There are also more exclusive, personally run places such as The Inn at Cocoa Beach. Although it promotes itself as a bed and breakfast, it has
around 40 bedrooms, all individual and tastefully furnished, and is far superior to anything I saw. Condominium Resorts are also very popular, where you can rent a flat for a couple of weeks, and have all
the facilities of a hotel such as
a tennis court, swimming pool, children's playroom, and various restaurants.
This is an area where you are expected to eat out, and you are never short of new places to try. As well as having the Atlantic on one side, Cocoa Beach is surrounded by water with the Banana River on the other. Lovers of shellfish will be
particularly in seventh heaven as many of the restaurants originally belonged to fishermen, and still have their own fleet of ships. Dixie Crossroads is particularly famous for its rock shrimp, although meat lovers need not despair, as dishes such as steak and shellfish are often served together. A really fun place to eat is 'Grills Restaurant' at Port Canaveral where all the
cruise ships come in. The tables on their veranda overlook the sea, and look particularly inviting. Unfortunately, as I was with Americans, they preferred to eat inside in the air conditioned restaurant. They have an outside bar area where
all the young locals congregate to listen to a live band, and have a dance. People tend to eat out fairly early, anywhere between six and seven, and
places tend to be very casual in both decor and what you wear. There are one or two, what they call 'fine dining' establishments, but if you are looking for sophistication and gourmet food, this is not the area for it.
Having said that, there are lots of fun things to do including taking the Island Boat Lines on a tour of Cocoa
Beach Thousand Islands. This area is known for its
abundance of native birds, Western Indian manatees, and bottle nose dolphins. If you have ever wanted to ride along miles of empty beach, the Ace of Hearts Ranch can set it up for you. The ranch itself has lots of different nature trails, and their horses are so well
trained so that even the most inexperienced rider can participate without fear of falling off.
You cannot come to this
area without a visit to the Kennedy Space Centre, where among a host of things to do
you can view space centre operations; go on a bus tour through restricted areas; go inside the 'Explorer', a full-size orbiter replica to see more clearly what it is like to live and work in space; and view the latest 3-D film 'space station'. Filmed by astronauts, it takes you with them on their journey from earth to the International Space Station. There is also an opportunity to meet an astronaut or even dine
Web site created by Mark Griffin