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Florida Beaches Guide – Florida's Historic Coast Beaches

Beach 411 ~ St. Augustine Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach

Florida’s Historic Coast, Atlantic Side North

  • Beach type: family, uncrowded
  • Beach geography: 42 miles of beachfront with sugary soft white sand (St. Augustine beaches) to a pinky coquina sand/shell mixture as you cross the bridge to Vilano Beach and north to Ponte Vedra
  • Ease of access: easy access generally with parking spots along the A1A Highway paralleling the beach. Some drive-on beach locations in the Vilano Beach area and south of the St. Augustine Beaches area.
  • Extra costs: to drive on the beach requires a toll – about $7 per car.
  • Beach amenities: generally no additional amenities besides washrooms at organized parking lots. Outfitters available for rentals through out the area’s main beaches.
  • Special note: excellent surf conditions for both the novice and pro. The Atlantic surf breaks nicely without being too big.
  • Geo-locator: Where is St. Augustine Beach? Where is Ponte Vedra Beach?

Anastasia State Park BeachCatching the Eye of Spanish Explorers

With over 40 miles of Atlantic shores coastline, there’s a lot of beach to visit! With St. Augustine almost centered along the 42 miles of beachfront (Image provided by FloridasHistoricCoast.com)Florida’s Historic Coastal area, you are central to the action and close to those spectacular beaches.

Having had the pleasure to visit many of these beaches and stroll the sandy shores, it’s no surprise that when Ponce de Leon and the Spanish explorers caught sight of the beautiful sandy beaches and wave-swept dunes, they fell in love with this area and chose to settle here.

Amenities on and near the beach

Cabana Beach Club rentals (Image provided by FloridasHistoricCoast.com)The Florida Historic Coast beaches offer a great diversity of beach geographies with some near-beach amenities, depending on your choice of location.

  • Very few offer fully serviced amenities (beach chairs, restrooms, food vendors – mainly near resorts) but in almost all cases, restaurants and services are close by on the A1A highway.
  • Outfitters, where vacationers can rent paddle boards, kayaks, and surf and windsurf lessons and equipment are located in the St. Augustine Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach areas.

Our other posts on the St. Augustine area to give you more depth of the opportunities for your next beach getaway:

Florida’s Historic Coast 6 Best Beaches

Map Link to Florida’s Historic Coast beaches

Ponte Vedra Beach

beach sunrise (Image provided by FloridasHistoricCoast.com)An upscale community with lots of dream-house marveling for the architectural styles and grand majesty of an Atlantic beach house. Mickler’s Landing is a popular access point for visitors with washrooms and lots of space to park. Also consider the beaches at GTM Reserve for additional beach enjoyment in a more natural dune environment

Vilano Beach

Vilano Beach Skimboarding Tournaments (Image provided by FloridasHistoricCoast.com)A popular beach destination with drive-on access (for a small fee) in selected locations. A charming beach community just north of St. Augustine with pinky coquina sand. A sea breakwater calms the inlet for a great protected beach front. More Atlantic access can be found with highway walk-overs where beach drive access is not allowed.

Anastasia State Park

4 miles of walking at Anastasia Island State Park[GoGirlfriend favorite] Sugary-soft sand fronted by tide-created dunes allows for easy access to a natural, quiet secluded beach experience that makes it one of the Florida’s top Atlantic beach locations. For those who love a great quiet long walk on the beach, Anastasia State Park Beach offers 4 miles (each way) of protected beach to enjoy. South towards the pier, Anastasia Beach park blends into St. Augustine Beach and gets more crowded. Camping is available within the park and at the huge parking lot is a snack shop, food and washrooms

St. Augustine Beach

St. Augustine Beach and PierBeing close to the city, with easy highway access, accommodations and restaurants, St. Augustine beach doubles the beachy pleasures with beautiful white sugary sand and the typical Atlantic surf that makes it perfect to play in the sand. Plenty of parking at the fishing pier (with picnic pavilion, kids splash pad and snack shack) and drive-on access towards the south end of St. Augustine Beach makes this a great day stop or vacation place to play from.

Butler Beach

With lots of public access spots to access Butler Beach, this beach zone is great for dream-home daydreaming. Walk the sugary sand beachfront and dream yourself the Atlantic beach house lifestyle.

Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach at the Matanzas Inlet (Image provided by FloridasHistoricCoast.com)Head to the south end of Anastasia Island towards the Matanzas bridge and you can enjoy the natural unspoiled crescent of beach without the beach homes and bustle of the busy beaches. Enjoy the swaths of soft white sand, eco-protected dunes and natural vegetation as you pick your stretch of sand to recharge your Vitamin D stores.

Florida’s Historic Coast weather

Florida's Historic Coast weatherWhile farther north along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, this is sunny Florida and the temperatures are moderated by a strong Atlantic current pulling heat from the Caribbean. This band of warm air and water helps minimize cold front dips in the gulf stream and offers wonderful temperatures year-round. The Atlantic’s easterly winds cool the air somewhat with consistent breezes, but trades that breezy effect for active surf conditions to play in the water. Summers are wonderfully hot (80’s ‘F) as the sun is much closer tipping northerly to the Tropic of Cancer, winters (50’s ‘F) moderated with the Atlantic current. The rainy season falls in alignment with the upswell of heat and humidity, matching that of the hurricane season – early June through late November.

For more information or help planning your next Florida getaway, visit:

Read our other Florida beaches guides:

Ever been to St. Augustine area beaches in Florida? We'd love to hear what you most loved about it! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook – and let's continue the conversation!

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