A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Cocoa Beach vs. Marathon for Families, Food, Resorts, and Beaches

Should you visit Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

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 Marathon. 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 fun-filled, relaxing, and adventurous beach town. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Marathon

Marathon is a quaint, beautiful, and relaxing island. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Cocoa Beach and Marathon: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Home to the Kennedy Space Center
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable


Is there more to do in Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Cocoa Beach than Marathon, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Cocoa Beach is better known for its museums, food, and shopping, while Marathon is more popular for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and impressive beauty. Cocoa Beach is well known for its wonderful surfing waves and its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center. Also, Cocoa Beach is famous for the Kennedy Space Center. Marathon is well known for its Loggerhead sea turtles, the Dolphin Research Center, Sombrero Beach, and its many places to scuba dive and snorkel.

How is Cocoa Beach different from Marathon?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Marathon 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 Marathon?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Cocoa Beach is great for its historical sights. However, Marathon does not have museums and landmarks.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Cocoa Beach can be an interesting and educational experience. 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.

Marathon does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Cocoa Beach is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Marathon is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its local cuisine and restaurants.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Cocoa Beach. 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.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Marathon. There are restaurants with waterfront terraces, raw bars, and other seafood eateries where you can enjoy fresh caught fish for a reasonable price.

Is Cocoa Beach or Marathon Better for Nightlife?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

The notable nightlife scene is relatively similar in Cocoa Beach and Marathon.

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.

Marathon has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. Popular nightlife venues include JJ’s Dog House & Sports Bar, Brass Monkey, and Cabana Club.

Is Cocoa Beach or Marathon Better for Resorts?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Marathon 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 Marathon to choose from. Popular resorts include Isla Bella Beach Resort and Tranquility Bay Resort.

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 Cocoa Beach or Marathon Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Marathon 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 Marathon. There are many dive shops around Marathon and the area has dive spots that are great for every level. Some of the best sites are Sombrero Reef, Coffins Patch, and Thunderbolt wreck. There are also many snorkeling trips that head out to Sombrero Reef.

Cocoa Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Cocoa Beach or Marathon Better for Beaches?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Cocoa Beach and Marathon both offer great 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.

Marathon is considered a top beach destination. Sombrero Beach is a popular spot for picnics, swimming and seeing the Loggerhead Turtles from April through October.

Is the Shopping Better in Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Cocoa Beach is a nice place to visit for shopping. However, Marathon is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in 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.

Marathon is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Cocoa Beach or Marathon Better for Families?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Cocoa Beach is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Marathon is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its family-friendly activities.

Cocoa Beach is an amazing family-friendly beach town to visit. 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.

Marathon is a very kid-friendly beach town. Kids will enjoy getting face-to-face with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center. Families can also explore Pigeon Key or play in the water at Sombrero Beach. Families will find no shortage of activities on the island.

Is Cocoa Beach or Marathon Better for Couples?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Cocoa Beach and Marathon both great destinations for a couple.

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.

Couples visit Marathon frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. With beautiful views, 7 Mile Bridge, and plenty of activities, this area makes a romantic destination for couples. There are beaches and waterfront spots that offer a romantic setting for couples.

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

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Cocoa Beach is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Marathon is not a good destination for its public transit.

While Cocoa Beach offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. 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 limited or non-existant in Marathon. There's no real public transportation in town. A car is essential.


Is Cocoa Beach or Marathon a more walkable city?

Cocoa Beach
Marathon

Cocoa Beach is a nice place to visit for its walkability. However, Marathon is not a good destination for its high level of walkability.

Cocoa Beach is somewhat walkable. 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.

Marathon is generally not very walkable. Shops and restaurants and spread out along a central road, making walking difficult to impossible.

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

Should I spend more time in Marathon or Cocoa Beach?

How long in Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

Both Cocoa Beach and Marathon have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Marathon than in Cocoa Beach. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Cocoa Beach, and 3-7 days is enough time in Marathon.

Families should spend more time in Cocoa Beach than Marathon. 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 Marathon. 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 Cocoa Beach than Marathon 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 Cocoa Beach.


  • How many days in Cocoa Beach or Marathon? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cocoa Beach 2-5 
    Marathon 3-7

One day in Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

The beach town of Cocoa Beach offers food and shopping. Most people come for the beaches. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the beautiful island of Marathon. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. 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 Marathon?

Cocoa Beach is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this beach town makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Cocoa Beach, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Visitors enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the beautiful destination of Marathon. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This island offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.


Five days in Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

Cocoa Beach is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Cocoa Beach, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife when visiting the beautiful island of Marathon. 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.

A week in Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

Cocoa Beach is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This beach town offers something for everyone.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Marathon. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this island.


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, Marathon 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 Marathon is $158. 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 Marathon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cocoa Beach $85
    Marathon $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cocoa Beach $170
    Marathon $152
Compare Hotels in Cocoa Beach and Marathon

Looking for a hotel in Cocoa Beach or Marathon? 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 Marathon


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 Marathon Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cocoa Beach $26
    Marathon $47

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

Prices for flights to both Marathon 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
    Marathon $51

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
    Marathon $27

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cocoa Beach $20
    Marathon $24


When comparing the travel costs between Cocoa Beach and Marathon, we can see that Marathon is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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 Marathon Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cocoa Beach or Marathon?

Cocoa Beach has a larger population, and is about 24% larger than the population of Marathon. When comparing the sizes of Cocoa Beach and Marathon, 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 Marathon?

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 Marathon in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cocoa Beach and Marathon. Many visitors come to Cocoa Beach in the summer for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Marathon for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Cocoa Beach is around the same temperature as Marathon. Typically, the summer temperatures in Cocoa Beach in July average around 81°F (27°C), and Marathon averages at about 84°F (29°C).

Cocoa Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Cocoa Beach usually receives more rain than Marathon. Cocoa Beach gets 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain, while Marathon receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cocoa Beach 81°F (27°C) 
    Marathon 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Marathon in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Cocoa Beach as well as Marathon. Most visitors come to Cocoa Beach for the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Marathon because of the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Cocoa Beach is generally around the same temperature as Marathon. Daily temperatures in Cocoa Beach average around 77°F (25°C), and Marathon fluctuates around 80°F (27°C).

It's quite rainy in Marathon. Cocoa Beach receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Cocoa Beach usually gets less rain in October than Marathon. Cocoa Beach gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while Marathon receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Cocoa Beach is the hurricane season.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cocoa Beach 77°F (25°C) 
    Marathon 80°F (27°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Marathon in the Winter?

Both Marathon and Cocoa Beach are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The winter months attract visitors to Cocoa Beach because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the cuisine are the main draw to Marathon this time of year.

Cocoa Beach is cooler than Marathon in the winter. The daily temperature in Cocoa Beach averages around 63°F (17°C) in January, and Marathon fluctuates around 70°F (21°C).

In January, Cocoa Beach usually receives more rain than Marathon. Cocoa Beach gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while Marathon receives 1.7 inches (43 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cocoa Beach 63°F (17°C) 
    Marathon 70°F (21°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or Marathon in the Spring?

Both Marathon and Cocoa Beach during the spring are popular places to visit. The beaches are the main draw to Cocoa Beach this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Marathon for the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Cocoa Beach is cooler than Marathon. Typically, the spring temperatures in Cocoa Beach in April average around 73°F (23°C), and Marathon averages at about 77°F (25°C).

Cocoa Beach usually gets more rain in April than Marathon. Cocoa Beach gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Marathon receives 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in Cocoa Beach is June to November.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cocoa Beach 73°F (23°C) 
    Marathon 77°F (25°C)

Typical Weather for Marathon and Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach Marathon
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 63°F (17°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 70°F (21°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm)
Feb 62°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 71°F (21°C) 1.4 inches (36 mm)
Mar 67°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 74°F (23°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
Apr 73°F (23°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 77°F (25°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 81°F (27°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 83°F (28°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm) 83°F (29°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm)
Oct 77°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Nov 69°F (21°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Dec 64°F (18°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 72°F (22°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)