Ah, Cocoa Beach rentals – these are your chance to explore a stretch of Floridian shoreline that's truly legendary. It's a place where surfers bob on swells made famous by Kelly Slater, where bikini-clad bodies tan under forever sun, and folk hop between seafood shacks and souvenir stalls on a happening pier. This guide can help you zero in on the perfect stay.

The types of Cocoa Beach vacation rentals out there

Get an idea of the various sorts of Cocoa Beach escapes you can choose from by reading on below. Pads for jet setters mingle with surf-side lodgings for the dedicated wave rider, and that's only a taster…

Deluxe villas in Cocoa Beach

There are a few rare-find vacation home rentals in Cocoa Beach, Florida, that really hit things out of the ballpark. Sprawling and stylish, they come with three-car garages and palm-lined driveways. Then you delve inside and it's all retro 60s kitchens recalling the heyday of the Space Race, spilling into tropical gardens or out onto come-relax-by-me swimming pools.

Pet-friendly vacation rentals in Cocoa Beach, FL

Pups are welcome to splash in the seas and tread the sand dunes of Cocoa Beach all the way down to Murkshe Park, provided they're kept on short leads and under control. And if you want to let Fido run loose? Hit one of the two designated canine parks and you're good to go. Of course, you'll need a pet-friendly vacay home. There are loads, with oodles boasting big gardens that are perfect for morning stick-throwing sessions.

Cocoa Beach oceanfront rentals – the most sought after

The biggest queues are always for the Cocoa Beach vacation homes that sit between the seagrass-topped dunes and the main beachfront. Whether modern condos or slick villas with big gardens, these offer a window onto the Atlantic, so you'll be able to check the surf conditions from the comfort of your own bed.

An area guide to vacation home rentals in Cocoa Beach

Stretched out along miles of Floridian coast past Cape Canaveral and the Banana River, Cocoa Beach has all sorts of intriguing neighborhoods up its sleeve. The guide below can help you choose the one that suits, 10 out of 10.

Atlantic Avenue – where the action's at

Surf shacks, board rentals, breweries, surf-turf grills – it's all happening down on N Atlantic Avenue. Welcome to the erstwhile stomping ground of Kelly Slater, where spring breakers go wild once a year, and there's some of the best low-key seafood eating this side of the Sunshine State. You can expect to pay a little extra for vacation homes in this central location.

Have an historic pier on the doorstep

Turn north the moment you arrive from across the Cocoa Beach Causeway and you'll soon come to another buzzing nerve center of the town. Cue the rickety Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, which juts 800 feet over the swells of the Atlantic. It's fringed by condos and rental homes, along with Tiki cocktail parlors and ice-cream stands.

Go cosmic in Cape Canaveral

Even further north from the Cocoa Beach surf breaks is the rocket-spouting town of Cape Canaveral. You'll probably know it as the gateway to the iconic Kennedy Space Center, so be ready for trips to the stars. On sunny days – and there are lots of days are sunny here – you could choose the beaches instead, close to where casinos meet kayaking reserves filled with manatees.

Ways to score great deals on Cocoa Beach vacation rentals

You're going to have loads to spend the travel fund on once you've touched down in Cocoa Beach – surf lessons, deep-sea fishing trips, dolphin spotting, there's all sorts. That means cutting the price of rentals should be top of the list.

Know the calendar in Cocoa Beach

Spring break sees revelers hit the sands and ocean-side clubs of Cocoa Beach by their 1000s, which can crank up the cost of waterfront rentals considerably. Much better are months like May and June, when the summer vacationers haven't arrived yet and the weather's still dry, only prices will be cheaper. You'll also catch gnarly surf competitions on the waves then.

Consider a place that's back from the sands

We know you might be pining after a place that's got views of the deep-blue Atlantic and salty breezes rolling through its windows. However, hopping just a single block back from the beach often cuts the cost of a home, so it's worth considering if you're on a tighter budget.