Gettin' Sandy on St. Augustine Beach

A visit to St. Augustine Beach doesn't mean you have to spend your entire time in the sun. There's plenty of stores, restaurants and things to do other than get sand in your bikini (or shorts).

  • St. Augustine's history is intriguing and beautiful, but St. Augustine Beach is one of the most gorgeous beaches I have ever been to and a major reason why I decided to relocate to Florida. I could spend hours melting like a popsicle with quick dips in the ocean to cool off. My husband is a little more difficult to get to the beach though unless there are good waves for surfing, although lately I've gotten him out there a little bit more with his new drone. Boys and their toys...There is more to do in St. Augustine Beach than pass countless hours in the sun, but first, let's talk about the beach. smiley

    St. Augustine Beach Lifeguard
    St. Augustine Beach has several staffed lifeguard towers along the beach.

    Before you head to the beach don't forget some of the essentials:

    • Sunscreen
    • Beach Towel
    • Shades
    • Umbrella
    • Beach Chairs
    • Boogie Board or Surf Board
    • Reading Material
    • Games (Velcro Ball & Mitt, horseshoes, soccer ball or football, etc.)
    • Sand castle making toys
    • Cooler full of fresh fruit, snacks and beverages (including the oh-so-essential water)

    There are a few stores right by the beach if you're missing any of the above. Sunshine Shop is a great place to grab some new swimwear or flip flops. If you're looking for a boogie board and some sand toys on the cheaper side, stop into Alvin's Island — you can even pick up a gift for your pet sitter or a souvenir for yourself while you're there.

    St. Augustine Beach Essentials
    4 things I will not go to the beach without: a towel, suntan lotion, a book and shades.

    One great thing about St. Augustine Beach is that you can actually drive on the beach. I love the convenience of having my Jeep right there and not having to lug everything all the way down to the beach. Sometimes certain areas of the beach "road" will be closed to non 4x4 vehicles, but a lot of times I see little cars out there and they seem to do just fine. I've also seen a number of people have to have their cars pulled out though because they get stuck in the soft sand. Drive at your own risk if you don't have four wheel drive, especially if it hasn't rained in a while.

    If you aren't planning to drive onto the beach there's plenty of free public parking available. There are public parking lots at the Pier and on 11th Street with restrooms and showers to rinse off. You can also find street parking throughout St. Augustine Beach. Not staying on the beach? Old Town Trolley has a Beach Bus that is complimentary to their trolley ticket holders. Ripleys Red Trains also offers transportation to ticket holders to and from the beach.

    Playing catch on St. Augustine Beach
    Nothing screams summertime at the beach like tossing a football around in the water. America!!!

    No one can deny that the scent of saltwater mixed with coconut suntan lotion and the sound of waves crashing is incredibly relaxing. I always enjoy searching the beach for sharks teeth and unique shells. I have found that the best place to find sharks teeth is right at the water's edge. Sometimes I'll even come across one of those orange and purple starfish. They're fun to look at and take a picture of for Instagram, but they are usually still alive and I always leave them where I found them.

    St. Augustine Beach shells & sharks' teeth
    Sharks teeth are my favorite thing to find on the beach!

    After a few hours on the beach I recommend you stop by Stir It Up for a smoothie. My favorite to order is the Uprising, it has banana, peanut butter and bits of coffee grinds — yummy! There's also a number of casual restaurants on A1A to take a break from the beach and grab some lunch at. To name a few, Salt Life Food Shack has a patio area that is pet friendly, there is a pool at Jack's BBQ, and Hurricane Wings has an outside dining area.

    As I said before there are other things to do in St. Augustine Beach than passing time on the beach. Fiesta Falls Mini Golf is a fun 18 hole course that everyone can have fun playing. There's also Anastasia Lanes if you're over the heat and want to get out of the sun for some bowling.

    After a day in the sun my ideal evening involves a shower (I always get sand everywhere from laying in the shoreline water), a nice dress to flaunt my fresh tan lines, and a restaurant reservation with family or friends. What's your favorite thing to do after a day at the beach? Tweet us at @augustinedotcom and let me know!

     

    Places to stay on St. Augustine Beach:

    • Beachers Lodge: My Mom and Stepdad always used to stay here when they came to visit before moving to St. Augustine. These are great little efficiency condos right on the ocean, with a pool too! You've got a little kitchenette area so you can prepare your own meals which is super convenient as well.
    • Holiday Isle Oceanfront Resort: They have a poolside tiki bar right on the ocean and waterfront rooms with balconies.
    • Regency Inn & Suites: Regency Inn is a short walk to the beach and has an indoor pool, evening dip anyone?
    • La Fiesta Ocean Inn & Suites: A boutique inn right on St. Augustine Beach with award winning landscaping and waterfalls and a private walkway to the beach.

     

    Local St. Augustine blogger Meaghan Alvarado is a Flagler College alumni who writes on many topics ranging from fashion and food to crafts and local St. Augustine happenings.Check back here at Augustine.com regularly to see the great events and activities Meaghan will be writing about next, and check out her personal blog at http://justmeaghan.com/.





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Updated: Monday, July 14, 2014

Meaghan Alvarado

Local St. Augustine blogger Meaghan Alvarado is a Flagler College alumni who writes on many topics ranging from fashion and food to crafts and local St. Augustine happenings.