Located roughly 55 miles east of Orlando, Cocoa Beach is Orlando’s closest beach. Just an hour-long drive on Florida SR 528 brings you, family and friends to a day spent sifting through sand and soaking up sun. One of the beach’s most cherished attributes is the Cocoa Beach Pier.
The Pier stretches across 800 feet on the Atlantic Ocean and is home to a mix of dining, surfing, fishing and shopping spots. In 1962, local businessman Richard Stottler built the Cocoa Beach Pier, which was originally known as Canaveral Pier. Back then you were able to drive your car directly on to the pier itself.
Today, the Cocoa Beach Pier attracts more than one million visitors annually. Locals and tourists consider it a beautiful viewing spot for the space shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral.
The Stottler family sold the pier in 2014, and it is now owned by Westgate Resorts. Since the historic Cocoa Beach Pier transferred owners, it has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, adding plenty of new and exciting features.
• The Cocoa Beach Pier’s entrance was completely renovated with a modern look but kept the heart and soul of the original entrance in mind.
• Boardwalk Bar and Restaurant: This family-friendly restaurant offers an open-air dining experience where patrons feel the natural breeze of the beach while eating fresh seafood and drinking ice-cold beverages.
• Pelican’s Bar & Grill: New renovations to the sports bar and grill, which is located right on the beach, include floor-to-ceiling windows that offer views of the ocean and a wide selection of alcohol and craft beer.
• New amenities include updated gift shops and restrooms, updated lighting for safety and turtle nesting, as well as furniture and rocking chairs spread along the pier.
One of Cocoa Beach Pier’s most popular pastimes is casting a fishing line into the ocean atop of the boardwalk. Catches include grouper, snapper, sea trout and other marine life. There are bait and tackle attendants on the pier that are dedicated to assisting guests with rod and bait rentals and offering fishing knowledge to anyone who may need a helping hand.
Cocoa Beach is sometimes referred to as the “East Coast Surfing Capital.” Many famed surfers have taken to the beach searching for gnarly waves, including Cocoa Beach native and 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.
Surf lessons are available for anyone who wants to learn how to surf, or you are able to watch the pro surfers in action while dining at the Mai Tiki Bar on the Cocoa Beach Pier.
• The Cocoa Beach Pier, originally known as Canaveral Pier, was built in 1962 by Richard Stottler.
• The name was changed to The Cocoa Beach Pier in 1984.
• The Cocoa Beach Pier stretches over 800 feet over the Atlantic Ocean.
• More than two miles of boardwalk planks and 270 pilings (each 40-feet long) constructed the boardwalk.
• More than 1 million visitors visit the Cocoa Beach Pier every year.
The Cocoa Beach Pier now has four restaurants, five bars and multiple souvenir shops.
• One of the original Ron Jon surf shops opened directly on the Cocoa Beach Pier in 1963.
• In the 1960s, visitors could drive their cars onto the Cocoa Beach Pier itself.
• The first Cocoa Beach Fest was held at the Cocoa Beach Pier in 1989.
• The Cocoa Beach Pier is 20 miles from the Kennedy Space Center and offers prime-time seating for a shuttle launch.
• Famous astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, reportedly visited the Pier.
SOURCE: THE COCOA BEACH PIER WEBSITE