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Jacksonville’s Top 5 Beaches

Jacksonville’s Top 5 Beaches

Here is our list of Jacksonville’s Top 5 Beaches. (Okay, there are six – I just couldn’t leave out Little Talbot since we have so many great memories from there.)

Amelia Island

The neighbor to the south of Fernandina Beach is Amelia Island, which Developer Jim Frazier (also Hilton Head developer) dubbed his favorite development. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Omni Resort lend an upscale air to this hammock where sun lovers can hit the beach from a Five-Star Hotel, or check out the public beach a mile or so down the road.

Little Talbot Island/Big Talbot Island

We loved Little Talbot Island when the children were little because there was a sand bar that kept the waves really gentle. There is a picnic pavilion and sand dune buffer with nature walk to the beach. 

Big Talbot Island is a drive-on beach and I will never forget the day we drive over the inlet separating Big and Little Talbot Islands to see a red SUV with water up to the windows as the tide rolled in. That beach goer was not having a good beach day for sure. If you’re going to drive on the sand, you need to let some air out of your tires and by all means, keep track of the tide or you’ll be buying a new ride.

 

Hanna Park

Hanna Park is actually a city park, but it’s better than any city park I’ve ever been to. With over a mile of sandy beach, a freshwater lake, offroad bike trails, volleyball and shuffleboard, picnic pavilions and grills, this is not your ordinary park with a swingset and jungle gym. Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park was once the site of Manhattan Beach, founded around the turn of the century for African-American railroad workers, and the land was bought by the City of Jacksonville in the 1950s.

Jacksonville Beach 

The Home of the bi-annual Blue Angels Air Show has to have a place on our list, but there are other incentives as well. Jacksonville Beach is home to most of the beach night life, including Free Bird Live and an assortment of bars and restaurants. There is public beach access and parking at many of the on ramps. Driving on the beach is permitted in some areas.

Mickler’s Landing/Guana River State Park

If  back to nature is calling, then this is the beach for you. Mickler’s Landing and the Guana River State Park are just south of Ponte Vedra Beach. Mickler’s Landing doesn’t even have a sign and is a favorite for locals just for that reason – no tourists. Guana River runs from Atlantic to Intracoastal, so there are many opportunities to see wild life and experience real sand dunes.

St. Augustine Beach/Anastasia Island 

If you’ve been to the historic 16th century town of St. Augustine, including the Fort, you are now probably reach to spend some time at the beach. Just head over the Bridge of Lions onto Anastasia Island, where you can choose from a drive-on beach or auto-free beach. There are a few hotels here, and don’t forget to check out The Oasis if you have never been there.

Vote for your Jacksonville Top Beach – let us know which one you like best and why.

 

 

 

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