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Anastasia Island - A Natural Playground near St. Augustine, Florida

Just across the historic Bridge of Lions from St. Augustine, Florida lie the beaches of Anastasia Island. The 24 miles of unspoiled, sandy beaches on Anastasia Island provide a pleasant and unexpected surprise for visitors where sabal palms and sea oats grow wild on 20-foot-high dunes.

Home of beach paddle tennis, first played in 1972, the hard-packed sand provides the finest natural "courts" in America. Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and pleasant year-round weather, visitors will be compelled to explore of the beaches of Anastasia Island.

Natural attractions are found in three of the area's state parks:
Anastasia State Recreation Area, on Anastasia Island, is a 1,700-acre bird sanctuary rich with five miles of beach, lagoon waterways, wildlife and sweeping sand dunes.
Faver-Dykes State Park, on the southern tip of St. Johns County, serves as a 752-acre forest for endangered bald eagles and wood storks, and boasts trails and camping along meandering marshes.
Guana River State Park in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach is a pristine 2,200-acre preserve with a five-mile coastal strand, an ancient Spanish well and 2,000-year-old Indian shell bluffs.

Beyond the water's edge, the waves are sprinkled with water enthusiasts surfing, boogie-boarding, ocean kayaking and even windsurfing. Farther out, charter boats and private yachts carry deep-sea anglers to marlin, kingfish, sailfish, dolphin and wahoo. Surf and jetty casters reel in drum, bluefish, red bass and Spanish mackerel.

Three piers - the Lighthouse Pier, the Vilano Beach Pier and the St. Johns County Pier (St. Augustine Beach) - lure fishermen with bountiful catches of sheepshead, flounder and drum. Ten boat launches provide easy access to waterways.

Straight-from-the-docks, incredibly fresh seafood and delicacies are served in more than 150 eateries on the beaches of Anastasia Island and in St. Augustine. Options range from waterbound bungalows to gourmet bistros and turn-of-the-century Victorian mansions. The area's strong Minorcan heritage inspires spicy dishes and savory specialties, such as pilau and sauces from the datil pepper - a red-hot local condiment indigenous to the area.


St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau

88 Riberia Street, Suite 400
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(800) 653-2489

Photos Courtesy: VISIT FLORIDA - St. Augustine Lighthouse Tower and Museum