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I live in a small town. Cocoa Beach is a small town.

Real Estate Agent with ZOOM Realty Group

I live in a small town. Cocoa Beach is a small town.

You know you live in a small town when people know you and don't ask for your ID when writing a check, you use landmarks and points of interest rather than street names or addresses when giving directions to out of town folks and you measure distance by the number of traffic lights rather than minutes or miles.

When we moved to Florida, one of the things that attracted us to Cocoa Beach was the small town atmosphere. The 12,000 locals were friendly and the pace of life was relaxed. That still holds true today, 25+ years later, even though Cocoa Beach has been discovered and has become a popular tourist destination.


As is often the case, when you live somewhere for a long time you no longer notice certain things but tend to take them for granted. The other day I realized just how guilty I've become of taking our small town atmosphere for granted.

I was giving directions to some folks from out of town and mentioned some well known landmarks along the way. Usually that works well, this time it did not. The conversation went something like this:

Me - Just take A1A south past Ron Jon's and continue south past the old Wendy's. Get in the inside lane and make a left turn into the parking lot next to where Herbie K's used to be.

Tourists: HUH? What is Herbie K's and where was it?

Coops, had to resort to making a rough sketch to indicate where to turn - luckily "X marks the spot" saved the day.

That got me started thinking about other local references that we use daily - my former office was "across from the Pier", the Shark Pit is "next to Ron Jon's", Winn Dixie is "next to the old Radio Shack", the library is "next to the new post office", etc.

And the sad thing about it is that if I ever needed to give anyone a street address, I would not be able to do so without looking it up!

Life in a small town - you have to love it!

P.S. Herbie K's was a 50's style diner. The staff dressed in 50's era gear, the juke box at each booth played 50's and 60s tunes nonstop, the waitresses wore poodle skirts and saddle shoes, chewed gum and pulled up a seat at the table while they took your order. And the waitresses would pull people up from their seat to dance in the aisle and work off those unhealthy calories...remember the stroll, cha cha and bunny hop?

Herbie K's has been gone for some years since the hotel next door bought it and demolished it for extra parking and nothing has ever replaced it.

I live in a small town. Cocoa Beach is a small town.

Posted by

Diana Zaccaro, PA

Broker Associate

"Your Coastal Connection for Cocoa Beach and the Brevard County Beaches"

Direct: 321.537.7855  - DianaZaccaro@gmail.com

 ZOOM Realty Group



Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Diana - whether it's a small town or someplace a bit larger, living anywhere for some time can make you realize many things.   The lack of knowledge of remembering actual addresses is replaced by increased awareness of landmarks past and present.  And appreciation grows too - especially when a connection is recognized.  Finding the right place to reside can provide a new definition of living.

Dec 18, 2022 04:05 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate

Michael Jacobs

You are absolutely right...well said and nothing I can add.  

Dec 19, 2022 10:33 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Diana... something very special about living in a small town. Sorry to hear that Herbie K's is gone... I love 50's style diners as I grew up with them in New York City in the 1950's along with great local coffee shops. I miss them all.

Dec 18, 2022 04:44 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate

Nina Hollander, Broker 

Hi Nina, I was a city girl most of my life so the small town atmosphere was quite a change and I love it. A couple places tried to recreate the Herbie K's vibe but none lasted. It's a shame that the 50s style diners are disappearing when they were such a part of our history.

Dec 19, 2022 10:37 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a fun peek into the small town of Cocoa Beach. I do love when people give directions about something is near this or that. Or it's near the old this or that. That's so much more interesting than make a left onto route 93, and a right on 2nd ave west.

Dec 18, 2022 05:00 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate

Kat Palmiotti

So do I and it's also a great way to introduce folks to some of what we have to offer. It's quite a change from living up north where directions were always given by street names and numbers. 

Dec 19, 2022 10:39 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Diana. Some of us live in big cities but spend our time in our own neighborhoods that give us a sense of the small town feel. Even in Chicago! Enjoy your day.

Dec 18, 2022 05:20 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate

Wayne Martin 

I know that is true, I was a city girl most of my life when we lived up north and experienced that first hand. Hope the snow misses you!

Dec 19, 2022 10:41 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Diana,

Thank you for a glimpse of what it is like living in the small town of Cocoa Beach. Life in a small town..you have to love it!

Dec 18, 2022 05:27 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate

Dorie Dillard Austin TX 

Hi Dorie, You either love or hate life in a small town, there doesn't seem to be any in between. I remember one client whose wife absolutely hated it here but he was in heaven living here!

Dec 19, 2022 10:43 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Cocoa Beach sounds like a fun place, Diana.  I have been to several places in Florida, but not there yet.

Dec 18, 2022 11:56 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate

Myrl Jeffcoat 

There's something for pretty much everyone here and if you get a chance to visit you may get to see a rocket launch up close and in person. It's something that should be on everyone's bucket list.

Dec 19, 2022 10:44 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

It's easy for people to give directions in our town, especially if they use traffic lights as we only have 5

Dec 18, 2022 01:20 PM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate

Ed Silva 

Ed, now I need to go count the number of traffic lights that we have. I know it's more than 5 but when we moved here years ago, I don't think there were even 5.

Dec 19, 2022 10:46 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Diana, rather sad still I didn't get to meet you, but I didn't have a car either.  My friends drove me around.  Cocoa Beach is a cool place.

Jun 15, 2023 01:25 PM