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

Should you visit Cocoa Beach or West Palm 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 Cocoa Beach and West Palm 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.

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is a fun-filled, relaxing, and adventurous beach town. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a vibrant, fun-filled, and diverse beach area. It's also popular because of the beaches, nightlife, and scuba diving and snorkeling.

Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Home to the Kennedy Space Center
Things to Consider
  • Not as many resort options
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food


Is there more to do in Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Cocoa Beach than West Palm Beach, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Cocoa Beach is better known for its museums, food, and shopping, while West Palm Beach is more popular for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches. 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. West Palm Beach is well known for its nice resorts, a lively boardwalk, great seafood, and fun watersports.

How is Cocoa Beach different from West Palm Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

Cocoa Beach is a great beach town for its historical sights. However, West Palm Beach does not have museums and landmarks.

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.

West Palm Beach does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

Cocoa Beach is a great beach town for its local flavors and cuisine. However, West Palm Beach is not known 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.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in West Palm Beach. Oceanfront restaurants usually have a great view and offer local and fresh seafood. There are also many local restaurants concentrated around Clematis Street and CityPlace districts.

Is Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach Better for Nightlife?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

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

West Palm Beach has a large number of nightlife venues. With rooftop bars and clubs, oceanfront venues, and plenty of nightlife options downtown, this city rivals most places when it comes to nightlife. The nightlife scene is particularly active during spring break, when university students head to town.

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 West Palm Beach Better for Resorts?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is very popular for its luxury resorts. Also, Cocoa Beach is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

Vacationers flock to West Palm Beach for its luxury resorts. All of the major names are present including the Hilton, Marriott, and Four Seasons.

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 West Palm Beach Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a very popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Cocoa Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

There are many scuba diving and snorkeling spots near West Palm Beach. Check out Phil Foster Park in Rivera Beach. It's a man-made reef that is surprisingly clear.

Cocoa Beach is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach Better for Beaches?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

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

West Palm Beach offers stunning beaches that attract visitors from around the world. From bustling beaches with a boardwalk to quieter, more relaxing beaches surrounded by parkland, there are are number of options in the area.

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 Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

Cocoa Beach is a popular place for shopping. However, West Palm Beach 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.

West Palm Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach Better for Families?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

Cocoa Beach is very popular for its kid-friendly activities. Also, West Palm Beach is not as popular, but is still a nice beach area for its family-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Cocoa Beach is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

West Palm Beach is a very kid-friendly beach town. Animal lovers will appreciate the zoos and aquariums in the area. Check out McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary, Manatee Lagoon, the Palm Beach Zoo, and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.

Is Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach Better for Couples?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach both superb 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 West Palm Beach frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Couples will enjoy kayaking, dining out, or simply relaxing on the beach. It's fun to spend a day exploring the botanical gardens and an evening wandering around Clematis Street.

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

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

Visitors will find notable public transit in both Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach.

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 West Palm Beach, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's a downtown trolley, a commuter trail line (connecting West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale), and a bus system with about 30 lines.


Is Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach a more walkable city?

Cocoa Beach
West Palm Beach

Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach are notable 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.

West Palm Beach is somewhat walkable. West Palm Beach has a surprisingly walkable area and it's possible to explore the downtown area on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in West Palm Beach or Cocoa Beach?

How long in Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach?

Both Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cocoa Beach than West Palm 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 Cocoa Beach.


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

One day in Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach?

The relaxing destination of Cocoa Beach offers nightlife and food. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the diverse beach area of West Palm Beach. 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.

A weekend in Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach?

The beach town of Cocoa Beach offers food and shopping. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend here is typical. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife when visiting the vibrant destination of West Palm Beach. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This beach area 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 West Palm Beach?

Cocoa Beach is a great place to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. This beach town offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting the fun-filled beach area of West Palm Beach. 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 West Palm Beach?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Cocoa Beach. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife when visiting the destination of West Palm Beach. 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. Most people visit for the beaches. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this beach area.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 3-Week Tours in United States of America, The Best Bicycle Tours in United States of America, Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United States of America, and The Best Coach Bus Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach is $330. 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 West Palm Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cocoa Beach $85
    West Palm Beach $234
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cocoa Beach $170
    West Palm Beach $468
Compare Hotels in Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach

Looking for a hotel in Cocoa Beach or West Palm 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 Cocoa Beach


Hotels in West Palm 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: Cocoa Beach Hotel Prices and West Palm Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cocoa Beach $26
    West Palm Beach $49

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: $291
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $278
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $276
  • Private Transfer from Cocoa Beach to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $276

Hired Cars and Shuttles in West Palm Beach

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

  • Private Transfer from PBI to Palm Beach City : $103
  • Private Transfer from Cruise Port of Palm Beach to Palm Beach: $41
  • Palm Beach to Palm Beach Cruise Port - Departure Private Transfer: $41
  • Palm Beach Port to Palm Beach Airport (PBI) - Departure Transfer: $41
  • Departure Private Transfer: Palm Beach to Palm Beach Airport PBI in Luxury SUV: $108
  • Cruise Port of Palm Beach to Palm Beach hotels - Arrival Private Transfer : $41
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Palm Beach Airport PBI to Palm Beach in Luxury SUV: $108

Is it cheaper to fly into Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach?

Prices for flights to both West Palm Beach 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
    West Palm Beach $66

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:

  • 3-Hour Indian River Queen Cruise with Dinner: $79
  • Guided Walking Food Tour in Cocoa Beach: $79

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in West Palm Beach

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

  • Mornings in the Market Food Tour: $75
  • Mornings in the Market Food Tour: $75
  • Downtown West Palm Beach Food Tour: $85
  • Downtown Food Tour: $85
  • Prohibition Dinner & Drinks Tour: $101
  • Food Tour of Historic West Palm Beach Neighborhoods: $101
  • Prohibition Dinner & Drinks Tour: $101
  • Historic Neighborhood Food Tour: $101

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cocoa Beach $16
    West Palm Beach $19

Tours and Activities in Cocoa Beach

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

  • 2 hour Dolphin Sightseeing Tour in Melbourne Florida : $45
  • Bicycle Tours and Rentals Throughout the Space Coast: $50
  • Bioluminescence Clear Kayak or Paddleboard Adventure Tour: $75
  • Bioluminescence Kayak Tour: $70
  • Bioluminescence Night Kayaking Tour of Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge: $80
  • 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
  • Cocoa Beach 2 Hour Dolphin Sightseeing tour- public: $65
  • Cocoa Beach Dolphin Tours on the Banana River: $40
  • Banana River Sunset Cruise w/ Dolphin Watching: $40

Tours and Activities in West Palm Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for West Palm Beach.

  • 2-Hour Guided Snorkel Tour of Phil Foster Park, Blue Heron Bridge: $60
  • 3 Hour Cruise & Swimming Excursion off Peanut Island Park: $77
  • Beginner Scuba Diving Tour With Videos in West Palm Beach: $99
  • Beginner Snorkel Tour With Videos in West Palm Beach: $49
  • Blue Heron Bridge Guided Snorkel Tour : $90
  • Bulk Candy Store Tour: $13
  • Christmas Light Cruise from Jupiter: $75
  • Clear Kayak Eco Tour in Jupiter, Florida: $75
  • Clear Kayak Tour in Jupiter: $79
  • Experience Peanut Island Adventures: $50
  • Flamingle Happy Hour Cruise: $40
  • Historical Sightseeing Catamaran Cruise in Palm Beach: $51

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cocoa Beach $20
    West Palm Beach $39

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 Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach, we can see that West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach?

West Palm Beach has a larger population, and is about 7 times larger than the population of Cocoa Beach. When comparing the sizes of Cocoa Beach and West Palm 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 Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach?

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 West Palm Beach in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach. The beaches and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Cocoa Beach this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to West Palm Beach for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Cocoa Beach is around the same temperature as West Palm Beach. Typically, the summer temperatures in Cocoa Beach in July average around 81°F (27°C), and West Palm Beach averages at about 82°F (28°C).

West Palm Beach receives a lot of rain in the summer. Cocoa Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Cocoa Beach usually receives more rain than West Palm Beach. Cocoa Beach gets 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain, while West Palm Beach receives 6.5 inches (166 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Cocoa Beach as well as West Palm Beach. Many travelers come to Cocoa Beach for the shopping scene.

In October, Cocoa Beach is generally around the same temperature as West Palm Beach. Daily temperatures in Cocoa Beach average around 77°F (25°C), and West Palm Beach fluctuates around 78°F (25°C).

It's quite rainy in West Palm Beach. Cocoa Beach receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Cocoa Beach usually gets less rain in October than West Palm Beach. Cocoa Beach gets 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain, while West Palm Beach receives 8.7 inches (222 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, June to November in Cocoa Beach is the hurricane season. Also, June to November in West Palm Beach is the hurricane season.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cocoa Beach 77°F (25°C) 
    West Palm Beach 78°F (25°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach in the Winter?

Both West Palm Beach and Cocoa Beach are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Cocoa Beach in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to West Palm Beach for the cuisine during these months.

Cocoa Beach is around the same temperature as West Palm Beach in the winter. The daily temperature in Cocoa Beach averages around 63°F (17°C) in January, and West Palm Beach fluctuates around 65°F (19°C).

In January, Cocoa Beach usually receives less rain than West Palm Beach. Cocoa Beach gets 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain, while West Palm Beach receives 2.6 inches (66 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cocoa Beach 63°F (17°C) 
    West Palm Beach 65°F (19°C)

Should I visit Cocoa Beach or West Palm Beach in the Spring?

Both West Palm Beach and Cocoa Beach during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Cocoa Beach for the beaches during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to West Palm Beach because of the beaches.

In the spring, Cocoa Beach is around the same temperature as West Palm Beach. Typically, the spring temperatures in Cocoa Beach in April average around 73°F (23°C), and West Palm Beach averages at about 74°F (23°C).

Cocoa Beach usually gets less rain in April than West Palm Beach. Cocoa Beach gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while West Palm Beach receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in Cocoa Beach is June to November. Also, the hurricane season in West Palm Beach is June to November.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cocoa Beach 73°F (23°C) 
    West Palm Beach 74°F (23°C)

Typical Weather for West Palm Beach and Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach West Palm Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 63°F (17°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm) 65°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Feb 62°F (17°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 66°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Mar 67°F (20°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Apr 73°F (23°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm)
Jun 80°F (26°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm)
Jul 81°F (27°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.5 inches (166 mm)
Aug 81°F (27°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm) 83°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Sep 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm) 81°F (27°C) 9.8 inches (250 mm)
Oct 77°F (25°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm) 78°F (25°C) 8.7 inches (222 mm)
Nov 69°F (21°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm) 72°F (22°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Dec 64°F (18°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)