Saint Augustine Beaches to Visit on Vacation

St. Augustine is known for its dazzling downtown district, just a few square miles of old architecture and ancient forts in the heart of the city. But surrounding St. George St is about 42 miles of famous coastal sands.

From the northern tip of Vilano Beach to the very fringes of Anastasia Island, the beaches in St. Augustine are grand and rewarding. We cover the top four beaches near our St. Augustine rentals, and what you can do at each one.

St. Augustine Beach

We have to start at St. Augustine Beach, the titular coastal escape in the city. This beach haven actually extends itself the majority of Anastasia Island. It encompasses part of Anastasia State Park, with educational tours along the water, hiking trails, and bike paths. This is one of the largest parks in the county and a defining place to visit for natural sights and sounds.

St. Augustine Beach is home to the very large and very popular St. Johns County Ocean Pier. The pier area features ice cream shops, weekend markets, and great fishing opportunities. This area is the main hub of the beach, but you can also head further south to A street to find a quieter escape.

You can find family-friendly activities in St. Augustine all along the beach, including the lighthouse, Alligator Farm, a renowned local coffee shop, historic center, and more.

The best thing about St. Augustine Beach is its sheer size. You can hang out by the main hub of the beach or head further south for some quiet ocean walks.

st augustine beach path
Photo from Shutterstock

Crescent Beach

Crescent Beach often slips under the radar, but it houses some wonderfully quiet beachsides. The main access to Crescent Beach is at the off-beach parking at the bridge. It will appear on your left as you head south on A1A. Here you can access showers, restrooms, picnic tables, a pavilion, and even on-beach parking for a fee.

The area is extremely subdued. If you want to escape to the edges of St. Augustine for quiet vacation relaxation, few places are better.

Butler Beach

Butler Beach is another quiet little enclave along this section of the Florida coast. It formally includes all the sands between St. Augustine Beach and Crescent Beach.

The most popular beach access point is right in the middle. About two miles south of St. Augustine Beach proper sits the Frank B. Butler Community Park. It is known as a popular resting haven for the gopher tortoise. The pavilion can be rented for large family events. You can also just walk, drive, or bike on over from our convenient St. Augustine condo rentals.

Plan Your Visit

Explore our list of available St. Augustine beach rentals. Find the ideal rental to act as your introduction to the old city, or return once again with top-tier amenities and convenient features. Stay both near the historic district and the beach, allowing you to experience both sides of the coin in the epic ancient city.

Vilano Beach

We change gears for Vilano Beach. While all the beaches above featured things to do in St. Augustine south of historic downtown, now we head north. Vilano Beach is tucked away on the other end of the huge Vilano Bridge. The beach has been extensively developed. You can find some cafes and pizza shops right by the beach, as well as Publix, a regional grocery store. Vilano Beach features spacious parking and a convenient circle drive to get in and out easily. A singular walking path will carry you right to the open sands.

Vilano Beach is a well-known haven for local wildlife, especially sea turtles. Be aware of all posted signage, as interfering with the local wildlife in any way will result in hefty fines.

The beach does provide well-maintained facilities, including cleansing hoses and private showers. Water fountains are also positioned by the beachfront. On their trip, many beachgoers walk the gorgeous Vilano Bridge.