8 Things You Need for a Perfect Day at the Beach

Pack these must-haves in your beach bag to make the most of St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach

July 1, 2020

Florida’s Historic Coast has 42 miles of Atlantic coastline stretching from Ponte Vedra to the north to Marineland to the south. With that much beach to see and enjoy on your vacation, here’s a list of eight things you’ll need to have fun on the shore.

  1. Sunscreen. Be careful with your skin, because the sun’s rays can be damaging. Even if it is cloudy or overcast, you can still get a burn. And be sure to reapply sunscreen often, especially after going into the water. You’ll find sunscreen at any local beach shop, drug store and grocery store, or bring some along with you from home.
  2. Water. And plenty of it. Avoid sugary soft drinks or juices. You will stay hydrated better by drinking water throughout the day.
  3. Sunglasses and a hat. More than just a great fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. A wide-brimmed hat offers great protection, too! Look for hats, sunglasses and swimwear at St. Augustine Outlets and St. Augustine Premium Outlets. Looking for something more classic? Check out the fine hand-woven fedoras at The Panama Hat Company on St. George Street.
  4. Towel. A multi-purpose item to bring to the beach. Spread it out for a place to lounge and use it after a swim.
  5. Snacks. You are welcome to bring your own food to the beaches. Please be courteous and deposit all your trash at a nearby trash can or recyclables in designated receptacles. If there’s not a trash can nearby, please take it with you. If all of that sun has you hungry for more than snacks, check out the burgers at Sunset Grille and Harvest & Reel, both conveniently located near the shore.
  6. Beach chair and umbrella. If you’ve driven in to St. Augustine or Ponte Vedra for your vacation, you may have had room to bring along your favorite beach chair. But if you’ve flown, you probably don’t have a beach chair at the ready. Some condos or hotels provide beach chairs for their guests for free or rent. Barney’s Beach Service can deliver and set up your beach chairs and umbrellas to most locations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. They also retrieve them at the end of the day.
  7. Surfboard, boogie board or skim board. If you didn’t bring your own and you want to have more fun in the ocean than just a swim, try a surfboard, boogie board or skim board. You can rent surfboards, paddle boards, all kinds of boards and kayaks--even wetsuits--from The PIT Shop on A Street. Barney’s also delivers boards.
  8. Bucket or other container to keep the shells you’ll collect. Kids of all ages love to take home a souvenir. Seashells make a perfect memento -- and hunting for them is the best part. The beaches along the GTM Research Reserve between Vilano Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach are the best for shelling. At Mickler’s Beach in Ponte Vedra, you may even find a shark’s tooth.

Beach wheelchairs are available upon request at no charge on a first-come, first-serve basis by St. Johns County, with a three day advance reservation. To reserve, please call 904-209-0752. If the county’s beach wheelchairs are not available, there are several companies you can rent from including Barney’s Beach Services or Solano Cycle of St. Augustine.

For more facts and suggestions, visit St. Johns County Beaches Department or download the "Reach the Beach" app for the most current driving conditions and other beach information.