Ultimate Beaches Guide:
This is often the first beach we visit, primarily because of proximity to the Beaches Town Center. I told you I loved this place. The local, coastal vibe just makes me happy. When you are ready to put your toes in the sand, it is fairly easy to find public access parking. We seldom, if ever, pack a lunch when we go to Neptune Beach because you are just a short stroll to some pretty tasty restaurants. Our favorite stops on Neptune Beach days are MShack when we are in the mood for simple burger and fries, Poe’s Tavern, and, of course, Dreamette. Yes, I said Dreamette. There is a new location just behind the Starbucks. From Neptune Beach, you can get to Jarboe or Bull Park quickly by car or bike.
Ultimate Beaches Guide: We find ourselves at Jacksonville Beach events all season long. It is a vibrant, bustling beach. There are so many fun festivals, concerts, and movie nights at the amphitheater. If you are heading out to enjoy the sand and waves on Jacksonville Beach, you will find ample parking across the beach; but be careful that you do not park in a restricted area. If you think your little one might need to get off the beach and stroll away from the sand for a time, this a terrific beach for you. There is a park on 9th Avenue North, Tall Pines Park, that can provide a nice change of pace. There are also easy-to-access public restrooms on 3rd Avenue North, 2nd Avenue North, and 5th Avenue North. It may sound crazy but my favorite eatery to frequent on my Jacksonville Beach days is a grocery store, Native Sun. This place makes delicious juices and has lots of yummy ready eat foods that are perfect to take with you. On June 18th, the Salt Life Music Festival will be happening from 6:15 am – 10 p.m. If you want to check out the schedule of festivals, find them here on the Jacksonville Beach Website.
Ultimate Beaches Guide: It just doesn’t feel quite like summer until we have made our first trip to Mickler’s Beach. Located on the south end of Ponte Vedra Beach, it is a beautiful, easy-to-navigate beach. The beach access point provides ample parking, restrooms, showers and a handicapped accessible dune walk-over. We always find amazing seashells and shark teeth walking along this beautiful stretch beach. It is not atypical to see fisherman pulling in some fairly impressive catch off the shoreline or find yourself strolling alongside a horseback rider. Some of our most idyllic days happened at Mickler’s. This beach is a bit out of the way, so we tend to pack a picnic lunch although you are just a short drive away from dining options off of A1A.
Scenic A1A: The four-lane roads of Ponte Vedra Beach narrow to two as nature takes over the ride. The first public beach in Ponte Vedra, a favorite of locals, lies two blocks east of A1A at the last traffic light you’ll see for 20 miles. On the right the turn street is called Mickler Road; on the left Ponta Vedra Boulevard. Even though there is no sign designating this hidden gem, take the left. Mickler’s Landing, pronounced “Myklers” by locals, a local favorite famous for its pink, coquina-sand stretches of beach, has no sign at all. So finding it is a special delight. The wooden walkway through the twenty-foot high sand dunes gives you the first inkling that a special place is about to be revealed.
Ultimate Beaches Guide: When we want to immerse ourselves in the natural coastal environment, we head to Guana State Park. It is located just south of the Mickler’s Beach access. As with Hanna Park, there is an entry fee; but it is an even better deal at just $3.00 per vehicle up to 8 people. This beach access is gorgeous and provides ample parking. These beaches are beautiful coquina beaches, rich in sand and shells. We always find tons of oceanic wildlife enjoying the beaches with us. Beach access is open from 8 am until sunset every day. While there is not easy access to playgrounds, you can head across the street to enjoy education center and river/marsh hiking trails. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a day wrapped in nature.
Hopefully, you have figured out which beach you’re heading to first. What are you waiting for? Go get packed! Ahhhh … beach stuff … If you want to know how to pack like a pro for that trip, hop on over to Jessica’s post for tips on how to get beach bound.