North Atlantic Coast
The North Atlantic Coast of Florida spreads from Amelia Island to Cocoa beach and includes some of Florida’s finest and largest cities such as St Augustine and Jacksonville. The region is also home to the famous Daytona Beach and also hosts the country’s space program. As compared to the South Atlantic Coast, the beach towns here are more low-key and have a more friendly and laidback attitude.
Daytona Beach is the focal point of all activity. While there, you can take your family to the Adventure Landing Waterpark. Apart from the waterslides, the park also has a huge arcade, go-karts, mini-golf, and two full-service restaurants. Another point of interest is the Richard Petty Driving Experience where you can get hands-on driving lessons and an opportunity to win the (simulated) Winston Cup Challenge. Also see the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouseand the 175 feet tall tower, the tallest lighthouse in Florida and the second tallest in the country.
St Augustine features the Watersports of St. Augustine where you can go parasailing, jet-skiing and also rent a boat and set out sailing. Also visit Amelia Island which has changed several hands and is home to Fernandina Beach and Amelia City.
Amelia Island is a part of a chain of barrier islands that stretch from the east coast of the US from South Carolina to Florida. The southernmost of the Sea Islands, Amelia Island is located near the Nassau County. The island is home to Fernandina Beach and Amelia City. The island takes its name from Princess Amelia, the daughter of George II of Great Britain. Over time, the island has changed several flags – French, Spanish, British, Patriot, Green Cross, Mexican, Confederate, and finally the United States. Amelia Island plays host to the annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in May which attracts more than more than 150,000 people. It also hosts the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Amelia Island Film Festival. Besides, there are seven golf courses on Amelia Island.
Daytona Beach is a vibrant city located in East Central Florida. It is famous the world over as the ‘World Centre of Racing.’ The hard packed sands of the beach have made it a mecca for motor sports. The Daytona Beach Road Course has hosted races for more than 50 years. In 1959, this course was replaced by the Daytona International Speedway. Daytona is home to NASCAR and the Grand American Road Racing Association. Daytona Beach is a perfect destination for a family-friendly holiday. There are several attractions in store including Adventure Landing Waterpark and historical sites such as the Main Street Pier, the Oceanfront Boardwalk, and the Clocktower in Oceanfront Park.
Jacksonville Beach is situated where the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The city has been luring the sun worshippers for more than 200 years. The beach is home to beautiful natural areas such as Guana River State Park and the Ravine State Gardens. Visitors mainly come here to swim, surf, fish, or just lie on the beach and soak up the sun. The beach is also dotted with a range of restaurants and quaint shops and it also hosts the annual Players Championship, which is part of the PGA tour. Downtown Jacksonville is filled with several tourist attractions such as the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and the Friendship Park and Fountain.
New Smyrna Beach
The beautiful city of New Smyrna Beach is nestled among the moss-draped trees of the picturesque Indian River in Volusia County in Florida. It is surrounded on all sides with water with the Atlantic Ocean in the east, the Intracoastal Waterway to the west and Mosquito Lagoon in between. This laidback coastal community is free of the crowds that define other Florida beaches. The city boasts a unique southern charm and is home to several attractions including a vibrant historic downtown, multitude of parks, outdoor recreation activities and beachside shopping boutique. The city is also within easy distance to other Florida attractions including Disney World, Daytona beach and the Kennedy Space Centre.
Located on the east-central part of Florida, about 50 miles of St Augustine, Ormond Beach enjoys the reputation of being a first class resort town offering an enviable quality of life. It is part of the greater Daytona Beach Metro Area and provides plenty of opportunity for exciting activities especially for the elderly population. Ormond Beach is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and is home to many pristine lakes, forests and streams. The white sand beaches are perfect for soaking up the sun and enjoying a host of water activities such as jet skiing, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, windsurfing. The area also has several golf courses. The scenic Tomoka State Park is located about three miles of the city.
Palm Coast is literally a paradise set in lush forest. Located near the sea, it is well appreciated for its sparkling salt and fresh water canals, parks, canopied paths and the beautiful Intracoastal canal. There are a number of recreational activities that visitors can enjoy from boating in the extensive canal system and the Intracoastal Waterway to picnicking in any of the parks; and from jogging on winding trails through forests to spotting dolphins in the Intracoastal Waterway. Palm Coast also has several world-class golf courses to its credit. The city is scattered with shopping centres and fine restaurants. From here visitors can also visit St. Augustine, the oldest city of the nation and Daytona Beach.
Ponte Vedra Beach
Located about 29 kms to Jacksonville and 42 kms to St Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach is part of the Jacksonville Beaches area. This seaside community in Florida is an ultimate destination for golf and hosts the PGA Tour, and The Players Championship, which is held at the TPC at Sawgrass. Beyond the golf courses, Ponte Vedra Beach offers plenty of activities including swimming, surfing, boating and tennis. The beach is also home to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve where you can see Florida at its natural best. The city also hosts the New Year’s Day Gator Bowl, cultural festivals, art fairs, parades and more.
Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St Augustine is the oldest city in the country. Time seems to come to a standstill as you traverse the cobblestone streets in the Colonial Spanish Quarter dotted with historic homes. The oldest European fort in the USA, the Castillo de San Marcos is located here. The Fountain of Youth archaeological park marks the time and place where Ponce de Leon landed in 1513. Visitors come here to stroll through the ancient streets, and ride in the horse-drawn carriages that weave their way past townsfolk dressed in period costume around the National Historic Landmark District. There are other attractions also on offer including the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Potter’s Wax Museum.
St. Augustine Beach
The city of St. Augustine Beach is located in St. Johns County in Florida. The beach area spreads from Vilano Beach north of the city to Crescent Beach in the south. The Intracoastal Waterway which passes through the area divides it from the barrier islands with their miles of stunning coastline. St. Augustine Beach was the location of an infamous globster, known as St. Augustine Monster, which was washed up on the beach in 1896. Another belief goes that the monster was actually the remains of a lusca. People come here to appreciate the history of the area, while away the hours at the beach, or enjoy a trip to the nearby Anastasia Island.