ABOUT PONTE VEDRA BEACH (includes photo gallery below)
Ponte Vedra Beach is situated along the northern shoreline of St. Johns County, Florida. It is actually the southernmost of a string of beach towns identified as belonging to the city of Jacksonville. The “Jax Beaches” are they are collectively called, are separated from the beach communities of St. Augustine, 20 miles to the south, by the protected lands of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas Research Reserve.
While the rest of the Jax Beaches are very laid-back towns with a lot of coastal character, Ponte Vedra Beach looks the part of one of Florida’s wealthiest communities, which it is. Here, golf courses, oceanfront mansions, and commuting corporate execs are more prevalent than kitchy beach culture, surf shops, and swimsuit-clad pedestrians. Unfortunately, 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. Consequently, 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 more welcoming Jacksonville Beach or south to what has become a very popular beach access part at the southernmost stretch of Ponte Vedra, Mickler’s Landing.
Despite Ponte Vedra’s standoffish appearance, Mickler’s Landing is certainly a wonderful place to put one’s toes in the sand. Here, the water color can seem to get more of a turquoise hue than it does a little farther north, and the sand takes on more of a peach hue due to the higher concentration of ground shell bits. As for a backdrop, Mickler’s also 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. For these reasons, Mickler’s is worth the drive through Ponte Vedra.
MICKLER’S LANDING PHOTO GALLERY
MICKLER’S LANDING MAP