Because of work commitments, our vacations are generally of the weekend variety. Which may or may not actually fall on a weekend, by the way.
In our most recent getaway, we had occasion to camp for two nights at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral. It was a wonderful time in many ways. That happy camping excursion took place a couple of weeks ago.
If you’re familiar with the Spacecoast region of Florida, you probably know that Cape Canaveral is a stone’s throw away from Cocoa Beach. They’re adjacent, running together along a busy stretch of A1A in Brevard County.
We know our way around the area and were sure that camping in the middle of some of our favorite spots would make for an unusually good trip. We were 100% correct on that.
We enjoyed lunch at Rock the Guac, a well-known Mexican-themed eatery a block north of the uber-famous Ron Jon’s Surf Shop. (The original location.) That one-off is always a treat. I generally opt for one of their belly-busting burritos. I did again and I assure you it will not be the last time.
We enjoy shopping at Coastal Produce in the downtown Cocoa Beach area. It’s our go-to on our frequent visits to the area for freshly-baked cookies, sandwiches, croissants and, well, produce. Their very good salad bar was a COVID casualty and I’m happy to say that it’s back.
We made a quick visit to the Cocoa Beach Pier as well. It was way too close the closing time to really get the full flavor of the pier. It is — as you may know — an attraction all its own but it shuts down hard at 8 PM. I’ve enjoyed it in previous visits and we’ll head back to the pier on our next beach trip.
It would, of course, be silly to not say more about the actual camping at Jetty Park! It was very enjoyable and we’ll be pitching our tent there again before year’s end, without a doubt.
If you’re an RV’er, I’ll warn you that many of the spaces there have little-to-no shade. But that’s not an important consideration for many who go the RV route and the many amenities and proximity to the beach more than make up for the semi-barren landscape you’ll find in some parts of the park.
Those amenities include the fishing, especially from the famous jetty at Jetty Park, a beautiful stretch of beach on the jetty’s south side and a perfect view of Port Canaveral’s Cruise Ships as they come and go. The only ship making way during our stay headed out at exactly 1:45 AM on our first morning. It was quite a sight as most of us never see one so close that you could identify a friend standing on the deck as the vessel heads out of the port.
It was a very impressive — and unexpected — sight and was totally eye-popping even though our camp site is on the far end of the camping area. There were no passengers on board, of course, as full cruising has not resumed yet. But it’s not uncommon to see ships coming and going as there are reasons to keep those impressive vessels on the water even when there are no passengers aboard.
We are the real campers and are proud of it! Meaning tent campers, of course. And most of the tent sites are the kind I like and search for: completely sheltered by Mother Nature’s lovely trees and foliage.
There are no hook-ups for the tent sites but if you enjoy the primitive style of camping, I’m quite sure you’d like the ones at Jetty Park. And they threw in those lovely and ubiquitous Beauty Berries that grow wild in many corners of the Sunshine State at absolutely no additional charge! Yeah, we don’t actually nosh on them, they’re a bit on the tart side; But we love to find them at the wilder parks we visit.
Jetty Park has other amenities, too. There are laundry facilities on site, though you must get your tokens from the office. There is a store for campers and day visitors; it’s in operation from 10am to 3pm seven days a week.
If you enjoy camping in Florida, give Jetty Park a try. It’s one of the few parks in Florida where you’re mere steps from the shore. It’s definitely a Top 3 park for me and I don’t have the slightest doubt that you’d enjoy it as well.
“Bulldog Ben” Basile
© 2021 Ben Lawrence Basile
Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile