Online Entrepreneur, WordPress Developer, Logo Designer, Surfer Dude

Cocoa Beach Is Trashy

My lifelong love/hate relationship with a Florida surf town, and why I wish it was a little nicer.

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I was recently driving back to Florida after an awesome week in the mountains of North Georgia with my fiance. It’s a long drive, and checking out the billboards to pass the time is a good way to lose all faith in humanity. There’s an abundance of billboards for anti-abortion, adult superstores, “spas” with trucker parking, and my personal favorite, “Hell? …Oh, I forgot about that.” It’s like Jesus and the Devil are duking it out for advertising space. Closer to the Florida state line, Cocoa Beach starts to join in the fun. Their billboards litter the road side like cigarette butts in the sand at, well… Cocoa Beach.

For the ill informed, the billboards and advertising paint Cocoa Beach as a sophisticated, tropical paradise along the Space Coast of Florida. For those of us that grew up surfing those dirty waves, we know the truth — Cocoa Beach is trashy.

If you were to hold a black light over the state of Florida, Cocoa Beach would be a shining beacon of debauchery. It’s where all the bros and sluts of the southeast congregate to abandon their last shreds of dignity on Spring Break. It’s where every trailer park rose with a tramp stamp and deadbeat dad unite because they couldn’t afford a ticket to Vegas. It’s where the cockroaches of society gather to spread STD’s and sell meth to the bums sleeping at Jetty Park.

Did I go too far?

See, once upon a time, Cocoa Beach was my paradise. I’ve blown several Publix paychecks on the casino cruises that sail from those dark shores. I’ve walked into the wrong seedy motel off A1A and seen things my sheltered eyes were not prepared to behold. I’ve had a trigger happy cop pull his gun on my friends and I while searching our Camaro for weed — unsuccessfully. I’ve been woken up and solicited for drugs while napping in my Jeep Wrangler between surf sessions. I’ve jumped off the end of the pier during a hurricane to score some major swell. I know this town, well enough.

Clearly, I did my share of contributing to the trash of Cocoa Beach in my youth. Then I grew up and ventured beyond the shores of Central Florida. When I returned many years later to the place where I learned to surf, I expected to find the paradise I remembered. Instead, I found trash. I found bags of Lay’s potato chips and styrofoam cups floating in the water, cigarette butts and crumpled beer cans lining the shores, and the kind of people that thoughtlessly added to mess. Maybe I’m the one that changed, and it was my sugar-coated teenage memories that led to my utter disappointment of Cocoa Beach. Maybe the town truly did fall deeper into a perpetual haze of Spring Break parties. I don’t know.

sebastian-fishing
The gorgeous side of the Space Coast — Sebastian Inlet.

Sometimes I hear lore from the previous generation. Old Florida surfers like my Dad that remember the way it used to be. Ron Jon’s was no more than a little surf shack on the pier. Friendly folk would hold each other on the hoods of their cars to watch the space launches. Surfers would kindly share the waves and retrieve each others boards because surf leashes hadn’t been invented yet. The town was filled with astronauts preparing for their next mission.

Gone are those days of yesteryear. Things changed.

Mr. Ron Jon himself, hailed by some as the father of East Coast surfing and others as a reclusive criminal sell-out, has transformed his iconic little surf shop into a gaudy monstrosity of a tourist trap. Ron Jon’s only saving grace is the fading memory of its past. On the other side of the road is something worse, the Cocoa Beach Surf Company (CBSC). A former disgruntled manager of Ron Jon’s constructed the competing “surf shop” right next door in a pissing match of true Cocoa Beach form.

CBSC-logo
Worst. Surf. Logo. Ever.

I don’t know those guys. I shouldn’t pass judgement. They’re probably nice, fun-loving surfers with some awesome stories. However, I will speak to my personal expertise and say that CBSC has the worst logo in surfing history. The name doesn’t exude much creativity either. Most of this article is a jab in good fun, a roast of a town I love, but c’mon!? Have you seen that logo!? No self respecting surfer wants that poor excuse for a stick figure on their car, let alone a t-shirt. It’s like the inspiration was to make the kokopelli guy retarded with a surfboard under his arm. I could design a better surf logo blindfolded. My unborn child could design a better logo. It needs help, man. Please consider a re-branding. If not for the sake of all mankind, at least for the dignity of the company.

As for the rocket launches, those have lost their charm as well. I remember hearing the sonic boom of the shuttles while playing outside as a kid. It was a magical feeling knowing Merica was exploring space. Now, most people would rather watch an episode of “Real Housewives” than see mankind travel beyond our own planet.

And the surfers, friendly faces are few and far between in those waters. The waves below the pier are littered with aggro groms trying to become the next Kelly Slater, and kooks with their blue soft-top Costco boards crashing into each other. On the pier fishermen compete to catch surfers, or mutated 3-eyed flounders in the polluted water below.

Honestly, Cocoa Beach isn’t all bad. I may have exaggerated a tad. I’ve clearly got some gripes with it, but it’s only because I love the place. It had all the right nurturing to become a charming little beach town with a rich history of surfing and astronauts, but somewhere along the way things went wrong. Despite all its faults, Cocoa Beach still holds a place in my heart. It’s like high school, most of it was an awful experience, but somehow I still look back on it with fond memories. I’m not asking for a different town, just a better version of the existing one. How about using some of that billboard money on town beautification? You’ve got potential old friend, if you only tried. Daytona Beach has enough trash to go around. Let them carry the torch.

113 Comments on “Cocoa Beach Is Trashy”

      • I totally understand where you are coming from. I agree with about everything you said especially Daytona Beach. Lol. I travel all over the state every week and grew up in cb and my son is growing up there. It’s a good place to live. But there are more than enough drinking and drug problems around. Just have to stay out of those circles. But will lose a couple of friends to drugs and alcohol along the way in cb. Truth hurts most of the time. Wouldn’t change how I grew up for anything.

      • Personally I loved what you wrote. My wife & I just left the beach, having come down from Maryland to visit for my Birthday. Your vibe was spot on when it comes to the reality of what the place once was. With that said, the energy of yesterday can still be felt. The myth of the beauty of the place still lives. The food at “The Tiny Turtle” was very much worth going to. In fact the food was Amazing….a lovely little place with delicious Caribbean fusion flavors. As for the days of yesterday; to those that don’t know any better the dream lives on. Hopefully there will be a positive turnaround to a destination beach that still holds potential.

      • Funny & informative!
        My mother & stepfather just shocked me with the news that they are thinking of buying a condo in either Daytona (they swore to me that there is a nice part) or Cocoa Beach.
        I live in NY & know little about either place except for the “armpit” reputation of Daytona.
        There was my one night of horror in Daytona when I was visiting them in Clermont last year.
        My octogenarian new stepfather took us to stay overnight; swearing it was amazing & in his estimation “fancy” (which tells you everything you need to know.)
        I’m desperately looking for articles to show my mother about how trashy these places are so that she demands her husband find a better place to buy a small condo.
        She is new to Florida & doesn’t know any better, I’m worried about what he may drag her into.
        This is the best article yet & the first one I send to her!

        • There are better places on the Altlantic to buy a condo especially for an older couple. My kids like Cocoa and Daytona because its a younger crowd , but I would buy a condo more north like near Flagler, Crescent or St. Augustin Beach or south in Vero or even Melbourne beach. Or anywhere on the Gulf side if I were an older person.

    • Why would somebody talk trash about a place that they loved growing up & in the process slandering the f**k out of it.Guy sounds like a big douche!

        • My family has lived in CB for 60 years.
          Like any town, we have our quirks. On the whole, however, we are a nice town.
          I had a client ask me once, “Are y’all like, stuck in the 60’s?”
          My response was, “Perhaps, but we like it there.”
          Those who don’t really care about our town can, I am sure, find fault with the parts they find offensive.
          However, those who really care & truly love our beach town & want to see it thrive, work hard at it. It might be after a round of golf or a morning of fishing, kayaking, surfing or just taking time to smell the Night-blooming Jasmine or watch the sun rise or set, but we get it done…on beach time.
          Maybe next time you’ve decided to visit, you could focus on all the positive things, and if you care about CB as much as you say you do, you could stay & work to continue to see it improve.
          jt

        • Concur with you on that one! I feel bad for people like this. Having a job that requires me to travel around the world, his views seem extremely shallow and narrow minded and, frankly, like he has only been to one or two other beaches to make his comparison. I grew up in San Diego and Cocoa Beach is in many ways nicer.

    • @DavidMorgan ! Who and how do I share this ? Who are you? When were you born? Do your research! My God! There is more to Ron Jon’s before it was a shack on the pier. Know your surf legendry, please! These are folks which we grew up with and were a huge part of legends. As well as in the space industry! To know what it was like to go to breakfast and have the astronauts at the next table. Or to grow up with the now surf legends in our school!
      Cocoa Beach was once a beautiful, sleepy little beach town which we as locals ” loved” when school started and the ” weekenders” would ” go home”! My apologies to who I may have tagged onto to be able to post this reply but , oh my gosh! This was/is my home! It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth and what a ” privilege” it was to grow up there ! Do your homework before you speak. ( and I am speaking kindly)

      • Hi Candace,

        I was born in 1981 in Lakeland, Florida. I attended college at UCF in East Orlando. I spent my youth surfing in Cocoa Beach regularly. After college, I moved to Hawaii, then California, for a total of 11 years. Since moving back to my home state of Florida a couple years ago, I began returning to Cocoa Beach for surf trips. Most recently, my friend and I had our cars broken into by a crackhead and his elderly father (who was the lookout).

        My commentary is not against what Cocoa Beach “once was”, but what it’s become. I’ve met lots of great locals in Cocoa Beach over the years. I’ll assume you are one of those great locals that loves their hometown, and wants to defend it. I completely respect that. Unfortunately, I’ve also had several bad experiences in the town — enough to form an opinion based on many years of research. The comments on this post alone only prove my point. Despite my bad experiences, I still love the town, as I mentioned multiple times in the article. It’s just unfortunate that the great history of the town is now lost in the tourist traps, perpetual Spring Break parties, crime and litter.

        When I walk through Haleiwa, Paia, or Encinitas, I feel the surf history and pride of those towns. Sure, they have their share of tourism, litter, and crime (albeit much, MUCH less litter and crime). However, the soul of those towns has remained intact. I feel like Cocoa Beach sold its soul to tourism and commercialism, and has been on a downwards trajectory ever since. I just want Cocoa Beach to be better town, for all of us that love it.

        • lol leave it to some kook from orlando to act like they grew up in cb you probably drove out here once a month smh trying to act like your from here if you aint born in that cape canaveral hospital you aint a local your a KOOK

        • David, I was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s not or never was “paradise”, but it was a nice southwestern city for the most part.
          I see how it has evolved now, and I wouldn’t go back to live a single day there.
          The place has evolved with time. The drugs, crime, trash, and the sense of hate and discontent have taken over.
          I drive a truck over the road, and have been for almost 30 years.
          So I travel all over this country week after week.
          I see it all. It’s all over this country. The drugs, crime, trash, and all that goes on with it.
          I have been to Cocoa / cocoa Beach as well as Miami, Jacksonville, Clearwater, Tampa, etc. On vacation and business.
          In all honesty cocoa Beach is still my most favorite place in the country to visit.
          It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.
          Not because of the beaches, but because of the people, the business’s, and feeling I have running through my mind while I’m there. It is a place that truly makes me think of how this country used to be, how beautiful it was, how fun it was, and how I would have loved to have grown up here.
          Just think about one word. “Evolvement”
          You can’t just single out one city in the entire United States to comment on for evolving into what it seems to be the worst in the country.
          Simply because this whole country has and will be continue to evolve into what it is.
          It’s the people of this country that don’t care for themselves. Much less anyone else. They have absolutely no respect for anyone’s property, anyone’s feelings, or anyone’s cares or thoughts.
          ITS EVERYWHERE !!!
          including my home city.
          There is nothing we can do about it, because we are outnumbered by these type of people as a whole and it’s mainly the new generation yuppies, thugs, and snot nosed kids that are the problem.
          Now alot of people will not agree with me on this, but the leather belt was the best tool God ever gave us to teach our children to live an honest respectful life. The yuppies, and the Govonment took it away, now America’s kids are running wild tearing up, and trashing everything in their paths.
          And with closing,
          All I can say is that you are one lucky man for having the pleasure of being able to grow up in such a wonderful, beautiful place. I would traded hometowns with you in a heartbeat.
          Cocoa Beach is still a beautiful place to visit, and I hope it always will be. You just have to look beyond the trashy people and see it for what it really is.
          A gateway to heaven !!!!

        • I disagree completely. Cocoa Beach has a beautiful history associated with it much like ancient Rome and Mount Olympus. However those days are gone; not because of the youth of today; for they are bright and intelligent and moving this country forward, but because of the natural decay of any beautiful past. All good things must come to an end but with each ending comes a new beginning therefore we should simply look at this moment of Cocoa Beach as an in between moment whereby a new beautiful history is waiting to be written.

    • Perfect response

      Cocoa Beach is the greatest eclectic city in the world

      If someone wants to trash and diss it , do not let the door hit em on the way out

      We love and are blessed and lucky to live here.

      It’s a magical place!

  1. Really you do come off a bit like a prick that carries a lot of baggage and has an issue going down memory lane ,simply because your idea of what an iconic beach town should be today isn’t what you remember of yesterday.
    Things change and life goes on ..lighten up, enjoy, try to see the glass half full..Cocoa Beach is the same great little beach town it’s always been , It may have changed some..but then sounds like you did too !
    And locals know better then to EVER refer to it as “Cocoa”, so go smoke another one and relax..Dude!

    • Lol alright David Morgan first things first thank you for being truthful I have lived in this town for the entirety of my life never even been further north than savannah Georgia and I have to say you sir are right I have personally watched the decline of my beloved beach second to all you f***ing blind people in this town WE HAVE BECOME A TOURIST TRAP!!!!!!! There is no way in hell that the founders of this town wished for this outcome everywhere I go I am surrounded by incompetent foreigners that can’t speak a lick of English and repeatedly ask some moronic question LIKE “where is the pier” (1st time I was asked that question I was four blocks down ridge wood) lol and Muldoon really little harsh bro

      • I moved from WV to FL when I was 3½yrs old and lived in Florida 15years. I lived on Merritt Island for K & 1st grade ðI remember watching the Challenger 7 shuttle from my back yard & I remember being in shock as to what I seen bc it wasn’t a “normal” shuttle launch. (I stayed home that day bc it was too cold to ride my bike to school & my stepdad had the car that day. In the middle of 1st grade, my mom had bought a house in Port St John & we lived there for 12 or 13yrs of the 15yrs total down in FL. I was part of the first kids that went to Challenger 7 Elementary after it opened. I remember being in high school at Titusville High & a water spout literally touching down in the commons area during 3rd lunch. I watched the shuttles launch from my back yard. Watched the fireworks out on the river in front of Kennedy Space Center. I went to the beach every weekend except the last year I lived down there bc we had gotten busy with working (mom & stepdad were divorcing) & planning on moving back to WV. I remember going to the peir & it being busy. I remember when my whole family went the beach, we usually frequented Jetty Park. But, when it was busier than we liked, we’d go to Lori Wilson & Sydney Fischer Parks. I loved, Loved, LOVED watching the cruise ships come in/out, but really liked the bigger waves they made bc I could ride the waves in on a float or boogie board – whatever I had at the beach with me at the time. I remember the occasional trip to Wet N Wild, Busch Gardens, Disney & SeaWorld. Oooh & let’s not forget grad nite at Disney, that was pretty freaking cool! I even met my husband in FL through a mutual friend of ours. He stayed in FL after I moved, but decided after 6months 1½years of dating that he wanted to spend forever with me & moved to WV to be with me. Florida is what I remember when I think of my childhood. I getting ready to turn 19 when we moved back to my birth place in WV.

        Fast forward 22years give or take & I have been back to Florida a few times bc my inlaws live in Port Richey. (Now that has become a crap town for sure – even the inlaws said that when my husband expressed that he wanted to move to Port Richey to be by them.). While we both attended High School on the east coast, neither of us have had family living there for some years, so we just stuck to the west coast. In 2010 we decided to venture over the east coast so our kids could see “real waves” bc let’s be honest, the gulf looks more like a lake or river with the calm water. Anyways, we ended up spending a 2 nights & 3 days before venturing back to west coast. Everything… And I mean every thing was different. So much chanced in the (at the time) 13yrs we had been gone. I’m sure it’s changed even more now that it’s been another 10 years since I’ve been to the east coast. I know Port St John went from just a few house to being somewhat built up when we moved, to built up but a lot of foreclosed & for sale properties when we visited in 2010 after the shuttle program was halted.

        I never thought Cocoa Beach was some extravagant fancy dancy beach – and I grew up down there 20mins max from the beach! I absolutely loved the beach don’t get me wrong! But, we had met some of my family a few times through the 15yrs we lived down there, at Myrtle Beach & withe rmy sister or I would go back with my grandparents to spend the summer in WV with them. Now, I remember Myrtle Beach being a huge fancy dancy beach & surrounding area. Myrtle Beach was 100% aimed at tourism & still his. While it was 2010 when I last visited Cocoa Beach, it had some touristy stuff, but nothing in comparison to Myrtle Beach. Has it became more since I last visited, I don’t know. I do know that I am taking my mom with me when I go down to visit this summer in July (2020). The beaches were still beautiful when I was there last & the area wasn’t as over the top or even really commercial compared to Myrtle Beach.

        As for your experiences in Hawaii & California….. That is comparing apples to oranges! No way could Cocoa Beach ever hold a candle to Hawaii. And California beaches, night & day difference. You absolutely cannot compare those places to CB.

        Again, can I be wrong in the fact that things have gone down hill in the 15yrs since I’ve been down there, yes, I can be. But, if it is, as you say, aimed at tourism, then I absolutely do not see it as this “trashy place” you make it out to be. Why? Bc ppl won’t pay $$$$ to stay on a trashy beach. Have you seen the prices for beach front hotels & condo rentals?!?! Some are what my car payment costs per night or more! Average is $200-400/night. That obviously doesn’t attract ppl that want to stay in trashy areas.

        Everything changes with time, whether we want it to or not or whether we like it or not. It’s part of life. Everything can always be improved – everything. I know there is not one town in the US that doesn’t need some kind of improvement no matter what that may be.

        If I can remember, I will update with another comment after my visit in July 2020 – since I am partly tourist.

    • Maybe you should go smoke another one since I can’t find anywhere he actually referred to it as “Cocoa”.

    • I came down from the the upper east coast to see the town I had grown up hearing about from my late father. He had spent the mid 60s to early 70s there. I had seen many photographers from the his time. It looked so cute. The space coast nostalgia, the clean beach, even the walkable neighborhoods where people BBQ hopped and gossiped. Ummm it looks nothing like that. The beach was a dump with trashos dry humping. Everything looked bleached and grimy. I am shocked the houses cost as much as they do. Needs reno bad. Also why do the tax payers of the town let it look so outdated? It needs a good wash. Where are the normal people? I saw tourists, hobos, drunks, whores, and a few old people. Strange place. Felt like HPV’s winter haven.

  2. Speaking as someone that worked for that “disgruntled ” employee of RonJohns, he is a wonderful boss! Not everyone in Cocoa Beach is scum some of us love the beach and work hard to be close to it. So problem solved don’t go there no one probably wants you to. You sound like a ass.

    • I don’t have anything against him. I’ve never met him. As I said, he’s probably a cool dude. I do have something against that logo though. 😉

  3. Have you ever been anywhere else in FL? Are you that delusional? And how does the (not CB) bilboards along the expressways having anything to do with CB, besides the RJ signs? You sir, are a disgrace to this town & we would be MORE than happy for you to never “visit” again. Move along kook

    • I have, actually. I was born and raised in FL. I’ve been almost everywhere in the state, and hundreds of other beach towns in this country and others. Have you?

      • I’m trying not to take this article personally but your writing is just rude and offensive. Please go back to the tons of beaches that you say you’ve been to because we simply do not want you here. Don’t bash a town for things like billboards that they can’t even control. C’mon kook.

    • If companies were only do a small part of the ideas above,I belive all employs will be more then happy.The thing is , as i see it, the biger, sucsesful and prosperThe compny get, the less benfites the employs get.I belive that if the enploy satisfay from his job and the benifitshis work will be better.(Sorry for my english)

  4. I agree with most everything you have said. Cocoa Beach has some wonderful people living there, but the city just can’t get its act together.

  5. Clearly you visited long enough to take note of some landmarks, but you have no clue about the Cocoa Beach community. It’s a shame that you chose to post this review, and I hope that you find what you’re looking for in some other vacation spot…far, far away.

    • I was raised in Cocoa Beach, went to High School there, Graduated 2007. This place is beyond trash! Every house party I was at, the parents were partying just as hard as the 17 year old kids. I was afraid to even walk to the Circle K down the road because several times I was harassed by homeless people. There are countless adult video stores, I think there are about 4 Strip clubs on A1A from Cape Canaveral to Ron Jons. The people I went to high school with are pretty much doing the same thing as they were doing in HS, some I’ve even heard were in porn videos and Escorts. I’ll always love it too because it was my hometown but when you look past your fond memories, its just a dump.

      • I went there and graduated in 2007 as well ha. Parties were certainly an experience to say the least. I think Cocoa Beach is okay, it would be nice if they would’ve been able to keep that McDonald’s across the street 24/7 though”

      • Lol very true but circle k is in cracknaveral as for the porn yep i graduated in 01 and yes some girls went that route. But moat of my friend who moves away are doi g very well for them selves have good jobs and beautiful families. I’ll never forget going up north being considered the party animal when I was the most timid of party is back on in Cocoa Beach

      • If you walked to the Circle K down the road, then I hate to break it to you, but you were in Cape Canaveral.

  6. This is just stupid. Cocoa beach has been going through some huge changes recently, yet you fail to mention that. You’re a shitty local.

    • David is not a local. He lives elsewhere, can’t distinguish the difference between Cocoa and Cocoa Beach, and has no excuse for his behavior.

  7. From your self reported exploits; as a younger man living in Cocoa Beach, (mentioned in your writing) some of the Cocoa Beach trash now lives in Maui

  8. Sounds like you helped plant the seeds of “trash” by your exploits while living in Cocoa Beach. Your claims of walking drunk down A1A, being held by officers as they searched the car for drugs, and walking into a motel room to only see thing you shouldn’t have seen paint a picture that you are part of the “trash” problem. Good Luck where ever you live today.

  9. Funny article! Spot on. I lived in CB for ten years and recently moved up to north Georgia because of everything you summed up here. It’s just not the same as it used to be. It’s much more peaceful now to take a hike in the mountains rather than being bombarded with the regular tramp stamps and drunkenness on the beach at Coconuts. Seeing all of the CB and, even worse, Palm Bay billboards on the drive back down to FL is always amusing. Stay funny my friend.

  10. As somebody who also grew up in CB and has since “escaped”, its refreshing to see somebody share similar opinion as i! every time i come “home” to visit, it seems there are more and more strip clubs, adult video stores, and cash for gold pawn shops each time. I don’t remember the beaches ever being clean during my time growing up, so that is nothing new. However after visiting many other beaches of the world i wonder why it is that these other locations don’t seem to have cigarette butts and dirty diapers buried in their sands, and in 2016 (a time when the world is conscious of “being green” and protecting our natural environments) CB STILL can’t get their shit together. the crime rates for this area have done nothing but gone up (public record people, you can see this yourself) and mostly for domestic violence, drunk in public, and drug busts. I remember the hardest drug you’d see was the surfers smoking a blunt, and now you can find used needles/syringes littering the dunes near the boardwalks.

    Its sad to see how much both Cocoa Beach and Titusville have declined since the absence of NASA. The income class has significantly shifted and its evident. I will always love this little beach town, but with each trip i cut it out of my heart bit by bit with all these changes.

  11. You should really think about a rebuttle to this blog post. Maybe dig in and reconnect with the people and family’s that make this area awesome. This is your opinion but your opinion can hurt. Potential tourist looking to visit this area and happen upon your blog may just go somewhere else so hopefully they take the time to read the comments. Yes Cocoa Beach is a tourist area. Yes when it gets busy during spring break and summer people can get ignorant and litter. Yes I’m sure there are drug problems if you go looking for that trouble but where isn’t their. Let me tell you what we mostly have. We have a great community of friendly welcoming people and a lot of really cool things to do. You should have mentioned the dedicated people that walk the beach every morning picking up others trash or the dedicated team of people that walk the beaches and mark off turtle nesting sites. We have the most bang for your buck when planning a vacation. Where else in the world can you start in Orlando and have all the fun and excitement of big roller coasters and 1st class shows. Then have raw nature and the option to learn about the swamps by taking a scenic airboat tour. Next you can visit the lagoons and ocean to take a Eco tour and see a abundance of sea turtles, dolphins, manatees and endless birds and fish. Heck just open your eyes as you drive to Cocoa Beach from Orlando, on everyone one of those Ron Jon signs you will see hawks and eagles staged for a ambush and under these signs you will see turkeys and deer feeding on the new growth then look out into the swamp and you will see alligators and turtles. Keep heading to the beach and as you cross the Indian River lagoon and banana river lagoon you will see Dolphins and manatees playing along the shoreline and on every piling, sign or power pole you will see Ospreys, pelicans, commorants, anhingas, plus much more and most of these birds will have fish in their talons or diving and feeding because the waters are full of fish. Amongst all this wild life you have a first class Cruise Port with some of the largest cruise ships to ever take on the seas and Ya they are pretty impressive just to look at. Inside of Canaveral you can check out many things, observation tower, consept vehicles, Eco tours, fishing trips and local restraunts that are not huge chains but they are awesome. Infact one restaurant specializes in local caught lion fish to combat the invasive species and if you eat at these restaurants around 4:00 you will see the charter fishing boats return with good catches. Now you finally get to the beach and you get to enjoy watch 1st time surfers and seasoned legends enjoy the waves together. Sit still and watch the ghost crabs come out of there holes in the sand. Look out at the water and watch Pelicans dive, fish jump, Dolphins plan, sea turtles pop up, manta rays splash, the occasional whale breach if you get really lucky. Visit all the small shops and local boutiques. Then that evening watch to the North as Space X makes history by shooting a rocket into space releaseing 5 satellites and returning the main rocket right to the launch pad to be used again. Take a boat trip along the space coast. Enjoy the largest undeveloped coast line on the east coast or go explore one of largest free wild life sanctuary’s in the world. So if this is what you consider trashy then yes Cocoa Beach is trashy but I wouldn’t live anywhere else and when I go on vacation I’m always excited to return to paradise. To be honest is Cocoa Beach all sugar and spice? No it’s not but in my opinion it is about as close as you can get to perfect.

    • How are things these days? Have the morning cleanups helped? Are all the other things you listed that sound wonderful, still happening?

    • As a Pensacola Florida native stuck in Seattle Wa since 2012, preparing my trip to Orlando/Kissimmee in two weeks to scope out the area to buy my first home… I’m glad I read the comments. I visited Cocoa Beach once last summer during a work conference in Orlando and I just loved it.
      There’s bad everywhere, but it’s up to us to see the beauty in everything.

  12. You really don’t know much about this town accept you were right in the trash up in the north end of the town, stay away if you don’t like it and continue your angry march into the future jackass.,

  13. Do not worry about potential visitors….No one will make their decisions based on comments from this baffoon

  14. I’ve traveled around the globe, as does my family and born and raised here. Obviously you haven’t been to that many places. We don’t need you here. Most of us don’t consider the end of 520 Cocoa Beach even though it’s in the City and our town is not called Cocoa. Take care of those std’s since you apparently found one or a few. Don’t come back nobody wants to hear this insulting crap. Later.,

  15. Lol…those free loving long haired tree hugging vegetarians drove me out 30 years ago…..Now I live in Martinsburg WV the herion capital of the East coast, come on up and I promise you that you will return happily to paradise. I for one miss home very much.

  16. I literally laughed so hard, as to almost everything you said was so true. Really got me with the cocoa beach logo, “It’s like the inspiration was to make the kokopelli guy retarded with a surfboard under his arm.” I’m also from here and to the people that are defending it… totally fine, but have a sense of humor. Well done.

  17. For real man..it’s cocoa beach…cocoa is the ghetto ass town 12 miles west..I’ve never heard a person “from here” call the town cocoa..it’s either cocoa beach or cocoa because they are two different towns…and you keep calling it cocoa…it’s annoying. ..cocoa is way worse then cocoa beach.

  18. Lol i hate this place as much as the next guy but someone sounds a little butt hurt did a tranny from cocoa or down south get to him cus he sounds like they didn’t use lube. Kaitlyn jenner got to him. Ps cocoa and cocoa beach have three bridges between them for a reason.

  19. I just love reading these things all the time because i know how WELL it is cleaned i used to work for Keep Brevard Beautiful and how every morning and afternoon being there at 6:00 in the morning til noon to make sure every single thing is cleared and cleaned up and then having a work crew out there in the afternoon. when i worked out there on the beaches people every single day would tell us how they appreciate the hard work we did to clean it up. I’D LOOOOVE to see you come and clean the beaches even after any kind of holiday and see what it’s like working those long hours getting sunburned every other day instead you are another person hiding behind a screen with nothing better to do than bad mouth

    • I don’t think anyone said they don’t appreciate the efforts to keep the beach clean. We’ve all pitched in at some point. Yet somehow… there is always still trash.

  20. Nearly all the diapers, cigarette butts and trash that makes it to the beach is not left by the locals. It’s left by visitors with a “love” for the beach. I believe most of the criminal element is also imported.

  21. To all the people getting angry over this blog post i invite you to take the mature route and
    1) recognize the several times the writer stated his fondness for cocoa beach and recognizing he was being cynical
    2) Why ANYONE visiting your town would say these things (he didn’t make them up) regardless if he’s been visiting CB for years, or this is his first trip
    3) Take less offense and take more action. Join committees and form teams that work toward PREVENTING this kind of reputation. Get the excessive amounts of bars, strip clubs and adult stores under control. Create more for Youth and young adults to do that would keep them out of trouble (is traxx -formally jungle village- or whatever even a thing still?). RIght now all there is for impressionable young population to do is hang on the beach, or go to Merritt island. Mini golf, community centers, etc

    Calling somebody who got a bad impression of your town cruel names does nothing to solve the problem

  22. Learn your Cocoa/CB geography, kook. We would also accept your website’s banner to say: David Morgan DESIGNER DEVELOPER DOUCHE

  23. Pretty terrible article coming from a local guy. Pretentious and just plain wrong. Most of the “trash” comes from outside of Brevard and the locals always do their best to clean up, even the tweekers in cape and homeless under the pier have more pride in their home than this guy. Now it takes a lot for me to voice my opinion on any social forum especially to someone who I will more than likely never cross paths with, but this article struck a chord. I have family all over Brevard and my roots are in the sands of that beach….now of course I mean that figuratively, I am not a tree and therefore do not have roots. You just seem like the type of person that would need that cleared up. That is to say, you seem like a person that doesn’t really think. Sure we can all laugh at the CBSC sign, that might be you’re only somewhat funny observation. Other than that, you completely dropped the ball. The rampant drug problem affects all of central Florida with more prescription drugs written off by Miami doctors alone than the rest of the country in a years time. The fact that cocoa beach is a tourist spot is a testament to its beauty. People come because the weather is nice, the beach is warm and the atmosphere is inviting. We don’t have theme parks like Orlando but thanks to Disney dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into the cape and the cruise line the tourists supply a majority of the money into locally owned businesses in the area. How do you think Mr. Ron Jon himself exploded into the nationally recognized brand it is today? The government has cut funding to NASA yet people go everyday to the space center to indulge in the rich history. In fact, the reason NASA selected the location just north of beautiful cocoa beach is because it is the most advantageous location in the entire country for launch conditions… Predictably beautiful and sunny with low wind and rain. My only hope in writing this is to second the motion of the gentlemen above who proposed you write another article. I think the areas where you find cocoa beach to pale in comparison to its old self come not as a result of the town, but as a parallel to the declining nature of this country. In the heart of this town lies the loving beach culture that you have somehow lost. I look forward to every opportunity I get to revisit the place I will always call home. I understand poking fun at the town to inspire some positive change but you did it horribly.

  24. I’m a transplant to Cocoa BEACH. I stay away from Coconuts in the Spring and Summer, but not because of the locals, but because of the party people, not even the regular tourists.

    The party people:
    1) leave trash on the beach
    2) they get drunk/stoned and then act like morons
    3) they appear to have literacy problems because they can’t seem to read and obey any signs,
    etc……

    The good news is that you can avoid them by choosing better places to hang out. Generally south of 520 is best. The city has started a beautification project in downtown Cocoa Beach. They are attracting better restaurants, and thus better clientele. Most of the people I know have lived here for most of their lives, and don’t party with their children.
    I love exaggeration in moderation. Your blog is a bit….rough. Maybe it will keep some of the party people away.

  25. All do respect. Quit referring Cocoa to Cocoa Beach. They are approximately 12 miles apart and are two different places. Have you been to both and driven around to see for yourself, Mr. Morgan?

  26. Maybe you should attend a seminar or watch a Netflix Documentary about what the meaning of what “Tongue and Cheek” means and pertains to. This article is the farthest thing from Tongue and Cheek, and it all seems like you had a bad shopping experience at CBSC one time, and instead of creating a negative review in Yelp. You decided to write a long, drawn out and repetitive article on a personal blog about an entire town. I don’t deny any of the things you say, but to say the majority of the town behaves like this is just bad judgement on your part. CB is a low key area to live for the wealthy, a slightly blue collar appeal to the middle class and a laid back party town for the lower class. There are thousands of small towns across the country that dawn this similiar setup for themselves, and to single out CB doesn’t make any sense to me. I dont know why your perspective has changed about Cocoa Beach, but i would welcome you to come back and take a second look around with somebody who actually still lives and works in the area you are denouncing.

    • Please Drew don’t invite him back. We don’t need anymore negativity towards our little town but at the end of the day, he is entitled to his opinion whether good or bad we don’t have to let one person ruin the reputation of the quaint beach town we all love regardless of the ugly things he pointed out that are not in our control.

  27. Can someone in Cocoa Beach please show me where the casino ships are? Because last I checked they sailed out of a different city. Or is this fuck-tard just lumping the whole Space Coast into his annihilation of Cocoa Beach?

  28. It’s a terrible logo. And I can tell you this, whoever said stay away from Coconuts in the summer is right. It was disgusting when we went to the beach behind Coconuts. There was trash everywhere and trashy people to boot. They weren’t there to swim, lay out, or even enjoy the sun with a few friends and chill, there were there to be obnoxious, drunk and gross. As a matter of fact a fight broke out. I was shocked too. Don’t be mad at David, he’s not the one who made Cocoa Beach like that. Truth is truth, it hurts.

  29. Damn, it’s kind of disappointing how many people got butt hurt over this article. They took some things waaaaayyy too personally. I’m a cocoa beach native and really enjoyed reading this, because I agree! I’m sure a lot of the people who disliked this articles don’t know/haven’t been in the town as long as the true natives have to fully agree with you.

  30. You are a dick weed . This place is fucking amazing and I can say that still after living here for my whole like. Fuck off you pompous ass wipe

    • You prove his point. It is not just the tourist. You are a Trashy person who needs to go back to elementary school and learn to reread your words bf you post. “for my whole like.” All curse words are spelled correct so good job to your parents. Are your tattoos spelled right? Have to ask your pimp that. You are so NASTY!!

  31. What is the expression? Any publicity is good publicity! I for one am just glad you took care of the Chocolate Fountain lady. Not sure if you will get that but…nuf said!

  32. The dude that wrote this is a TRASHY!

    I just moved to Cocoa Beach and it it beautiful. The beach is open 24/7, alcohol is allowed (no glass), and you don’t need a fishing license.

    Just today while I was surfing, I watched the beach ranger pick up trash that someone had left behind.

    The beach is beautiful and well maintained. This dude obviously has a deeper reason to justify his hate towards my town–he just isn’t willing to post it publicly.

    If you want trashy, go to Orlando, or better yet: Pine Hills.

  33. David, You hit the nail right on the head. I lived in Cocoa Beach for 4 months, and I could not leave there fast enough. Having grown up in South Florida, I was used to seeing nice landscaping, and beautiful architecture along A1A. Cocoa beach natural beauty was destroyed with fast food restaurants, convenient stores, strip malls, tacky tourist shops. Overall, it’s just a very ugly place.

  34. It is trashy per my current visit. Today, at Lori Wilson Park, the beach was strewn with cigarette butts and washed up plastic. There was trash on the beach at 2nd too. Sorry to see that. Still a cute beach town but clean it up.

  35. Have you seen CBHS recently? It’s quite literally a drug haven. You can have one friend there and that person knows at least one person dealing some kind of drug (usually marijuana or prescription drugs) and at least two that are doing those drugs. It’s honestly getting out of hand.
    The suicide and depression rate seems to be going up as well each year (from what I see) so yeah :/

    This place is honestly just so ugly and disgusting, I can’t wait to go back down south.

  36. Wow… everyone. Home is home. Sure, it’s not Hollywood, it’s neighborhood..we may leave, but the porch light is on. When we return…”big wave Dave “ that sand isn’t so dirty, when your wiping it off your grandchildren’s cheeks….

  37. This guy grew up and went to private school. He was a rich kid that seemed to have a lot of money as a young man. Moved to cocoa beach and had a job he hated because he was a brat and got fired. He did not fit in while at cocoa beach because he is too good for everyone else. Read his “about”. He is a spoiled little douche. He loves himself some David.

    • You’ve got me pegged, dude. Never worked a day in my life. Born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

  38. As someone who just purchased a home in Cocoa Beach it is interesting to read the comments, both positive and negative. One thing that is apparent, is all who wrote in, love or loved their beloved Cocoa Beach community regardless. As a resident of a small midwest town I have watched it decline the past 25 years because of drugs, the decline of family and social values and the reliance on welfare. It is apparent that Cocoa Beach is experiencing the same loss of values. It isn’t a local thing, but a national thing and the only way to reverse it is for the majority to fight against it. Liberal, atheist values need to be replaced with Christian, family values and the communities and residents need to pull together to reverse the trends we are seeing in all coastal towns. I look forward to my new home in Cocoa Beach and contributing in a positive manner.

  39. Oh yeah the old ways were great… If they were so great why is the water in the banana river the color of chocolate lately? That said, if you dig below the surface this place is a paradise. Have you seen the summer bio-luminescence on a moonless night in summer? What surfed as the sun peaks up from behind clouds?

    Quit your whining about the decline of values and do something about it. The people of Cocoa Beach are like anywhere else. There are fine and wonderful people and then there aren’t.

    Oh and this: ” the billboards and advertising paint Cocoa Beach as a sophisticated, tropical paradise” Huh? Sophisticated? Get real.

  40. I can’t say much for the old Cocoa Beach, I have only been here for five years. Most my friends have been here all their lives and grew up with Kelly Slater and I have heard a lot about the way it used to be.

    But what I can say is that their is an all new space race on the Space Cost and the sonic booms are back. Boosters are launching and relanding and a lot of “firsts” are happening here again. I love seeing how excited all the locals, life long space cost people, get during the launches. The Beach Line at a stand still and cars lining 401.

    Port Canaveral is adding yet anoter terminal and will soon be the largest cruise terminal in the United States. Let’s hope this is a sign for a better future for Cocoa Beach and the surrounding area. Then maybe the next time you decide to visit and see a launch and hear that sonic boom again, it will bring back those memories for you as it does for all the locals here.

    Thanks for sharing

  41. AFAIK Ron Jon’s was never located in a shack on the pier as was written. It was always in the same location it is now, only much smaller. I bought my first couple of surfboards there in the early 70’s when it was one of a few shops in a small strip center in the same spot where the current building sits.

  42. Cocoa Beach is a toilet filled with edgy high school drop outs addicted to pills and find social status recognition in poorly drawn arm tattoos. The standards are incredibly low that the community allows a whore club (Cheaters) across the street from a church.
    There is literal space travel going on in town but retards would rather hang out at LIDOS

  43. Obviously, the Author of this blog has only traveled the space coast of Florida and Cocoa Beach is not trashy. I can show the Author of this blog what a real trashy place is, which is Apopka in Florida. Here in Apopka, there is trash all over the place that is never picked up. Everywhere you look on the sides of the road as you drive through Apopka you see beer cans, drink cups, tires, shoes, mattresses, smashed TVs and the list of rubbish items goes on. I go to Cocoa Beach as often as I can when I can afford to and yes, there are “some” cigarette butts, soda cans, water bottles and other bits of trash on Cocoa Beach but, otherwise, Cocoa Beach is a pretty clean paradise. Furthermore, there are people hired by the city of Cocoa Beach to pick up trash on Cocoa Beach with maintenance grippers and 5 gallon buckets Also, all the homeless people on Cocoa Beach are nice. I’m a tranny girl and I fell in love with Cocoa Beach when I was 15 right away, for it is so amazing. During the day on Cocoa Beach you get a sexy tan, you meet lots of people and during the night on Cocoa Beach it is so mystifying, exotic and orgasmic. Furthermore, I feel that I will meet the love of my life during a night on Cocoa Beach, which would be the most erotic experience ever. So, I can’t wait until the day comes that I can move to Cocoa Beach and after I am there I will never leave, for Cocoa Beach is the most beautiful and sacred place on Earth that no amount of trash can ruin.

  44. So I was just at Cocoa, and I felt like I saw almost a green film like matter on the sand, you couldn’t see it in the water. Anyway, I was looking for info when I found this article. Is the water there polluted and what could it be from? I know it’s got some trash on the beach sometimes, but not nearly as bad as in S. FL beaches and I feel it’s a lot better than it use to be. I agree Cocoa had so much potential to be a a cute surfing town especially with the romance of astronauts and space travel, I don’t know what happen, it’s kinda tacky, and hillbillyish. but I live in C. FL and there is no where else to go for waves.

  45. Maybe I don’t have a right to comment on this subject because I’m a “yankee” but I have news for you all. All of Florida is basically a big tourist trap these days. I’ve been all over the state the past 45 years and while their used to be cute, quaint, and friendly little beach towns all around the state commercialization has largely ruined that everywhere. Key West used to be quirky and cool, then they started bringing the cruise ships in and the whole vibe changed.

    That’s not to say that a lot of these places aren’t still nice to visit. Hell us northerners still make the pilgrimage down several times a year and dump a bunch of our cash to help fuel the problem, but the Florida the author is remembering is largely gone these days.

    Progress isn’t always bad, and it’s happened all over the country, not just in Florida, but I’d say learn to like the new and get your glass half full or you are in for a sad and depressing life my friend.

  46. My husband and I just went to Cocoa Beach for the first time yesterday, and I agree with everything you said in the article. It was trashy and disappointing. I don’t care if locals or tourists are at fault, the end result is that it’s trashy. Littered with tourist traps trying to wring a few bucks out of you any way they can. We won’t be going back. We have other favorite spots we’ll continue to frequent.

  47. You‘re spot on. I lived on Ocean Beach Boulevard 30 years ago and I fell in love with Cocoa Beach. I am European and it was my second US experience. I loved the old movie theatre where they served pizza while watching Ghost with Patrick Swayze, i adored having a drink at the 50‘s diner where now a big parking lot is, i bought amazing statement earrings at Ron Jon‘s that still look hot today. But every time I returned (8 times) a little bit of soul was stolen from the place. Maybe I am just nostalgic and all places change for the worse, but Cocoa Beach got trashy. As Bette Davis would have said…what a dump!

  48. But it must be said yhat Cocoa Beach has some truly excellent titty bars…
    And another plus… if you are not too fussy and run out of condoms you can usually find one close to the pier on the beach… and often they have been used only once!

  49. Isnt that how it has gone for most places.. I know my hometown isnt anywhere near the same.. look at Santa Cruz and Va beach.. or any other place since 1985..even Daytona isnt the same. People dont value anything.. have no culture ..and no respect for nature or art. Sad really. And most the country is on welfare or disability. Let’s have more kids the wrong way people..maybe it will get better!! Ha! Oh yeah, we all just need to win the lottery.. or maybe if we go to college we will get rich. Lol. But Cant we get rich with twitter? what a bunch of…

  50. So this all frightened me. We are planning a trip to Cocoa Beach in July. We have never been to Cocoa Beach before, but we picked a beach that was close to Orlando, just on the off chance we could take our kiddos to one if it’s parks. We had planned a trip to Disney World for Spring Break and that was, obviously, canceled. I have three kids who were heart broken, so I promised them a trip to the beach and told them we would attempt Disney World if it opens. I hate crowds and theme parks but my kids desperately wanted to go. I figured they should see it once in their childhood. I did and loved it. We’re from Boulder, Colorado which is one of the most beautiful towns in the country. We have lots of tourists, too. But we appreciate them. They bring revenue to our beloved city. And we like to vacation where it is beautiful, clean, and charming. I’m now concerned that we’re headed for major disappointment. I still have time to cancel the house we rented. So my question is, what beach town within a few hours of Orlando (since that is where we are flying to) should we head? Yes, we’ll be tourists but we’ve got class – we always pick up after ourselves, we believe in leaving a place cleaner than we found it, we love the outdoors, we try to avoid being obnoxious tourists, and we like to stay in beautiful places, rent beautiful houses) and we like charm. We like to be tourists in areas that are NOT touristy. Please advise!

  51. I have lived in Brevard for 60 years. Cocoa Beach is still a beautiful beach just a little touristy like Daytona. If you take 528 to Cape Canaveral, the port is there with some really beautiful beaches and the Cocoa Beach pier is a little south. The Disney cruise ship and others may be docked at the port and there are many restaurants and other points of interest such as Jetty Park. If you want a beach that is pristine and natural without any buildings the Canaveral National Seashore’s Playalinda beach is also a must see. You can see the launch pads and parts of the space center and it is rumored to be the beach where Marilyn Monroe and Jack Kennedy walked. There is no buildings once you enter the park so take water and snacks and sunblock. South of Cocoa beach is Sebastian and a bit of a drive but also beautiful. The town Cocoa Beach is trying to upgrade it’s image and doing a good job so far. With any beach town you get the drinking and partying but if you stay away from those parts your family will have a great time. As a local I would love to help you any way possible. I love this area and will never leave.

    Here is the link to the Playalinda Beach
    https://www.nps.gov/cana/planyourvisit/hours.htm

    • Angela,

      Thank you for replying! We are renting a house in Harborview (I think that’s the name of the neighborhood) on the Banana River. My question is, is that a good, safe neighborhood and is it close to beautiful beaches. Also, this might sound ignorant of me, but do we need to worry about Alligators staying on the river?

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