Cocoa Beach

From a small picnic in 2007 sprang one of the most respected pride events in Florida: Space Coast Pride. A feat even more commendable for the size of a city whose population is under 11,500, the event ties this one community with those of the region, including famous Daytona Beach and, only 50 miles west, Orlando. 

During the rest of the year, the attractions of this destination are the opposite of its size—they’re astronomical. The Kennedy Space Center and BCC Planetarium & Observatory are modern wonders. Feel the sensation of liftoff for yourself at the Space Center with the Shuttle Launch Experience®, then honor those who did it for real by visiting the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® and memorial. Or, see the light that guided our first wave of modern explorers, ship captains, at the 150-year-old Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Today, this city is still a desirable launch point for sea journeys, making it ideal for pre- and post-cruise stays.

If you prefer to be on the water by being actually on the water, head to its namesake six-mile beach for the waves that have made it “The Surfing Capital of the East Coast.” Just like before, you’re welcome to pay your respects to masters of this realm…at the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame. Visit Ron Jon’s to make sure you’re dressed for the occasion, or shop the boutiques in historic Cocoa Village. There, happy hours, live music, a boardwalk on the Indian River, restaurants, and the region’s only gay bar will bring you down to a surfer’s chill in no time. Need more relaxation? There’s always Florida’s famous golf for those who love the outdoors, as well as the Thousand Island Conservation Area.

Good to Know

  • No designated gay scene other than Ultra Lounge, but generally inclusive
  • Gay marriage legal since January 2015

Featured Resorts:

International Palms Resort and Conference Center-Cocoa Beach

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Come relax at the oceanfront International Palms Resort and Conference Center-Cocoa Beach where service is their specialty. This vibrant 27-acre full service resort is just a short drive from Port Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. All 501 guestrooms are beautifully decorated to reflect a tropical Florida feeling.

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