Cape Canaveral and neighboring Cocoa Beach have a gorgeous beach, and Jetty Park is all about being close to it.
Located where the beach meets the Port Canaveral Inlet, Jetty Park lets you forget about the commercial tackiness elsewhere and just hang out at an exceptional beach from dawn until dark.
It is owned by the Canaveral Port Authority and is basically inside the port. (You could walk to the port terminals.) A leafy entrance leads you into a park-like setting, leaving the industrial scene behind. The transformation from tank farm to beach enclave is impressive.
You can camp at Jetty Park – RV or tent – and even rent little cabins. Daily admission for non-county residents is basically prohibitive ($15 per car) but for an overnight stay near the beach, Jetty Park can be an appealing getaway.
Jetty Park campground & cabins: The positives
- All camping and cabin sites are within a block of the beach, which is broad and so hard-packed you can ride a fat-tire bike on it for miles. When swimming, there can be a strong current running toward the inlet and there are signs warning about the potential for rip tides. Most people played it safe: The beach stays shallow for such a great distance, most swimmers play in waves no deeper than their chests (and there are lifeguards.)
- You can fish on the 1000-foot jetty without a license and it offers those not fishing a scenic stroll, with sea turtles often sighted. (We saw a juvenile.)
- The port inlet allows you to watch everything from cruise ships to submarines coming and going. (A Trident submarine facility is directly across the inlet from the campground but there were no subs present when we visited.)
- If you’re lucky and there’s a rocket launch from the space center, you’re in THE spot to see.
- Cabins are small but functional. ( I believe they’re the sort you rent at KOA campgrounds.) There are no kitchens or showers. You use the central bathhouse and there is a grill and picnic tables. But the cabins do have AC, a small fridge and a bathroom. You must bring pillows and linens or rent them for $15.
- It also can be a bargain. The four-person cabins are $83. Off-season camping costs from $27 to $39 a night; in season it’s $37 to $49.
Jetty Park campground & cabins: The negatives
- While there is a bit of variation among sites, the camp sites are small and some are quite close together. Some lack shade, vegetation or trees. The worse sites look like you’re camping in a parking lot. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of site assignments, according to the Jetty Park website, but it looks like you’re better off in a site along the perimeter rather than in the center loops.
- Tripadvisor visitors give mixed reviews to the campground, with several people complaining about noisy neighbors. As in many campgrounds, your experience may depend upon the luck of where you are assigned and who camps next door.
Resources for planning a trip to Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral
Map of campground layout (PDF)
More things to do near Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral