Get out and Play along Florida’s Historic Coast
Florida’s Historic Coast is best known for its history since St. Augustine was founded more than 450 years ago, making it the oldest city in the Nation.
The abundance of waterways, pristine beaches, parks and preserves make St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach the perfect places for outdoor and nature enthusiasts.
Anastasia State Park is one of Florida’s most popular parks. The quiet beaches here are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, fishing and bird watching. You’ll find plenty of parking, permanent restrooms, snack bar and picnic areas, and kayak & SUP rentals and tours. In 2015, Travel + Leisure magazine included Anastasia State Park on its list of America’s prettiest beach campsites, with full service and primitive camping available.
The GTM Research Reserve is located on scenic A1A between St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach. The GTM Research Reserve is a hiker’s delight with 9 plus miles of nature trails. The coastal estuary offers incredible views of lush vegetation, nesting bald eagles, and possible encounters with the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and the West Indian manatee. The GTM is a popular fishing spot with boat ramp access. Volunteers and staff offer monthly guided beach explorations and seining workshops. Natural and cultural history can be viewed in the Environmental Education Center. The beaches at GTM reserve were named one of the 22 Can’t Miss U.S. Beaches by CNN and one of Florida’s Top 10 gay beaches by Tampa Bay Times.
History and nature combine for a one-of-a-kind Florida State Park. Fort Mose is historically significant as home to the first free African settlement in the U.S. Here, in 1738, slaves fled the British and were granted freedom by the Spanish in exchange for conversion to Catholicism and allegiance to the Spanish crown. Today the park has a history museum and several festivals and historic re-enactments throughout the year.
Enjoy Year-Round Outdoor Dining
Northeast Florida’s temperate climate means you can enjoy outdoor dining year round. While there’s much to see and do on Florida’s Historic Coast, sightseeing is just a way to pass the time between meals. Enjoy fine dining and eclectic bistros with beautiful patios and sidewalk cafes and oceanfront views. Make your visit a moveable feast with a food & wine tour.
Best Golf in Florida
Ready to bring your A-game? The most famous course in Ponte Vedra Beach is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course with its world-renowned 17th island hole at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. THE PLAYERS Championship takes place here each spring, so this course even tests the PGA Tour Pros. The Stadium Course was designed to improve the overall on-site fan experience for THE PLAYERS, and presents a selection of short, medium and long holes within categories of par-3s, par-4s and par-5s; both right and left doglegs; and a routing laid out so no two consecutive holes ever play the same direction.
Florida’s Historic Coast is also the home of the World Golf Hall of Fame, the only place in the world where golf’s greatest players are enshrined along with exhibits tracing the evolution of the game and personal memorabilia and artifacts from its 146 members. See unique items from golf’s biggest names including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Nancy Lopez, Phil Mickelson, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam (just to name a few).
Romance on Florida’s Historic Coast
Breathtaking views often engender romance. One of the best views on Florida’s Historic Coast is from the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. Each month the Lighthouse offers a “Sunset Moonrise” tour that takes you to the top of the light tower to watch the sunset and the moon rise, all while enjoying champagne and hors d’ oeuvres.
Creature comforts abound at the more than 25 historic inns and bed & breakfasts and luxurious seaside resorts where pampering and elegance come first.
Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida’s Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra and 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. For more information on events, activities, holiday getaways, accommodations and to plan your vacation in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com, become a fan on Facebook or call 1.800.653.2489.