Cocoa is part of the Brevard Public School District located in Melbourne, FL. There are roughly nine elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools serving the community of Cocoa. Area colleges and universities ready to serve the higher learning needs of students include Brevard Community College and a satellite campus of the University of Central Florida.
Located right off the magnificent Indian River, much of Cocoa’s attractions are water-based. A popular stop among locals and visitors is a ride on the Indian River Queen, a triple deck paddle-wheeled boat that cruises along the river. The vessel can carry up to 261 passengers at a time and is most frequented on Friday nights for its dinner cruise and musical entertainment.
Historic Cocoa Village is a charming shopping Mecca in downtown Cocoa. This gathering of unique shops brings back a distinct sense of nostalgia. Art galleries, antique shops, boutiques, homemade ice cream shops and pizza parlors line the streets as gorgeous emerald trees dazzle above them. After a day of shopping, visitors enjoy a stroll among the boardwalk overlooking the Indian River. A number of arts festivals take place throughout the year among the streets of the Village including the Holiday Craft Fair and the Fall Craft Fair. Events also thrive in the area including an annual Mardi Gras, July 4th celebration, an annual tree lighting ceremony, and a weekly Farmer’s Market.
The BBC Planetarium and Observatory is a perfect way to spend a night under the stars—indoors. This phenomenal museum features numerous exhibits including dinosaur skeletons, a mastodon, and an International Hall of Space Explorers. Rotating Nature and Science Films are shown in the movie theater where the screen is roughly twice the size of an average’s movie theater screen. Different art exhibits are shown in the art gallery, which features some of Florida’s finest artists. The Observatory itself is home to the largest telescope in Florida and is open every week.
Parks and Recreation
Cocoa is known for having five ‘passive’ parks: Helow Park, Scarborough Park, Peachtree Park, Circle Park, and SunTrust Park. As for bigger parks, Cocoa Riverfront Park is nearly ten acres of riverfront property located squarely in the middle of downtown. The Park itself holds a playground, an amphitheater for concerts and other events, a boardwalk and multiple stops for fishing, water sports and boat launching.
In addition to being located on the river, Cocoa is home to Cocoa Beach, one of the Atlantic Coast’s finest beaches. Cocoa Beach is one of the closest beaches to Orlando, making it a great stop between the scenic coast and the busy city life of Florida. Indeed, Cocoa Beach is an incredibly popular vacation spot. Fishing and boating off of the Cocoa Beach Pier and Boardwalk are common activities among locals and visitors. Surfing is also another popular sport and it is very common to witness surfers ripping the waves year round.
Golfers enjoy the Cocoa Beach Country Club as a hot spot to relax and golf. This stunning course is on a peninsula surrounded by the Banana River Lagoon. Three 9-hole courses race through the club which is through by 17 different beautiful lakes. The course features putting greens, driving ranges and a lovely restaurant and bar that are perfect for hosting special occasions.
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