ROAD TRIP: Jacksonville Beach to St. Augustine

Y’all, we have a guest post today!! Jennifer is a Jacksonville native currently living in Jacksonville Beach. Jennifer is living with Celiac Disease and founded the blog GlutenFreeJacksonville.com. I met her at a TPC event and love her zest for life and passion to enjoy friends & food within the bounds of Celiac.  Today, she’s sharing her fave ROAD TRIP: Jax Beach to St. Augustine for our 31 Days of Summer in St. Augustine series!

As a kid growing up in northern St. Johns County we took trips to St. Augustine. We would go to the Fort, the Old School House and Anastasia Island. I get so nostalgic every time I drive by the Dairy Queen on San Marco Ave; we would always stop there for blizzards after a day at the beach. We are so lucky to have a jewel of a city like St. Augustine so close to Jacksonville.

Now that I am grown up there is so much more I enjoy about St. Augustine. My boyfriend and I have made so many memories there for Nights of Lights, staying in Casablanca Inn, walking down Aviles street, dinner at Casa Maya and getting coffee at Gaufre’s. We seem to find our way to St. Augustine at least once every other month. It is fun to take friends in from out of town to walk around, enjoy the wine tour at San Sebastian and try something new.

Recently my boyfriend’s sister, Julie, was in town and the weather was amazing so we decided to drive from Jacksonville Beach to St. Augustine in the Jeep with the top down.

Rules of summer road tripping with the top off:

  1. Good music
  2. Sunscreen and a hat
  3. Try to avoid being in a rush. You will need time to stop and take in some of the sights.
  4. Bring a camera
  5. Plenty of gas
  6. Bring along some bottled waters just in case you want to stop and go for a hike or explore by foot

The drive from Jacksonville Beach to St. Augustine is such a treat. There are so many things to see and do along the way and I feel like I am instantly on vacation.

Our journey began at JTB, traveling south on A1A (Beach Front Avenue for all you Vanilla Ice Fans).

There are a few things to see and do between JTB and Micklers. There is the Sawgrass Marriott which houses the Sawgrass Spa (one of my favorite spas in town). They also have Augustine Grille which is a nice place to splurge for a special occasion dinner, my boyfriend and I had a Valentine’s Dinner there one year and it was awesome.

A few miles down the road is the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, an old church turned concert venue. I have yet to go there but here it is a wonderful venue for a show.

Micklers (pronounced MIKE-lers) is a family friendly beach with everything you could need, restrooms, showers and plenty of parking. This is where I hung out when I was in High School. I spent my senior skip day here with friends soaking in the sun and listening to music.

So between JTB and Mickler’s landing there is a bit of a hustle and bustle. But after Mickler’s it becomes a two lane road to paradise.

Here, A1A becomes quite residential with homes lining the street. There are some beautiful homes and mansions. I love this stretch of A1A. The trees hang low, the homes are dreamy, and you get a little glimpse of the intracoastal in people’s back yards.

Just past the strip of mansions you will find Guana State Park. This is a huge stretch of protected land with public beach access and places to put in a kayak so you can lounge at the beach or check out some of the local wildlife. I love that they have preserved this huge chunk of land that is so important to our region.

At the end of Guana State Park you will find Seranata Beach Club. One of my favorite restaurants is up on the right, Cap’s. Cap’s is a great restaurant on the intercoastal with great food and wonderful old Florida charm. You will also see Castle Ottis which serves as a nice landmark for Cap’s.

As you get closer to St. Augustine the beach views become more abundant. There is just something about seeing the ocean from the road:

Crossing the Vilano bridge pretty much means you are home free. On the other side are signs of St. Augustine- the carousel and then not too far from that is the fort.

Now it is time to explore the great city of St. Augustine. While the destination is the goal, it is always nice to take some time to enjoy the journey!

Where is your favorite place to take a road trip?

Pop over to Jennifer’s blog, Gluten Free Jacksonville, and thank her for sharing her favorite road trip- from Jacksonville Beach to St. Augustine, Florida!  And next time you have a gluten-free friend in town, you’ll know where to go for gluten free advice!

One comment


  • Tom

    Hellow. My future wife and i love the area. Were both looking to move there, we seeking employment. Can you send your fax number to us please, Tom and nancy lentz.

    June 25, 2013

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