Hey there beach bums!
O.N.E. FLORIDA GROUP is here to share with you our top 10 list of the best beaches of Northeast Florida. This region has got it all – from laidback shorelines to adventurous water sports, there’s something for everyone. Get ready to soak up some sunny vibes and discover your next dream destination. With so much to uncover, you won’t know where to start – that’s why we have highlighted all the must-see spots and insider tips. So, grab your sunscreen and let’s dive into the splendor of Northeast Florida’s beaches.
LETS GO TO THE BEACH!
Amelia Island is a 13-mile-long barrier island that is the southernmost of the Sea Islands chain. It’s also home to Fernandina Beach, the northernmost city on Florida’s Atlantic coast. Amelia Island is rich in history and culture, as it has been ruled by eight different flags since the 16th century. You can explore its charming historic district, full of Victorian architecture, unique shops, and cozy eateries. You can also visit Fort Clinch State Park, where you can see a well-preserved 19th-century fort and enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, and camping. Amelia Island has several beautiful beaches to choose from, each with its own character and amenities. Some of the most popular ones are:
- American Beach: This stunning and historic beach was a true haven for African Americans during the damaging era of segregation. It has a museum, a boardwalk, and a landmark sand dune called “NaNa”.
- Peter’s Point: This beach has a large parking lot, restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and grills. It’s also a good spot for surfing and fishing.
- Fort Clinch: This beach is located inside Fort Clinch State Park and offers stunning views of the St. Mary’s River and Cumberland Island. It has restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and a fishing pier.
- Seaside Park: This beach is adjacent to Main Beach Park and has restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and a playground. It’s also close to several restaurants and shops.
- Lighthouse: This island is home to the oldest existing lighthouse in the state, which was built in 1838 and still guides ships into the harbor. You can admire the lighthouse from the outside on Saturdays, or sign up for a tour to see inside this historic monument.
Insider tip: If you want to explore Amelia Island by bike or shuttle, you can use the Island Hopper service that runs from 9 am to 5 pm daily for just $2 per ride (per person).
Big Talbot Island State Park (“Boneyard Beach”)
Big Talbot Island State Park is a nature lover’s paradise just north of downtown Jacksonville. It’s part of a chain of coastal state parks that protect the natural beauty and wildlife of Northeast Florida. Big Talbot Island State Park has several trails for hiking and biking, as well as kayaking and canoeing opportunities in the marshy areas. The park is also known for its photogenic Boneyard Beach, where you can see the skeletons of fallen trees dotting the shore. This beach is not suitable for swimming or sunbathing, but it’s a great place for photography and exploration.
Insider tip: If you want to learn more about the park’s ecology and history, you can join one of the guided tours offered by the park rangers or local outfitters.
Jacksonville Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Northeast Florida, as it offers a lively atmosphere with plenty of entertainment options. You can enjoy surfing, swimming, fishing, volleyball, or just relaxing on the soft sand. You can also visit the Jacksonville Beach Pier, which extends 1,300 feet into the ocean and offers spectacular views and fishing opportunities. Jacksonville Beach has many restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels along its oceanfront boulevard. You can also find several parks and playgrounds for kids and families.
Insider tip: If you’re looking for some fun events and activities in Jacksonville Beach, you can check out the SeaWalk Pavilion calendar. This outdoor venue hosts concerts, festivals, markets, and more throughout the year.
Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park is a 1,600-acre park located on Anastasia Island near St. Augustine. It has four miles of pristine beaches that are ideal for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. You can also explore the park’s maritime hammock, where you can see a variety of plants and animals, including the endangered Anastasia Island beach mouse. The park has a full-facility campground, a boat ramp, a nature trail, a playground, and a concession stand that offers food, drinks, and rentals of bicycles, kayaks, paddleboards, and sailboats.
Insider tip: If you want to learn more about the park’s history and ecology, you can visit the coquina quarries, where the Spanish extracted the stone to build the Castillo de San Marcos and other structures in St. Augustine.
Smyrna Dunes Park
Smyrna Dunes Park is a 73-acre park located on the northern tip of the New Smyrna Beach peninsula. It’s surrounded by water on three sides: the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian River, and Ponce de Leon Inlet. The park has five ecosystems: ocean, river, dunes, scrub zone, and saltwater marsh. You can explore them all by walking on the 1.5-mile elevated boardwalk that winds through the park. You can also enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, boating, and picnicking at the park. The park is also one of the few places in Volusia County where dogs are allowed on the beach (on leash).
Insider tip: If you want to see some amazing views of the ocean and the lighthouse, you can climb up to the observation tower at the end of the boardwalk.
Flagler Beach is a quaint seaside town that offers a laid-back vibe and a retro charm. You can stroll along the six miles of uncrowded beaches that are dotted with coquina rocks and shells. You can also visit the Flagler Beach Pier, which is a popular spot for fishing and sightseeing. Flagler Beach has many local shops, restaurants, and bars that cater to different tastes and budgets. You can also find several parks and museums that showcase the town’s history and culture.
Insider tip: If you’re looking for some live music and entertainment, you can check out the Flagler Beach First Friday event, which happens every first Friday of the month from 6 pm to 9 pm at Veterans Park.
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park
Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a unique park that features both formal gardens and natural shoreline. The gardens are located on the west side of A1A and feature a variety of exotic and native plants, including azaleas, camellias, roses, and palms. The gardens also have several ponds, fountains, statues, and benches where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. The shoreline is located on the east side of A1A and features coquina rock formations that create tidal pools and scenic vistas. You can also swim, fish, bike, or hike at the park.
Insider tip: If you want to learn more about the park’s history and horticulture, you can join one of the guided tours or workshops offered by the park staff or volunteers.
Crescent Beach is a quiet and family-friendly beach located south of St. Augustine Beach. It’s named for its crescent-shaped shoreline that stretches for about three miles. The beach has soft white sand and clear blue water that are perfect for swimming and fishing. The beach has a public access ramp on Cubbedge Road, where you can drive your vehicle on the beach for a fee during certain months. The beach also has restrooms, showers, and picnic tables. Crescent Beach is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of the Florida coast.
Insider tip: If you want to explore some nearby attractions, you can visit Fort Matanzas National Monument, a historic Spanish fort that overlooks the Matanzas River. You can also visit Anastasia Island, a barrier island that has several state parks and beaches.
Hammock Beach is a resort community that offers luxury accommodations and amenities along a pristine stretch of beach. You can stay at one of the oceanfront villas, suites, or condos that have access to two championship golf courses, a spa, a fitness center, a water park, and several restaurants and bars. You can also enjoy swimming, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing at the beach. Hammock Beach is a perfect destination for couples, families, or groups who want to experience a relaxing and upscale vacation.
Insider tip: If you want to venture out of the resort, you can visit Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, a unique park that features both formal gardens and natural shoreline. You can also visit Marineland Dolphin Adventure, where you can interact with dolphins and learn about marine conservation.
St. Augustine Beach
St. Augustine Beach is a charming beach town that is part of the historic city of St. Augustine, the oldest European settlement in the United States. You can enjoy four miles of wide and sandy beaches that are perfect for swimming, surfing, fishing, and shelling. You can also visit the St. Johns County Ocean Pier, which has a splash park, a playground, a fishing pier, and a pavilion. St. Augustine Beach has many restaurants, shops, and hotels that cater to different tastes and budgets. You can also find several attractions and activities nearby, such as the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, the Alligator Farm Zoological Park, and the Castillo de San Marcos.
Insider tip: If you want to experience some of the history and culture of St. Augustine, you can hop on one of the trolleys or trains that offer tours of the city’s landmarks and stories.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the top 10 beaches of Northeast Florida! Whether you’re a local or planning to move to the area, these stunning shorelines offer something for everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about how to make one of these beaches your new home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at One Florida Group. Our team of experienced real estate professionals can provide you with all the information you need to find your dream property in Northeast Florida. Contact us today to get started!