks any day.

Posted on 06/03/2011 at 5:24 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Yaniel, solid point. I think Cocoa is just the one people from outside the state hear about the most, so it is the most famous. But, yes, the folks I know who surf in Florida go to Sebastian and New Smyrna all the time.

Posted on 06/03/2011 at 9:37 AM

Adriana says:

Let me guess Matt, your sun burnt red body in the Sobe sun doesn’t do well among the latin ladies? Yeah, strippers and drunken college girls to tend to be an easier target. Too bad you have to go 3 hours north. I enjoy cocoa beach, but can live without the racist remarks.

Posted on 06/11/2011 at 7:20 AM

Doug says:

Thanks for the suggestion.  I like Central Florida beaches, but the water is full of those tiny sharks that bite your ankles off.  Oh, and it’s the home of MAJOR Nelson.  Admiral Nelson is a brand of rum.  Wrong bottle….

Posted on 06/12/2011 at 5:57 AM

Matt Meltzer says:

Maybe I MEANT Admiral Nelson Doug. It’s just that kinda party.

Posted on 06/12/2011 at 2:35 PM

Nite says:

Hey Cocoa Beach!! My birthplace! Props to this article but you gotta give Panama City Beach it’s due too. Both are great beach party areas! And yes South Beach really isn’t so much a party. Usually I find myself having to start the party by bringing my Four Lokos on the beach only to be followed by dumb tourists asking me “Isn’t it illegal to drink on the beach? Oh my god the sign says no alcohol on the beach right?” Idiots..

Posted on 11/26/2011 at 3:19 PM

Matt Meltzer says:

Thanks, Nite. I have not been to PCB for anything other than Ironman-related stuff and Spring Break (and we can’t judge all year by just that time). But maybe it has just as good a party, I don’t know. I feel like Cocoa can draw from a bigger area so it may be better. But again, who knows.

Posted on 11/26/2011 at 5:07 PM

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