Considering a move to beautiful St. Johns County, Florida? Beacon Lake and surrounding communities offer endless things to do from fun community events to historic sites and beautiful beaches. Here’s a look at just some of the events, activities, and sights that will keep you busy year-round.
Love spending time outside? St. Johns County has plenty to offer with dozens of playgrounds, parks, reserves, and beaches for fun in the sun.
St. Augustine alone has more than one dozen parks like the Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park with panoramic river views, Davenport Park with an antique carousel and playground, and the Joe Pomar, Jr. Park, the only park in the city with a kayak launch and dog run. For a day of fun, be sure to visit Project SWING, a 23,000-square-foot playground with interactive equipment and wooden towers.
Jacksonville also boasts over 450 city parks including oceanfront parks and parks on the St. Johns River. At Southbank Landing, you can take a water taxi across the river to Friendship Fountain Landing then take a short walk to Jessie Ball duPont Park with Treaty Oak, a 250-year-old oak standing over 70 feet tall with a trunk more than 25 feet wide.
Looking for the perfect place for an afternoon picnic? Head to Jarboe Park close to Neptune Beach to enjoy a quiet lunch, stop by the farmer’s market, and let the kids get out some energy on the playground. Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park is also ideal for picnics as well as biking, kayaking, surfing, swimming, and camping.
If you’re in the mood to really immerse yourself in nature, nothing quite compares to the Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve with 46,000 acres of waterways and wetlands in Jacksonville. Explore coastal dunes and salt marshes then visit Kingsley Plantation to learn about slavery and freedom in Florida and Fort Caroline to learn the tale of a lost French colony.
When you live only a half hour or so from the beach, there’s no doubt you’ll want to spend plenty of time on the shore. Fortunately, the St. Johns County surrounding area boasts miles of beaches ranging from the wild Crescent Beach to the pristine Ponte Vedra Beach.
Kids love the Splash Park at the County Ocean Pier on St. Augustine Beach to cool down when the weather gets too hot. The pier, located on one of the most historic coasts in the state, also offers other fun amenities like volleyball courts and regular musical events.
If you’re looking for a more tranquil setting, try Crescent Beach just south of St. Augustine Beach with hard-packed sand perfect for walks and bike rides. In southern St. Johns County, you’ll find Matanzas Inlet, a channel between barrier islands connecting the Matanzas River and the Atlantic Ocean that’s a true boater’s paradise with teal blue water. If you’re in the mood for surfing, be sure to check out Jacksonville Beach Pier, home to the region’s big surf scene, or try Mayport Poles at Hanna Park — known to locals as “the Poles” — to enjoy one of Jacksonville’s best local surf hangouts.
St. Augustine and Jacksonville have plenty of cultural destinations and museums to explore art and local history. The town of St. Augustine itself can be considered a living museum with a look into early life in the region through plaques and monuments at the community’s many historic sites.
In the Historic District of St. Augustine, the Colonial Quarter offers interactive activities and exhibits to learn about the three centuries of the community’s history while Lightner Museum offers an impressive collection of fine and decorative arts in the architectural masterpiece that was once Alcazar Hotel. For a truly unique experience, be sure to visit the Oldest Wooden School House Historic Museum & Gardens, a preserved homestead that shows what life was like in Northeastern Florida in the 19th century.
Nearby Jacksonville also boasts a large collection of museums like the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, one of the best fine art collections in the Southeast, and the Museum of Science & History which offers fun events throughout the year plus core and traveling exhibits.
“The Elbow” in downtown boasts a cluster of great venues and bars when you’re in the mood for live music, DJs, and craft cocktails. Some of the highlights downtown include Dos Gatos for martinis and cocktails, the historic Florida Theatre which hosts everything from live acts and movies to dinner tastings, and Bold City Brewery with a huge selection of craft beers.
At Jacksonville Beach, you can check out dozens of watering holes and fun places to hang out with friends, including dance clubs, Irish pubs, local breweries, and upscale lounges.
Beacon Lake, nestled within 358 acres of nature preserve, offers a 43 acre paddle-friendly lake. Hit the water for kayaking and canoeing. From the 8,200 sq. ft. Lake House Amenity & Fitness Center, you can enjoy sweeping views of the water or step out onto the lake’s sand beach.
Beacon Lake is also the site for year-round activities for residents of all ages. Seasonal events like Back to School Bashes, the pop-up Charlie’s Grille poolside concession, and the Labor Day Pool Party are a great way to meet new neighbors and enjoy the sun. There are also plenty of regularly scheduled events like outdoor movie nights, Food Truck Fridays, and Jacksonville Jaguars outings to take in.
There’s a reason Jacksonville and its surrounding communities represent one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in St. Johns County – from beautiful beaches, preserves, and parks to outdoor recreation, an exciting nightlife, fine dining options, and cultural experiences.
Beacon Lake, a beautiful new lakefront community, puts the best of St. Johns County and Jacksonville at your fingertips with the natural beauty and family-friendly lifestyle you’re looking for. Want to know more about Beacon Lake? Join our VIP list to stay up to date on our coastal-inspired homes, construction updates, and more! You can also fill out a form for any other questions on our Contact Us page.