Why Would I go to a Surf Shop? Because it is WORLD FAMOUS...
Ron Jon's. the Mother Lode of surf shops.
Everytime I get near Cocoa Beach, FL I stop at least once at Ron Jon's BE aware that you can find much cheaper t-Shirts elsewhere -- even in the local Walgreens' drug stores. But if you want to see the most famous Surf Shop in the World... don't miss RonJon's-- Greg
My wife and I and another couple spent a week in Cocoa Beach and decided to try to visit the Kennedy Space Center. What a rip off. They charge you $10 to park and then, when you get to the front gate you find out admission is $50 and another $25 if you want to take a bus ride, plus extra charges if you want to experience other things at the Center. $150 for a couple. Needless to say, we decided to eat the $10 parking fee and cut our losses. The gift shop is free to enter though. Imagine that!!
Unique Suggestions: Just another example of the need to do some homework before you leave home. We didn't and it cost us $10. Not a total loss though, because the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is adjacent to the Space Center and has some great driving and hiking trails. A great Plan B. If you decide to visit the Space Center, bring money.
Fun Alternatives: Visit the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, adjacent to Kennedy Space Center. Good driving and hiking trails. You'll see alligators, beautiful birds and, maybe, manatees.
Since I'm not a surfer I can't say for sure, but I think if you're a real surfer, Ron Jon's isn't a tourist trap for you. However, if, like me, you were with a bus full of high school kids from the Midwest, most of whom have never seen the ocean before, it's the perfect place to buy your beach-related souvenirs. And since we didn't end up getting to go swimming (I have a travelogue on that subject), this was a nice way to pass the time at Cocoa Beach.
Unique Suggestions: They have everything here--hats, shirts, bumper stickers, keychains, jewelry, postcards, beach towels, etc. Basically anything you could ever want with the Ron Jon's logo on it. I believe I got a sticker for the collection on my guitar case, a ukulele, and several beach knick knacks for the family back home. They weren't terribly cheap, but they were reasonably priced as far as Florida souvenirs go, and it was a nice place to get things without Disney or knock-off Disney logos on them.
Fun Alternatives: Even if you're not into the whole surfing or souvenir-buying thing, the place is a pretty nice photo opportunity. Colorful surfboards line the walls inside, the outside is colorful and has some cool murals on it, and there are some interesting statues of surfers and tiki heads out front that make great photo ops.