Bicycle Rentals at Port Canaveral – A Shore Trip guide
Whether you are arriving by ship for a day visit to Port Canaveral, or spending a night in the area before or after your cruise, bicycle rental is an excellent way to explore the area.
Several, if not all, the rental companies will deliver bikes to your location (hotels & cruise terminals 1 or 3 in particular) but it is best to arrange this before your cruise.
Here is what you need to know about bicycle rentals!
IMPORTANT – watch our map LIVE while pedaling to establish your position. Just open your phone browser and go to our Bicycle Map
Bicycle Rental Map of Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach
These two areas are very bicycle friendly and streets have either designated bike lanes or dual-purpose sidewalks. Locals use mostly the sidewalks for safety reasons and you can do the same – just remember pedestrians have right-of-way!
We cover three loop routes that are very popular with cruisers and visitors as well as a all-encompassing one-way route :
- Port Canaveral to Cocoa Beach Pier – 16 mile loop. At least 2.5 hours in the saddle. Highlights include the popular hotels near the Port, the Canaveral Lock, Exploration Tower, Cove Restaurant area, Jetty Park with its long pier, local dive bars, the long white beach and the Cocoa Beach Pier
- Cocoa Beach Pier to Ron Jon Surf Shop – 2.75 miles loop. A short loop for those with time constraints. It can easily be combined with the other two loops if time allows. Highlights include the Cocoa Beach Pier, the Ron Jon Surf Shop, local beach bars, the Banana River (for boat tours) and the Dinosaur Shop
- The Barmuda Triangle near Coconuts-on-the-Beach – 5.6 miles loop. Highlights include various coffee shops, shops, dive bars and beach bars including the popular Coconuts on the Beach.
- One-way from Port Canaveral to Coconuts on the Beach – Highlights include all of the above but you can do and see more in less time. Your rental company will deliver your bikes to the Port area and pick them up at Coconuts when you are done.
About beach riding. The local beach is seemingly endless and perfect for cycling. However, it is best during low tide when the sand is firm and damp! At high tide you will battle soft sand and this can be exhausting. Fortunately, you can access the beach from almost any beach road! We recommend you try short sections of the beach to see if you are OK with the conditions. If not, return to the paved sidewalks!
The Jetty Park Beach area is great for beach riding. The 1.2 mile stretch of beach between Jetty Park and Cherie Down Park is perhaps the best for beginners. Elsewhere the beach gets steeper and softer and the crowds are larger making the ride somewhat more challenging.
NOTE – We do not provide a comprehensive restaurant list on the map. Most of the bars listed are actually restaurants (Grills for example) but we assume that cruise ship visitors will eat on their ships and not sit down for major meals while on shore trips. While biking it is often more convenient and faster to eat bar food or order take-outs from fast-food places to eat on the beach or in parks with beach views. We list all the restaurants in a different section of this web site!
Bicycle Rental Companies
You will find several white-colored bikes at special rental stations in the area. To rent these, you need to join the national company Zagster by installing an App on your phone and booking online. Hourly rates are $3 with discounts for monthly and annual plans if you travel nation-wide while using the App.
The companies mentioned below are well-established with good reviews online. We see their bikes on the streets all the time and you will be in good hands when renting from any of them.
If you plan to spend the day at the beach, you can also rent bikes from several beach rental kiosks such as Island Watercraft. A few local hotels partner with rental companies and will also have bikes on-site.
On average expect to pay between $10 and $20 per day (meaning from open to close)
Most people rent “Beach Cruisers“, allowing them to ride on the beach or street. These have simple (or single) gear systems and wider tires for soft sand riding. Many come with baskets or racks to hold your stuff.
Various kinds of bikes are available from electric bikes to fat wheels and tandems! Just ask when you call!
TIP – The established rental companies have the largest inventory of rental bikes and their rates tend to be the lowest. Cocoa Beach Rentals, Ron Jon and Matt’s are very competitively priced with A1A Beach Rentals and Cocoa Beach Surf Company slightly more expensive.
Here is a rate comparison for early 2017:
|Company||Island Watercraft||CBSC||Ron Jon||Matt’s||A1A Beach Rentals||Trader Rick’s||Cool Breeze|
|On The Beach!|
|Cruising Bike Daily Rates||$15.00||$15.00||$10.00||$10.00||$15.00||$25.00||$20.00|
|Locations||Jetty Park||Sheraton||A1A||A1A||Ocean Landings||Cocoa Beach Pier||International Palms|
|Holiday Inn Club|
|Lori Wilson Park|
|La Quinta Oceanfront|
Safety while Cycling
Despite the popularity of cycling in the area with bike lanes and sidewalks, one still has to be careful for several reasons.
- Being on the beach, our area gets a steady influx of visitors who are not used to sharing the roads with cyclists. They tend to turn without looking at the sidewalks, bike lanes or even the crossing lights. Pedestrians are not expecting cyclists either and may suddenly step in front of you.
- Many visitors driving rental cars are from overseas and not used to driving on the “wrong” side of the roads! These drivers are often lost and not aware of pedestrians and cyclists.
- Drunk driving is a constant problem but fortunately most offenses happen at night.
- These are also retirement communities and our older drivers have a reputation for doing the unexpected at times!
We feel safer when cycling on the sidewalks while facing the oncoming road traffic. At first this may sound not right but this way we can see the intentions of the vehicles coming towards us as opposed to looking back at every intersection to see if someone is going to turn right (without looking) and hit us in the crossing.
Most local cruising cyclists do not wear helmets because they pedal at low speed on the sidewalks or on the beach and not in traffic. A helmet is ALWAYS recommended and provided by the rental companies but the ultimate decision is yours.
Our best advice is:
- Pedal slow
- During the day, ride facing the oncoming traffic (while on the sidewalks)
- Expect that you are not seen by motorists, so look around and stay vigilant
- Be respectful to pedestrians and do not startle them. Gently call out that you will pass them to the left or right.
- Ride on the sidewalks along the busy A1A and not in the road. Choose either the sidewalks or bike lanes along other streets.
- Drinking and cycling do not match. While we recommend you visit a few of our favorite bars during your ride, please drink moderately and rehydrate with water and/or sports drinks.
- Wear a hat, sun glasses and sun protection. Even in winter our area gets hot and humid. Be prepared to sweat and a sweatband is recommended to protect your eyes.
- Insects can be a problem. Some are the biting kind (mosquitoes and no-see-ums) and you should spray your legs with repellent. We also have tiny black swarming flies that usually appear after rain spells. These do not bite but riding into a swarm is very annoying. They cover your hair, nostrils, eyes, mouth and clothes. We recommend you bring a bandanna to cover your mouth and nose in case you encounter a swarm.
In this section we will cover popular bike tours – marked in green on the MAP (just click on the trail and icons for more information). Each tour is discussed in sections to help you plan your day.
You can combine the individual circuits and tours into custom trips based on your fitness level and available time.
Tour 1 – Port Canaveral to Cocoa Beach Pier Loop – 16 miles at least 2.5 hours in the saddle
Section A – Port Canaveral Cove Loop – 1.3 miles
This tour starts and stops at the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral. You will spend about 12 minutes in the saddle.
This short section is more about visiting the Exploration Tower than riding but if you have not seen the Cove area at the Port it is great fun to bike near the restaurants you read so much about on cruise forums!
Simply use the sidewalks to make your way over to the Cove just a short distance from the Tower.
- Exploration Tower with its viewing deck on the 6th floor. Every floor is educational with different themes. Highly recommended.
- Gator’s Dockside with its outside Tiki Bar on the sand.
- Waterfront park where folks go to watch cruise ships come and go!
- Commercial and Charter Fishing boats between the restaurants
- Fishlips Restaurant with its elevated outside bar on the 2nd floor for the best views of the cruise ships sailing by (and cheapest drink prices)
- Grills Restaurant next to Terminal 1. Most say it serves the best food in the area
Finally, make a right turn next to cruise terminal one and return to the Exploration Tower.
Section B – Port Canaveral Lock Loop – 4.2 miles
This tour starts and stops at the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral. You will spend about 35 minutes in the saddle.
Cycling west, stay on the wide bike path along the fence past National Car Rental until you reach the Draw Bridge. Then ride on the road to the lock and back. Once past the bridge turn left on Scallop Dr and follow it back to the Exploration Tower.
- Rodney Ketchum Park – nice views of the draw bridge, Port and cruise ships at Terminals 8 and 10. In addition to boat-launch ramps this park features covered picnic tables, fish cleaning stations, free parking and fully functional restrooms.
- Port Canaveral Lock – the water lever difference is not major (3-4 feet) but it is fun to watch the boats tie up and cruise through. Manatees, dolphins and birds are often seen.
- Cape Marina Boutique – nice selection of nautical souvenirs
Section C – Port Canaveral to Jetty Park (One Way) – 2.6 miles (4.5 miles loop)
This tour starts at the Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral. You will spend about 35 minutes in the saddle (one-way).
The route takes you west along George King Blvd on a wide bike path. To save time, you may choose to ride straight to Jetty Park but we enjoy the short detour to Freddie Patrick Park where you can watch the local fishermen launch their boats.
- Boat launch at Freddie Patrick Park – multiple launch ramps can be entertaining on busy fishing days! It is fun to talk to the fishermen about their catch.
- Fishing pier at Jetty Park – a scenic 1,200ft long pier that takes you out to the entrance of the Port. It is a great place to watch the cruise ships sail by.
- Beach at Jetty Park – a wide and very popular beach with a life guard station, beach rentals and a cafe (operated by Fishlips Restaurant).
At this point you have decisions to make!
- You can return to the Exploration Tower if you are short on time.
- Do you want to ride south along the beach or do you prefer pavement? It will be 3 miles down to Cocoa Beach Pier if you stay on the beach and 4.6 miles if you ride on pavement. We suggest you take the bike down to the beach and study the wind and tide.
Please note – due to private beach property restrictions you have to ride south for about 1 mile before you can exit the beach and return to the road between Surf Dr and Sailfish Ave. So please be very sure of your abilities before attempting a beach ride!
Section D – Jetty Park to Cherie Down Park (One Way) – 2.8 miles
This tour starts at Jetty Park and ends at the beach at Cherie Down Park. You will spend about 21 minutes in the saddle.
The ride south through Cape Canaveral neighborhoods on nice bike paths gives you a glimpse of a typical Florida beach-side community.
Cherie Down Park is a popular local beach with restrooms. From here the beach riding south gets narrower with softer sand unless low tide. As a result we do suggest you exit here if you were riding down on the beach from Jetty Park.
Section E – Cherie Down Park to Cocoa Beach Pier (One Way) – 1.8 miles
This tour starts at Cherie Down Park and end at Cocoa Beach Pier. You will spend about 17 minutes in the saddle.
Cocoa Beach Pier is the highlight of this bike tour!
Riding south just a block from the ocean on Ridgewood Ave, also known as Ocean Beach Bvld. While condos dominate the beach landscape, you can access the beach at every block!
- Popular Cocoa Beach hotels come into view before you reach the Pier.
- The Cocoa Beach Pier – a beautiful fishing pier, a popular beach, several restaurants and bars, water-sports, surfing mecca and shops!
At Cocoa Beach you can ride west to A1A then turn (right) north to return to the Exploration Tower (3.3 miles). Or you can continue south for 1 mile to the Ron Jon area – covered next in Tour 2.
Tour 2 – Cocoa Beach Pier and Ron Jon Loop – 2.75 miles at least 25 minutes in the saddle
This is a very good short ride combining two popular destinations. We suggest you start at the Cocoa Beach Pier and ride south along Ocean Beach Blvd.
- Sandbar Sports Grill – a local favorite just steps from the beach
- Shepard Park – the beach of choice for shore trips from cruise lines. You may see many of your fellow cruisers here. There is a life guard station, beach rentals, water-sports and more!
- Florida Surf Museum – an insightful look at the history of surfing along the east coast – home of world champion Kelly Slater!
- Shark Pit Bar – see the 5,600 gallon Shark and Exotic Fish Aquarium with hand fed Sharks and Moray eels!
- Ron Jon Surf Shop – the famous store with isle upon isle of interesting beach-themed goods!
- Dinosaur Store – Fossils, minerals, toys, jewelry and clothing!
- Island Cruise Lines – a really interesting guided cruise on the Banana River to see wildlife such as manatee and dolphin. The tour takes 2 hours.
At this point you can return to the Cocoa Beach Pier via A1A North.
Tour 3 – Barmuda Triangle Loop – 5.6 miles at least 45 minutes in the saddle
This is a nice longer ride for those who want to explore further and really enjoy cycling.
The scenery is not different from the other rides but you will find a wide variety of restaurants, bars and shops near the popular Coconuts On The Beach restaurant.
Coconuts is one of few restaurants right on the beach with unobstructed views of the beach and ocean.