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An Epic Spring Break Escape

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by Brooke Glassberg

February 15, 2023

February 15, 2023

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What better time to plan a spring break escape than in the depths of winter?

Bare Necessities headed to Cocoa Beach, Florida, to shoot our spring stories with your next getaway in mind, and we’re bringing you back not only bathing suits but a short list for your own weekend in paradise.

Cocoa Beach is exactly the kind of chill coastal town that comes to mind when you think warmth and waves. With ocean temps that never dip too low to six miles of oceanfront on which to park your towel, it’s no surprise why Cocoa Beach was just ranked the Best Surf Spot in the United States.

Here’s what else you need to know to be in the swim of things:

Feel confident coming and going in bra-sized swim. (Shown: Freya Jewel Cove Ruffled Bikini Top and Bikini Bottom.)


Woman running through waves in a blue bikini
WHAT TO PACK:

Sunglasses, SPF and your other toiletries in a tote that doubles as a beach bag. A wide-brimmed sunhat, flattering swimwear, cover-ups, shorts, tees and sundresses for daytime. Bralettes for travel days, and a strapless bra for shoulder-baring nighttime ‘fits. Take a sneaker and a sandal that can go from poolside to a restaurant (think gold flip-flops; Cocoa Beach is not the place for high heels). Add pajamas, underwear and Happy Place, the latest beach read by Emily Henry, and you’re good to go!

GETTING THERE:

At under an hour away, Cocoa Beach is the closest beach from Orlando International Airport.

HANG TEN:

Take advantage of all those surf breaks by lining up a lesson at Cocoa Beach Surf School, School of Surf or Ron Jon, excellent stops for your every beach need. If you’d rather learn than do, pop by the Florida Surf Museum and take a selfie with the Kelly Slater statue, a tribute to the local surfing legend in his hometown. Other aquatic options: parasailing, actual sailing, an airboat ride, jet-skiing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.

SPACE COAST:

Maybe the only thing more awe-inspiring than watching the sun set over the ocean is watching a space-shuttle launch over it. You can do both from Cocoa Beach, which is less than 30 minutes south of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and a gateway to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. (Our team saw a space shuttle launch while shooting!)

BEACH PLEASE:

Cocoa Beach has four oceanfront parks, the most major being the 20-acre Lori Wilson Park, an oceanfront forest with a boardwalk, dog park and ample easy parking. The surfers’ beach is called Second Light Beach, as it’s literally at the second traffic light. When the tide goes out, you can ride a rented beach cruiser bike along the surf’s edge.

GO WILD:

Jump on a kayak tour of the Banana River Lagoon to see marine life in its natural habitat. (Turtle nesting and hatching season in Florida starts March 1.)

A collage of women in swimwear

When the weather’s warm, pack light.
(Shown: P.J. Salvage That’s Bananas PJ Boxer Set; Bare The Effortless Front-Close Bra.)

GET SPORTY:

Cocoa Beach has a tennis complex, skate park, and 27-hole championship golf course on the Banana River.

TALK A WALK ON A LONG PIER:

Head to Cocoa Beach Pier for seafood, shopping and a cocktail or two. The pier extends 800 feet over the Atlantic. Don’t miss the Citrus Paradise at Maui J’s Shaved Ice Truck, or the Rikki Tiki Tavern at the end of the pier for amazing views from the open-air thatched roof.

AT NIGHT:

Jazz clubs, beachfront cafes, bars, pubs and lounges spring up to populate the area.

Woman posing in grey chemise.

No night of sleep at home ever feels as amazing as it does on vacation.
(Shown: P.J. Salvage Modal Chemise.)

A great strapless is the Swiss Army knife of bras.
(Shown: Wacoal Red Carpet Strapless Bra.)


Woman facing mirror wearing strapless bra.
WHERE TO EAT:

To start your morning off right, pick up an acai bowl at The Wicked Pineapple. For a chill lunch or easy dinner after a long day on the beach, head for burritos at Da Kine Diego’s Insane Burritos, get your fish taco fix at Long Doggers or Caribbean-style sliders at The Tiny Turtle. Step it up a little at top-rated Florida’s Fresh Grill or Nosh Restaurant for Asian-fusion bites; both have full bars. And for dessert, swing by Moo’s Soft Serve, an institution down the road in Indiatlantic.

WHERE TO STAY:

If you want to pretend you’re a snowbird, rent a homey-luxe beachfront condo at The Resort on Cocoa Beach. They’ve got all of the amenities, like a huge pool, balconies from which you can see space shuttle launches, an on-site restaurant and even a movie theater. If you prefer a hotel, the newly renovated Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort is made up of all suites. Park yourself by one of multiple pools, run through the water park, or hang out in the adult relaxation zone.

SEE FOR YOURSELF:

Cocoa Beach on Instagram

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