Florida’s Historic Coast: 6 Best Beaches

More than 500 years ago, Ponce de Leon spotted beautiful, inviting beaches that drew him to shore and led to the first documented European discovery of Florida.

May 3, 2020
life guard watching the beach

Are the beaches open?

Beginning May 4, 2020, St. Johns County beaches and the St. Johns County Ocean & Fishing Pier will be open from dawn to dusk for all uses and activities. All visitors must follow the CDC social distancing guidelines. For more information and updates, visit our Healthy Travel Information resource page.


Today, St. Augustine is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida — 42 miles of beaches, to be exact.

Below, a list of the best beaches in St. Augustine.

1. Ponte Vedra Beach

Elegant resorts with challenging golf courses line the shore of this serene beach. Mickler’s Landing (pronounced mike-lers) is a popular access point for visitors. The beaches at GTM Reserve feature a historical marker, a life-size statue of Ponce de Leon and a dune overlook platform that includes interpretive panels describing Ponce’s 1513 journey when he sighted land at this very spot.

2. Vilano Beach

A popular beach destination ever since Henry Flagler’s millionaire friends of the late 1800s enjoyed it. Tucked away in this charming little beach town, you’ll find shopping, fun eateries and beach cottages for rent. Coquina sands and a near-shore break make it popular with surfers and kite boarders.

3. Anastasia State Park

White quartz sand beckons beach goers at one of the areas most beautiful beaches (and one of Florida’s most popular parks). The northern three miles are for beach walkers only, and most signs of civilization are hidden away well beyond the dunes.

4. St. Augustine Beach

Truly one of the best beaches in St. Augustine. Everything is here for the ideal beach vacation — sunny accommodations, tropical seaside restaurants, a beachfront park with an impressive fishing pier, pavilion, splash park and sand volleyball. Plus, a decidedly laid back attitude. And if you don't want to lug all of your beach gear down to the sand, check out Barney's Beach Service for reasonable rentals.

5. Butler Beach

This area is a mixture of private homes and condos, but many public access points make it easily reachable. Check out the surrounding park — it’s home to a vulnerable dune ecosystem that houses the endangered Anastasia Island beach mouse and the gopher tortoise.

6. Crescent Beach

Located on Anastasia Island, this beach is so named because the shoreline has a natural crescent moon shape. Miles of broad white sand are an irresistible appeal among beach goers. This particular stretch of beach is one of the most scenic and unspoiled in the area, perfect for eco-tourists and beachcombers.

Author
kid with telescope and balloons
St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches