Visitors’ Guide to St. Augustine Beaches
You may know St. Augustine as a historic town, but the city has lots to offer besides its famous landmarks and old-world allure. One of its best features is its selection of amazing beaches. To help you get your head around all the options, here’s a breakdown of St. Augustine beaches from north to south and how to get to them.
At the northernmost point of St. Augustine’s coastline, this long, beautiful beach has a full range of facilities, including bathrooms, showers, picnic tables, and grills. It’s notable for its pink sand, composed largely of granulated coquina — a fossilized shell composite that was used as a building material in the city’s early fortresses. In summer, lifeguards are on duty and driving is allowed for a fee. How to get there: The best access point is Mickler’s Landing, which is about 15 miles north of St. Augustine on A1A.
Named for the gentle curved shape this stretch of coastline takes, Crescent Beach is renowned for aquatic sports. It’s a great spot for beach volleyball, biking, surfing, swimming and more. The surrounding community is also quiet and cozy, and worth exploring if you’re looking for some classic beach-town vibes. How to get there: Head south on A1A, then left on Cubbedge Road for easy access.
This popular beach stretches from the charming town of Vilano Beach south to St. Augustine, and often has fabulous surfing conditions. The most popular area is at the southern end, just on the inlet where the beach wraps around Porpoise Point. Here you’ll find facilities, lifeguards (in season), and parking. How to get there: From the Historic District, drive on A1A across the Tolomato River. After about three miles, you’ll be in the beach area. The most common access point is at 2725 Anahma Drive.
This beautiful beach is all too often overlooked, as it’s just one part of the larger Fort Matanzas National Monument — which is itself an amazing area to explore. The park covers 300 acres of land that includes meadows, wetlands, sand dunes and the eponymous fort — but the beach is the real star. A picturesque boardwalk will take you to the sand, where you’ll enjoy some of the most stunning shoreline in the state. How to get there: Follow A1A south until you reach Fort Matanzas. From there, the easiest access is from the west parking lot.
This state park has a lot to offer even if you’re not interested in the beach, but its four miles of white-sand shoreline is the highlight. Anastasia has just about everything, from recreation to restrooms and showers. There is even a restaurant, a watersports store, and a campground. For a vehicle with eight people or fewer, it’s $8 to enter, while entering solo will cost $4 if you’re in a car and $2 if you’re on a bike or walking. How to get there: The park sits mostly on Conch Island. The island entrance, along with parking and other facilities, is across Salt Run just off A1A (about two miles south of the Bridge of Lions).
One of the area’s more scenic public beaches, Surfside Park is a sunny stretch of shoreline that’s proven very inviting for locals and visitors alike. When you go, you’ll discover convenient parking, clean restrooms, publicly accessible grills and picnic tables, and even an event pavilion. When you venture out onto the sand, keep your eyes open for souvenir shells, sea glass, or even the occasional shark’s tooth. How to get there: Head north on A1A, and stay on the highway when the bridge crosses the Tolomato River. Stay on when the road bends north, and you’ll find Surfside at 3080 Coastal Highway.
St. Augustine Beach is one of two main hot spots for beachfront fun in the city (Vilano Beach being the other). This is a lively recreational area, with most of the action happening at the northern end’s St. Johns County Ocean Pier. There is a whole host of facilities, from basic necessities to volleyball courts, a bocce area, and a splash park. Nearby shops, cafés, and restaurants welcome beachgoers. How to get there: Continue for a short distance on A1A after the Anastasia State Park entrance. Signs for “St. Augustine Beach” will take you onto A1A Beach Boulevard, the main roadway along the shore.
Last on this list — but certainly not least — is Butler Beach. Named for Frank B. Butler, a leader who helped desegregate St. Augustine’s beaches, Butler Beach has less commercial activity and many protected sand dunes. The area has a more natural and untouched feel than vibrant St. Augustine Beach to the north, but all of the facilities you need are still there. How to get there: Continue about four more miles on A1A after the turnoff for St. Augustine Beach and you’ll be at Frank Butler County Park, the most common access point.
This list is only an introduction to St. Augustine’s most famous beaches. Given St. Augustine’s 42 miles of shoreline and abundant public access points, there are many discoveries to be made — so be sure to explore. When you’re ready to discover them for yourself, check the exclusive offers at St. George Inn to make sure you get the best rates.