We have many families staying at Dolphin Bay. Children will love the location. The pool is always a great place to spend time. But what else can we recommend to do with children? Below you find our top picks.
Kayaking on the Banana River
If they are old enough kayaking on the Banana River is so much fun. If you leave from our backyard the best way is to go to the right. You can explore many canals with beautiful homes. Or you can go further to the mangroves. If you are lucky you can see dolphins or manatees. Avoid the midday sun.
One of the other best activities is the beach just across the A1A. It is usually very quiet and kids will love to play in the water and sand.
If you want to go beyond pool and ocean, we also love to do some miniature golf. We like the Lighthouse Cove Miniature Golf. After a fun round they have also great ice cream.
Brevard Zoo is only 25 minutes by car and you can easily spend half a day here. It has many activities also for smaller children. Another option for the older ones is the ropes course. It is not included in the entrance and lasts around 3 hours. My recommendation would be do that in the morning to avoid too high temperatures.
Obloy Family Ranch
Another option to see animals is the Obloy Family Ranch. They have many rescued animals. The guided tours are really interesting and you can also go horse riding.
If your children are somewhat interested in Space the Kennedy Space Center is a must. They have many activities for children and you can easily spend a full day here.
Boat Trip on the Banana River
Doing a boat trip is a great way to explore Banana and Indian river. There are options for half or full day available. We liked the tour with Coastal Lagoon Tours.
Orlando Amusement Parks
Last but not least of course many of our visitors go to the amusement parks in Orlando. You can easily visit Disney (4 parks) Universal (2 parks), Lego as day trip from our place. The other option is stay in Orlando for a couple of days. While the parks can be amazing, they can also be very exhausting. It is important to know what to expect and to plan well ahead.
What is your Favorite?
These were just our top selections. But maybe you have an additional tip which you would like to share?
This is a question I sometimes get when people book our vacation rental. Luckily there are usually several options in Florida. However, what is best for you will depend on several factors.
What else have you planned during your trip?
Are you only staying in Cocoa Beach and Orlando area or have you planned other stops during your vacation? Maybe you are making a roundtrip through Florida or you have even been in other states before. If you just plan to stay in Cocoa Beach and the surrounding area the closest large airports are Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Smaller options are Melbourne and Jacksonville. Another larger airport, the Southwest Florida International Airport is close to Fort Myers and with close to 4 hours drive a bit far away unless you also would like to spend time in that area.
Are you flying in from Abroad?
If you are flying in from outside the United States Miami, Orlando, and Tampa are the airports with most international direct flights. These are also the airports international flights connect often to when having a different stop-over destination. While direct flights are the best options if prices are ok, the advantage of having a connecting flight is that you will have done your immigration at that airport. At your final airport you only have to collect your luggage.
What else should beconsidered?
Most likely you will rent a car. Orlando has the advantage that car rental kiosks are in the airport building and you can get your car directly across in the parking garage. That is one reason why Orlando would be my first choice if there is a good priced option.
In both Miami and Tampa trains connect you to the car rental terminals. Think about adding the prepaid toll packages for rental cars or have sufficient cash with you.
It is worth looking at your arrival times. If you do have to do immigration add at least one hour. Car rental can also take one hour. Especially with jetlag I would try to avoid long driving times in the dark. In my experience Orlando is manageable however if I would arrive in Tampa or Miami, I might consider booking a room for a night.
On your departure day check the traffic information upfront and in particular when flying out of Miami I would add one hour extra.
So in Summary…
If I get a good priced flight into Orlando that would be my first option. It is a short drive and convenient airport in particular if you are also renting a car.
What are your thoughts?
What experiences would you like to share? Which factors are important for you?
Cocoa Beach has not only the Atlantic ocean but also the beautiful Banana River with breathtaking sunsets. So naturally there are also many great places where you can enjoy a drink with a view. Here are our recommendations.
Coconuts on the Beach
Coconuts is directly on the beach. It is a great place for the afternoon. They have some specials after 5pm.
Beach House (Patrick Air Force)
The Beach House is located at the south end of Cocoa Beach opposite to Patrick Air Force Base (which it also belongs to). It is usually quiet. Please check for opening times.
You have great views from the upper deck.
Squidlips is just located 3 minutes walk north of Dolphin Bay. You can also kayak there.
The Island is favorite with locals. It is directly located at the Banana River and you can watch sunsets here. The food is also decent.
The Riki-Tiki Bar is at the end of the Cocoa Beach Pier. It has stunning views of the Beach. You pay an entrance fee for that part of the pier which you can use for drinks and food.
The Sandbar is one of our favorite places. They made the list thanks to a special view – when you want to watch sports (it is a sports bar). They have drink specials on most days.
Last but not least…
…you have the best for a breathtaking sunset from our balcony. Enjoy your sundowner.
Did you find your favorite place?
What is your favorite place? Maybe you have a recommendation which is not on our list yet?