For more than two centuries, Vilano Beach has been the beach that locals go to. It’s a choice spot north of St. Augustine popular for its casual atmosphere, quiet ambiance and natural surroundings.
To get to Vilano Beach, you must take the scenic route. And by that we mean coastal AIA, a designated Scenic Byway. This Byway supports a variety of wildlife including birds, the gopher tortoise and endangered species.
Fishing is a popular pastime. Choose from surf fishing, fishing from the pier or launch your boat from the ramp. Boaters can tie up at the marina, the pier and many local restaurants have docks where guests can disembark to take a break from the waves.
Red Boat Water Tours attracts families for a tour that delivers totally different views of St. Augustine and Matanzas Bay – from the water. Choose from Sunset Tours and the Dolphin Odyssey. Historically minded Florida Water Tours will take you on an eco-tour where guests often see dolphins, birds and fish along with information about the environment from knowledgeable guides.
Historic sandy shores
In 1888, guests of the Hotel Ponce de Leon in St. Augustine would spend the day at the beach in Vilano. The Hotel Ponce de Leon was an exclusive luxury resort built by Standard Oil Magnate Henry Flagler. The opulent hotel was the winter home of the American elite. Today the Hotel Ponce de Leon is Flagler College and a National Historic Landmark.
Fresh flavorful food with a view
Some of the best local restaurants on the Northeast Coast are located in Vilano Beach. Cap’s on the Water, The Reef, Aunt Kate’s, Kingfish Grill and Beaches all have something in common. They offer outdoor seating and waterfront views, the freshest seafood and Old Florida favorites such as shrimp and grits, Minorcan Clam Chowder, succulent shrimp, and flavorful farm-to-table fare. All served up by friendly locals.
n August, the Florida Skimboarding Pro/Am Tournament is held in Vilano Beach. These athletes defy gravity as they skip from the shoreline to the skyline propelled from the waves. The event is free and open to the public.
The annual Vinny’s Pizza Vilano Bridge Run is held in March with a 5K and 10K option.