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Cocoa Beach, Florida: Raising the Bar

by Kim Humphreys
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A Personal Interview With Dave Netterstrom, Mayor of Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach”The world watched men go to the moon years ago (from nearby Cape Canaveral),” but since then not much progress has happened in the Cocoa Beach area, explains Dave Netterstrom, Mayor of Cocoa Beach. “Cocoa Beach has been stuck in a rut for over 20 years. ” Within the definition established by the local community, the newly elected mayor is working to change this. “We are working to raise the bar to make Cocoa Beach a 4-star town without over-commercializing the area.”

Two words describe his plan for Cocoa Beach’s future: reinvest and rebuild.

Cocoa Beach, Florida: Raising the Bar - An interview with the Mayor of Cocoa Beach by Calculated Traveller | #Cocoa #beach #Florida #travel

Rated as one of Top Beaches in Florida by USA Today

Cocoa Beach isn’t starting from scratch. Cocoa Beach was recently rated by USA Today as the third best beach town in Florida. The top two beaches are on the West Coast of Florida, explained Mayor Netterstrom. His interpretation: “We are the best beach town on the East Coast.” Regardless, there is always room for improvement.

The initiative starts by cleaning up their beaches in more than the literal sense. It is legal to drink alcohol at Cocoa Beach. Unfortunately, “a lot of daytrippers are not respecting our beach,” explains Mayor Netterstrom. “They buy beer then get trashed on the beaches. We are sending a new message, that this is not acceptable.”

Through a Beach Rangers Program, visitors that are violating these warnings and are obnoxious or visually impaired can receive a warning. “The idea is to let our police do their own work” and not spend so much time on reprimanding drunk visitors. The Rangers can then, if necessary, escalate the issue to the local police.

With a Masters of Business Degree from Florida Atlantic University and entrepreneurial real estate experience, Mayor Netterstrom understands the symbiotic relationship between tourism and the economy. In addition to attracting more visitors, he wants people to consider moving to Cocoa Beach. One way is by increasing the number of mixed-use buildings,” which means that locations can serve as both residences and retail shops. The town is also working to improve its image by targeting families and baby boomers through improved infrastructure including remodelling and rebuilding structures. There are also plans to create more shopping.

“We want to tell the world that we are open for business.”

Cocoa Beach

What else Cocoa Beach has to offer

Cocoa Beach, the hometown of the World Champion surfer, Kelly Slater, is of course, most notably known for its beaches, yet Cocoa Beach has more to offer than just the sand and the waves. “We have the world’s largest Ron Jon’s Surf shop that is open 24 hours, Coconuts/Beach Shack, Eco Tours in the Thousand Islands that include kayaking, paddleboarding, and yoga, the Cocoa Beach Country Club Golf Course, several bars and restaurants on the pier, as well as several activities at the port. “We also have great restaurants and coffee shops, like this one,” referring to Juice-n-Java Café.

“With its diversity and great schools, Cocoa Beach is also a great place to grow up.” “We are also the most fun.” When asked what that meant, Major Netterstrom said: “Let’s let the visitors decide.”

Beach Information
For more information on the beaches of Cocoa Beach, including live webcams to check out the current conditions on Shepard Park, Fischer Park, Lori Wilson Park, and the Pier, go to:


Author’s Note: Lori Wilson Park offers the advantage of free parking.

Cocoa Beach, Florida: Raising the Bar - An interview with the Mayor of Cocoa Beach by Calculated Traveller | #Cocoa #beach #Florida #travel

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susan December 10, 2013 - 6:32 pm

the seaweed all along cocoa beach is disgusting. this is not going to attract tourists who want a beautiful beach. there is garbage caught in it, flies around it, & it stinks. its the topic of conversation around the pool because we stopped going to the beach. friends visited last year, had the same problem. we went to west coast of fl to vacation with them this year and its a good thing we did. met tourists at ron johns resort, they were very disappointed in the condition of the beach. called one of the town dept #’s. they said epa won’t allow raking due to turtles. called epa, they said not true , just don’t rake with truck during turtle season & by the dunes. called another town # & they said they have a rake & will rake but couldn’t give a date. another town worker said they will not rake in brevard county but they do have a million dollar rake truck. we bought here for the beach, the seaweed gets worse every year. we are thinking of moving to where they respect and take care of their pristine beaches. can anyone give a straight answer?

elaine schoch @ carpetravel.com June 11, 2013 - 8:50 am

I’m so glad they’re going to be doing some improvements! We visited two years ago and loved the beaches but did find a lot of trash on and around them – not to mention crazy amounts of jelly fish washed up on shore.

Bob Mallette April 11, 2013 - 10:19 pm

Please come to our 27 hole golf course….we have new golf carts, new and very best putting greens on the space coast, very low fees, links style layout, practice area, wonderful food and family dining, senior center, Olympic swimming pool, pro type tennis courts, wildlife observation, boat rentals, picnicking area, skateboard complex, a great sports complex for the family get together’s, ample free parking for vehicles of all sizes. Just turn west / right at the Cocoa Beach City Hall / Police Department, pass the High School and turn left to the golf complex.

It’s a great place to spend the day recreating. Come and golf with us at the Cocoa Beach Country Club, open to the public…!

Mike Stearns April 11, 2013 - 4:53 pm

I use to surf Cocoa from Miami in the 60s and Ive always loved Cocoa. I went there this last January on vacation from RI and found Cocoa to be very tired looking. I think the mayors right rebuild it. Im thinking the pier would be first. Jupiter Fl built a nice pier several years ago, it can be done.. . I would start there and work my way west. Cocoa is prime for tourists because of its proximity to both Orlando and the Cruise ships. Im thinking, book a cruise and stay with us for a few days first.

Mary Chong April 11, 2013 - 5:02 pm

Thanks for your comment Mike. Kim was in Cocoa a few weeks ago for our Canadian Spring Break when she met with the Mayor. I was there in Jan 2012 doing just as you say – taking a cruise. I only had the opportunity to stay one day (we used the park & fly service at The Country Inn & Suites which was awesome BTW) and had some fabulous BBQ at Slow and Low… Cocoa definitely needs some love because it really would be great to use it more often for cruising versus having to go all the way down to Ft Lauderdale/Miami.

Kim April 11, 2013 - 5:28 pm

Mike, thanks for your comments. I’m glad to hear from a surfer so thanks for your comments. I agree that it is in prime location, being so close to Orlando and the ships. I think the Mayor has great spirit and a vision for Cocoa Beach and look forward to seeing what the future holds.

Al 33 year resident of Cocoa Beach April 13, 2013 - 9:44 pm

Comment relating to post by people referring to Cocoa when they mean Cocoa Beach. If you have been to both cities. –Cocoa and Cocoa Beach –you would get your postings correct as to cities. Cocoa is 8 miles inland and has no surfing as it is not on the ocean. How did Mike surf in Cocoa. We love our CocoaBeach and hate to be referred to as Cocoa.

Mary Chong April 14, 2013 - 7:56 am

You are absolutely correct…my apologies as I meant no confusion or insult. In my quick reply, I left out the “Beach” Thank you for pointing out my error and thanks for your comment!

Ana Garcia April 13, 2013 - 11:18 pm

CB has been a great town for my husband and I to raise a child. However, I agree 100% with the pier area being first to be revamped and cleaned. As it stands, it is nasty. I live two blocks away and try to avoid it on my beach walks simply because the place is decrepit and the beach near by is littered with cigarette butts, straws, spoons, bottles, diapers, cups, etc. The city cannot keep up with the growing amount of tourists, and as long as the restaurants and hotels located there are not held accountable for helping monitor the trash they help generate, and the city doesn’t provide another solution other than a few extra trash cans, the area will remain an eye sore.

Kim April 14, 2013 - 9:29 am

Good to hear from another resident, Anne. Thanks for the thoughts about the pier area.

Diane Norgord Loux April 11, 2013 - 2:57 pm

I Love My Cocoa Beach !,so much to do and see, but so very peaceful.Great place to live, and visit.

Kim April 11, 2013 - 5:29 pm

Thanks, Diane. It is definitely a beautiful, peaceful place. Thanks for your comments.

Bob W. April 11, 2013 - 2:15 pm

I love being from Cocoa Beach.
How about removing all the condos and beachhead parking meters and turning back the clock to 1968? Now that would be a bold move.

Kim April 11, 2013 - 5:32 pm

Thanks for your comments, Bob. Glad to hear from a resident!

Linda Spain April 11, 2013 - 1:13 pm

My husband and I have been selling Cocoa Beach for over 40 years!! I came up with a slogan two decades ago that says everything about Cocoa Beach…we are the….


Come, stay and enjoy the vast variety of our “wild native icons” from space life to sea life to space life….WE HAVE IT ALL!!

Mary Chong April 11, 2013 - 1:17 pm

Great slogan Linda! Thanks for stopping by….

Kim April 11, 2013 - 5:31 pm

Linda, love the slogan!!

Robin Turner April 11, 2013 - 9:50 am

There are many great Real Estate Bargains in Cocoa Beach right now. Find them at .

Or come to our office next to Juice-n-Java Café

Happy House Real Estate
69 N Orlando Ave Suite 7
Cocoa Beach FL 32931

Kim April 11, 2013 - 5:37 pm

Thanks, Robin. Your real estate seems to align with the mayor’s plan to encourage movement to Cocoa Beach.


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