Yes, you read that right. North Florida Beaches to visit in the winter. Living in Florida, beach trips are part of our lives. But what about when it’s colder and not bathing suit season? We have a few awesome places not far from Jacksonville Beach that make great outings on cloudy or sunny days!
Just down the road in Ponte Vedra Beach, the sand at Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park is very different from our own. It’s in this sand, Mickler’s Beach provides some of the best shark teeth hunting around! Let your little ones keep their head down as they look for these small black teeth hidden in the sand and shells. Or better yet, bring a DIY shark tooth sand sifter with you and let them scoop and sift for teeth. Whether for 30 minutes or a couple of hours, bring some sand toys and let them build and dig, then have a beach picnic. Bonus points, there are bathrooms and showers to clean everyone off after you’re done.
If you are willing for a bit longer of a drive, head south down A1A past Saint Augustine Beach and Crescent beach to this rocky beach filled with tide pools and more to explore! Pack a lunch for a picnic, bring some sand toys and let the kids climb and explore Florida’s own rocky shore. The beach at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is a great way to have fun on the beach without even getting in the water. This state park will cost you $5 per vehicle to enter, and has restrooms, but no shower.
Just north of Jacksonville, just before you reach Amelia Island, you will find Big Talbot Island State Park. With multiple spots to access the beach, Big Pine Bluff is a fan favorite. This is the last parking and hiking area on the north end of the island, before the bridge crossing to Amelia Island. Make a right, pay the small fee (it is a State Park so if your kiddo is a Florida Junior Ranger they can earn some stamps by stopping at the Ranger Station), and head down the trail towards the beach.
The trail alone is kid friendly and ready to explore. I’ve seen a gopher turtle or two almost every time we have been. At the end of the trail you walk out onto Boneyard Beach, the beach filled with driftwood. Every child sees this as their own natural playground to hide, climb and play. Bring some sand toys and a picnic lunch to make a day of it. Not a picnic person? Head into downtown Amelia Island to eat lunch at Timoti’s Seafood Shak, complete with its own pirate ship playground.
Whether sunny or cloudy, cold or warm these North Florida beaches are ready to explore this winter!
Melody is a graduate of Jacksonville University, married a Jax Beach resident, moved away for 12 years, then returned to the area in 2016. Together they have two girls. Melody works as owner/photographer of Melody Coarsey Photography, she loves yoga, family, traveling, dining with a view and the ocean.