Friday, May 2, 2014

Trip Report: Cocoa Beach Part 1



Hey part-time readers, this is my first attempt at a trip report on this blog. I have long admired the format of a trip report blog, but I have been using Facebook as the destination for all of my trip pictures. Facebook has been nice, but it doesn't allow anyone outside of my friends to find my pictures. It is a small goal of mine to increase traffic to this webpage and putting my photos on this blog is a decent step in that direction. The format of these trip reports are a work in progress, so any feedback and insight will be much appreciated!

A Morning in Cocoa Beach, Florida - Part 1

Despite living on the east coast of Florida and just minutes from the Atlantic ocean for ten years, I was never a fan of spending a day at the beach. As a young kid I was afraid of everything any anything that might be swimming, creeping, or crawling underneath the opaque waves of the Atlantic. Aside from an obvious fear of sharks, I was on the constant lookout for crabs, barracudas, seaweed, and jellyfish. Hitting a random rock or stepping into a random drop-off always meant sent my heart racing. On top of this was my general dislike for the heat and humidity. After I finished playing in the water, I was ready to dry off and go home. I could never understand why anyone wanted to just hang around and sit in the hot & humid sun covered in grains of sand. It didn't make sense.

A year or so after I moved away to Tallahassee to attend Florida State University, my feelings towards spending a day at the beach began to change. Throughout college and the years following, I really grew to enjoy going to the beaches along Florida's panhandle. I loved the cool white sand, the emerald water, and body surfing the waves. Whenever I visited back home during the summer, I took advantage of nearby Cocoa Beach. 

Now that I am back in Viera, Florida (just 20 minutes from Cocoa Beach) I decided to hit up the beach.

Getting to the beaches requires a short trip down the 520 causeway. It's a beautiful little drive that takes you over the inter-coastal waterway and past Merritt island.


Entering into Cocoa Beach there is a neat sign and tiki on the right hand side of the road. I pulled over at a boat ramp to snap a few pictures of it.

This wider shot shows the Banana River in the background and makes it look like its a tropical paradise

Taking 520 directly down to the shore you end up at Shepherd park, which is a very nice stretch of beach. It's a few blocks south of the Cocoa Beach pier and just a block or so north of Ron Jon Surf Shop. Parking is $10 so I recommend finding a nearby metered spot or a free spot at Ron Jon's.

I arrived around 9am. That's early enough to beat the worst heat of the day and the worst crowds of the day. The beach has a large dune area and short little boardwalk over it.

There are a lot of Cocoa Beach locals who hang out around the beaches all the time. Many of them can be found biking the boardwalks.

Shepherd Park has a nice lifeguard stand and lots of rental umbrellas for the tourists to use. It was a nice, bright, beautiful morning. 

I love how this shot turned out. The red, white, and blue paint scheme really looks great.

The rental umbrella area felt a bit crowded for my tastes.

So I found a spot away from the rental umbrellas and just spent a bit of time relaxing.

It was a beautiful morning.

Enough relaxing! It's time for some body surfing! It took a little while to get used to the cool water, but after diving into a wave it doesn't take long to forget about the cold. There was another guy nearby who was struggling with the cold water and only got in up to his knees. I admit, I judged him a bit.

About 30 minutes in the water was enough for me. I dried off, threw on a shirt and some tunes and just relaxed for a while longer. My overgrown beard tasted very salty after m time in the water.


That's it for Part 1. Click HERE for out Part 2 of my Cocoa Beach trip

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