From the mighty St. Johns River carving a path through the heart of Jacksonville to the endless stretch of Atlantic coastline including Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach , the waterways of Northeast Florida truly capture the essence of the Florida lifestyle. From the beaches to Downtown – water adventures are an essential piece of the puzzle that makes up Jacksonville.
There’s an undiscovered secret tucked away on Florida’s Northeast coast. It’s over 20 miles of unspoiled, white sandy beaches where breezy sunny days melt into hot, steamy nights. This stretch of coastline begins at Amelia Island, dotted with resorts, stretches through the naval powerhouse and quaint fishing village of Mayport; continues through trendy Atlantic and Neptune Beach, which flows into Jacksonville Beach, a major vacation destination and ends with Ponte Vedra Beach. Each destination along this sparkling coast offers a unique experience, waiting to be discovered.
The most expansive of the beaches is Jacksonville Beach, offering an array of activities for young adults and families alike. Grab a beach cruiser and bike along the boardwalk, passing pizza dives, surf shops and trendy boutiques. Biking is the locals’ way to see the sites and meet friends at bars and sandwich shops along the coast. If you didn’t pack the Schwinn, no problem. Our friends at Rent Beach Stuff are here for you. Just like the name, this one-of-a-kind company delivers and picks-up bikes, beach towels, boogie boards and anything else you can think of to make your trip to the beach a breeze.
Be sure to check out Jacksonville Beach’s calendar of events . The Sea Walk Pavilion is home to annual events like Springing the Blues in March and local favorites, like movie screenings outdoors, under the stars in the summer. Fill up your picnic basket or stop by Rita’s Italian Ice for a sweet treat and find your favorite spot on the lawn, as you indulge in a favorite flick like Jaws or Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory .
Head north to Neptune and Atlantic Beach, where the neighboring beach towns form a city square complete with popular restaurants, trendy boutiques, casual beach bars and more. The rolling, sandy dunes will call you onto the beach for a day of laying out, playing beach volleyball or a leisurely stroll. When you’ve had your fill of the surf head up to the famed Lemon Bar, along the Sea Horse Oceanfront Inn pool for a refreshing Pina Colada or daily beer special. The open-air bar is a locals’ favorite for cooling down on a hot day or to start off an even hotter night. For tasty conch fritters with a side of reggae don’t miss Sunny Caribbee and for a special night out try Azuréa at the new One Ocean Resort & Spa .
Further north along the coast lays the once sleepy shrimping village of Mayport. Today, Mayport is home to Naval Station Mayport. It is also where visitors find Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park . This best kept secret is a favorite for dog lovers, as Fido is welcome along the white, sandy beaches. Families will enjoy the many picnic spots and covered pavilions, as well as fishing holes and kids’ splash area at the play park. And if you’re looking to get back to nature, camping steps away from the beach in private, wooded spots is available. There are nature trails to explore and some of Florida’s best biking trails.
Two resort community’s bookend these fabulous beaches. Ponte Vedra Beach to the south and Amelia Island to the north offer vacations high on style. Whether your ideal vacation is pitching a tent, relaxing in resort luxury or lounging in an oceanfront room, you’re sure to find the perfect vacation along Northeast Florida’s coast.