Butler Beach on Anastasia Island is located only eight miles south of St. Augustine’s historic district and offers wide stretches of white sand beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
Parking & Beach Access
Visitors may access Butler Beach via the Frank B. Butler County Park. The Mary Street Beach ramp takes drivers to the beach ($10 per car for beach access). To the right before the pay station, unpaved Gloria Avenue has free beach parking.
Butler Beach Facilities
Butler Beach offers plenty of amenities, making it a great option for a day of family fun. The park staffs the beach seasonally with lifeguards, and other amenities include free parking, restrooms, showers, barbecue grills, and picnic pavilions. Dogs are welcome on Butler Beach but must be leashed at all times.
In the early 1900’s, a young black man named Frank B. Butler moved to St. Augustine. Upon arriving, he settled in the predominantly African-American area known as Lincolnville – now one of the city’s historic districts. At that time, Florida’s beaches were for the use of “whites only.” In 1927, Butler became so annoyed by this injustice that he began purchasing oceanfront property on Anastasia Island.
Butler was eventually able to acquire a tract stretching across the island from the Atlantic to the Matanzas River. He named it Butler Beach and opened it to African-Americans. It became the only stretch of beach between Daytona Beach and American Beach, north of Jacksonville, where African-Americans were allowed to enjoy the sand and the sea.
Local Tip: For a great view of the Intercoastal Waterway, head to the west-side of the park.