Cocoa Beach is known for a variety of fun and exciting activities that can be enjoyed most times of the year. You have shuttle takeoffs nearby at the Kennedy Space Center. Cocoa Beach also has miles upon miles of gorgeous and pristine beaches. Another exciting way to spend your time at Cocoa Beach is to go wildlife watching. For the visitors who are unfamiliar with the area, Cocoa Beach sees hundreds of different species of animals in the area. You can easily go search out these unique animals in person by visiting one of the many local attractions or by booking a charter. Take a look at where and how you can go do Cocoa Beach wildlife watching:
When it comes to wildlife watching, there is not a more dedicated base than those who participate in birdwatching. The Space Coast, the greater stretch of beaches that Cocoa Beach rests on, sees hundreds of different species of birds throughout the year. The temperate sub-tropic weather makes Cocoa Beach an ideal area for birds to flock to year after year. With over 300 birds to be seen, you will have your work cut out for you. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is nearby in Titusville. To date there have been 358 species of birds identified at the park. You can enjoy a guided automobile tour of the area or check out the exhibits in person. The Canaveral National Seashore is another popular area for birdwatching, along with fishing and other activities. While it’s also a great place to see rocket launches, the shuttles may scare off the birds during those windows. Both areas are located along the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, so catching a glimpse of a red-cockaded woodpecker or painted bunting is more easily achieved. Don’t forget about the annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival that is held each year in the area!
Perhaps the most popular animal that visitors wish to see in the wild when they visit Cocoa Beach is the American alligator. While it can be scary running into one in the wild, they are easily seen when you book a nature tour on the St. Johns River or Indian River Lagoon. The best way to see these animals safely in person is by booking an airboat tour. These propelled airboats let you traverse across the marshes to areas where alligators are known to be. Professional guides will navigate for you and tell you fascinating details about these elusive creatures. It should go without saying but make sure to never try and pet an alligator out in the wild!
Birds and alligators are not the only animals that live in and around Cocoa Beach. You can catch a glimpse of most animals when you book an eco nature tour offered exclusively with Wildside Tours. This local tour company features a unique tour that is the best value in town. Each tour is approximately two hours in length and will take you across 6 to 15 miles, depending on which animals you are looking for. You will be taken out onto the water in smaller boats that can hold up to 26 people maximum. Other tour companies in the area use larger vessels making their experiences less intimate. Wildside Tours takes each passenger across the Thousand Islands Nature Preserve of Cocoa Beach along with the Banana River Lagoon. River guides will provide a personal experience as they recount details of the water and its environments. Many incredible animals that can often be seen during the tours include a variety of birds, dolphins, and manatees. These friendly creatures often love having visitors in the area and can be seen splashing around the water. Each tour is a passive viewing, so there will be no feeding or touching of the animals.
One of the most unique wildlife viewings is with the local bioluminescence tours in the area. The ocean lagoons light up at night the blue and green glow of bioluminescence. The glow is technically from the plankton in the water that comes out and plays at night. Wildlife Watersports offer nighttime tours that will take you out into the warm waters of summer when the bioluminescence shines its brightest. These tours may also have you seeing fish and stingrays that also glide through the water at night.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways for you to get out and see some truly fascinating Cocoa Beach wildlife. Choose our vacation rentals to be close to each of these wonderful experiences.