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Crescent Beach

Surprises Await in Crescent Beach Florida

This crescent shape shoreline surrounds beachgoers with a beautiful stretch of quiet, family friendly shoreline.

With its sweeping coastline carving out a huge “C” where it meets the Atlantic Ocean (hence the crescent shape giving the area its name), Crescent Beach is tucked between the traditional tourist attractions of St. Augustine and Matanzas Inlet to the south. But for visiting beachgoers, Crescent Beach is slightly off the proverbial beaten path.

Locals love Crescent Beach because it is wide, not crowded and has convenient parking. And because it is in the southern end of Florida’s Historic Coast, it maintains an “old Florida” vibe as a quieter beach with white sand, located in a mostly residential area, which is why it attracts many locals, often over generations. It’s definitely a “family-friendly” beach.

With a few restaurants and taverns that seemingly pop out of the horizon at Cubbedge Road intersecting with Florida State Road A1A, the uninitiated could easily drive through Crescent Beach without knowing it.

The center of Crescent Beach is the beachfront park with picnic gazebos, dune crossovers, restrooms and convenient parking. Paula’s Beachside Grill is on one side of Cubbedge while the South Beach Grill is on the other. Several other shops and restaurants dot the area that has about 900 homes.

That’s also where the main public beach access runs to the ocean and, in a throwback to Florida’s age gone by, there is vehicle driving permitted on the beach, although there are fees and passes required between March 1 and September 30.

There are a few hotels and rental residences in the area. But for visitors looking to spend the night, Beacher’s Lodge Oceanfront Suites is a favorite. The only beachfront accommodation with 140 units, Beacher’s is not your typical lodging. It’s a collection of condominiums and about 85 of those are run by a property management firm that leases out those units. All have amazing views!

Not everyone is into the neon, high rises and big crowds seen at beaches such as Daytona Beach. Many simply want the quiet dunes and sea oats that filter the onshore winds gusting onto the coast at Crescent Beach. Over the years, Crescent Beach has been a regional draw from cities such as Gainesville. It also attracts return guests from Georgia and even Tennessee.

At Paula’s Beachside Grill, which was established in 1948, there’s a courtyard with wooden tables and umbrellas to provide some shade from the Florida sun. The interior has that traditional Florida driftwood ambience that provides the setting for a cool brew, a tropical drink or a hearty seafood meal or burger.

At South Beach Grill, the friendly staff and menu of fresh seafood has been attracting local customers for mover 20 years. Guests love the fish tacos, fresh catch sandwich, crab cakes and shrimp served up with homemade Datil pepper cornbread.

When you stay in Crescent Beach your vacation will combines the quiet crescent shaped white sand beaches, great local restaurants, Old Florida ambience and family-friendly accommodations.