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What are the Best Beaches in Northeast Florida?

beaches in northeast florida

Discover the best beaches in Northeast Florida with our ultimate guide! Whether you’re a family, a surfer, a couple, or a dog owner, we’ve got the perfect beach for you. Dive in to find your next coastal escape

Ever feel like you’re stuck in a beach rut, visiting the same old spots year after year? Well, it’s time to shake things up! We’ve done the legwork and researched the hidden nooks and crannies of Northeast Florida’s coastline to curate the ultimate beach bucket list just for you.

Whether you’re a family with tots, a surfer chasing the perfect wave, a couple seeking a romantic sunset, or a dog owner looking for pet-friendly sands, we’ve got you covered.

👉You may also like these other articles about Florida beaches: Best Things to Do in Miramar Beach Florida: Ultimate Travel Guide, 17 Best Family Beaches In Florida Panhandle (Insider Tips 2023)and 13 Warm Beaches in Florida to Visit In the Cooler Months

What are the Best Beaches in Northeast Florida?

In our view, Amelia Island is unbeatable for family fun, while Ponte Vedra Beach is a luxury haven. But that’s just scratching the surface; each beach in Northeast Florida offers its own unique allure and range of activities. Ready to uncover the full list? Keep reading for the comprehensive guide.

Top Beaches for Families in Northeast Florida

amelia island sunset
Sunset on Amelia Island” by JavaJoba is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Family time is beach time, right? If you’re looking to keep everyone from toddlers to grandparents happy, these beaches are your go-to.

Amelia Island

Address: Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL 32034
How to Get Around: Ample parking near Main Beach Park, and the island is bike-friendly.

Amelia Island is often overlooked, but it’s a gem worth exploring. With its historic charm and natural beauty, it’s perfect for a family day out or a romantic getaway.

  • Activities: Horseback riding, paddleboarding, fishing
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, beach rentals
  • Unique Features: Proximity to Fort Clinch State Park for hiking and history
  • Insider Tip: Don’t miss the Amelia Island Lighthouse, Florida’s oldest lighthouse still in operation.

Ponte Vedra Beach

Address: 254 Alta Mar Dr, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
How to Get Around: Parking is available, and the beach is accessible by bike paths.

Ponte Vedra Beach is a family paradise. With its shallow waters and a nearby playground, it’s perfect for the little ones.

  • Activities: Swimming, paddleboarding, beach volleyball
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic areas, lifeguards
  • Unique Features: Known for its high dunes and upscale atmosphere.
  • Insider Tip: Arrive early to claim a good spot, especially on weekends.

Neptune Beach

Address: 200 First St, Neptune Beach, FL 32266
How to Get Around: Limited parking, but easily walkable from nearby accommodations.

Neptune Beach is all about safety and convenience. Lifeguards are always on duty, and you’ll find family-friendly eateries just a short walk away.

  • Activities: Skimboarding, sunbathing, beachcombing
  • Amenities: Food stalls, parking, showers
  • Unique Features: The beach has a more local feel, less touristy.
  • Insider Tip: Check out the local farmers market on Saturdays for fresh snacks.

Fernandina Beach

Address: 32 N Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
How to Get Around: Ample parking, and a trolley service is available.

Fernandina Beach offers a more laid-back vibe with picnic areas and calm waves, making it ideal for a family day out.

  • Activities: Fishing, shelling, picnicking
  • Amenities: BBQ grills, restrooms, beach rentals
  • Unique Features: Historic Fort Clinch is nearby for a quick educational trip.
  • Insider Tip: The southern end of the beach is less crowded.

St. Augustine Beach

Address: 350 A1A Beach Blvd, St Augustine, FL 32080
How to Get Around: Public parking available, and the Old Town Trolley offers a beach shuttle.

St. Augustine Beach is the activity hub. From beach volleyball to kite flying, there’s something for everyone.

  • Activities: Beach volleyball, kite flying, surfing
  • Amenities: Ice cream shops, beach gear rentals, public restrooms
  • Unique Features: The St. Johns County Pier offers fishing and a splash park.
  • Insider Tip: The Wednesday morning farmers market is a must-visit.

Atlantic Beach

Address: 800 Seminole Rd, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
How to Get Around: Free parking available, and most areas are bike-friendly.

Atlantic Beach is for those who prefer a quieter setting. It’s less crowded, making it perfect for families who need a little more space.

  • Activities: Sandcastle building, frisbee, reading
  • Amenities: Free parking, dog-friendly areas, cafes
  • Unique Features: The Beaches Town Center offers shopping and dining.
  • Insider Tip: Look out for sea turtle nests during the nesting season.

Best Beaches for Surfing

flagler beach surf waves
Flagler Beach – Atlantic Ocean Beach (2)” by jared422_80 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Surf’s up! If you’re looking to ride some waves, these beaches are where you’ll want to be.

Flagler Beach

Address: 105 S 2nd St, Flagler Beach, FL 32136
How to Get Around: Parking is available near the pier, and the area is bike-friendly.

Flagler Beach is a surfer’s dream with its consistent waves and relaxed atmosphere.

  • Wave Quality: Consistent, suitable for all levels
  • Amenities: Surf shops, board rentals, food trucks
  • Unique Features: The Flagler Beach Pier is a popular fishing spot.
  • Insider Tip: Early mornings offer the best surf conditions.

New Smyrna Beach

Address: 27th Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
How to Get Around: Parking lots are available, and it’s a short walk to the beach.

New Smyrna Beach is famous for its surf competitions, making it a must-visit for any serious surfer.

  • Wave Quality: High, best for experienced surfers
  • Amenities: Surf schools, competitions, lifeguards
  • Unique Features: Known for its artsy vibe and local galleries.
  • Insider Tip: Watch out for the crowds during surf competitions.

Cocoa Beach

Address: 401 Meade Ave, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931
How to Get Around: Public parking is available, and the area is pedestrian-friendly.

Cocoa Beach is the go-to spot for beginners. With surf schools and board rentals, you’ll be up on a board in no time.

  • Wave Quality: Moderate, great for learning
  • Amenities: Surf schools, board rentals, cafes
  • Unique Features: Home to the famous Ron Jon Surf Shop.
  • Insider Tip: The Cocoa Beach Pier offers great dining options.

Jacksonville Beach

Address: 503 1st St N, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
How to Get Around: Public parking is available, and the area is pedestrian-friendly.

Jacksonville Beach is a hotspot for surfers, offering consistent waves and a vibrant local surf culture.

  • Wave Quality: Consistent, suitable for all levels
  • Amenities: Surf shops, board rentals, food trucks
  • Unique Features: The Jacksonville Beach Pier is a popular fishing spot.
  • Insider Tip: Early mornings offer the best surf conditions.

Romantic Getaway Beaches

vilano beach sunset
Setting sun on the intercoastal. Vilano Beach, FL” by AP… is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Ready for some romance? These beaches offer the perfect backdrop for lovebirds.

Crescent Beach

Address: 6930 A1A S, St. Augustine, FL 32080
How to Get Around: Parking is available, but it fills up quickly on weekends.

Crescent Beach offers a quiet and scenic setting, making it perfect for those sunset walks.

  • Scenery: Stunning sunsets, soft sand
  • Activities: Sunset walks, picnics, swimming
  • Unique Features: The beach is less commercialized, offering a more natural setting.
  • Insider Tip: The southern end of the beach is usually less crowded.

Vilano Beach

Address: 2725 Anahma Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084
How to Get Around: Parking is available near the beach access points.

Vilano Beach offers secluded spots that are perfect for intimate picnics or even a beachside proposal.

  • Scenery: Rocky outcrops, tidal pools
  • Activities: Picnics, snorkeling, photography
  • Unique Features: The beach is known for its beautiful seashells.
  • Insider Tip: The surf can be strong, so be cautious when swimming.

Anastasia State Park

Address: 300 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32080
How to Get Around: Parking is available within the state park.

Anastasia State Park is all about natural beauty, offering a serene backdrop for any romantic outing.

  • Scenery: Dunes, native flora
  • Activities: Kayaking, bird-watching, hiking
  • Unique Features: The park has over 1,600 acres of diverse ecosystems.
  • Insider Tip: The park has an entry fee, so bring some cash.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Northeast Florida

dog on beach

Your furry friends deserve a day at the beach too, right? Here are some dog-friendly beaches where your pup can let loose.

Atlantic Beach

Address: 800 Seminole Rd, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
How to Get Around: Free parking available, and most areas are bike-friendly.

  • Rules: Dogs must be leashed
  • Amenities: Free parking, cafes nearby
  • Unique Features: Less crowded, offering more space for your dog
  • Insider Tip: Early mornings or late afternoons are best for fewer crowds.

Amelia Island

Address: Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, FL 32034
How to Get Around: Parking is available near Main Beach Park, and the island is bike-friendly.

  • Rules: Dogs must be leashed at all times
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables
  • Unique Features: Beautiful dunes and wide-open spaces
  • Insider Tip: The north end of the island is generally less crowded.

Peters Point Beachfront Park

Address: 4600 Peters Point Rd, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
How to Get Around: Ample parking is available.

  • Rules: Dogs must be leashed
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables
  • Unique Features: Offers horseback riding on the beach
  • Insider Tip: The park is less crowded during weekdays.
BEACHES IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA INFOGRAPHIC

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What’s the best time of year to visit these Northeast Florida beaches?
  • A: Late spring to early fall is generally the best time for warm weather and water activities. However, winter offers fewer crowds and cooler temperatures for those looking to avoid the heat.
Q: Are there any Northeast Florida beaches with free parking?
  • A: Yes, Atlantic Beach and Peters Point Beachfront Park offer free parking. Always check local signs for the most current information.
Q: Can I bring my dog to all these beaches?
  • A: Not all beaches are dog-friendly. Peters Point Beachfront Park and Atlantic Beach are among those that allow dogs, but always keep them leashed and follow any posted rules.
Q: Is surfing allowed on all these beaches?
  • A: Surfing is popular at Jacksonville Beach and St. Augustine Beach. Always check for any restrictions and remember to respect local surf etiquette.
Q: What are some unique activities to do at these Northeast Florida beaches?
  • A: From horseback riding on Amelia Island to fishing off the Jacksonville Beach Pier, each beach offers its own set of unique activities. Check out the individual beach sections for more details.

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