The North Florida coast area has over 70 miles of coastline, but not many people know of the out of the way and little known beaches in the area. Most people are familiar with Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and the beach shoreline at St. Augustine, including Anastasia Park. These beaches are the most popular and often the most crowded. For those wanting a less populated beach, there are some other choices in the North Florida area.
Katheryn Abbey Hanna Park
Better known as Hanna Park, this beach is a bit out of the way. Most tourists take Atlantic Boulevard and drive straight to Jacksonville or Atlantic Beach. A short jaunt towards Mayport Naval Air Station, on Mayport Road, brings tourists to Hanna Park. This beach spans 1.7 miles of the coastline and is known for great surfing and fishing at The Poles. The park is well known among campers and hikers, and offers several different entry points for beach goers via parking lots and boardwalks over the sand dunes. Park entry is $1.50 per person before 10 a.m. and $3.00 per car after 10. The bathrooms are fair spaced, so be prepared for a hike to the nearest facilities. There also are no concessions on this beach, so bring your own food and water. Life guards are on duty during summer months.
Fort Clinch State Park
Fort Clinch State Park is not only a great pristine beach area, but a historic trip as well. Located in Fernandina Beach, this park houses one of the best preserved fort from the 19th century. Tours and reenactments can be seen on the fort’s daily tour. This beach offers a camping area and a youth only area. Hiking and nature trails run throughout the park. There are 2 entry points for beach access, with one central restroom and shower area. Fort Clinch park entry fees are 4 dollars per single occupant vehicle $6 for a full vehicle. There also is a $2 dollar entry fee to the fort itself.
St. Peter’s Point
This is a very small beach located at the south end of Fernandina Beach. It is often considered to be a part of the Amelia Island area. This beach is small compared to others, but offers many amenities. There are no hiking trails or camping here, however there are covered pavilions and grills. In addition, during summer months, various venders sell foods, drinks and beach needs, such as sun screen and sunglasses. There is no entry fee to this beach, but parking is limited, so come early to get a great parking place. Biking is allowed on the beach front.
Located a couple of miles north of St Augustine Beach on the A1A bypass, this small beach community overs a very private beach area. There are several shops and restaurants and only a couple of hotels on this beach front, making for a more private area. It is located in a bay like cove, making for some rougher waves than most beaches to the north or south. There is no entrance fee to Vilano Beach and no lifeguards. Fishing is great in this area, due to less tourists.
For other out of the way beaches, simply drive up A1A to discover some great hidden beach treasures. Enjoy the scenery and bring a camera!