Best Summer Beach Vacation Planning Tips

Where to stay and what to do in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach? We’ve got you covered!

February 28, 2022
Kids splashing in the pool

Florida’s Historic Coast offers so many options for beaches, attractions and dining, you’ll need a little help planning. Don’t worry. We’re here for you. Summer on Florida’s Historic Coast features outstanding beaches, amazing historical sites, fun attractions, great restaurants and world-renowned golf (early morning tee-times suggested). In fact, there are so many exciting opportunities available that planning the perfect vacation can be a challenge. Here are some helpful hints on making the most of your summer beach vacation.

Places to Stay

On Florida’s Historic Coast, summertime means family time at the beach. And there’s no better place to enjoy sun, sand and the gentle Atlantic surf than along 42 miles of shoreline. For families, there are spacious accommodations to meet any preference and budget.

Ponte Vedra Beach
has upscale seaside resorts offering activities for the entire family, including outstanding dining and spas. Step onto the beach from your room at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Bring the family for a stay in one of the Villas at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa with kitchenettes and spacious living areas.

Just across the Bridge of Lions from downtown St. Augustine, Anastasia Island has 12 miles of beautiful white sand beaches. In St. Augustine beach, there are no towering buildings to block sea views or cast long afternoon shadows across the sand. Instead, unobtrusive hotels and condos provide perfectly-sized family accommodations. The Guy Harvey Resort has exquisite oceanfront views and the resort’s fishing team will get you hooked up with gear and a great guide. Enjoy beachside stays at the Embassy Suites Oceanfront Resort with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, made-to-order breakfast and a poolside bar. Experience the laid back pace of Old Florida at the quaint La Fiesta Ocean Inn and Suites.

For larger parties, there are also numerous privately-owned seaside homes available for rent, plus there are oceanfront camping spots among the natural beauty of Anastasia State Park and Ocean Grove Resort. North Beach Camp Resort's beautifully wooded campground spans a barrier island from the Atlantic Ocean to Tolomato River and is just five miles north of downtown St. Augustine.

Enjoy beautiful Crescent Beach with a stay at Beacher’s Lodge Oceanfront Suites. You can bring your pet along on your vacation at this resort with roomy suites and kitchenettes.

Vilano Beach
is a favorite among the locals. Stay steps away from the shore at the recently opened Holiday Inn Express Vilano Beach. There’s plenty of room for your group at the St. Augustine Beach House. Couples also have many options, including staying in St. Augustine’s historic district and making a short summer sojourn to the beaches whenever the mood strikes. Choose from exquisite hotels like the beautiful Casa Monica Resort & Spa or Hilton’s Historic Bayfront, or become part of the Oldest City’s romance and history by choosing from more than 30 charming bed and breakfast inns. Dock your boat at Marker 8 Hotel and Marina with breathtaking views of the historic district’s skyline. Some things to consider: To take advantage of lower rates, check on mid-week stays. Don’t mind a short walk to the beach? Rates can be lower at accommodations across the street from the ocean.

Things to Do

The beaches of Florida’s Historic Coast provide the perfect location for splashing in the surf, riding the waves (yes, lifeguards are present), soaking up the sun, reading that new novel or simply relaxing to the gentle swish of waves caressing the sand. And when evening comes, there are dining options both at the beach, in Ponte Vedra and in downtown St. Augustine.

From the dining room, you can see the sea at The Reef just north of Vilano Beach. Across A1A is dining with a Intracoastal view at Cap’s on the Water – a local favorite – and for real family seafood, Aunt Kate’s is nearby. For that funky seaside vibe, try Salt Life or Sunset Grille, both in St. Augustine Beach. Want a break from the sand and sun? For the kid in all of us, try the Marineland Dolphin Adventure or climb to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse for an amazing view. An evening stroll down St. Augustine’s pedestrian-only St. George Street with its shops and restaurants is a “must-do.” Want to stay dry and have fun during an afternoon rain shower? Take the kids indoors to enjoy the interactive exhibits at the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum or check out the original Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum.