Summer is here! And one thing that all Floridians know is that most people love hitting our beaches during the summer. Big beaches, little beaches, white sand beaches, shelly beaches, it really doesn’t matter! If there’s a beach, people are out having fun. One of our favorite things to do at the beach is to take a nice relaxing walk. Walking the coastline is of course good for you and an obvious stress reliever and being travel content creators, we’ve walked too many beaches to name. However, recently we were asked what were some of the most fascinating, different, or secluded beaches we’ve walked in Northeast Florida, and after some serious thought, here are our answers!
1. Boneyard Beach – Big Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville, Florida
The first beach is in Big Talbot Island State Park. Head to the self-pay box, park your car, and take the beautiful shoreline access trail for about a fourth of a mile and you’ll arrive at Boneyard Beach. This beach gets its name from all of the beached skeletons of oaks spread out along its shorelines. Walking and climbing over all of the fallen driftwood trees is definitely a captivating experience, to say the least. Boneyard Beach is also a favorite among photographers, birdwatchers, and people looking for that perfect selfie for social media. Though swimming is not recommended here, it is a very relaxing beach walk and you’ll most likely only stumble upon a few people while there. To watch our Big Talbot Island video click here.
2. Black Rock Beach – Big Talbot Island State Park, Jacksonville, Florida
The second beach on our list is also in Big Talbot Island State Park, but it’s much more secluded. To get to Black Rock Beach from Boneyard Beach you can either walk a distance that I haven’t marched since my military days or you can park your car along the trailhead or in the grass on the side of A1A. Parking is limited in this area, but it works and you won’t be ticketed (at the time of this publishing). If you do park along the trailhead or in the grass, you’re still going to have about a half-mile walk through lush Florida vegetation to get to Black Rock Beach. Once you arrive you’ll see more of the driftwood trees we discussed at Boneyard Beach, but when you look to your right, then you’ll see the magnificent black rocks of Black Rock Beach. This is a very unique beach to behold. The rocks are all formed by organic soil that is only found in 3.5 percent of the U.S. and only in 4 percent of the world. This beach is fantastic for exploring the tidal pools, birdwatching, shelling, photography, walking and just simply relaxing. The coolest thing about this beach is that the further you walk, the more secluded it becomes. This is the perfect beach to spend a day if you want to get away from it all, but still be close enough to civilization to get to restaurants, bars, hotels, golf courses, and more. To watch our Big Talbot Island video click here.
3. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park-Beach, Palm Coast, Florida
Tourists and locals flock to Washington Oaks Gardens State Park every year because of its gorgeous gardens and historical significance. However, the gardens aren’t what we’re here for this time. Right across State Road A1A is one of the most overlooked parts of the park- the beach side. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park’s beachside is unique because of one beautiful word, coquina. Lots and lots of coquina! Coquina is a sedimentary rock composed of shells, sand, and other invertebrates that have been formed together for over 400 years. Therefore, this is another insanely picturesque beach full of rocks and shells for all to enjoy. A familiar trend at all of these beaches is that swimming isn’t recommended because of the rocks and there are no lifeguards on duty, but let’s be honest, not recommended doesn’t mean people aren’t in the water. However, if you want to relax and trek the beach or explore the rocks then, this is perfect. Our kids love going to this beach and always manage to find themselves engaged in some sort of fun activity. To watch our Washington Oaks State Park video click here.
4. River To Sea Preserve-Palm Coast, Florida
Another spot that is frequented by locals and known for its beautiful coquina rocks is the River to Sea Preserve. Also in Palm Coast, the River to Sea Preserve is on both sides of the famous Scenic State Road A1A. The preserve is co-owned by both Flagler County and the Town of Marineland and its beach is home to a beautifully raised boardwalk. While walking the boardwalk you can take in fantastic views of this marvelous beach in its entirety. River to Sea Preserve is also a great place to watch a sunrise and spot ultra-rare right whales. Like Washington Oaks, the coquina here is spread all over the beach as soon as you walk down the steps. This beach boasts a huge parking lot, a picnic pavilion, restroom facilities, showers, and more. This is one of my favorite beaches to walk and explore. Another great thing about this beach is that they have Ragga Surf Cafe. A food truck that serves great coffee and food steps away from and overlooking the beach. They also serve ice cream as well as sell really cool merchandise. Nothing like walking the beach with an ice-cold blueberry lemonade or iced latte in hand on a hot Florida day. To watch our River to Sea Preserve video click here.
Walking on a beach is relaxing as well as beneficial no matter where you do it. Florida provides fantastic backdrops throughout the state. I’m sure there are more beaches out there, but If you find yourself in Northeast Florida and are looking for a more secluded or unique location to relax without the crowds try one of these four spots on our list! Thanks for reading and have a great summer!