Fun in the Sun at 4 of Brevard’s Best Local Hot Spots Featuring Food, Drink, Shopping and Adventure Options
Looking for a little summer fun? Brevard County is chock-full of interesting places to visit, ranging from inexpensive to free, that are perfect for you and your family or friends to take advantage of. From shopping and dining, to nature expeditions and exciting adventure opportunities, Florida’s Space Coast has got it all.
We’ve highlighted four great local hot spots for you to see and explore without breaking the bank or leaving town that are located right here in your own backyard!
Cocoa Beach Pier
People come from all over the globe just to experience world-famous Cocoa Beach, so where better to get a little shopping in while enjoying your next nosh than at the historic pier?
You’ll find soft breezes and spectacular views of the sparkling Atlantic with miles of sandy beach spreading far and wide — making it the perfect setting for dining alfresco with an ice-cold beverage while taking in your surroundings or uncovering unique items in your search for rare finds.
Stretching out 800 feet over the water, the Cocoa Beach Pier is home to numerous restaurants, bars, gift shops, great live music and various special events. Activities there include fishing (with convenient equipment rentals), beach volleyball and some of the very best surfing the East Coast has to offer, plus beach and bike rentals, freshwater showers and lifeguards on hand year-round.
401 Meade Ave., Cocoa Beach, Florida, 321.783.7549, CocoaBeachPier.com
This fantastic example of a small zoo makes a wonderful destination for visitors of any age and most any fitness level while providing adventure opportunities for outgoing thrill-seekers. It’s perfect for outdoor lovers, fans of nature and those who like to take an occasional walk on the wild side.
Besides a leisurely stroll through the grounds, Brevard Zoo features a number of fun ways to experience the lush surroundings. Try an open-air train ride for guests of all ages or an informative kayak excursion that weaves around various animal exhibits.
The most popular activities, however, are the exhilarating aerial adventures, such as ziplining and the adjacent Treetop Trek obstacle course, allowing you to soar through the canopy above both man and beast.
The zoo also offers educational summer camps for kids. If you’ve never been there before, it’s truly a gem!
8225 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, Florida, 321.254.9453, BrevardZoo.org
One of the best ways to discover the numerous stellar sanctuaries and conservation sites is by kayak.
If you want to experience natural Florida in a smaller, more personal setting without the headaches larger kayaking excursions can bring, then you’ll want to check out Fin Expeditions, where tour sizes are limited but the fun and educational value are abundant.
Providing fully guided eco-tours led by locals that can take you to spots you’d likely not see otherwise, paddlers often encounter manatees, dolphins, stingrays and many other species of birds, fish and mammals on these amazing outdoor adventures.
But for true summer fun and something totally out of the ordinary, take one of their bioluminescence kayak tours in the evening, when the Banana River Lagoon comes alive after sunset and any movement causes tiny dinoflagellates to emit bright glowing lights. You’ll never forget it!
The Dinosaur Store
While all of our summer hot spots listed here are kid- family-friendly, this last one will captivate visitors of all ages. The Dinosaur Store is your one-stop shopping/educational experience for all things dino!
You’ll find museum-quality fossils and minerals; dinosaur eggs, teeth and claws; fossilized shark teeth and shark tooth necklaces; dinosaur replicas, such as Coelophysis; amber and amber jewelry; meteorites, tektites and meteorite jewelry; and educational products, toys, books and dinosaur T-shirts.
There’s also the Museum of Dinosaurs and Ancient Cultures on-site, featuring enormous skeletons and an ancient oceans diorama, as well as the super-fun interactive Adventure Zone where kids will discover a variety of science-centered activities, arcade-style games, dinosaur-related movies and live reptiles.
Finally, explore the exciting Arabian Desert display where groups can dig for authentic ancient relics among the flowing sands.
250 W. Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach, Florida, 321.783.7300, DinosaurStore.com