St. Johns County Beaches
COVID-19 UPDATES: For Information regarding St. Johns County's response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including closures, cancellations, and access to facilities please visit our St. Johns County Corona Virus (COVID-19) Response site.
St. Johns County Memorial Day Weekend Beach Update
Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest times on St. Johns County Beaches. This holiday weekend, Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25, St. Johns County staff is taking extra precautions to educate the public regarding safe beach driving rules and regulations, public safety measures, and free shuttle services to Mickler’s Beachfront Park and St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier.
Please help maintain safe driving practices on St. Johns County beaches by complying with the following rules:
- Vehicle traffic must remain in the designated driving lanes as identified by cones.
- Parking is allowed on the west side of the driving lane between the cones and the conservation zone.
- Vehicles are allowed to drive 10 mph on the beach.
- Traffic is southbound only between A Street Ramp and Crescent Beach Ramp. Vehicles can travel two-way from Crescent Beach for approximately 3.5 miles south and able to turn around to exit at Crescent Ramp. Vehicles can continue past this area to exit off at Fort Matanzas. Please note, this stretch is tidal dependent and is one way only.
- Vehicles may not enter the beach at the Fort Matanzas Ramp.
- All vehicles are required to stop at all beach ramps and yield to all pedestrians.
- Soft sand conditions may exist. Read all signs as they are updated with changing conditions.
- Vehicles are permitted on the beach between 8:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Marine Rescue Lifeguard towers are stationed at various locations on County beaches. Lifeguards will be on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, weather permitting. Beach visitors are asked to observe flag colors, swim near a lifeguard, practice social distancing, and call 911 in the event there is an emergency. The beaches are expected to experience a high risk of rip currents at the start of the holiday weekend and it is advised that visitors swim with caution.
Beach passes are required for vehicle access. Passes can be purchased with cash only at any of the beach access ramps. For the most up-to-date information on beach access and driving conditions, please download the Reach the Beach Mobile App and follow us on Facebook, and Twitter @SJCBeaches.
South Beaches Driving Updates
Soft sand conditions are likely this holiday weekend, with rutting occurring in some areas, such as A-Street to Ocean Trace Road. This section of beach is mandated as four wheel drive only. Please abide by posted signage and information given by toll staff at all locations. Additional updates will be made daily during the weekend from Friday, May 22, through Monday, May 25. For the most up-to-date information on beach access and driving conditions, please download the Reach the Beach Mobile App and follow us on Facebook, and Twitter @SJCBeaches.
Vilano Beach and Porpoise Point Beach Driving Updates
Vilano Beach is open for vehicular access. Parking in the Vilano area is anticipated to be at capacity by 10 a.m. Please find alternative ways to access the beach, including walking, biking, carpooling, or visiting one of the other beachfront parks St. Johns County has to offer. Porpoise Point is currently closed to vehicular access. This area of beach has experienced extreme erosion and the vehicular ramp has been compromised, making the ramp impassible.
Memorial Day Shuttle Service
St. Johns County is offering a free shuttle service to Mickler’s Beachfront Park and the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 23 through Monday, May 25. The Mickler’s Beachfront Park shuttle will transport beach visitors between Cornerstone Park, 1046 A1A North, and Mickler’s Beachfront Park, which provides direct access to the beach. The Pier shuttle will transport beach visitors between St. Augustine Beach City Hall, 2200 A1A South, and the Pier parking lot, which provides direct access to Pier amenities and the beach. The shuttles will run every 20 minutes with the final shuttles departing at 4 p.m. In accordance with CDC recommendations and State of Florida safety guidelines, shuttles have safety plans in place to protect drivers and passengers, including drivers wearing masks, buses being sanitized frequently, social distancing protocols, capacity limited per trip, and beach equipment stored in the rear cargo bay.
Service updates will be provided via the Reach the Beach mobile app, the Beaches Twitter feed, and Facebook page. St. Johns County and the Tourist Development Council provide the Reach the Beach shuttles to give St. Johns County residents and visitors a safer and more convenient beach experience. For additional information, please visit www.sjcfl.us/beaches or call 904.209.0331.
Fort Matanzas Beach Ramp Open to Vehicular Access – The Fort Matanzas Beach Ramp is now open to one-way traffic as an exit ramp only. This ramp reconstruction project was accomplished through a partnership between St. Johns County and the National Park Service. The reopening of the Fort Matanzas Beach Ramp restores beach access lost due to damage caused by Hurricane Matthew and worsened by subsequent storms. It will also improve response times for law enforcement and emergency services personnel.
Vehicular access on any St. Johns County beach is always subject to local weather, tidal conditions, and the amount of beach available to safely accommodate pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Due to these factors, the ramp may be impassible and vehicles may have to drive back to exit at the Crescent Beach Ramp. Please note that beach driving is prohibited on all areas south of the Fort Matanzas Beach Ramp. With the opening of the ramp, the Fort Matanzas Beach Ramp parking lot is also now open to visitors. Daily driving conditions are posted to the SJC Beaches Twitter account and Facebook page, and the Reach the Beach mobile app. For more information, call 904.209.0333.
St. Johns County Resumes On-beach Driving Monday, May 11 – On-beach driving will resume Monday, May 11, 2020, at all beach access ramps where sand conditions permit vehicular access. Implemented in coordination with Florida Department of Health representatives, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, the St. Augustine Beach Police Department, and St. Johns County Emergency Management, resuming on-beach driving is the final stage of St. Johns County's incremental phased plan to safely provide full access to the beach for residents and visitors. St. Johns County Resumes On-beach Driving Monday, May 11 Details
St. Johns County Reopening Strategy – Phase One
In consideration of Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-112 outlining Florida’s plan for recovery, St. Johns County is launching a phased reopening approach in collaboration with the City of St. Augustine, the City of St. Augustine Beach, and local health care and law enforcement agencies.
The health, safety, and welfare of St. Johns County residents remain the top priorities in the development and implementation of the reopening strategy. Phase One of St. Johns County’s reopening includes:
- Beaches – Beginning Monday, May 4, all restrictions previously in place on St. Johns County beaches are rescinded. On-beach driving remains prohibited and CDC guidelines and social distancing restrictions remain in place.
- SJC Ocean and Fishing Pier – Beginning Monday, May 4, the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier is open to the public with no access fee. All other facilities, including the Pier Gift Shop and pavilion, remain closed to the public and unavailable for reservations, rentals, or events, including farmers markets.
- Distancing and Industry Guidelines – It is recommended that the public continue to adhere to the CDC social distancing guidelines of limiting gatherings to no more than 10 persons and maintaining a minimum distance of six feet between parties. Guidelines regarding restaurant, retail, and other business operations can be found at www.sjcfl.us/coronavirus.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season – The beaches of St. Johns County are home to several species of endangered or threatened sea turtles. Sea turtle nesting season begins May 1, and St. Johns County officials are asking residents, visitors, and businesses to help protect natural habitat by observing all nesting season laws and regulations. Sea Turtle Season | Get the latest sea turtle nesting & hatching info! Turtle Tracks.
2020 Annual Beach Driving Passes Extended – The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners has extended all 2020 annual passes through the 2021 beach season. All passes purchased prior to the on-beach driving restrictions and for the remainder of the season are included in the extension. For more information, please call 904.209.0752.
Reach the Beach Mobile App – Spend less time in the car and more time on the beach with quick access to beach driving conditions, access and facility locations, and lifeguard information. Download the free app in the App Store or Google Play. For more information, call 904.209.0331. Reach the Beach Mobile App.
Beach Wheelchairs – To help make our beaches more accessible, beach wheelchairs are available at no charge, on a first come first serve basis. Please note that three days advance notifice is required to reserve a wheelchair. To make a reservation, please call contact Cathy Strickland (904) 209-0341.
Current Beach Conditions – Automated information which is updated as conditions change (904) 209-0331.
- Interactive Map of Beach Access Points | PDF Map of Beach Access Points
- Beach Access Updates on Twitter & Facebook
With over 40 miles of scenic coastline, St. Johns County beaches offer some of the best recreational and wildlife viewing opportunities in the beautiful State of Florida. Just minutes from the historic district of downtown St. Augustine residents and visitors can park off-beach and walk, sunbathe, fish or enjoy wildlife viewing along endless miles of pristine coastline or park directly on the sand and enjoy a dip in the surf near one of the several staffed lifeguard towers.
Our beaches have several miles of coquina and white soft sand beaches set against a backdrop of natural dunes topped with sea oats. Our Beaches are a popular location to hold special events such as weddings, parties, marathons and other events of similar nature. St. Johns County offers many beach front parks and has easy access to most of its beaches.
St. Johns County is home to a variety of wildlife including several species of endangered or threatened sea turtles, the native Anastasia Island beach mice, gopher tortoises, and shorebirds. Each spring our beaches our buzzing with activity as sea turtles, beach mice, gopher tortoises, and shorebirds use our beaches and dunes for nesting and foraging that continues throughout the summer months. Sea turtle nesting season is from May 1 – October 31. Those who live and visit St. Johns County have a special opportunity and responsibility to protect these magnificent creatures and their vulnerable nesting and feeding habitat.
For more information about our beautiful beaches, contact Beach Services at (904) 209-0341.