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How To Get From Orlando To Cocoa Beach

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Known for its stunning coastline, surfing, and the ever-popular Kennedy Space Center with rockets and other iconic artifacts, Cocoa Beach is one of the most popular vacation spots on the east coast.

Whether you love the idea of seeing dolphins, booking an alligator tours, shopping and eating to your heart’s content, heading to the Wizard of Oz museum, or even the Dinosaur Store Museum or just lounging by the water; Cocoa Beach and Cocoa Beach Pier are good options if you are looking for the closest beach to Disney World and are short on time. 

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Be it an impromptu trip or a fully planned Orlando getaway scheduled six months in advance, being organized and prepared is the key to a relaxing vacation. One of the first steps of achieving this is figuring out how to get to your destination with the least amount of stress.

Take it from us; speedy, comfortable transportation at a reasonable price is the name of the game when it comes to setting the right tone for the rest of your vacation! And lucky for you, Cocoa Beach is located only 60 miles from Orlando, making tons of options for transport available to families. 

Rent a car, take a comfortable shuttle, or hire a luxury town car and travel to Cocoa Beach in comfort and style. There are budget bus rides and more economical shuttles too. If all else fails, make the dull trip from the airport to your hotel more memorable by turning it into one of the best beach day trips from Orlando you’ll ever have!

If figuring out how to get from Orlando to Cocoa Beach has got you stumped, keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

(©2023 Google Maps) Map of Orlando MCO airport to Cocoa Beach route along the 528
(©2023 Google Maps) Map of Orlando MCO airport to Cocoa Beach route along the 528E. It is about 60 mins drive from Orlando.

Orlando To Cocoa Beach By Car

Take a Drive (Private or Rental car)

This is our preferred options. Renting a car or having your own car, gives you much more flexibility for exploring Orlando. If you are visiting Orlando from out of town or don’t own a car, you might want to consider renting one.

Even though renting a car may seem like an extravagant option, it is actually the cheapest and simplest way to get to Cocoa Beach from Orlando, especially when traveling with a large group.

Driving on your own comes with the perks of being in control of your transportation and schedule, and even allows you to make stops along the way for sightseeing and shopping. This flexibility is something we love to do, plus we get to see more of Florida this way.

You can rent a car from one of the many rental companies on the MCO website, including Dollar Car Rental, Hertz, Enterprise, Thrifty, Avis, and more.

The airport website gives you the choice to rent a vehicle based on your requirements and luxury as well.

The driving distance from MCO to Cocoa Beach is about 60 miles, which means it’ll take you approximately an hour to reach the beach on the 528. This makes it an excellent option if you are in a time crunch, as public transportation options take much more than an hour.

Arguably the best part, however, is the opportunity to plan out one of the best beach day trips from Orlando to soak in the sights of the beautiful shoreline. After all, there’s nothing like kick-starting your vacation from the privacy of your own car! This is even more true when traveling with infants who need to be nursed and cared for frequently.

Although every option has its perks, they also have their own drawbacks. Renting a car comes with the added expense of paying tolls and parking fees. But, on the bright side, it still turns out to be cheaper than hiring a taxi!

We’ve opted to purchase our own SunPASS Pro which you can pick up from numerous outlets and then up via the app – which makes our visits to Florida a lot simpler and quicker as we can now opt for the faster route.

You can choose to drive down to the coast via FL-408 E, FL-528 E, or take the Florida scenic route and check out Lori Wilson Park on the way. All three routes invite tolls, so be prepared for that. Just remember to do the math for all three options before setting out on your journey to ensure that the route you choose matches your budget.

When it comes to avoiding hotel parking fees, keep in mind that you don’t have to rent a car for your whole trip. You have the option to rent a car for just a day, allowing you to rent it to travel from MCO to the hotel and then rent it again when you need to head back to the airport.

If you are traveling with toddlers or infants, booster seats are mandatory in Florida, so make sure to request one from the rental company before you begin your journey. 

cocoa beach

Hire a Taxi

When in doubt, taking a conventional old taxicab is always an easy option. Whether you need a taxi from the airport to your hotel, want to visit the Kennedy Space Center, or need to go sightseeing and shopping, you will be able to find a taxi that suits your purpose with relative ease. 

While hiring a taxi is not the cheapest option, it does offer privacy, convenience, and easy accessibility. And beginning your vacation with a dedicated vehicle and chauffeur does sound like a relaxing start, doesn’t it? Just make sure to book your taxi after you have landed so you don’t have to pay additional waiting charges.

There are many taxi rental companies you can look into, like Ace Luxury Transportation, 24Seven Taxi, Orlando Cab Co., the Diamond Cab Company, and more.

Most of these companies provide a variety of choices, from sedans and vans to minibusses with child seats and a free 15-minute grocery store stop to stock up for your trip! Check all the options available to you and book wisely. 

If you weren’t able to make prior arrangements for transportation, you can always just head over to the official taxi stand at the airport and hire a taxi instantly. When traveling by taxi, always remember to check if the cab driver has reset the meter before you board the car, and don’t forget to tip your driver at the end of your ride.

Beware of drivers who solicit business by attempting to convince tourists to hire their taxi. These services might not be legitimate, may not have vehicle insurance, and, most of the time, quote an outrageous price. 

If you feel like splurging, take a limo ride or hire a town car to class up your otherwise boring ride! You can hire a limousine to pick you up right from Orlando International Airport and your driver will be waiting for you with a grand sign when you land. 

Book an Uber or Lyft

Despite Uber and Lyft’s hefty rates and surge pricing, they remain the easiest and most popular choices when it comes to traveling from Orlando to Cocoa Beach. With just the click of a button, you can have your car ready to go! This option is much cheaper than a taxi, less stressful than renting a car, and more comfortable than a tedious bus ride. 

Once there, you will find Cocoa Beach is a one of the walkable beach towns in Florida.

Only book your Uber or Lyft after you pass through immigration, security, and baggage claim, as these cabs have fixed wait times, after which they will leave without you and charge you for it! Because of their availability, it’s best to just book yourself a cab once you are ready to go. 

Even though this is the most convenient way, it is not ideal if you are traveling with over 6 people. For such cases, a shuttle will be more economical and comfortable. It should also be known that Uber offers booster seats to make family rides easier, but if you book a Lyft, you might have to bring a car seat along with you. 

Orlando To Cocoa Beach By Shuttle

Shuttle From The Closest Airport

Another popular option for traveling from Orlando to Cocoa Beach is using one of the many shuttle services available to you. Book a shuttle from one of the airports and off you go! Travelynx and Cocoa Beach Shuttle are the shuttle service companies that are most preferred by travelers, but there are also other companies like Red Coach, Gray Line, and Jayride that you can check out as well. 

Hire whichever ride you prefer, ranging from sedans, big vans, mini buses, and shared vans, at prices that start from about $45 for a single person. Book either a one-way trip or a round trip, and remember to contact the companies beforehand to see if there are any discounts offered to children.

For guests of hotel chains like Hampton, Radisson, and Hyatt, shuttle services may also be included as part of your package, so be sure to contact your hotel in Cocoa Beach to check. You may also find shuttle vans at the Ground Transportation Level at MCO, handled by Mears. Mears charges per person per trip, so you will need to contact them for fare details for round-trips and children’s rates. 

Since shuttle services inherently involve many stops along the way, you should expect a longer travel time to your hotel from the airport than a cab or rental, but shorter than a bus. Also, keep in mind that passengers are only allowed to carry a maximum of 2 baggage items per person. If you have more bags than this, you will have to pay extra to take them along with you. 

Once again, if you are traveling with infants and toddlers, make sure to request car seats and booster seats in advance for an additional cost. Also, don’t forget to account for a customary driver’s tip of 10–15% in your budget as well.  

Take an Organized Shuttle Tour

If you want to kick start your vacation from the very first moment you land in Orlando, plan a trip to the beach as soon as you leave the airport. It’s sure to be the best beach day trip from Orlando to Cocoa Beach! Of course, this is only a good idea if you had a short and easy flight into the city, not a long and arduous one. 

If your kids love nature, wildlife, and adventure, then take a Gray Line (Gator Tours) excursion to combine your beach trip with an airboat safari of the alligator swamps. Or, if your little ones love space, spend hours exploring the awe-inspiring Kennedy Space Center with some fascinating rocket exhibits to brighten up your kid’s day! 

Orlando To Cocoa Beach By Bus (Not recommended)

If you are someone who enjoys savoring every moment of the journey in your own time, consider taking the bus! Although this option is not for the faint hearted and not an option for a day trip to the beach due to the amount of time it takes.

If this doesn’t phase you, hop on the Rally Bus at the Greyhound Bus Station, 555 N. John Young Parkway in Orlando.

Check the timings and routes prior to your visit in order to plan your itinerary accordingly. About fourteen buses leave from Orlando to Cocoa Beach every day, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that matches your schedule.

However, if you are traveling with little kids who tend to get cranky when in one place for too long, the bus might not be for you and we don’t recommend it. And while this is definitely an economical choice, it is not the best choice for those who are bound by time. With about thirty stops along the way, the journey from MCO to Cocoa Beach takes a whopping six hours!

us dept of transport

Tips For Car Seats and Booster Seats

It’s important to know that Florida law requires children under the age of 5 to be seated in car seats or booster seats during car journeys. Your options are to either carry a full-sized car seat with you everywhere you go or book a transportation method that offers car seats.

Alternatively, you can carry a seat belt adjuster or travel booster seat to strap your little ones to their seats. This is especially required if you plan to use the shuttle service from the airport. 

You can request a car seat for an additional surcharge when traveling by Uber, taxi, or even when you are renting a private car, but just keep in mind that not all companies offer them. For instance, Lyft requires you to bring your own car seats, and Florida and California buses are exempt from the laws on child safety seats.

For these reasons, it is advisable to carry a foldable, lightweight car seat at all times if you are traveling with a toddler to make your journey less stressful.

FAQs

1. How to get to Cocoa Beach from Orlando without a car?

Not having a car will not prevent you from having the time of your life in Cocoa Beach. You can hire a taxi or Uber, take a shuttle, or bus!

2. Which is the best shuttle from MCO to Cocoa Beach?

Travelynx and Cocoa Beach Shuttle are the two most popular shuttle companies in the area. However, there are many other shuttle options too, such as the Port Canaveral Quick Shuttle, Jayride, and more.

3. Which is the cheapest way to get from Orlando Airport to Cocoa Beach?

Taking your own car is the cheapest way to get from Orlando Airport to Cocoa Beach. If you don’t have a car in Orlando, you can rent one and still save a lot of money! Compare rental companies to get the best price, but remember to consider parking fees and tolls when choosing this as your choice of transportation. 

4. Which hotels in Cocoa Beach offer airport shuttles?

Many hotels in Cocoa Beach offer shuttle services. Here are some: Beachside Hotel & Suites, Days Inn by Wyndham Cocoa Beach Port Canaveral, Four Points by Sheraton Cocoa Beach, Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort, and Ocean Landings Resort and Racquet Club. 

5. What are some day trips from Orlando to Cocoa Beach?

A guided day trip to Kennedy Space Center and an airboat safari through the Central Florida Everglades are the most popular day trips when traveling from Orlando to Cocoa Beach.

6. Is there a direct train route from Orlando to Cocoa Beach?

Unfortunately, there are no direct train routes from Orlando to Cocoa Beach.

7. Is Uber or a taxi cheaper in Orlando? 

Uber is definitely the cheaper of the two. In fact, UberX is one of the most affordable options when in Orlando. It also provides car seats for an extra charge to make transportation during your vacation even easier!

8. Can Uber pick you up at MCO?

Yes, both Uber and Lyft can pick you up from Orlando International Airport. Just remember to only book your cab once you are done with immigration, security, and baggage claim to avoid incurring any waiting charges.

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