The Beaches of Florida’s Historic Coast

By: Lauren Tjaden


St. Augustine Ponte Vedra and their surrounding beaches tempt visitors with a wealth of offerings.

St. Augustine part of Florida's Historic Coast is the oldest city in the United States-- and history comes alive there. Explore red-brick lanes leading to centuries-old churches or forts where soldiers still walk the grounds. To feel as if you've truly been whisked back in time try a horse-drawn carriage ride.

More modern pleasures await visitors too. Bring your clubs and hit the links; numerous championship golf courses await you. Family attractions featuring everything from alligators to ziplines and more promise to keep your whole gang smiling.

But if it’s a beach you seek head just out of town and back to nature to discover 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches including these gems.

Anastasia State Park  

White quartz sand beckons beachgoers at one of Florida’s most popular state parks. A protected bird sanctuary the park consists of 1 700 acres and five miles of beaches a gem of an area for wildlife enthusiasts. The northern three miles are for beach walkers only and most signs of civilization are hidden away well beyond the dunes. The area offers many services and activities including swimming hiking nature trails a boat ramp fishing camping and kayak and paddle board rentals. 

Butler Beach 

Named for Frank B. Butler who hosted Martin Luther King Jr. and associates in his motel in 1964 in a widely publicized civil rights visit to St. Augustine Butler Beach was once one of the few designated African-American beaches in Florida. Today the area is a mixture of private homes and condos but many public-access points make it easily reachable. This environmentally sensitive dune system is home to the native Anastasia Island Beach Mice and gopher tortoises. Showers and restrooms are available.

Crescent Beach

Located on Anastasia Island this beach is so named because the shoreline has a natural crescent moon shape. Miles of broad white sand create an irresistible appeal among beach-goers. This particular stretch of beach is one of the most scenic and unspoiled in the area perfect for ecotourists and beachcombers. This family- and pet-friendly beach offers boating and fishing as well as RV and camping facilities. South Beach Grill is a favorite beachfront restaurant serving up three meals a day along with a great ocean view. A little further south Matanzas Inlet provides some of the best surf fishing spots in Florida.

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Located between Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine this research reserve offers excellent educational opportunities dune walkover hiking biking and horseback riding trails. Just across A1A is a beautiful stretch of coquina beaches where an occasional Right Whale sighting may take place. These protected areas provide habitat for a wide variety of fish and wildlife. CNN included the beach and dune walkover in its list of 22 Must See Beaches.

All photos by St. Augustine Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners


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