Mickler’s Beach

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Micklers Landing Beach is a popular public beach access along the northern shoreline of St. Johns County, Florida. While the county seat of St. Augustine is 20 miles to the south, the city of Jacksonville Beach, in neighboring Duval County, is only 7 miles to the north. Mickler’s is also the last beach access with development before the protected lands of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas Reserve, which essentially separates the coastal communities associated with Jacksonville from those associated with St. Augustine.

Mickler’s Landing Beach is distinctive among Jacksonville’s beaches for a few reasons. For example, here, the water color can seem to get more of a turquoise hue than it does farther north, and the sand takes on more of a peach hue due to the higher concentration of ground shell bits.  As for the backdrop, Mickler’s boasts higher dunes than the beaches farther north have, and homes here are much more ostentatious. In California terms, the oceanfront here is more Malibu than Santa Monica. Mickler’s is also recognized as being one of the best places in Florida for finding fossilized shark teeth in the sand.

The popularity of Mickler’s Landing Beach actually has a lot to do with the exclusivity of Ponte Vedra Beach. Located immediately south of Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach is one of Florida’s wealthiest communities and most controversial in terms of beach access. While public accesses are technically found between some of the huge oceanfront mansions that line Ponte Vedra Blvd., some residents have attempted to obscure them, and public parking isn’t provided within walking distance. Anyone who doesn’t live along this stretch, or isn’t a guest or club member of one of the high-brow resorts here, has no reasonable place to park and access the beach. That means most residents of the Ponte Vedra Beach area either have to head north to Jacksonville Beach or south to Mickler’s Landing.

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