Saint Augustine’s Best Beaches

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When visiting Saint Augustine for a romantic getaway, a girl’s weekend or a relaxing vacation one of the top things to do is visit our fantastic beaches. From Vilano Beach south to Matanzas Inlet, Saint Augustine Beaches are by far some of the best beaches that you can visit. Yes, there are many beach weddings and renewal of vows that take place on our beaches as well. We’ll go over each beach area and let you know what is offered and what you may find. When you visit the beaches of Saint Augustine, be sure to observe the beach rules for safety and to preserve the natural habitats. All boats must be launched from a boat ramp. There is no alcohol or glass allowed on the beaches. When bringing your pet to the beach, be sure that they are kept on a leash and that you clean up after them.

During the winter months you may see North Atlantic Right Whales off of our coast. The whales winter here and give birth to their young just off of our coast.

Vilano Beach

Our northern most beach is Vilano Beach. Located on the north island just over the Francis and Mary Usina Bridge or as the locals call it, the Vilano Beach Bridge. This beach is a local’s secret beach. On your romantic getaway ask a local and they can tell you that this is the beach where you will most likely find a shark’s tooth or two. You need to know the secret to finding them, but once you do you’ll be rewarded with a great memento of your visit. You can drive on the beach here and you’ll have to pay the fee during the season. Don’t want to drive on the beach? There is ample parking in the parking lot and you can then walk down to the beach. But the seaside is not all that is available at Vilano Beach. Check out the Vilano Beach Fishing Pier, waterfront restaurants, boat and Sea Doo rentals and much more.

Anastasia State Park and Recreation Area

Anastasia State Park features four miles of pristine beach, a tidal salt marsh, and a maritime and upland hammock. The park is a protected bird sanctuary and loved by photographers from around the world. There is also an archaeological site where coquina rock was mined to create the Castillo de San Marcos.
The admission to the state park is $8 per vehicle and no vehicles are allowed on the beach itself.  If you are wanting a fun thing to do on your girls weekend getaway why not try something on the water?

Anastasia Watersports rents canoes, sailboards, paddleboats and kayaks.

Saint Augustine Beach

Saint Augustine Beach is 5 miles of beautiful white sand beach. As you arrive at Saint Augustine Beach you can stop off at the Saint Augustine Fishing Pier. At the same location you will find volleyball and a splash park. If you’d like to fish, stop by the bait shop and next door is the Visitor Information Center. Wednesday morning there is also a wonderful market right in the parking lot. This is a marvelous must see market with food, music and crafts. If unwinding is what you’re after, strolling on the beach is a great way to wind down on your relaxing vacation.

The first driving access to the beach is located at A Street with more entrances to the south at Ocean Trace, Dondeville Road, Matanzas Avenue, Mary Street and Crescent Beach. Vehicles may only travel south on the beach until you reach Crescent Beach then vehicles can travel in both directions. For more information about access points, parking and fees check out

You are also able to reserve beach wheelchairs, for free, on a first come first serve basis. To reserve a wheelchair, ahead of time, please contact at (904) 209-0344.

Butler Beach

This area was named after Frank B. Butler, a black businessman, civic and political leader. His most notable achievement was an area located south of the city that became known as Butler Beach. He put together this recreational area in response to segregated beaches nearby. Butler Beach and American Beach just north of Jacksonville were popular vacation spots for African-Americans from the southeast.

Here you can park on the beach or use the park area that closes at dark. There is ample parking and bathroom facilities here.

Crescent Beach

Beach access or a parking lot is available for you at Crescent Beach. Please watch for 4×4 only signs when sand is extremely soft on the beach.  Here you will also find restaurants and surfing schools. The wild life is also abundant along our beaches and in the dunes. Look along the boardwalks to find out about the different protected wildlife that you may see.

All along the beach you will see beautiful beach weddings on the weekends. There are also groups that organize horseback riding on the beach as well. Check with your innkeeper for contact information.

Matanzas Inlet

More white sand beaches and less cars. You can only drive so far and then it’s no cars for this area of the beach. There are conservation areas and all along the 5 mile stretch of Anastasia Island there are sea turtle nests during the season. Sea turtle nesting season is from May 1 – October 31. In the morning you will see the turtle patrol heading up and down the beach checking the nests. Stop and ask if any are soon to hatch for the most spectacular sight that you’ll see.

Enjoy your time at our beaches. We love them as much as you do.

Jerry Houman
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