What you need to know.
Welcome to St. Johns County
After one visit you’ll see why so many St. Johns County residents are proud to say they live “on the Island,” where residential options vary from oceanfront, beachside and intracoastal views to tranquil island neighborhoods. St. Johns County, in lovely Northeastern Florida, is a haven for beach, water, and warm weather enthusiasts, with much of the area located along the Atlantic Ocean and inland waterways. Its history dates back to 1821, and today the county has become one of the highest-income counties in the United States.
HISTORICAL ST. AUGUSTINE’S rich history and cultural diversity have helped shape a dynamic city valued by both tourists and locals as a treasured escape. Today, more than 50 historic points of interest are nestled in our nation’s oldest city amidst boutiques, cafés, restaurants, hotels, and bed and breakfast inns. The downtown area offers a glimpse of what life must have been like many years ago, with homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places standing alongside more recently built structures embodying the same Old Florida style.
On the outskirts are shopping malls and retail centers, including the St. Augustine Premium Outlets and St. Augustine Outlets. The unique mix
of old and new beckons visitors to return to St. Augustine time and again – often for good!
Across the Intracoastal Waterway is beautiful ANASTASIA ISLAND, a barrier island lined with wide, sandy beaches loved by sun-seekers. The well-known St. Augustine Beach is located four miles south of downtown St. Augustine in the City of St. Augustine Beach. This area is home to the St. Johns County Ocean Pier and Pavilion, which has a splash fountain and playground.
Popular activities include swimming, surfing, beach volleyball, miniature golf, bicycling and tennis. A variety of accommodations, more than 150 restaurants and lounges, and a myriad of surf shops line A1A Beach Boulevard.
Marsh Creek Country Club, a popular Anastasia Island development, offers luxurious homes around an 18-hole championship golf course.
VILANO BEACH, one of the most popular locations in the county for surfing, skim boarding, jet skiing and fishing, is located two miles north of historic St. Augustine just over the Usina Bridge, also known as the “Vilano Bridge,” and is surrounded by water on nearly every side. A nature walk passes over the saltwater marsh and beneath the Vilano Bridge, joining the residential area and Town Center Pavilions, one of which features a children’s splash fountain. There are a handful of hotels and motels within walking distance of the beach, as well as several eclectic restaurants with ocean side seating and Intracoastal views sprinkled along Coastal Highway AIA.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH is just 20 minutes north of St. Augustine and features top-rated golf and tennis resorts and exclusive residential neighborhoods.
Some of the most prestigious golf tournaments are headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, including the PGA Tour’s flagship event, THE PLAYERS Championship. If golf and tennis don’t pique your interests, you’re sure to find something that does at Ponte Vedra’s 138-acre Davis Park, complete with fishing ponds stocked for children’s catch and release, dog parks, a playground, and playing fields for soccer, football, softball and baseball.
NOCATEE is a master-planned, unincorporated town offering its residents a unique balance of work and play in a walkable, livable community for all ages. One of the fastest growing communities in the United States, it is located 3 miles from Ponte Vedra Beach and the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 85% of the community is in St. Johns County, and the remaining 15% is in Duval County.
NORTHWEST ST. JOHNS Only 30 minutes from St. Augustine to the south or Jacksonville to the north, in the Northwest country living meets convenience in this picturesque community, where choice residential possibilities run along scenic State Roads 16, 13, and the St. Johns River.
Popular areas for outdoor family fun include Mills Field Recreational Park and Julington Creek Plantation Park and the recently opened Rivertown Park. Residents also enjoy boating, sailing and canoeing in the northwest, an area famous for its bass and freshwater fishing.
The communities of RiverTown, Fruit Cove, Switzerland and Julington Creek make up the rapidly growing area called “St. Johns,” known for its numerous golf courses, boutiques and riverside mansions.
PALENCIA, a master-planned golfing community located off U.S. Highway 1 North, spans 1,450 acres with more than two miles of land bordering the tidal marshes of the Intracoastal Waterway and Marshall Creek.
The WORLD GOLF VILLAGE is a resort-style community enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, featuring the World Golf Hall of Fame and IMAX Theatre, as well as unparalleled accommodations and amenities. St. Johns Golf and Country Club and South Hampton are golf course communities along County Road 210.
Growth in the northwest area continues as multiuse development projects, such as RiverTown, gain momentum.
SOUTH ST. JOHNS: This area is St. Johns County’s Agricultural Center. A drive south along State Road 207 will take you into southwest St. Johns County, primarily agricultural land comprised of the small residential area of Vermont Heights; just west of I-95; the unincorporated area of Elkton at County Road 305; the community of Spuds on County Road 13; and the Town of Hastings 18 miles southwest of St. Augustine.
HASTINGS dates back to the late 1800s when Henry Flagler needed a source of fresh vegetables for his St. Augustine hotels. He persuaded Thomas Horace Hastings (a relative of his architect) to develop the farmlands, and to this day the Town of Hastings is known as the “Potato Capital of Florida.” Other crops include cabbage, onions, eggplant, sod and ornamental horticulture.
In this part of our county you can still experience the Old Florida main street, bustling farmsteads, and historic St. Ambrose Parish.
A CREATIVE COMMUNITY: St. Augustine is home to scores of galleries featuring the works of local artisans and craftspeople, in a creative community so diverse that the area has been featured in the book 100 Best Small Art Towns in America by John Villani.
Monthly events such as the Art Galleries of St. Augustine’s First Friday Artwalk and the San Marco Avenue Merchants Association’s Uptown Saturday Night offer opportunities for self-guided tours through an inspiring mix of exhibits, music and refreshments among area galleries
The St. Johns Cultural Council, a non-profit, member-based arts advocacy organization which hosts and promotes member exhibits, concerts and events, is the designated arts agency for St. Johns County.
Area music enthusiasts look to an organization called EMMA, which presents a variety of nationally and internationally acclaimed ballets, pianists, violinists and other fine entertainment throughout the year at the Flagler College Auditorium in St. Augustine. For information call 904-797-2800.
The St. Augustine Jazz Society provides a forum for the exchange of information between jazz enthusiasts by producing jazz events that bring musicians and the public together. For information visit www.StAugustineJazzSociety.org.
Romanza's Mission is to promote and produce cultural events that showcase St. Augustine's vibrant living culture, enhance the quality of life for residents, and create a positive lasting impression of the Nation's Most Romantic City for visitors. Visit www.romanzastaugustine.org for more information.
The St. Augustine Amphitheatre, located on Anastasia Island, is a performing arts venue with the capacity to hold an audience of up to 4,500. A conference room, concession stands, merchandise area, plaza, and elaborate array of walking trails make up the facility. The amphitheatre plays host to national and international acts, but also provides an ideal location for community and non-profit organizations’ performances, festivals and events. For information call 904-209-3742.
The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall is a performing arts facility located in the heart of Ponte Vedra Beach. The Concert Hall features national and international performing artists and an array of activities, concerts and community gatherings. The venues proximity to Jacksonville and St. Augustine and the support of the local community positions this venue as a must-stop for artists. Check out the lineup by visiting:
The Flagler College Theatre Arts Department produces a number of plays, musicals, and one-acts drawing a large audience from the community, such as faculty-directed mainstage plays, Senior Conservatory shows, and Acting One and Children’s Theatre class performances. For more information call 904-826-8600.
The Limelight Theatre is a community performance company where local actors perform. In addition to a full season of plays and musicals throughout the year, the Limelight presents KidzfACTory, offering fun, educational and creative programs for actors ages seven to 17. KidzfACTory has a wide range of activities year-round including performance camps, acting workshops and school outreach. Limelight: 904-825-1164.
RECREATION & BEACHES: In addition to the wide selection of wonderful restaurants, boutiques, shopping centers, and historic sites that are popular with both visitors and residents, there is plenty to do in St. Johns County just by going outside. Popular outdoor recreational activities include boating, sailing, canoeing, fishing, nature walks, bicycle riding and golfing.
And of course, numerous beaches beckon sun and surf-lovers year-round:
St. Augustine Beach is located four miles south of downtown St. Augustine on A1A Beach Boulevard in the City of St. Augustine Beach.
Anastasia Island is home to the many attractive beaches in Anastasia State Park:
• At the St. Augustine Inlet, 1 mile east of
historic St. Augustine, directly north of
St. Augustine Beach on Highway A1A.
• 3 miles south of St. Augustine Beach
on Highway A1A.
Frank B. Butler County Park
• 2 miles south of St. Augustine Beach
on Highway A1A.
Highway A1A Matanzas Beach
• At the southern tip of Anastasia Island,
at the Matanzas Inlet, 7.5 miles south of
St. Augustine Beach on Highway A1A.
Vilano Beach is nearly surrounded by water and contains lovely beaches in Surfside Park:
• 1/2 mile north of the Vilano vehicle access
ramp on Highway A1A Usina Beach
• 4 miles north of Vilano Beach on
Ponte Vedra area beaches are found in Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve:
• Between Ponte Vedra Beach and
St. Augustine on Highway A1A
• At the south end of Ponte Vedra on
There is also a beach in the South Ponte
Vedra Beach Recreation Area:
• 2.25 miles south of the GTMNERR on
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