Doesn’t a week at the beach sound great? A family vacation in Florida immediately brings to mind theme parks, Disney, and high cost. However, for a family looking for a great beach vacation, Northeast Florida is ideal. Uncrowded beaches, lower-cost accommodations, and lots to do make it an ideal summer vacation spot.
Pick Your Choice of Beach
Northeast Florida has beaches that rival any sun destination and each has its own flavor. In fact, you will find some unique features that are not available in other areas.
Huguenot Memorial Park is actually a beach and a park that falls under the City of Jacksonville. This drive on the beach makes it perfect for a quick taste of the sea or a whole day with all the stuff a family needs and wants without having to drag it all from a parking lot to the beach. Huguenot also offers camping, a family beach that is protected from the ocean, picnic shelters and a birding trail.
Little Talbot Island State Park is just north of Huguenot and is completely undeveloped. Exploring the beach there gives visitors a step back in time to how Florida beaches looked before they became destinations. This five-mile stretch of unspoiled beach is a wonderful classroom for every member of the family with its nature trail and abundance of wildlife to view.
Jacksonville Beach is an exciting strip of sandy white beach, nicely groomed, and monitored by lifeguards during the season. Parking is complimentary at many of the parking lots bordering the beach. With festivals, moonlight movies, surfing lessons, fishing and much more to be found at Jacksonville Beach, every day can be completely different. Get there early for easier parking on weekends and holidays.
On Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is completely open to the sea and offers great waves. It is also a favorite with shark tooth collectors. South of Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra offers Mickler’s Landing, a more secluded public beach, bordered by breathtaking beach houses. It also is another haven for shark tooth collecting.
A Break From the Beach
If your family needs a little time away from the beach to recover from the sun or to just change it up a bit, Northeast Florida offers lots to do. Minutes from Jacksonville Beach is the St. John’s Town Center with the best shopping in the area, as well as outstanding choices in dining. Quaint Amelia Island has excellent antique stores and boutiques of all kinds in its downtown core. On I-95 at St. Augustine you will find a great array of outlet stores.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is very impressive and well worth it for any family visiting Northeast Florida. Situated on the water and a short drive from Huguenot Memorial Park, this zoo can fill a day with more than 1500 animals to discover. It is very clean and has great kids’ areas.
State and national parks throughout the area, as well as art museums and a Science and History museum, give visitors lots to do. Historic St. Augustine is a 30-45 minute drive from most of the beaches and offers lots of tourist destinations, tours, and more.
If you can’t leave Florida without a water park, Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach is great fun and has discounted admission after 2 pm and family nights on Friday and Saturday all summer long.
Saving On Your Northeast Florida Vacation
Planning your vacation online? You will save you a ton on the cost of your trip. Check out Priceline.com for excellent deals on hotel stays or do a search for beach rentals in Northeast Florida for prices that easily beat other beaches in the state. Look at deal websites like Groupon or Living Social to save on dining out or excursions. Cross-check restaurants against a restaurant review site like Urbanspoon.com before buying that great deal.
Enjoy your trip! The options really are endless for an affordable, fun-filled week at the beach this summer with your family in Northeast Florida.