BeachUnited States

8 Best Jacksonville Beach in 2023

Jacksonville

Jacksonville Beach: Nestled along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, Jacksonville is a paradise for beach lovers, boasting miles of stunning shoreline just waiting to be explored. Whether you seek relaxation under the warm sun or prefer to indulge in thrilling activities like surfing, kayaking, volleyball, or fishing, Jacksonville’s diverse beaches cater to every beachgoer’s desires.

Soft white sands and abundant sunshine are only the beginning of the allure of Jacksonville’s beaches. From American Beach to Fort Clinch State Park and Jacksonville Beach, these sandy shores offer glimpses into the area’s rich history, vibrant culture, and unique flora and fauna.

Venture beyond the city’s vibrant streets, and you’ll discover a coastal oasis that captivates with its natural beauty and endless possibilities for adventure. Families, couples, and friends alike find solace in the city’s enticing mix of relaxation and recreation.

Dive into the pristine waters for snorkeling and water activities, or embark on scenic nature trails perfect for hiking and running. Jacksonville’s inviting beaches provide a serene escape and a haven for nature enthusiasts, home to an array of fascinating wildlife, from turtles to a vast variety of bird species.

Embrace the essence of “River city by the sea” and indulge in a quintessential beach holiday at Jacksonville’s best beaches. With ample space to sprawl and plenty of opportunities for swimming, surfing, beachcombing, fishing, and kayaking, the only challenge you’ll face is choosing which beach to explore first.

Discover the treasures of Jacksonville’s coastal paradise, and let the waves of relaxation and adventure wash over you as you savor the true essence of a beach vacation in Northeast Florida. Explore our handpicked list of the top beaches in Jacksonville, and prepare for a blissful and unforgettable seaside getaway.

Atlantic Beach: A Tranquil Coastal Escape

A Serene Seaside Haven: Nestled just a short drive away from downtown Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach offers a tranquil escape with its miles of pristine beaches. Steeped in history, it is believed to be the site of one of the oldest permanent, year-round Native American settlements in North America.

Beach Paradise: Atlantic Beach boasts wide, sandy shores that draw surfers, kayakers, sunbathers, and cyclists alike. Surrounded by the beauty of the ocean, visitors can enjoy leisurely rides on the hard-packed sand along the shoreline. For more beach adventures, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park beckons with lovely stretches of beach, hiking trails to explore, and a fun kids’ splash park.

Atlantic
Atlantic Beach – Jacksonville Beach FL

A Hidden Gem: The secluded charm of Atlantic Beach offers a romantic and peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for couples and small families. Its beach bungalows and inns offer quaint and cozy accommodations, while the area’s eateries serve up delightful options, from pizza and Cajun cuisine to gourmet chocolate desserts.

A Historic Coastal Retreat: Steeped in history, Atlantic Beach holds the distinction of being one of the most historic areas on the East Coast. Visitors can bask in the sun, frolic in the waves, or explore the nearby golf courses while soaking up the area’s rich heritage.

Surfing Paradise: For surf enthusiasts, nearby Hanna Park offers a hotspot for riding the waves, making it an ideal spot for catching some awesome surf. Whether you’re into water sports or prefer a leisurely beach stroll, Atlantic Beach welcomes you with its laid-back vibe and endless opportunities for fun and relaxation.

Neptune Beach: A Coastal Gem in Jacksonville

A Charming Coastal Community: Nestled in the northeast corner of Jacksonville, Florida, Neptune Beach is a small but delightful coastal community. With its pleasant atmosphere, this beach is an ideal destination for summer getaways, attracting visitors from near and far.

Romantic Sunsets and Sunrises: Neptune Beach offers breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, creating a romantic ambiance with its pink-hued skies. Many visitors flock to the beach to witness these magical moments and enjoy the serene beauty of nature.

Delicious Dining and Cafes: Along the beach, a variety of amazing restaurants and cafes beckon with their delicious aromas, enticing both locals and tourists to savor delectable meals and beverages by the sea.

Location: Neptune Beach, Jacksonville, Florida

A Pristine Paradise: Sandwiched between Jacksonville and Atlantic Beaches, Neptune Beach is a member of the Jacksonville Beaches Community. Though smaller in size, it holds its own charm, boasting pristine shorelines that rival its larger neighbors.

Romantic Escapes: The stunning sunrises and sunsets at Neptune Beach set the stage for a romantic escape. Couples can enjoy a lovely dinner on the beach, creating memorable moments amid the picturesque backdrop.

Neptune Beach -
Neptune BeachJacksonville Beach FL

Activities and Attractions: In addition to traditional beach activities like swimming and sunbathing, Neptune Beach offers opportunities for biking and surfing. Visitors can also explore nearby attractions during their beach break.

Boutiques and Eateries: The beach is surrounded by boutique shops and neighborhood restaurants, offering a delightful respite from the sun’s rays. Enjoy a leisurely shopping experience or relish delicious meals while basking in the coastal ambiance.

A Relaxing Day Out: Neptune Beach’s mile-long stretch of white sand provides the perfect setting for a relaxing day out. Whether you’re lounging on the beach or catching some waves, Neptune Beach offers a laid-back and enjoyable experience.

Beaches Town Center: Head to Beaches Town Center, an outdoor mall at the north end of the beach, for shopping, dining, and live music. Don’t forget to visit The BookMark, a cozy independent bookshop, to find the perfect beach read before soaking up the sun.

Jacksonville Beach: A Paradise of Fun and Beauty

A Beach Paradise: Jacksonville Beach is undeniably the most amazing beach in town, captivating visitors with its charming coastline and vibrant atmosphere. Families and friends gather here to create cherished memories and enjoy quality time together.

Surfing Haven: Known as ‘The Poles’ by locals, Jacksonville Beach offers an amazing spot for surfing enthusiasts. With its perfect waves, it’s a haven for surfers looking to catch the ultimate ride.

Family-Friendly Fun: This beach is a family favorite, providing a worry-free environment to spend quality time with loved ones. Kids will love body surfing, boogie boarding, and playing in the clear waves, while parents can relax and enjoy the beach’s beautiful surroundings.

Location: Jacksonville Beach, Jacksonville, Florida

A Crown Jewel: Jacksonville Beach is the city’s namesake and a true crown jewel. Its vast expanse of soft sand invites visitors to relax and bask in its beauty. Stroll along the long wooden Jacksonville Beach Pier for breathtaking views of the ocean.

Jacksonville Beach
Jacksonville Beach – Jacksonville Beach Florida

Surfer’s Paradise: Surfing enthusiasts will find their paradise here, with some of the best waves in the state. The beach’s clean and uncrowded setting makes it an optimal spot to catch the perfect wave.

Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Jacksonville Beach is a great destination for families. Lifeguard-patrolled waters ensure safety while kids can splash and play to their heart’s content. Shelling is a popular pastime here, as the shore boasts lovely natural artifacts.

Dog-Friendly: Beachgoers with furry friends will love this beach, as dogs are welcome (on a leash) before 9 am or after 5 pm from April 1st through September 30th. From October 1st through March 31st, they’re permitted on the beach at any time.

A Vibrant Seaside: With over 3.7 miles of wide, sandy beach, Jacksonville Beach offers something for everyone. Surfing, beach volleyball, and a variety of events and festivals keep the beach buzzing with excitement year-round.

Perfect for Families: Sheltered picnic areas and a seafront playground make Jacksonville Beach a haven for families seeking adventure and relaxation. Easy beach access from multiple points and walkovers extending to the sand ensure a stress-free visit for all.

Ponte Vedra Beach: A Tropical Oasis

Spectacular Landscape: Ponte Vedra Beach boasts a captivating landscape with its undulating sand dunes, some of the highest in Florida, reaching 40 feet tall. The white-sand beach provides ample space to relax, sunbathe, and take leisurely strolls. As you explore the shore, keep an eye out for nature’s collectibles – shark’s teeth, scattered across the sands.

Dining, Shopping, and Golfing: Just off the beach, Ponte Vedra Beach offers a delightful array of dining and shopping options, ensuring you have everything you need for a perfect day by the sea. Golf enthusiasts will delight in the world-class TPC Sawgrass golf course, offering an exceptional golfing experience.

Rich History: With a history dating back over 500 years, Ponte Vedra Beach was a landing point for the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon. Commemorating his arrival, a statue of him stands proudly at the North Beach Access parking area.

Ponte Vedra Beach -
Ponte Vedra Beach Jacksonville Beach Florida

Escape to Paradise: Located 18 miles south of downtown Jacksonville and a short 26-mile drive from the historic city of Saint Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach is the perfect getaway for those seeking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. Visitors often spend their days basking in the sun at Mickler’s Landing, a popular beach known for its dog-friendly atmosphere and expansive community.

Golf Lover’s Haven: Ponte Vedra Beach is a top destination for golf enthusiasts, both residents and visitors alike. Numerous golf courses cater to all skill levels, making it a golfer’s paradise. Don’t forget to bring your golf clubs or rent some at one of the courses for an unforgettable golfing experience.

Charming Tropical Oasis: With its beautiful 40-foot sand dunes and picturesque salt marshes, Ponte Vedra Beach invites exploration and relaxation. The beach resorts and private chalets offer a perfect retreat at the end of a day spent in this charming tropical oasis.

Mayport Beach: A Hidden Gem by the Sea

Surfers’ Paradise: Mayport Beach offers a sweet spot for surfers known as “The Poles.” With consistent breaks and great wave conditions, it’s a surfer’s paradise. For a more serene experience, it’s best to visit during weekdays when there are fewer crowds.

Scenic Retreat: Even if you’re not a surfer, Mayport Beach is well worth a visit. The pristine sands provide a scenic place to unwind and enjoy the soothing sea breezes. The beach is nestled within Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, offering a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Water Activities: With 22 miles of white sandy shores just minutes away from downtown Jacksonville, Mayport Beach is a perfect destination for water activities. Snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding are among the popular options to explore the crystal-clear waters.

Delightful Dining: Mayport Beach is known for its casual and fun seafood restaurants right on the water’s edge. Enjoy the catch-of-the-day while witnessing breathtaking sunsets or gazing at the twinkling stars. Don’t miss the chance to savor the legendary Mayport Shrimp at the historic Fish Camps.

Nightlife and Souvenirs: The beach area also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars and dance clubs to keep the fun going after the sun sets. Don’t forget to explore the souvenir shops, offering a wide range of mementos to cherish your Jacksonville vacation memories forever.

A Treasure Trove: Set on the grounds of Mayport Naval Station, Mayport Beach is a secluded gem awaiting discovery. Perfect for beachcombers, this sandy shore offers an abundance of treasures, including sharks’ teeth, sea glass, and unique shells. A stroll along the wooden walkway, running on the beach, and splashing in the waves are just some of the delightful activities to enjoy.

Dog-Friendly Delight: Dogs are more than welcome to join in the fun, chasing birds or frolicking in the sand. Just remember to bring water shoes, as the beach’s natural beauty also comes with the occasional sharp shells that can hurt little feet.

American Beach: A Historic Oasis of Inclusivity

A Treasured Retreat: American Beach, situated on Amelia Island, is a picturesque stretch of sand located about a 45-minute drive northeast of downtown Jacksonville. Founded in 1935 by businessman Abraham Lincoln Lewis, it holds a significant place in history as a beach retreat that welcomed African-Americans during a time of segregation.

A Place of Resilience: Throughout the years, American Beach has remained a cherished escape for black vacationers, making it a landmark of African-American heritage. Today, it stands proudly as a key stop on Florida’s Black Heritage Trail, a testament to its historical importance.

Discovering the Legacy: To delve deeper into the area’s rich history and development, make sure to visit the American Beach Museum. It offers a captivating journey through time, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs that shaped this vibrant community.

American Beach - Jacksonville FL Beach
American Beach – Jacksonville FL Beach

Tranquil Haven: Located 40 miles north of downtown Jacksonville, American Beach offers a serene oasis of resorts and cottages. It’s a lesser-known gem among tourists, making it an ideal spot for a tranquil beach day with family and friends.

Learning Through Time: Step back in time and learn about the Black Heritage Trail and Jacksonville’s past during the 1930s and 1940s. American Beach offers a calming environment for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles with the kids.

A Remarkable History: American Beach stands as a reminder of the bravery and resilience of those who sought “recreation and relaxation without humiliation” during an era of segregation. While the town may bear some signs of time, the beach itself remains a quiet nirvana, inviting visitors to bask in its historical significance and natural beauty.

Fernandina Beach: A Charming Seaside Village

Amelia Island’s Northern Gem: Fernandina Beach, nestled on the northernmost coast of Florida’s Atlantic, boasts the charming allure of a seaside village. Located on Amelia Island, this coastal town offers miles of sandy beaches and a wealth of attractions to explore.

Beachfront Fun: Main Beach Park is a popular spot for beach enthusiasts, providing easy access to the sandy shores. Here, visitors can enjoy an array of beachfront activities, from volleyball and mini-golf to skateboarding in the skate park. The park’s playground and picnic shelters offer additional options for family fun.

A Sunrise Spectacle: Early risers are in for a treat as they witness the breathtaking sunrise over the ocean. The ethereal sight paints the sky with vivid hues, creating a memorable start to the day.

Unraveling Amelia Island: Fernandina Beach serves as a gateway to Amelia Island’s wonders. Known for its world-class golf courses and the renowned Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, this charming town is steeped in a rich history that exudes a distinct Floridian charm.

Fernandina Beach Jacksonville FL Beach

Seaside Beauty: The public beach at the island’s northern tip stretches for 13 miles, offering a serene escape with calm waters and soft sands. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the opportunities for observing the area’s diverse fauna.

Quaint Downtown Delights: Downtown Fernandina boasts delightful boutique shops and local restaurants offering specialty foods, providing an excellent chance to experience the town’s unique flavors.

A Relaxing Retreat: Amelia Island offers an array of accommodations, from elegant resorts with world-class spas to cozy bed and breakfasts tucked away outside the bustling downtown area. For those seeking a laid-back ambiance and proximity to historic sites, Fernandina Beach provides an idyllic retreat.

Family-Friendly Fun: Fernandina Beach is a haven for families, with Peter’s Point Beachfront Park offering exciting playgrounds and the perfect setting for kids to frolic in the waves and build sandcastles. Covered picnic areas and convenient on-site bathrooms cater to visitors’ needs.

Romantic Escapes: Couples can relish the romance of Fernandina Beach with enchanting horseback rides along the shoreline or leisurely strolls on wooden walkways. Finding a secluded spot for a picnic is the perfect way to create cherished memories in this idyllic coastal setting.

Huguenot Memorial Park: Nature’s Beach Haven

Birdwatcher’s Paradise: Huguenot Memorial Park, a serene nature reserve located just 30 minutes by car from downtown Jacksonville, is renowned as a prime birdwatching destination. Bird enthusiasts can witness a variety of rare species, such as the Bar-Tailed Godwit and the Razorbill, in their natural habitat.

Family-Friendly Oasis: The park’s allure extends beyond birdwatching, offering a gorgeous wide sandy beach with calm and shallow waters, making it an ideal spot for families. Kids can revel in the playground and families can enjoy picnics under the sheltered picnic facilities.

An Adventurous Experience: Huguenot Park allows an exciting beach experience unlike any other in the Jacksonville area – visitors can drive their vehicles on the sands, creating lasting memories of cruising along the shoreline.

Huguenot Memorial Park - Tourist Attractions Near Jacksonville FL
Huguenot Memorial Park – Tourist Attractions Near Jacksonville FL

Nature and Recreation: Apart from its birdwatching fame, the park offers a range of activities, from kayaking and fishing to kitesurfing. The Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail traverses the park, showcasing its incredible biodiversity. Nesting and breeding of birds are common on the hard-packed sand and mudflat areas.

The Ultimate Getaway: Huguenot Memorial Park is a hidden gem that deserves a spot on your itinerary, even if you have only 24 hours to spare in Jacksonville. Surrounded by water, the park’s secluded ambiance offers bike trails, kids’ activities, and ample opportunities for bird observation.

Surf and Sand: Aspiring surfers will find the park’s surf conditions perfect for beginners, with lifeguards on hand to ensure a safe experience. Concession stands provide satisfying snacks for beachgoers.

Diverse Adventures: From driving on the beach to discovering nesting birds in the “critical wildlife area,” Huguenot Memorial Park provides something for everyone. The park’s family-friendly amenities, including a playground, campground, fishing spots, and walking trails, cater to diverse interests and ensure a memorable beach vacation for all.

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