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Both cities are well-known in Florida, Orlando for its amusement parks, and Cocoa Beach for its beaches and surfing.
And taking a day trip to Cocoa Beach from Orlando is one of the best ways to experience all that both cities have to offer!
It’s just a short drive away, and there are many fantastic stops along the way.
Here are the best ways to get to Cocoa Beach from the city of Orlando and where to stop during the drive.
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Photo Credit- Sea World Orlando
Also located in Orlando in the Lake Buena Vista area, Walt Disney World is the most popular amusement park in the world!
Experience the magic of Disney by visiting one of the four theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, or Hollywood Studios.
No matter which park you visit, you can ride the beloved rides in this great place, visit Disney characters, and snack on a Mickey Mouse-shaped soft pretzel.
Another of Orlando’s popular destination for amusement parks is Universal Studios, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Islands of Adventure.
You can meet characters from some of your favorite movies, ride the Hogwarts Express, and enjoy all of the classic theme park foods that you know and love.
Photo Credit- Exotic Animal Experience
Exotic Animal Experience
As you make your way out of Orlando, you’ll head past the Exotic Animal Experience, right on the outskirts of town.
This unique experience is different from visiting a zoo because you’re able to get up close and personal with the 40 exotic animals that call the place home.
All of the animals interact well with humans and you can see them up close, rather than through the bars of a cage.
Photo Credit- Airboat Rides Midway
Airboat Rides At Midway
Taking an airboat ride is a classic experience when you’re visiting Florida, and you can easily add it to your trip from Orlando to Cocoa Beach!
Found in Christmas, Florida, about halfway between Orlando and Cocoa Beach, Airboat Rides at Midway allows you to take a ride through the St.Johns River.
During your ride to this ideal place, you may see wild alligators or other exotic birds as you cruise down the river on the airboat.
If you’re looking for more airboat ride options near Orlando, check out this tour near Kissimmee.
Looking for the best airboat ride near Orlando?
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
A quick stop at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge gives you the opportunity to experience some of Florida’s natural beauty.
With a variety of hiking and walking trails, it makes for a nice spot to stop and stretch your legs while on your travels.
There are also opportunities to have a great time and see wildlife, such as manatees, from the Manatee Observation Deck within the refuge.
Kennedy Space Center
Located near Cape Canaveral on Merritt Island is Florida’s space coast, the Kennedy Space Center is only 30 minutes from Cocoa Beach.
It’s the main launch center for human space flight and is one of NASA’s 10 field centers.
Visit the Visitor Complex and wander through the exhibits and attractions, which are divided into 5 mission zones.
Each teaches visitors about the complexities of flying humans to space, how it works, and the history of space flight.
Do you have travel plans to the Kennedy Space Center?
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Grills Seafood Deck
When you’re ready to grab a bite to eat some great food, stop at Grills Seafood Deck & Tiki Bar.
One of my favorite places to eat on the Atlantic Coast, this waterfront restaurant serves some of Cape Canaveral’s best food with a unique atmosphere.
Enjoy a plate of their delicious seafood as you watch the ships and boats cruise past the shore, or enjoy the live music and entertainment on select nights.
Cocoa Beach Pier
Once you’ve arrived in Cocoa Beach from Orlando, one of the must-stop locations is the historic Cocoa Beach Pier.
The pier stretches out into the Atlantic Ocean 800 feet and is home to some great restaurants, gift shops, and live entertainment in the Cocoa Beach area.
Also available are beach volleyball nets, and some great surfing. After spending some time at the pier, the beautiful beaches are also a perfect place to walk along and enjoy the warm Florida sun.
Photo Credit- Brevard Zoo
While a bit out of the way, a stop at Brevard Zoo is always a nice addition to your travels from Orlando.
Their open-air habitats house over 900 animals from all around the world including giraffes, rhinos, sea turtles, and more.
Along with just seeing the animals, there are a variety of adventures that you can purchase, like feeding giraffes or kayaking through an animal exhibit.
Booking a last-minute trip to Orlando or Cocoa Beach?
If so, we have you covered. Here are some top recommended tours and hotels!
Top Tours in Orlando
Everglades Airboat and Wild Florida Tour – (Florida Wildlife Tour With Optional Lunch)
Glass Bottom Guided Kayak Eco Tour – (2-Hour Tour Perfect for Nature Lovers!)
Top Tours in Cocoa Beach
Thousand Island Tour w/ Kayaking (Cocoa Beach’s Thousand Island Guided Tour)
Dolphin Tours On The Banana River (See Dolphins And Manatees!)
Manatee And Dolphin Kayak Tour (Guided Kayak Tour)
Top Hotels In Orlando
Marriott’s Cypress Harbour Villas – (Perfect For Couples)
Ette Luxury Hotel & Spa – (High-Rated Luxury Hotel)
Top Hotels In Cocoa Beach
Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach – (Perfect For Solo Travelers & Couples)
Hilton Garden Inn Cocoa Beach-Oceanfront – (Beachfront And Poolside View)
Looking To Get Around In Orlando or Cocoa Beach?
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