7 Reasons to Meet in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach

February 1, 2021
group sits around fire on patio

The past year has aged us more than anyone would care to admit. So, when the world reopens and groups are ready to meet in person, there is no better place to start than the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.

Among the many charms calling attendees to St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is the very place where Ponce de Leon famously discovered healing waters that maintain youthful appearances. What better place for associations, organizations, nonprofits, corporations and more to rejuvenate after such a trying period?

The first in-person meetings once the pandemic is behind us will indeed be a voyage of discovery. We will remember the joys of face-to-face gatherings while learning new methods of meeting. Outdoor activities and maintaining a healthy distance will likely be the norm for some time.

As the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine has a grand history of welcoming visitors. Old-fashioned hospitality never goes out of style. And with the amenities to make each meeting a memorable journey, Florida’s Historic Coast has the right balance to successfully reunite groups.

There’s a reason this city of 14,000 residents feels like a hometown to anyone who enters. There are no huge crowds, everything is easy to get to, and our community is as warm as the spectacular weather.

Attendees will have the opportunity to become friends with shop owners and dolphins alike. With 42 miles of pristine beaches and an ambiance rivaling Europe’s most romantic destinations, St. Augustine | Ponte Vedra will feel like a new world for a new time.

Read on for just a taste of why your group will make history with a grand return to meetings here.

1. Safety First

Paramount on all of our minds is safety. All of our attractions, lodgings, restaurants and venues strive to maintain compliance with CDC guidelines and will continue to do so. Your group’s well-being has always been, and always will be, our guiding light. That’s what makes this destination a sensible, safe and sensational choice for your next meeting.

2. Back in the Swing of Things

No activity is built better for the new world than golf, where networking and business can be done outside while maintaining social distance. Three of our iconic properties offer a perfect mix of tee times with other important amenities like world-class meeting facilities, spas and top-of-the-line food and beverage.

  • World Golf Village Renaissance Resort offers over 60,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space. Among its 17 distinct meeting venues is an outdoor patio with the same international charm seen throughout St. Augustine. There are 108 holes of premier golf within 15 minutes of the property, and the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum—featuring 13 venues for receptions and off-site events—is located within the village.
  • Sawgrass Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort at Ponte Vedra Beach sports more than 61,000 square feet of event space, including the Champions Ballroom that can accommodate a reception for up to 1,600 guests. There are no less than five golf courses and many boutique shops nearby. The Spa at Sawgrass is a destination unto itself for wellness-minded attendees. The 25,000-sq.-ft. luxury sanctuary has 19 private rooms, a whirlpool and a heated pool.
  • The TPC Clubhouse is the Mediterranean-style centerpiece of TPC Sawgrass, providing PGA Tour-standard hospitality to groups. There are 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space, plus three restaurants well-suited for corporate gatherings. Dining on terraces provides views of the famed course. Perfect for small-business meetings or dinner parties, the President's Cup Library is an intimate room located on the first floor that is richly decorated with hardwood floors, fine leather furniture, a centerpiece fireplace and state-of-the-art technology.
  • Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa: Courses designed by legends Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, including the breathtaking Ocean Course, are among the highlights at this luxury property that also includes a 91,000-sq.-ft. water park. Complete with an award-winning staff, the hotel has 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

3. Venue Variety

Whether your groups are small or large, Florida’s Historic Coast has you covered with venues ranging from an oceanfront luxury resort and spa on a golf course to oceanfront meeting rooms and suites to quaint historic inns and hotels right in the middle of the Historic District. Hotels include independent boutiques and the brands you trust.

  • Ponte Vedra Resorts: The 262-room AAA Five-Diamond Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is a mainstay along the Atlantic Ocean that includes 25,000 square feet of flexible event space, including 17 private rooms accommodating up to 450 attendees. There are two incredible golf courses, 15 tennis courts, a fitness center and a luxury spa like no other in the region—not to mention the beach—at a planner’s disposal. The Lodge & Club just down the beach offers 66 designer rooms & suites, each with breathtaking beach and ocean views, and shares all the amenities of the Inn.
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort: Ten minutes from downtown St. Augustine, the beachside property is within walking distance of shopping and dining options galore. Treat your group to a beach getaway at this next-generation Embassy Suites with the included manager’s reception and breakfast you have come to love.
  • Casa Monica Resort & Spa: Part of the Marriott Autograph Collection and a Kessler Collection Luxury Hotel, this premier hotel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The castle-like architecture will remind attendees of classic Spain while the expertly restored interior is filled with boutique amenities and original artwork. This hotel will truly transport your group to a different world.
  • Renaissance St. Augustine Historic Downtown: This new addition to Florida’s Historic Coast opens in summer 2021 and will include 89 guest rooms and suites, five meeting rooms and 4,800 square feet of total event space. Southern hospitality and modern amenities blend together for a recipe for corporate and association meetings success.

4. Choose Your Own Adventure

By land or by sea, attendees may be tempted to stay outdoors their whole visit. And who could blame them? Where else could you zip line at an alligator farm, swim with dolphins, or get your feet wet (or dry if you are good enough) aboard a stand-up paddleboard? Kayaking, fishing and birding are other excellent options for a retreat or excursions. Close out the night with a sunset cruise to reward your adventurers.

fountain of youth entryway

5. Make History

Fittingly, America’s oldest city was the country’s most regenerative site: Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. Connect with Ponce de Leon by channeling attendees’ spirit of wonder on a site discovered decades before Jamestown and Plymouth Rock. On this historic land, explore the stars at the planetarium, visit the Timucua Indian Village of Seloy and hear the Spanish cannon roar. Cap it off with a drink from the Fountain of Youth. Talk about an Instagram-worthy moment.

6. The Right Size

No one likes being a small fish in a big pond. At Florida’s Historic Coast, your group would be the big kahuna while in town. Attendees will revel in the small-town hospitality of local businesses, charming accommodations, and historic beauty they can enjoy at a relaxing pace without the hassle of huge crowds. Who wants to look at high-rises when there are 42 miles of beach to explore in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra?

7. Easy Access

The destination is about 30 minutes from Jacksonville International Airport and an easy drive in-state or from surrounding destinations in the Southeast. Once in town, attendees can walk around downtown or hop on a trolley or train tour.

When your group is ready, Florida’s Historic Coast and our champion VCB staff are ready to ensure the journey back to meetings is one for the history books. Contact William McBroom to start planning your meeting today!