The Reef Restaurant
Bayfront view

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!

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. Just across the Bridge of Lions from downtown St. Augustine, Anastasia Island has 12 miles of beautiful white sand beaches where, despite their popularity, the laid-back ambience of Old Florida still prevails. 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.

For larger parties, numerous privately-owned seaside homes are available for rent, plus there are oceanfront camping spots among the natural beauty of Anastasia State Park.
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.
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 South Beach Grill in Crescent Beach or 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 Grill, 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.