“Everybody says it’s in a time warp,” the owner of a sunglasses shop right off the beach said. He was talking about Cuba, but the description seemed to fit the place where we were standing at that very moment, the place the man was born and raised: Cocoa Beach.

Just fifteen minutes from Cape Canaveral, the home of Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach is almost a relic of the 1960s, an era when astronauts were heroes, every launch was a headline, and consumer suburbia was on the rise. With the launch of NASA’s Apollo program, single-story houses in bright pinks and blues with Fords parked in the driveway appeared, carving out Cocoa Beach’s distinct identity. It’s an identity the town strongly owns as its own, evident by the newly built soft-serve ice cream shop actually shaped like a soft serve cone or the iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop painted in a garish yellow and blue in the center of it all.

Mezzanine visited the actual beach of Cocoa Beach on an ordinary off-season Monday; the perfect day to experience it the local way. Here’s some of what we found at a day on our favorite retro beach.


Words : Emma Sciantarelli

Images : Sahil Arora