A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Clearwater vs. Cocoa Beach for Beaches, Families, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Clearwater and Cocoa Beach. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Clearwater

Clearwater is a beautiful, outdoorsy, and adventure-filled coastal city. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is a fun-filled, relaxing, and adventurous beach town. It's also known for food, beaches, and shopping.

Clearwater and Cocoa Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Clearwater than Cocoa Beach, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Clearwater is well known for its beautiful white sand beaches, laid back atmosphere, and watersports. Also, Clearwater is famous for Clearwater Beach. Cocoa Beach is well known for its wonderful surfing waves and its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center.

How is Clearwater different from Cocoa Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Cocoa Beach and Clearwater. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Both Clearwater and Cocoa Beach have excellent landmarks and museums for visitors.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Clearwater. Perhaps most well known is the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but there are also a surprising number of museums nearby such as the Dalí Museum, the impressive Chihuly Glass Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Cocoa Beach offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The town's proximity to the Kennedy Space Center is a big appeal for space enthusiasts. It's easy to take advantage of the great beaches and then spend a day exploring the space center. Also in town is the Florida Surf Museum.


Is the Food Better in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Foodies will find both Clearwater and Cocoa Beach both to be excellent destinations.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Clearwater makes for a great culinary experience. Head to the waterfront for some of the best seafood. Unfortunately this is also where you'll find the highest prices. Shrimp, crab, and a fresh catch of the day are common on many menus.

Cocoa Beach has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Seafood is the obvious choice in this beach town. Head to Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier for some great restaurants. In addition to seafood options, you'll find steakhouses, bistros, and pizza shops.

Is Clearwater or Cocoa Beach Better for Nightlife?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Evening events are notable in both Clearwater and Cocoa Beach.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Clearwater. You'll find laid back beach clubs, glitzy wine bars, and relaxed bars where you can spend a nice night out.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Cocoa Beach. You'll find a number of casual pubs, bars, and grills around town where you can grab a drink in a relaxed setting.

Is Clearwater or Cocoa Beach Better for Resorts?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Clearwater is a very popular place for its luxury resorts. Also, Cocoa Beach is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

There are plenty of resorts in Clearwater to choose from. You'll find a number of nice resorts along the coastline. Some of the most popular are the Sandpearl Resort, the Opal Sands Resort, and the Clearwater Beach Marriott.

Cocoa Beach has a handful of resorts to choose from. There are casual and family-friendly resorts in the area that make for a nice beach vacation.


Is Clearwater or Cocoa Beach Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Clearwater is a good destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Cocoa Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Clearwater. There's both snorkeling and diving nearby. Some of the best dive spots are within and hour of the shore and you'll find diving shops that offer trips.

Cocoa Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Clearwater or Cocoa Beach Better for Beaches?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Clearwater is very popular for the beach. Also, Cocoa Beach is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its beaches.

Clearwater offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. Clearwater Beach is on many lists as one of the best beaches in America. It's the most popular beach in the area and it spreads out over 2.5 miles. Sand Key Beach is another popular destination as is the pristine Caladesi Island State Park.

Cocoa Beach is considered a top beach destination. There are long stretches of sand that are great for swimming, surfing, water sports, or just relaxing in the sun. The most popular area is around Cocoa Beach Pier. For family-friendly, head to James H. Nance Park which also has a playground. If you have a dog, Canova Beach Park is your best option.

Is the Shopping Better in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Both Clearwater and Cocoa Beach are notable shopping destinations.

Clearwater is a great destination for shopping. You'll find all of the standard shopping options in the area such as malls, shopping centers, and outlets. Westfield Countryside Mall is a popular destination as is the Cleveland Street District.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Cocoa Beach. You'll find lots of great local shops as well as malls and beach stores where you can pick up everything you need.


Is Clearwater or Cocoa Beach Better for Families?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Clearwater is not as famous, but is still a good coastal city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Cocoa Beach is very family-friendly. It's right by the Kennedy Space Center, which is a great excursion for kids and adults alike. There's also the Brevard Zoo, amazing beaches, and great parks where the kids can run around.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Clearwater is very family-friendly. Check out the playground and activities around Pier 60. Less crowded and family-friendly Sand Key Park is another favorite spot and the playgrounds at New Coachman Park and Crest Lake Park are also fun. Clearwater Marine Aquarium is another popular attraction for visitors with kids.

Is Clearwater or Cocoa Beach Better for Couples?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Clearwater and Cocoa Beach both excellent destinations for a couple.

Clearwater is a very popular place to visit for couples. There are beautiful parks and beaches as well as romantic activities like sunset cruises and dolphin spotting tours. Couples will also enjoy dining on local seafood and shopping at the local venues.

Cocoa Beach makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Beautiful beaches, fun outdoor activities, and great date night activities make this a wonderful couples destination.

Is Clearwater or Cocoa Beach Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is a good destination for its public transit. However, Clearwater is a mediocre coastal city for times when you don't have a car.

Cocoa Beach has a few public transit options. You can hop on the Cocoa Beach Trolley to access many sights in the area. It's a service provided by the Space Coast Area Transit (SCAT).

Public transit is mostly limited in Clearwater. The Clearwater Jolley Trolley connects some of the area's highlights. There are also public buses that run several routes through town.


Is Clearwater or Cocoa Beach a more walkable city?

Clearwater
Cocoa Beach

Clearwater and Cocoa Beach both are notable when exploring on foot.

Clearwater is somewhat walkable. The waterfront and downtown areas are surprisingly walkable.

Cocoa Beach is a somewhat walkable place. For the most walkable areas stay near the town center. In general, you'll want to have a car to access most of what the area has to offer though.

For even more information, also check out Is Clearwater Worth Visiting? and Is Cocoa Beach Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Cocoa Beach or Clearwater?

How long in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

In either Clearwater or Cocoa Beach, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. In our opinion, Clearwater has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Clearwater than Cocoa Beach. In general, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Clearwater, and 2-5 days is enough time in Cocoa Beach.

Families should spend more time in Cocoa Beach than Clearwater. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cocoa Beach, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Clearwater than Cocoa Beach. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Clearwater that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Clearwater than Cocoa Beach if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Clearwater.


  • How many days in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach? Ideal Length of Stay
    Clearwater 3-5 
    Cocoa Beach 2-5

One day in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the outdoorsy coastal city of Clearwater. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Most people visit for the beaches. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

With museums and nightlife around the fun-filled beach town of Cocoa Beach, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the relaxing destination of Clearwater. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This coastal city offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

With nightlife and food around the destination of Cocoa Beach, there's plenty to do. It's also a great beach destination, too. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this beach town.


Five days in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the outdoorsy coastal city of Clearwater. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Cocoa Beach, a popular beach town, is full of activities for travelers. This is a popular place to visit for five days. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. In five days, you should have a good grasp of this beach town. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Many people enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting Clearwater. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people visit for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Cocoa Beach is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


Which place is cheaper, Cocoa Beach or Clearwater?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Clearwater is $309, while the average daily cost in Cocoa Beach is $145. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Clearwater and Cocoa Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Clearwater $141
    Cocoa Beach $85
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Clearwater $282
    Cocoa Beach $170
Compare Hotels in Clearwater and Cocoa Beach

Looking for a hotel in Clearwater or Cocoa Beach? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Clearwater


Hotels in Cocoa Beach


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Clearwater Hotel Prices and Cocoa Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Clearwater $221
    Cocoa Beach $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Clearwater

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Clearwater:

  • St. Petersburg to St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) - Departure Private Transfer: $64
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Roundtrip Private Transfer: $128
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to St. Petersburg - Arrival Private Transfer : $64
  • St. Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) to Clearwater Beach - Arrival Private Transfer: $103
  • St Petersburg to Tampa Airport (TPA) -Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Private Transfer from St Petersburg Clearwater Airport to St Pete Beach: $70
  • Private Transfer from Clearwater to Tampa Airport: $120
  • Private Airport Transfer to St. Petersburg or Clearwater Beach : $105
  • Pete–Clearwater Airport to Clearwater Beach Round-Trip Transfer: $146
  • From Orlando: Clearwater Beach Day with Transfers and Lunch: $100
  • Clearwater Beach to Tampa Airport (TPA) - Departure Private Transfer: $54
  • Clearwater Beach to St.Pete–Clearwater Airport (PIE) -Departure Private Transfer: $103

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cocoa Beach

Also for Cocoa Beach, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral Hotel transfers : $47
  • Private Arrival Transfer from Melbourne Airport to Melbourne City: $72
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Port Canaveral: $218
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $280
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $280
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $282
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $296

Is it cheaper to fly into Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Prices for flights to both Cocoa Beach and Clearwater change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Clearwater $46
    Cocoa Beach $43

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Clearwater

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Clearwater.

  • 2 Hours Beach Bites & Brews Food Tour in Gulfport, Florida: $69

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cocoa Beach

For Cocoa Beach, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Guided Walking Food Tour in Cocoa Beach: $79
  • 3-Hour Indian River Queen Cruise with Dinner: $79
  • Guided Walking Food Tour in Cocoa Beach: $79
  • Village Food Tours Lunch & History Tour: $100

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Clearwater -
    Cocoa Beach $16

Tours and Activities in Clearwater

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Clearwater are as follows:

  • 1-hour Dolphin Sightseeing Adventure Cruise from Madeira Beach: $28
  • 1.5 Hour Tiki Tour with Open Bar in Clearwater Beach: $49
  • 2 Hour Guided Kayak Tour in Boca Ciega Bay - St. Pete: $55
  • 2 Hour Guided Segway Tour of Downtown St Pete: $59
  • 2 Hour Sunset Cruise in Clearwater, Florida: $35
  • 2 Hour Sunset Kayak Tour: War Veterans Memorial Park: $59
  • 2 Hour Tandem Kayak Tour (Price for 2 People): $110
  • 2 Hours Kayak Eco Tour in Tarpon Springs: $54
  • 2.5 Hour Kayaking with Manatee and History Tour in Tarpon Springs: $58
  • 2.5-Hour Sunset Cruise Tour in St. Petersburg: $67
  • 4-Hour St. Pete Pier to Egmont Key Experience by Ferry: $67
  • 90 Minute Axe Throwing Guided Experience in Clearwater at Hatchet Hangout: $50

Tours and Activities in Cocoa Beach

For Cocoa Beach, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Palm Bay by 3Quest Challenge: $10
  • Sunset Cruise on the Beautiful Banana River: $40
  • Cocoa Beach Dolphin Tours on the Banana River: $40
  • Dolphin Tours along and near the beautiful Indian River Lagoon : $40
  • Indian River Clear Bottom Kayak or Paddleboarding Manatee and Dolphin Tour : $45
  • Dolphin Tour with Local Expert: $45
  • Wildlife Refuge Dolphin, Manatee & Mangrove Kayak or Paddleboarding Tour!: $45
  • Thousand Islands Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Tour with Cocoa Kayaking!: $45
  • Manatee and Dolphin Kayak Tour: $45
  • 2 hour Dolphin Sightseeing Tour in Melbourne Florida : $45
  • Wildlife Refuge Sunset Dolphin, Manatee & Mangrove Kayak or Paddleboarding Tour!: $48
  • Dolphin and Manatee Kayak or Paddle Tour: $49

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Clearwater -
    Cocoa Beach $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Clearwater

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Clearwater:

  • The Tour and Wine Tasting Experience at Aspirations Winery: $32

Sample the Local Flavors in Cocoa Beach

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cocoa Beach:

  • Waterfront Happy Hour Bar Crawl: $39


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Clearwater and Cocoa Beach, we can see that Clearwater is more expensive. And not only is Cocoa Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cocoa Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cocoa Beach and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Clearwater would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Clearwater than you might in Cocoa Beach.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Clearwater Expensive? and Is Cocoa Beach Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Clearwater has a larger population, and is about 9 times larger than the population of Cocoa Beach. When comparing the sizes of Clearwater and Cocoa Beach, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Clearwater or Cocoa Beach?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Clearwater or Cocoa Beach in the Summer?

Both Cocoa Beach and Clearwater during the summer are popular places to visit. The summer months attract visitors to Clearwater because of the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, the beaches and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Cocoa Beach this time of year.

In July, Clearwater is generally around the same temperature as Cocoa Beach. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 82°F (28°C), and Cocoa Beach fluctuates around 81°F (27°C).

Cocoa Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Clearwater. Clearwater usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Cocoa Beach. Clearwater gets 8.4 inches (214 mm) of rain, while Cocoa Beach receives 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Clearwater 82°F (28°C) 
    Cocoa Beach 81°F (27°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Cocoa Beach in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Clearwater and Cocoa Beach. The shopping scene are the main draw to Clearwater this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Cocoa Beach for the shopping scene.

Clearwater is around the same temperature as Cocoa Beach in the autumn. The daily temperature in Clearwater averages around 75°F (24°C) in October, and Cocoa Beach fluctuates around 77°F (25°C).

Cocoa Beach receives a lot of rain in the autumn. In October, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Cocoa Beach. Clearwater gets 2.6 inches (65 mm) of rain, while Cocoa Beach receives 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain each month for the autumn. The hurricane season in Clearwater is June to November. The hurricane season in Cocoa Beach is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Clearwater 75°F (24°C) 
    Cocoa Beach 77°F (25°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Cocoa Beach in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Clearwater as well as Cocoa Beach. Many travelers come to Clearwater for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Additionally, many visitors come to Cocoa Beach in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Clearwater is around the same temperature as Cocoa Beach. Typically, the winter temperatures in Clearwater in January average around 60°F (15°C), and Cocoa Beach averages at about 63°F (17°C).

Clearwater usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Cocoa Beach. Clearwater gets 2.3 inches (59 mm) of rain, while Cocoa Beach receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Clearwater 60°F (15°C) 
    Cocoa Beach 63°F (17°C)

Should I visit Clearwater or Cocoa Beach in the Spring?

Both Cocoa Beach and Clearwater are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Clearwater in the spring for the beaches. Also, most visitors come to Cocoa Beach for the beaches during these months.

In April, Clearwater is generally around the same temperature as Cocoa Beach. Daily temperatures in Clearwater average around 71°F (22°C), and Cocoa Beach fluctuates around 73°F (23°C).

In April, Clearwater usually receives less rain than Cocoa Beach. Clearwater gets 2.1 inches (53 mm) of rain, while Cocoa Beach receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain each month for the spring. June to November is the hurricane season in Clearwater. June to November is the hurricane season in Cocoa Beach.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Clearwater 71°F (22°C) 
    Cocoa Beach 73°F (23°C)

Typical Weather for Cocoa Beach and Clearwater

Clearwater Cocoa Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 60°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (59 mm) 63°F (17°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Feb 61°F (16°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 62°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Mar 67°F (19°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 67°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Apr 71°F (22°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 73°F (23°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 6.5 inches (165 mm) 80°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 8.4 inches (214 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm)
Aug 82°F (28°C) 8 inches (203 mm) 81°F (27°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 6.3 inches (161 mm) 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm)
Oct 75°F (24°C) 2.6 inches (65 mm) 77°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)
Nov 68°F (20°C) 1.8 inches (45 mm) 69°F (21°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)
Dec 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm) 64°F (18°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)