Beach Day Packing Essentials

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

July 1, 2020
Woman on beach

Florida’s Historic Coast has 42 miles of Atlantic coastline that stretches from Ponte Vedra in the North to Marineland in the South. With that much beach to see and enjoy, you will be glad you brought along this perfect list of beach essentials.

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 can find sunscreen at any local beach shop, drug store, or grocery store.

2. Water

And plenty of it! Try to avoid too many sugary soft drinks or juices. You will stay better hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.

3. Sunglasses & 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 great multi-purpose item to bring with you to the beach. Spread it out for a place to lounge or use it after a swim in the ocean.

5. Snacks

You are welcome to bring your own food to the beaches. However, 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 of which are conveniently located near the shore.

6. Beach Chair & Umbrella

If you’ve driven into 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 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 Skimboard

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 skimboard. You can rent surfboards, paddleboards, kayaks, wetsuits, and more from Pit Surf Shop. Barney’s also delivers boards.

8. Bucket or Container

Kids of all ages love to take home souvenirs. 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.

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