15 Best Beaches in Jacksonville

Are you looking for the ideal beach destination in Jacksonville? If so, you’re in the right place! Jacksonville and surrounding areas offer some of the best beaches in Florida that attract all kinds of beach lovers. Keep reading to learn about the best Jacksonville beaches along the east coast.

15 Best Jacksonville Beaches

Whether you’re looking for the perfect beach to relax, surf, swim, or seacomb, there’s something for everyone on this list. Jacksonville is an expansive area known for world-class beaches and the third-largest seaport in Florida. With small, charming beaches, popular destinations, and large state parks, the opportunities are endless for your next beach day or vacation.

Grab your sunscreen and get ready for some incredible Jacksonville, Florida beaches! We’ll also share some beaches just outside of Jacksonville city, if you’re looking to get away from the hustle or explore other areas.

1. Ponte Vedra Beach

Ponte Vedra Beach is one of the best beaches in Jacksonville, boasting beautiful sand and water.
Ponte Vedra Beach is one of the best beaches in Jacksonville, boasting beautiful sand and water. (Credit: Diane C Macdonald/Shutterstock)

Ponte Vedra Beach is located in Ponte Vedra, an unincorporated seaside community located 18 miles southeast of downtown Jacksonville. It’s known for crystal-clear water and beautiful sand. It’s also home to Players Championship and PGA Tour.

Amenities at the beach include restrooms, showers, a playground, and a picnic area. There’s also a dog-friendly county beachside park known as Mickler’s Landing, with its main entrance at Ponte Vedra Beach. 

Activities

While many people appreciate the beautiful white sand beach and golfing opportunities, other activities include: 

  • Swimming 
  • Sunbathing 
  • Fishing 
  • Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddleboarding
  • Explore with your pet

2. Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach is one of the best beaches in Jacksonville for swimming and surfing.
Atlantic Beach is one of the best beaches in Jacksonville for swimming and surfing. (Credit: lunamarina/Shutterstock)

Atlantic Beach is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike due to its various activities and laid-back vibe. Enjoy beach activities in northern Jacksonville, a short drive away from the city and golf clubs.

Amenities include restrooms, showers, a playground, and picnic shelters. You can bring your pets, but make sure they’re on a leash. 

Activities

There is no shortage of activities at Atlantic Beach.

  • Swimming
  • Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Surfing

3. Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach is the cities' main beach – easy and fun to visit.
Jacksonville Beach is the cities’ main beach – easy and fun to visit. (Credit: Diane C Macdonald/Shutterstock)

While there are tons of beaches in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach is central. Not only is it fun and easy to visit, but there’s also a beautiful main beach park with parking, picnic shelters, and a cool photo opp.

Amenities include restrooms, showers, a playground, and a picnic area. It’s also known as one of the most disability-friendly beaches in Jacksonville, carefully following the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Activities

Jacksonville Beach boasts tons of fun activities, including:

  • Swimming 
  • Beach volleyball
  • Sunbathing 
  • Fishing 
  • Kayaking 
  • Stand-up paddleboarding 
  • Surfing
  • Skimboarding 

4. Mayport Naval Station Beach

Mayport Naval Station Beach is a beach that welcomes active-duty military personnel only.
Mayport Naval Station Beach is a beach that welcomes active-duty military personnel only. (Credit: Robin McMurry Photography/Shutterstock)

Mayport Naval Station Beach is on the grounds of the Mayport Naval Station. It’s the only beach specifically open to active-duty military personnel and their families only. Mayport Beach is a quiet, family-friendly spot that’s perfect for a day of relaxing.

Amenities include restrooms, showers, a playground, and a picnic area.

Activities

Aside from watching navy hops dock and take off, there are several other things to enjoy at Mayport Beach.

  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Swimming (weekends only when lifeguards are on duty)
  • Play in the tide pools
  • Watch for dolphins

5. St. Johns County Oceanfront Parks

The St. Johns County Oceanfront Parks offer some of the best beaches in Jacksonville for all your favorite seaside activities.
The St. Johns County Oceanfront Parks offer some of the best beaches in Jacksonville for all your favorite seaside activities. (Credit: usiris/Shutterstock)

Just south of Jacksonville is St. Johns County, an incorporated city in St. Augustine. The focal point of these white sand beaches is St. Johns County Fishing Pier, which sits within a 4-acre beachfront park.

Amenities vary from beach to beach, but most include restrooms, outdoor showers, a playground, and a picnic area.  If you head to the area around the pier, you’ll find just about everything you could want at the beach, including volleyball courts and a splash park.

Activities

These beaches in St. Johns County are known for an abundance of activities:

  • Swimming
  • Sunbathing
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Stand-up paddleboarding
  • Surfing
  • The pier: arts and craft shows, festivals, concerts, gift shops, dining, and so much more!

6. Fernandina Beach

Fernandina Beach is located on the stunning Amelia Island – perfect for a peaceful, fun day at the beach.
Fernandina Beach is located on the stunning Amelia Island – perfect for a peaceful, fun day at the beach. (Credit: Norm Lane/Shutterstock)

Fernandina Beach is a trendy city just above Jacksonville, about half an hour from the airport. With so much to see and do, it’s the perfect destination for a beach vacation.

The beach is known to have some of the most beautiful sand and pristine waters in the Jacksonville area. There are about 40 beach access points along the coast of Fernandina Beach, but many don’t have amenities or parking. Instead, this area is more for those accessing the beach from your vacation rental.

If you want to go to Fernandina Beach for the day, head to Main Beach Park. This is where you can find amenities, including parking, restrooms, picnic areas, and a playground.

Activities

With so many access points along the beach, there are various activities to enjoy, including:

  • Hunt for shark teeth and shells
  • Swimming
  • Sunbathing
  • Watersports
  • Mini golf

7. Amelia Island State Park 

Amelia Island Park is one of Florida's most popular state parks.
Amelia Island Park is one of Florida’s most popular state parks. (Credit: Arctic Light Imagery/Shutterstock)

The beautiful Amelia Island State Park sits north of Jacksonville. The park protects more than 200 acres of unspoiled nature. It’s impossible not to enjoy a memorable day by the ocean with endless activities at this incredible park and beach.

You can find many amenities at the park, including restrooms, showers, a playground, a picnic area, and an equestrian trail.

Activities

Amelia Island State Park is a beach lover’s and nature enthusiast’s dream!

  • Wildlife viewing
  • Biking and hiking trails
  • Swimming
  • Sunbathing
  • Shelling
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Surfing

8. Huguenot Memorial Park 

Huguenot Memorial Park is a popular beach for camping in Jacksonville.
Huguenot Memorial Park is a popular beach for camping in Jacksonville. (Credit: Norm Lane/Shutterstock)

Huguenot Memorial Park features a sandy beach, campsites, and a playground. It’s a popular spot for friends and families to spend the day or a few. It’s also a great place to hold a beach event.

A large part of Huguenot Memorial Park is a designated wildlife area for nesting terns and shorebirds. The park is also a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, a network of 510 premier wildlife viewing sites.

Activities

It’s easy to hang out at Huguenot Memorial Park for a few days with so many things to enjoy.

  • Exploring various bird species
  • Wander through hiking and birding trails
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Sunset views

9. Anastasia State Park 

Anastasia State Park boasts over 1,600-acres of unspoiled beaches, tidal marshes, and sand dunes.
Anastasia State Park boasts over 1,600-acres of unspoiled beaches, tidal marshes, and sand dunes. (Credit: Rafal Michal Gadomski/Shutterstock)

If you’re looking for a beautiful and peaceful place to spend some time in Florida, look no further than Anastasia State Park. This park is located on Anastasia Island, just south of Jacksonville. The park has been a popular destination for many years and is one of our favorites in the area!

Activities

This large, beautiful park offers tons to enjoy!

  • A beach
  • Hiking and walking trails
  • Fishing pier 
  • Boat ramps
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Surfing
  • Shelling
  • Swimming
  • On-site restaurant

Looking to stay overnight to enjoy all that the park has to offer? You can book a campsite at Anastasia State Park.

10. Fort Clinch State Park, Amelia Island

Fort Clinch State Park is a nature paradise located in Amelia Island, north of Jacksonville.
Fort Clinch State Park is a nature paradise located in Amelia Island, north of Jacksonville. (Credit: Arkorn/Shutterstock)

Fort Clinch State Park is a must-visit if you love the beach and nature! It’s located north of Jacksonville on Amelia Island. It’s home to beautiful beaches, nature trails, and various historical sites. The fort itself is a fascinating piece of history, and there are also several museums to visit. 

Fort Clinch State Park offers many amenities, including restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and a playground. It’s also wheelchair accessible.

Activities

Like most of Florida’s state parks, there’s camping at Fort Clinch, which is excellent for those who want to stay the night and fully experience all that the park and beach have to offer.

  • Fishing
  • Swimming 
  • Shelling
  • Paddling
  • Bird watching
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Mountain biking

11. Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park is a popular lakeside beach with ocean access in Jacksonville.
Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park is a popular lakeside beach with ocean access in Jacksonville. (Credit: Roy L Sprague/Shutterstock)

Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is a beautiful lakeside park located in Jacksonville, Florida. It has a rich history dating back to the early 1900s and was initially known as the “City Park.” Today, it’s a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

While Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is home to a beautiful lakeside beach, there’s also ocean access nearby. It’s easy to spend a fun beach day at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park with so many amenities. There’s a playground, picnic areas, and fire pits. You can also bring your leashed pet along!

Activities

With so many activities, this park has something for everyone!

  • Lakeside beach
  • Ocean access
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing
  • Biking
  • Nature trails

12. Little Talbot Island State Park

Little Talbot Island State Park covers an island just above Jacksonville.
Little Talbot Island State Park covers an island just above Jacksonville. (Credit: tamara321/Shutterstock)

Situated slightly northeast of Jacksonville is Little Talbot Island. Little Talbot Island State Park covers the entire island and is one of the underdeveloped barrier islands near Jacksonville. The park includes more than five miles of coastline. 

Since the park is underdeveloped, there’s a lot of wildlife in the area, making it the ideal destination for outdoor and nature lovers. If you enjoy camping, there are also campsites available at the park.

The best part about Little Talbot Island is that it takes you away from the hustle and bustle you find at many of the other best beaches in Jacksonville. If you’re looking for peace, white sand, and crystal clear water, you’ll love Little Talbot!

Activities

Little Talbot has just about something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Wildlife viewing
  • Bicycling
  • Surfing
  • Paddling
  • Fishing
  • Camping

13. Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park 

Mickler's Landing Beachfront Park is one of the best beaches in Jacksonville to enjoy watersports and find sharks' teeth.
Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park is one of the best beaches in Jacksonville to enjoy watersports and find sharks’ teeth. (Credit: Kelly Scott Clickshots/Shutterstock)

At the southern end of Ponte Vedra Beach, south of Jacksonville’s city center, is Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park. This fantastic spot is a laid-back locals’ beach, perfect for visitors who want to get away from tourist attractions.

If you’re into hunting for sharks’ teeth and/or hitting the waves, you’ll love Mickler’s Landing!

Activities

Mickler’s Landing offers several ways to enjoy your day at the beach!

  • Seacombing
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Photography
  • Sunset views

14. Neptune Beach

Neptune Beach is an excellent spot for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.
Neptune Beach is an excellent spot for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. (Credit: Kristine Reed/Shutterstock)

If you’re looking for a tranquil beach experience, this is it! Neptune Beach is a quaint, laidback community away from the hustle. While it’s primarily a residential area, Neptune Beach and the surrounding coastal area boasts plenty of oceanfront hotels, houses, and restaurants for visitors. 

If you’re interested in surfing or other water sports, Neptune Beach might not be the best place to go. However, it’s the perfect beach for relaxing or bringing your pet for a day by the water.

Activities

With little crowding and lots of space, there’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy your beach day.

  • Watch the sunrise
  • Bike or stroll along the beach
  • Hunt for seashells and other treasures
  • Sunbathe
  • Go for a swim

15. Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

Guana Tolomato Matanzas is a large wildlife reserve that sits just south of Jacksonville.
Guana Tolomato Matanzas is a large wildlife reserve that sits just south of Jacksonville. (Credit: totajla/Shutterstock)

Guana Tolomato Matanzas Reserve is a large wildlife reserve with multiple parks for accessing the beach and enjoying other outdoor adventures. The park is dedicated to preserving the wildlife and biodiversity that call the reserve their home. It’s also home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida and offers a peaceful paradise for nature lovers.

Activities

While Guano Tolomato Matanzas Reserve is all about wildlife, visitors can also appreciate many activities!

  • Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking
  • Swimming
  • Sunbathing
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Trails of various difficulty levels
  • Picnicking

Enjoy Jacksonville’s Beaches!

Jacksonville is an exciting, vibrant city with so much to offer. It’s one of the best beach vacation destinations with endless activities and world-famous beaches.

With so many amazing beaches and coastal areas along the Jacksonville coast and surrounding the area, there’s a perfect destination for every kind of beachgoer. We hope you’ve found the perfect Jacksonville beach for you on our list of the best beaches in the area!

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