Florida is synonymous with beaches. In fact, the long stretches of sand on the coast are what drew settlers there in the first place. Now, the seaside escapes on Florida’s Historic Coast® attract visitors from all over the world.
When you think of Florida, beaches immediately pop into your head. It was, after all, the glorious beaches of St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra that first captivated Ponce de Leon nearly 500 years ago. Today, the 42 miles of pristine sandy coastlines make Florida’s Historic Coast® a renowned spot for beach getaways. If your group is planning a beach vacation, St. Augustine | Ponte Vedra has just the spot for your crew. Whether you’re seeking a fun-in-the-sun, family friendly trip; a romantic escape; or an active outdoorsy experience, you’ll find just the beach you need in St. Augustine | Ponte Vedra.
Not sure where to start? Here are six of the best beaches in St. Augustine | Ponte Vedra.
Ponte Vedra Beach
Located on Florida’s northeast coast, Ponte Vedra is a splendid resort town. Its immaculate beach complements the elegant lodging that lines the shore. But this beach is known for more than just luxury and relaxation. It holds historic significance, too. Ponce de Leon first stepped on the shores of Florida just south of Ponte Vedra Beach. You can see the historic spot where he reportedly landed, marked by a bronze statue. If you love nature and adventure, visit the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Reserve), located right next to Ponte Vedra Beach. It features 73,000 acres of salt marsh and mangrove tidal wetlands and 10 miles of hiking trails. It’s the perfect spot to kayak, hike and discover the abundance of wildlife.
Surfers and kite boarders will find heaven at this popular beach destination. The coquina sands and a near-shore break create perfect conditions for ocean thrill seekers. If you’d prefer to stay out of the water, the beach provides plenty of spots to bask in the sun. Or you can explore the small beach town, where there’s plenty of shopping, delicious restaurants and cozy beach cottages you can rent.
Anastasia State Park
Admired as one of the region’s most beautiful beaches, Anastasia State Park offers beachgoers a mixture of relaxing coastline and lively adventure. Traverse the colorful salt marsh before crossing the sand dunes to the white quartz beach. There, you can walk on the protected sands, taking in the fresh salt sea air. Take a hike on the nature trail at the state park or enjoy a leisurely bike ride. Spend the day fishing, boating or kicking back with a good book.
St. Augustine Beach
This is one of the best beaches for a group vacation. A variety of accommodations lines the shore, from familiar hotel chains to condominiums to boutique establishments. You can spend the whole day on the beach, enjoying different activities, such as beach volleyball, surfing and skim boarding. The fishing pier is the perfect spot to take in the beach views, and the seaside restaurants are easily accessible to satisfy your food cravings.
Despite being filled with private homes and condos, Butler Beach offers several access points, making it easy for the public to enjoy. Spend the day relaxing on the sand and splashing in the waves. Or venture over to the surrounding park to check out the dune ecosystem. See if you can spot the endangered Anastasia Island beach mouse and the gopher tortoise.
If you’re a sucker for scenery, then you must visit Crescent Beach. Situated on Anastasia Island, the beach is named for the shoreline’s natural crescent moon shape. Beachgoers love walking the miles of broad white sand, taking in the scenic and unspoiled area. You’ll get some Instagram-worthy shots at this St. Augustine beach.
Florida’s Historic Coast® offers miles of stunning beaches. No matter which one you choose to visit for your group vacation, you’re sure to find the paradise you’re seeking. You really can’t go wrong with any of these St. Augustine | Ponte Vedra beaches.