St. Johns County Beach Access Update – As part of the ongoing Butler Beach Reach portion of the FEMA Dune Enhancement Project, St. Johns County will close one vehicle beach access ramp and reopen another ramp in the area on Monday, Aug. 7.
Separately, as part of the South Ponte Vedra and Vilano Beach Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) Project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will temporarily close public parking at Surfside Park from Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023, to March 2024 in the interest of public safety. The Surfside Park parking lot will be used as a staging area to store heavy equipment and materials during the beach renourishment project. Pedestrian access to the beach and the restroom facilities at Surfside Park will remain open to the public. Butler Beach Access Update | Butler Beach Reach Vehicle Ramp Closures Map | Surfside Park Closure Map
Pope Road Parking Lot to Temporarily Close – The Pope Road parking lot will be temporarily closed beginning Monday, July 10. The parking lot will be used as a staging area for a construction project at the Embassy Suites. Construction is anticipated to be completed by October 15, 2023, weather permitting. The pedestrian access will remain open during this time. Beach visitors may find alternative parking and beach access at the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier, located at 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach.
From dune walkovers, to driving beaches, and the beach wheelchair program, there are a variety of ways to access enjoy St. John’s County’s coastline. Interactive Map of Beach Access Points and Beachfront Parks.
To help make our beaches more accessible, beach wheelchairs are available at no charge, on a first come first serve basis. Please note that three days advance notification is required to reserve a wheelchair. To make a reservation, please call (904) 209-0331.
There are approximately 12 miles of St. Johns County Beaches that allow for vehicle access. Vehicle access is permitted year-round, however is limited to the current beach conditions. From March through September vehicles are required to purchase a beach driving pass. During the months of May through October, vehicle access is limited to the hours of 8:00am to 7:30pm. Beach Driving Passes
Beach Driving Citations – Beach driving conditions are expected to change throughout the day at each access ramp. Beach visitors may be issued a citation under the County beach code if they ignore the beach conditions and drive a car on a beach that is not suitable. The citation is about $50.
Vehicle access locations
- Vilano - temporarily closed
- Porpoise Point
- A Street
- Ocean Trace
- Matanzas Ave
- Mary Street
- Crescent Beach
- Fort Matanzas (exit only ramp)
Beachfront Parks with Off Beach Parking
Anastasia State Park
Location: On Anastasia Island, at St. Augustine Inlet, 1 mile east of downtown St. Augustine and directly north of St. Augustine Beach at 340-A A1A South, St. Augustine. Anastasia State Park Map
Facilities: Offers windsurfing, kayaking, snack bar, hiking / biking / nature trails, dune walkover, campground, restrooms, picnic tables, and showers. Lifeguards staffed seasonally.
Other Information: Driving is prohibited on Anastasia State Park beaches. For more information, contact Anastasia State Park, (904) 461-2033.
Location: On Anastasia Island just three miles south of St. Augustine Beach at 6930 A1A South, St. Augustine. Crescent Beach Map (approximate location).
Facilities: Restrooms, dune walkover, covered picnic tables, and showers. Pavilions on a first come first serve basis. Lifeguards are staffed seasonally.
Other Information: The natural profile of the coastline gives this beach its name, Crescent Beach. Horseback Riding during designated times only with special permit. Minimal vehicle beach driving / parking. Access fee from March 1st through end of September. For more information, call (904) 209-0331.
Frank B. Butler County Park - East
Location: On Anastasia Island two miles south of St. Augustine Beach at 5860 A1A South, St. Augustine. Frank B. Butler Park East Map
Park Hours: Open sunrise to sunset daily.
Facilities: Restrooms, off-beach parking, dune walkover, picnic tables and showers. For information about reserving the picnic Pavilion please call (904) 209-03331. Lifeguards staffed seasonally.
Other information: Frank B. Butler hosted Martin Luther King, Jr. and associates in his motel in 1964 during a widely publicized civil rights visit to St. Augustine. In 1980 the State of Florida turned over the management of the park to St. Johns County. Environmentally sensitive dune system home to the native Anastasia Island Beach Mice and gopher tortoises. For more information, call (904) 209-0331.
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
Location: Between Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine at 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach. GTMNERR Map
Facilities: The research reserve offers excellent educational opportunities, dune walkover, hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails.
Other information: The GTMNERR education center is a perfect place to stop for the day and visit. Just across A1A from the education center are beautiful coquina beaches where the occasional Right Whale sighting may take place. These beaches are also a popular spot for some quiet time while beachcombing. For more information: Environmental Education Center, 505 Guana River Road, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082, (904) 823-4500. http://www.dep.state.fl.us/coastal/sites/gtm
Fort Matanzas National Monument Beach
Location: At the southern tip of Anastasia Island, at the Matanzas Inlet 7.5 miles south of St. Augustine Beach on Highway A1A. Fort Matanzas National Monument Map
Facilities: Area offers vehicle access to the north only as of January 1, 2010, restrooms, off-beach parking, dune walkover, restrooms. Lifeguards are seasonal.
Other information: Fort Matanzas National Monument visitor Center is located across the street. Minimal vehicle beach driving / parking. Access fee from March 1 through end of September. Horseback Riding is not permitted within park boundaries. Area host an assortment of protected species such as least tern, Anastasia Island Beach Mice, gopher tortoises, and sea turtles. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/foma
Mickler's Beachfront Park
Location: South end of Ponte Vedra Beach on Highway A1A. 1109½ Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra. Mickler's Beachfront Park Map
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, handicapped accessible dune walkover, grills, and horseback riding. Lifeguards staffed seasonally.
Other Information: Sunbathing, and fishing are popular activities on this coquina type beach. Off beach parking is available as well as designated parking for horse trailers. Horseback riding permitted year round with special beach use permit.
Location: Take Vilano bridge over intracoastal, go north on A1A, at second highway walkover make left into park. 3721 Coastal Highway, St. Augustine. North Beach Map
Facilities: Restrooms, showers, highway walkover, off beach parking grills, playground, and picnic pavilion. Pavilion may be reserved for private picnics. To reserve, call (904) 209-0331.
Other information: Sunbathing, and fishing are popular activities on this coquina type beach.
River to Sea Preserve
Location: At the south end of St. Johns County before entering the town of Marineland. Small parking area on intracoastal side. River to Sea Preserve Map
Facilities: Very limited off beach parking, just steps away from famous Marineland.
Other information: Very quiet beach with coquina shell and plenty of oppurtunities for wildlife viewing.
South Ponte Vedra Beach Recreation Area
Location: 2.25 miles south of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve on Highway A1A across the street from the South Ponte Vedra Fire Station. South Ponte Vedra Beach Recreation Map
Facilities: Limited off beach parking, picnic tables, stairs to beach. Picnic tables are available on a first come first serve basis.
Other information: South Ponte Vedra Park is a great spot for lunch overlooking the beautiful coquina landscape or on the beach to enjoy the many wonders that the ocean can bring in. For more information, call (904) 209-0331.
St. Augustine Beach
Location: On Anastasia Island 4 miles south of downtown St. Augustine on Highway A1A Beach Blvd in the City of St. Augustine Beach. St. Augustine Beach Map
Facilities: Offers fishing, picnicking, a splash park, a pavilion that can be rented out for special events, restrooms, picnic tables, showers, and a visitor center are available. Lifeguards staffed seasonally.
Other information: The SJC Ocean Fishing Pier is the first of the pedestrian access points within the City of St. Augustine Beach limits. For more information about the City of St. Augustine Beach visit their website at www.staugbch.com.
Location: One half mile north of the Vilano vehicle access ramp on Highway A1A. 3070 Coastal Highway, St. Augustine. Surfside Park Beach Map
Facilities: Offers newly renovated restrooms, dune walkover, showers, and picnic tables. Pavilion is available on a first come first serve.
Other information: This beach is a popular spot for sunbathing, fishing, horseback riding and 4x4 driving. Horseback riding is allowed north of the Surfside access ramp year round with special beach use permit. Beach driving / parking is permissible with special beach use permit.
To obtain a permit go to http://www.sjcfl.us/HCP/Permits.aspx
Location: 4 miles north of Vilano Beach on Highway A1A. 4100 Coastal Highway, St. Augustine. Usina Beach Map
Facilities: No facilities.
Other information: Beach offers endless recreational uses including fishing, sunbathing, beachcombing, surfing, and vehicle access ramp. Beach driving / parking is permissible with special beach use permit only.
Location: 2 miles north of downtown St. Augustine, on Highway A1A just over the New Vilano Bridge at the end of Vilano Road. 2725 Anahma Drive, St. Augustine. Vilano Beach Map
Facilities: Restrooms, dune walkover, and showers. Pavilion may be reserved; call (904) 209-0331. Lifeguards staffed seasonally.
Access Information: Minimal vehicle beach driving / parking access fee from March 1 to the end of September at Vilano and Porpoise Point vehicle access ramps.
Other information: Vilano beach is a popular spot for fishing, sunbathing, beach parking/driving, and surfing (when the tide is coming in). As you enter at Vilano and drive south towards the St. Augustine Inlet past the jetties you enter Porpoise Point. This is a popular spot for fishing and launching jet skis.
A friendly group of porpoises used to frequent the inlet side, hence the name Porpoise Point. Porpoises are rarely seen in our waters and now you will most likely see bottlenose dolphins hunting for fish and splashing in the water. The occasional manatee may make an appearance as well. This area is also home to the state threatened Least Tern which nest on Porpoise Point from May to August.
Contact St. Johns County Beach Services, (904) 209-0331.