I happen to live exactly in the middle of the distances between Port Canaveral and the Pier. I hate that there are so many bad reviews of our Pier so here is my (I'm a local) report. The inside Atlantic Grill Restaurant is certainly the best for food, with Aww Shucks coming in second, and Marlins third. The service has been equally good at each in my opinion. If you eat or drink at any of these you DO NOT have to pay to go out onto the Pier, although I do agree they need to do away with this. Drinks too strong ?? really???, I wonder if it was too sunny that day also?? The big difference between the Pier and the Port is cost, Pier is generally cheaper, no one there will judge you regardless of how you look or are dressed/undressed, you get to watch surfers/volleyball and generally relax because YOU ARE AT THE BEACH!!
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