Jumping in the car with your surf krew for a road trip up coast is always fun. Cocoa Beach is home to Kelly Slater, the biggest ‘surf shop’ in the world, and home-base for Grind for Life. We spent the last week scoping out the area with Island Camps and thought we’d share our favorite spots to surf, places to stay and places to grab some grub next time you head up coast.

Where to Stay

Cocoa’s Sea Aire Motel

If you are looking for a modern hotel with a concierge and room service, then this is not the place for you. But, if you want a place on the beach with classic Florida Charm, then the Sea Aire Motel can not be beat. It has been a family owned hotel since the 1950’s and continues to be a place that is as warm as it is welcoming. With rooms that open to the fresh sea air, to a wooden pavilion, swing benches, and a grill right on the ocean…Sea Aire is the perfect place to relax after a day in the water.

Hotel Owner Gary is Very Welcoming

Just Steps from the Beach

Old Florida Charm

Where to Eat

Places to Grab Some Grub

Grab some grub at our favorites within walking distance of the Sea Aire Motel.

Cafe Surfinista

Cafe Surfinista specializes in organic Acai and Pitaya bowls and smoothies. They have amazing fresh cold pressed organic juices made daily, homemade pastries and baked goods, organic coffee and espresso, and light lunches with great atmosphere.

Surfinista Cocoa Beach Grub Surf Trip up coast Island Water Sports Island Camps Surf Camp

Surfinista’s Amazing Acai Bowls and Baked Goods


The Green Room

Looking for Organic, Vegetarian or Vegan Cuisine and amazing hospitality, then stop by The Green Room. Run by a local Cocoa Beach family, the menu offers so many choices from sandwiches, to wraps, to salads and smoothies. They offer wheat and gluten-free options, desserts and even homemade soups. Not only is the food amazing but the owner even took time to pray for our surf camp and campers each day.

The Green Room boasts great vegan and vegetarian options

Where to Surf

Photo: Kaya Frallicciardi, Sea Aire Motel Sunrise

Local Break

Step put your door at the Sea Aire Motel for the perfect place for Dawn Patrol. Watch the sun rise and enjoy all the charm of the motel’s perfect location. But, if you are looking for a better break, try these locations below.

Sebastian Inlet

South of Cocoa Beach is Sebastien Inlet. “First Peak.”, on a good day, is where you will find the best and most competitive surfers and a descending hierarchy on the two breaks just to the north, “Second Peak” and “Third Peak.” (nicknamed “Chernobles”).

Photo: Kelly Slater, First Peak, Surfline

Spanish House

Heading north, you’ll find another great local break for surfing in Florida, “Spanish House.”

Photo: Spanish House, Kim Bright


Heading north from The Inlet, you’ll pass through Melbourne Beach and then Satellite Beach (home of the pro surfers C.J. and Damien Hobgood). And, next are the world-class breaks of (heading north) “Second Light,” (or “RC’s”), “First Light”, “Picnic Tables”, and then Patricks.

Cocoa Beach Surf Trip

Island Water Sports Team Rider Ava McGowan at RC’s – Photo: Darin Back

Canaveral Pier

Once you get to Cocoa Beach, expect smaller crowds and mellower waves. Best for long-boarders and beginners. Turn down and off “The Streets,” 13th, 14th, 16th etc., and you’ll likely find rideable waves (There are 20 street to choose from). The Cocoa Beach or Canaveral Pier is the site of many local contests, including the Easter Surf Festival. Jetty Park to the north is good surf spot when the winter wind blows.  It’s also prime location for fishing and sight-seeing.

Photo: Wikipedia

New Smyrna

North of Canaveral, you can surf in New Smyrna Inlet, the south side of the famous Ponce de Leon or “Ponce” Inlet. Known locally as “the wave magnet,” Smyrna’s waves are also considered the most consistent. Next, is Ponce Inlet just to the north rivals Sebastian as one of the best surf spots in Florida. As with any place…when surf is good, you will have company.

Cocoa Beach Surf Trip

Island Water Sports Team Rider Sterling Makish in New Symrna – Photo: Steve Cripe

When to Make the Trip to Cocoa

Magic Seaweed share the best time to catch waves in Cocoa Beach

What to Pack

Sunscreen. Protect your skin!!! Grab some Sun Bum at Island Water Sports then stop by the Sun Bum House to say hello. The Sun Bum house is just a block away from the Sea Aire Motel.

Shop Sun Bum

Bathing suit/Board shorts. Bring at least two to be prepared for rips, moldiness, mid-day suit changes. Bring a plastic grocery bag to pack your wet suit for the way home.

Shop Board Shorts

Rash Guard. Rash guards protect against board rash and the sun.

Wax. Check the temp before you go, and pack at least two bars of wax. Be prepared in case one gets sandy, your friends forget theirs, or if you lose one on the beach. And, don’t forget the base, a wax comb, and wax remover if you want to keep your car wax free on the ride home.

Shop Surf Wax

Surfboard and Board Bag. Some Tips…Take the wax off your board before you put it in your board bag. And take the fins off if you can. Use towels or clothes in your board bag to protect the most fragile parts of your board, the nose, tail, and at the widest part of the board. Pack your fins in a ziplock in your board bag, and don’t forget your fin key!!!! An extra leash is always a good idea too.

Shop Board Bags

Beach Towel. Takes up space but is great to have, and can add padding in your board bag.

Shop Towels (Photo: @anna_saltlife )

Racks. Portable Racks free space up in your car and allow you to bring more boards.

Shop Surf Racks

Repair Kit. Grab a portable repair kit for quick ding repair.

Shop Ding Repair

What to Do When There Are No Waves

Grind for Life Thrift Shop and Cocoa Beach Furniture Store

Visit the Grind for Life Thrift Shop at 25 N. Brevard Ave. for some great deals on vintage clothing, classic skate tees, furniture and more. All profits go toward supporting a great cause. Grind For Life exists to help provide support for those going through the challenge of cancer.

Support the Cause at Grind for Life Thrift Shop

Cocoa Beach Skatepark

Visit Cocoa Beach Skatepark at 1600 Minuteman Causeway FL. Built by Team Pain in 2005, this park is tight and fast with lots of tranny. There is a small street course with a mini. If you are taking A1A south in Cocoa Beach then you would turn right heading west on Minutemen Causewayand it’s about 2 miles down on the south side at the back end of a driving pad for student drivers. There is a small fee to skate and helmets and waivers are required.

Cocoa Beach Skatepark

Satellite Beach Skatepark

Just about 20 minutes south of Cocoa is the Satellite Beach Skatepark. The Satellite Beach Skate Park has been around since 1998 and has been a hot spot for local skateboarders ever since. Team Pain recently renovated this older park and brought it back to life by adding new street course obstacles as well as a super tight bowl complete with pool coping and steps. It was designed to “tend to every skater”.

Hours are 10am to 9pm Sundays through Thursdays and 10 am to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. This park is free and a waiver is not required. Helmets and pads are now mandatory only for minors ages 17 and younger. Staffers will only monitor the park during evening peak hours, for the short-term.

Cocoa Beach Skatepark