A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Cocoa Beach vs. Jacksonville for Families, Attractions, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

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 Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville. 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.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is a adventurous, fun-filled, and relaxing beach town. It's also popular because of the food, beaches, and shopping.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a youthful, fun, and vibrant city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the food, beaches, and shopping.

Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Home to the Kennedy Space Center
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly


Is there more to do in Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Jacksonville. Although Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville are popular destinations, Jacksonville has more sights and attractions for tourists. Jacksonville is very popular for its nightlife, shopping, and big city activities, while Cocoa Beach attracts visitors for its resorts. Cocoa Beach is more touristy than Jacksonville and is known for its wonderful surfing waves and its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center. Jacksonville is famous for its beautiful beaches and lively downtown area. It is also well known for Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens.

How is Cocoa Beach different from Jacksonville?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

You'll find a number of excellent museums and attractions in both Jacksonville and Cocoa Beach.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Cocoa Beach. 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.

Jacksonville offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city has a number of museums that range from art museums to science or kid-friendly museums. Some favorites are the Museum of Science and History, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Mandarin Museum and Historical Society, and Kingsley Plantation.


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

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Both Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville offer excellent local cuisine and restaurants.

Cocoa Beach has a number of nationally recognized food spots and 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.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Jacksonville makes for a great culinary experience. Local cuisine has its own identity. Unique dishes around town include garlic crabs, seafood boil, gumbo, and shrimp and grits. The local cuisine is similar to Lowcountry dishes with a lot of Cajun influence. If you want something different from seafood, you should try the barbecue.

Is Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville Better for Nightlife?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a very popular place for its evening party scene. Also, Cocoa Beach is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Jacksonville has a large number of nightlife venues. The young population brings out the nightlife scene. There's a great concentration of bars and clubs in the area known as The Elbow, which is at the intersection of N. Ocean and E. Bay Street. You'll find plenty of cocktail bars, lounges, and clubs around town that make for a fun night out.

Cocoa Beach has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. You'll find a number of casual pubs, bars, and grills around town where you can grab a drink in a relaxed setting.

Is Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville Better for Resorts?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Cocoa Beach is a good destination for its luxury resorts. However, Jacksonville is not a resort destination.

Cocoa Beach has a few great resort options. There are casual and family-friendly resorts in the area that make for a nice beach vacation.

Jacksonville is not a resort destination.


Is Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville Better for Beaches?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville both offer excellent beaches.

Many people visit Cocoa Beach for it's beautiful beaches. 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.

Jacksonville is considered a top beach destination. There are a number of beaches that are just a short distance from the city. Some have a historic vibe while others are more lively. Atlantic Beach is about a half hour drive from the city. For a laid back vibe head to Neptune Beach and the most popular beach in the area is Jacksonville Beach.

Is the Shopping Better in Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a very popular place for its shopping areas. Also, Cocoa Beach is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Jacksonville. There are countless malls and shopping districts around town. Some of the best shopping is found at St. John's Center, Five Points, and Avondale.

Cocoa Beach is a great destination for shopping. You'll find lots of great local shops as well as malls and beach stores where you can pick up everything you need.

Is Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville Better for Families?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Cocoa Beach is renowned for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Jacksonville is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-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.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Jacksonville. It's filled with adventure parks, zoos, animal farms, nature centers, and gardens. Adults will have as much fun as kids exploring the city and all of its family-friendly attractions.


Is Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville Better for Couples?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Cocoa Beach is an excellent place to visit for couples. Also, Jacksonville is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for romance.

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.

Jacksonville is a nice destination for couples. It's a young city that's near nature and has plenty of adventurous activities. There's sailing, botanical gardens, restaurants, and plenty of bars around town.

Is Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a good destination for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Cocoa Beach is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Jacksonville. There are a few hostels in town as well as affordable motels. The city has a young population with plenty to do. Although it's often overlooked by tourists, there's a surprising and underrated appeal to the backpacker crowd.

Cocoa Beach is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. While there aren't any hostels in the area, there are some affordable hotels away from the beach.

Is Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville Better for Students?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Jacksonville is a good destination for its student-friendly activities. However, Cocoa Beach is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Jacksonville. There are a few colleges and universities in town. The city's population is also very young, making it a great place to study.

Cocoa Beach is not popular with students.


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

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Visitors will find nice public transit in both Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville.

Cocoa Beach has some 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).

You'll find some public transit in Jacksonville, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. The public transportation system includes trolleys, the Skyway, buses, water taxis, and the ferry.

Is Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville a more walkable city?

Cocoa Beach
Jacksonville

Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville are nice when it comes to walkability.

Cocoa Beach is a somewhat walkable beach town. 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.

Jacksonville is somewhat walkable. Downtown Jacksonville is the most walkable part of the city.

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

Should I spend more time in Jacksonville or Cocoa Beach?

How long in Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Cocoa Beach than in Jacksonville. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Cocoa Beach, and 2-3 days is enough time in Jacksonville.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville.


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

One day in Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

In Cocoa Beach, many people enjoy the food and shopping that this fun-filled beach town offers. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the under-rated city of Jacksonville. It's also a great beach destination, too. 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.


A weekend in Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

Cocoa Beach is a fun place to experience. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the youthful destination of Jacksonville. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

In Cocoa Beach, many people enjoy the museums and nightlife that this adventurous destination offers. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

The youthful city of Jacksonville offers shopping and museums. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

Cocoa Beach is a popular place to visit. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Jacksonville. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people come for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America, and The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Jacksonville or Cocoa Beach?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cocoa Beach is $145, while the average daily cost in Jacksonville is $220. 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 Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cocoa Beach $85
    Jacksonville $92
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cocoa Beach $170
    Jacksonville $184
Compare Hotels in Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville

Looking for a hotel in Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville? 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 Cocoa Beach


Hotels in Jacksonville


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: Cocoa Beach Hotel Prices and Jacksonville Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cocoa Beach $26
    Jacksonville $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cocoa Beach

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

  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $293
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $280
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $277
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $277

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Jacksonville

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

  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville Cruise Port -Arrival Private Transfer: $55
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $121
  • Jacksonville Airport (JAX) to Jacksonville City - Arrival Private Transfer: $61
  • JAX Airport Transfer to Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront: $147
  • JAX Airport Transfer to Hyatt Place/ St. Johns Town Center: $164
  • JAX Airport Transfer to Amelia Island: $195
  • Carnival Cruise Port Transfer to Jacksonville: $334
  • Carnival Cruise Port Jacksonville to Jacksonville, FL - Arrival Private Transfer: $63
  • Carnival Cruise Port Jacksonville to Jacksonville - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $127

Is it cheaper to fly into Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

Prices for flights to both Jacksonville and Cocoa Beach 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
    Cocoa Beach $43
    Jacksonville $96

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.
    Cocoa Beach $16
    Jacksonville $20

Tours and Activities in Cocoa Beach

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

  • LED Bio Comb Jelly Clear Bottom Kayak or Paddleboard Tour!: $64
  • 2 Hour Guided Sunset Boat Tour of the Indian River Lagoon: $75
  • 2 hour Dolphin Sightseeing Tour in Melbourne Florida : $45
  • Bioluminescence Clear Kayak or Paddleboard Adventure Tour: $75
  • Bioluminescence Kayak Tour: $70
  • Bioluminescent Clear Bottom Kayak or Paddleboard Sit-On-Top Kayak Hybrid Tour!: $75
  • Bioluminescent Clear Kayak Tours in Titusville: $120
  • Clear Kayak Bioluminescence Tour: $85
  • Clear Kayak Florida Bioluminescence Tour | Beacon 42 (Titusville): $85
  • Clear Kayak Guided Kayak Tours in Titusville: $65
  • Cocoa Beach 2 Hour Dolphin Sightseeing tour- public: $65
  • Cocoa Beach Dolphin Tours on the Banana River: $40

Tours and Activities in Jacksonville

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

  • Jacksonville Ghosts and Ghouls Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $30
  • 2-Flights Indoor Skydiving Experience in Jacksonville: $91
  • 20 Minutes Chocolate & Candy Factory Tour in Jacksonville: $6.00
  • 90 Minute Self-Guided Arcimoto FUV Adventure: $125
  • Amelia Island Area Kayak Rental on Lofton Creek with Adventures Up The Creek: $36
  • Amelia Island Guided Kayak Tour of Lofton Creek : $60
  • Big Talbot Island Self Guided Tour with Smart Helmets: $115
  • CraigCat Boat Tour from Fernandina Beach: $145
  • Downtown Fernandina Historical Walking Tour: $30
  • Eight Flags Road Tour: $50
  • Electric Bike Art and Architecture Guided Tour in Jacksonville : $60
  • Electric Bike Tours in Amelia Island: $115

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cocoa Beach $20
    Jacksonville $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Jacksonville

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

  • Jax Brewery Tour (Drinks Included): $135


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville, we can see that Jacksonville 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 Jacksonville would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Jacksonville 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 Cocoa Beach Expensive? and Is Jacksonville Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

Jacksonville has a larger population, and is about 60 times larger than the population of Cocoa Beach. When comparing the sizes of Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville, 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 Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville in the Summer?

Both Jacksonville and Cocoa Beach are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Cocoa Beach because of the beaches and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Jacksonville this time of year.

Cocoa Beach is around the same temperature as Jacksonville in the summer. The daily temperature in Cocoa Beach averages around 81°F (27°C) in July, and Jacksonville fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Jacksonville. It's quite rainy in Cocoa Beach. In July, Cocoa Beach usually receives more rain than Jacksonville. Cocoa Beach gets 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain, while Jacksonville receives 5.4 inches (137 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville in the Autumn?

Both Jacksonville and Cocoa Beach during the autumn are popular places to visit. The shopping scene are the main draw to Cocoa Beach this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Jacksonville for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Cocoa Beach is a little warmer than Jacksonville. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cocoa Beach in October average around 77°F (25°C), and Jacksonville averages at about 70°F (21°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach usually gets more rain in October than Jacksonville. Cocoa Beach gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Jacksonville receives 2.9 inches (73 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in Cocoa Beach is June to November. Also, the hurricane season in Jacksonville is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cocoa Beach 77°F (25°C) 
    Jacksonville 70°F (21°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Cocoa Beach and Jacksonville. Many travelers come to Cocoa Beach for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Jacksonville in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In January, Cocoa Beach is generally a little warmer than Jacksonville. Daily temperatures in Cocoa Beach average around 63°F (17°C), and Jacksonville fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

In January, Cocoa Beach usually receives less rain than Jacksonville. Cocoa Beach gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Jacksonville receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cocoa Beach 63°F (17°C) 
    Jacksonville 53°F (12°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Jacksonville in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Cocoa Beach as well as Jacksonville. Many visitors come to Cocoa Beach in the spring for the beaches. Additionally, most visitors come to Jacksonville for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months.

Cocoa Beach is a little warmer than Jacksonville in the spring. The daily temperature in Cocoa Beach averages around 73°F (23°C) in April, and Jacksonville fluctuates around 68°F (20°C).

Cocoa Beach usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Jacksonville. Cocoa Beach gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Jacksonville receives 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in Cocoa Beach. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in Jacksonville.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cocoa Beach 73°F (23°C) 
    Jacksonville 68°F (20°C)

Typical Weather for Jacksonville and Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach Jacksonville
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 63°F (17°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Feb 62°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 56°F (13°C) 3.9 inches (100 mm)
Mar 67°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 62°F (17°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Apr 73°F (23°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 68°F (20°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 74°F (24°C) 3.7 inches (93 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.7 inches (146 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 5.4 inches (137 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm) 82°F (28°C) 7.8 inches (199 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm) 79°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (180 mm)
Oct 77°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 70°F (21°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm)
Nov 69°F (21°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 62°F (17°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm)
Dec 64°F (18°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 56°F (13°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)