Relaxing day at the beach
Building sand castles on the beach

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

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!
     
  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.
     
  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. You can also rent from Barney’s Beach Services. Barney’s team 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. Depending on your skill level, there’s a board for you. Barney’s also delivers boards. And you can rent from local surf shops or there are often vendors on the beach.
     
  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 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. Please note that three days advance notification is required to reserve a wheelchair. To make a reservation, please call contact (904) 209-0752. If the county’s wheelchairs are not available, there are several companies you can rent from including Barney’s Beach Services, Solano Cycle of St. Augustine.

Please read these important facts and suggestions from the St. Johns County Beaches Department and visit the County Beach’s website to learn more and to get the Beaches app.

And remember, the beach is there for everyone. Be courteous.