Thursday, July 5, 2007

Old Timey Florida Vacations

Florida's beaches used to be lined with one story "mom and pop" type motels. Most of them have been replaced with impersonal, characterless multistory condominiums and resort hotels. The Sea-Aire is one "mom and pop" motel that survives in Cocoa Beach a mile or two south of Ron Jon's Surf Shop. It was built in 1950 and is still family owned. My family likes to go there for the occasional beach weekend. It sits directly on the Atlantic Ocean. You can see the rocket gantries at the Kennedy Space Center in the distance to the north. It would be the perfect spot to watch a shuttle launch. Every one of the 16 rooms is an efficiency with a kitchenette and the room rates average between $80.00 and $100.00 per night (as of July 2007 but rates may vary seasonally and change). All the rooms have tile floors, two twin beds, a window unit air conditioner, and ceiling fan.

As for those window units, window a/c's supplied the sound track to my youth. I dont' notice them and neither does my New England born and raised wife. We consider the sound "white noise." They're a non-issue. Some of the rooms have the air conditioners somewhat removed in an entrance alcove. Our room had it right in the room. When our friend, who was in one of the rooms where the a/c is slightly removed, asked us if the noise bothered us we said, "What noise?" However, after she brought it up, I realized what she meant. So if window unit a/c's keep you up, you might want to make sure you get one of the rooms facing the ocean where they're in an alcove.

Who would like the Sea-Aire? Anyone who ---
  • wants to stay directly on the ocean with direct access to the beach (no walking down the hall to the elevator, through the lobby, across the parking lot, around the pool...).

  • appreciates a bargain.

  • doesn't mind not having room service.
  • likes to sip a beer while grilling outdoors and enjoying a million dollar view.
  • doesn't want to worry about the furniture and the carpet when coming back from the beach.
  • likes to sit and listen to the waves come in.
  • won't miss a swimming pool when you're ocean front.
  • likes friendly service.
  • likes to cook their own meals in their room or an outdoor pavilion.
Who won't like the Sea Aire? Anyone who ---
  • insists on room service.
  • thinks waiting five minutes for a fresh mai tai is a hardship.
  • who goes to the beach to sit by a swimming pool.
  • enjoys schlepping their beach equipment 200 yards to the beach.
  • who expects the Ritz Carlton.
The Sea Aire doesn't advertise free wifi as far as I know, but there is a weak but usable wifi connection. It does advertise "flower gardens" and there are a few beds of flowers, but if you're expecting extensive lush gardens you'll be disappointed. The office keeps a supply of boogie boards and sand toys on hand for the kids to use. Because the floors are tiled and you'll be trekking in sand, dirt, and bits of grass, you may want to bring a Swiffer or a damp mop to keep the floors clean.

The Merritt Square Mall and a Cobb Theatre multiplex are just over the causeway about 10 minutes away. A number of restaurants are nearby, including Grills at Port Canaveral. Funntasia Fantasy Golf is straight up A1A. We had a great time there one evening thanks to the friendly staff. A little farther north is Traxx at Jungle Village, which features go cart tracks, batting cages, bumper cars, a climbing wall, and an arcade. The Kennedy Space Center, Police Hall of Fame, and Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum are also nearby. For adults only, there are a number of bars nearby, including some offering entertainment of an "exotic" nature, and a Fairvilla megastore [NSFW].

If you're looking for a beachfront spot and you're primary focus is family fun and hanging out at the beach, then the Sea Aire is for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment