For many American adults, the phrase "Cocoa Beach" conjures up vivid images of Lt. Anthony Nelson, the astronaut hero of the old I Dream of Jeannie television series. The show was fiction, of course, but there is no doubt that the Florida Community of Cocoa Beach has long been closely linked to the American space program. Even now, with the shuttle program coming to a close, the community still hosts an annual Space Coast Art Festival.
The lure of the space program, though, is very far from the only reason why tourists flock to stay in vacation homes in Cocoa Beach. The Florida coast itself is another huge reason, with warm temperatures year round and the opportunity to enjoy a variety of water sports and fishing opportunities.
The Surfing Culture in Cocoa Beach
Surfing is one of the most popular activities. The surf shop Ron Jon's, located in Cocoa Beach estimates its clientele at two million visitors every year. To celebrate this heritage, Cocoa Beach is host to the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame and has had an annual surfing festival every Easter season since 1964; between 50,000 and 100,000 tourists attend the event. Cocoa Beach also hosts the annual Pro-Am Surfing Festival on Labor Day weekend. Proceeds from the event benefit the National Kidney Foundation.
The Cocoa Beach Pier dates from the heady days when some of America's most famous astronauts jogged along the shore here.