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About CocoaCocoa's first families arrived at this site along the Indian River in 1860, and the town was platted beginning in 1882. Although there are differing accounts of the name's origin, records show that Cocoa was selected in the 1880s when the town's original name, Indian River City, was deemed by postal authorities to be too long for a postmark.

Throughout its early history, Cocoa experienced periodic growth spurts interrupted by such reversals as a catastrophic fire, a freeze that damaged the area's citrus crops and the Great Depression. The town's prospects improved considerably in the latter half of the 20th century thanks to its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center.

The Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science , 2201 Michigan Ave., offers local history exhibits as well as a hands-on display of Ice Age mammals and fossils; phone (321) 632-1830. The museum's grounds include a 22-acre nature preserve with trails.

Visitor Centers Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce—Cocoa 400 Fortenberry Rd. Merritt Island, FL 32952. Phone:(321)459-2200

Things to Do Eastern Florida State College Planetarium & Observatory

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Cocoa, FL

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Best Western Cocoa Inn

4225 W King St. Cocoa, FL 32926

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Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Cocoa

301 Tucker Ln. Cocoa, FL 32926

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