Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friday Shoot-out, St. Augustine Beachside Recreation

In St. Augustine a popular saying is, "Life is a beach!" We have beautiful beaches, a tremendous climate, and our fair share of beautiful people.
Recreation on the beachside is great. I'm sorry, but many fun things were left out. This should give you a flavor, though, of our "beachside" part of town. There is no coverage of the bayfront because of last weeks post. Deep Sea Fishing Charters are, also, not covered.
The answer to WHATZIT #3. The St. Augustine Lighthouse, said to be inhabited by ghosts, is one of our main tourist attractions. You can climb to the top for $9, or $7 if you are a child or a senior citizen. About halfway, climbing to the top, you'll ask, "Why did I pay to do this?" When you reach the top and see the ocean, beaches and the old town from the catwalk, you'll say, "I'm sure glad I did this!"

Not far from the Lighthouse, our only Alligator Farm is well worth the price of admission if you love birds and reptiles.

Click on the picture to see the cauldron steaming with gators.

The southern mouth of our intracoastal waterway is Matanzas Inlet. It is, historically, remembered as the area where Pedro Menendez slaughtered many French Soldiers, thereby conquering this part of Florida for Spain. The word, matanzas means slaughters in Spanish.

It is rare in Florida that an inlet is not protected today by a man made jetty. Matanzas Inlet is ever changing in appearance and depth. It is loved by boaters, fishermen, sail-boarders, and those who just want to see a beautiful sunrise.

You can rent a unit at this condo, right on the inlet, for $1000 for a week. The waves actually slide under the building at high tide. I would not want to be there in a hurricane, however. It will be gone if we get a direct hit from a Category III or higher.

Fishermen and sun worshipers love the sandy beach.Incredibly, tourists often park there at low tide and wander off from their vehicle as the rising tide, undaunted, turns the car, truck or RV into a boat. I haven't seen one, yet, that is seaworthy.

Miles and miles of warm sand. Near the water you can find, not only shells, but sharks teeth, if you know what to look for.

Just north of Matanzas Inlet is a fishing resort with cabins, fishing piers, kayak and skiff rentals, and even guided fishing trips.

They have a tackle shop that is a fisherman's dream.

Pontoon Boat rentals are very popular, also.

The cabins are very clean, well equipped, and right next to the water.
If my memory serves me right, I think they rent for about $200 per day.
You may want to camp oceanfront instead. There are private campgrounds as well as Anastasia State Park available. Schedule ahead, especially around holidays.

Bryn Mawr is very popular, even with the locals.

Fiesta Falls miniatue golf is convenient to everything at the beach.

It is a step up from the little course shown last week on the bayfront.

The St. Augustine Beach Fishing Pier is a hub of many activities beyond fishing. Surfers (Skimmer Fish) are ever present in the summertime if there is any wave activity.

From the seawall you can see and feel why the beach is so atractive on a warm day. The cool ocean breezes are best in the spring and fall of the year.

Part of the Pier Complex is a free attraction, loved by small children, and also adults when the dog days of summer are upon us.

The many cool jets of water are welcome relief.

Adjoining the Splash Park is a children's playground.

A large pavilion, directly on the beach, can be scheduled for parties at a very reasonable rate. Everything is held there, from family reunions to weddings.

Also in the complex, are beach volleyball courts. I don't think I've ever been there in the daytime when at least one game was not in progress. There are probably about eight courts available, so many days it is a frenzy of activity. You may notice that the man in the foreground is standing in the limited shade of a lone palm tree. Florida gets hot!

Also on the beachside is our amphi-theatre. Performing artists are popular in the evening. Community theatre groups also perform.

There are many picnic grounds disperced all along the beaches recreation areas.

Many dune buggies dot the parking lots of attractions. I tried to buy this one for Bagman, but the owner would not part with it.

If you are not fortunate enough to have a dune buggy, you may decide to rent a scooter. The going rate is $15 per hour, with a two hour minimum.

The St. Augustine Yact Club is one of the oldest in Florida.

At the club site there is also a fishing pier for its members.

It is litterally in the shadow of the lighthouse. Tennis is also popular.
Thank you for visiting our beaches area. There was much left out with my limited time for shooting. See you next week.


  1. Gordan lives just 30 miles from where I grew up, so St. Augustine is some of my old stomping grounds! Oh how I LOVE it there! I now live 2 hours north of St. Augustine in Georgia.

    We took the GRAND~girls to the Aligator Farm the day after Christmas. They loved it, heck, we loved it! Always have, no matter how many times we've been. Great time of year to go because it wasn't so hot. Best place to camp is Bryn Marw. The beaches are my favorite!!

  2. Should have figured it was the lighthouse! I like the tour you've taken us on! Thanks Gordon!

  3. Wonderful photos ..and I want that dune buggie .. don't give it to Bagman OR Butler...

    I'm not sure about that building where the water/waves lap underneath it. I don't think I could sleep!

  4. Ah, the beach! Do you have any idea how beach crazed Canadians get after and long and snowy winter? Your pictures are like dangling cocaine under the nose of an addict.

  5. Smashing Gordon.......I think you've shown what At. Augustine is all about. Lovely beaches, children at play, resorts and those gators!!! Okay, Reggie Girl is not a reptile lover but enjoys "snapshots" of the armoured creatures. Devil's Elbow fishing resort.......that sounds intriguing......
    Thanks for your sweet comment about my expected grandchild. I can't wait!!
    A comment from you Gordon is like a ray of sunshine and your sweetness shines through every word.
    I loved the dune buggy that you tried to buy for Bagman. He'd be patroling the beaches for a bikini patrol in that wouldn't he?
    Thanks for showing us around your beautiful town through your eyes.

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  6. is with GREAT excitement that I ask you to add Ann @mythoughts, stories and articles from Auckland to our Friday Shoot-Out gang!
    Again, I say it's a revolution and we all thank you so much for the awesome task of listing all the participants that you've undertaken. You and GingerV are so selfless in spening time t do this for us all.

    Steady On Papa
    Reggie Girl

  7. Gordon,
    Thank you for the wonderful compliment on my blog. I am still blushing. Thank you. :)

    Those beaches are just beautiful - and the kind of beaches that I would just love to stretch out on with a good book and SPF 100. I burn way too easily.

    You live is such a gorgeous place.

  8. I love the pier. we have (had) these in Galveston also, the hurricane last October took them all out. one of the things I will do while in Houston in June will be to go down and see how they are recovering. Very good Friday blog.

  9. Glad you want to join the PIF, please post about it and send me your mailing address so I can get a lil something out to you.
    As soon as I finish my finals I will start the shoot outs. I just have been to busy with school.


  10. Bagman says thanks for thinking of him and trying to buy the dune buggy. Now that he knows about it, he may just hot wire it and take a joy ride. Butler will make him return it of course...and probably make him fill it up with gas and wash it before hand. Great pictures. Hey! I know that alligator farm!

  11. I love all of your photos, except the alligator pit, of course.

    My favorite is Mi Casa. I would love to stay there. And I can just see you wandering around in that tackle shop like a kid in a candy shop!

    I like the way you shot the beach the trucks. Like the people on beach, too.

    I have been to that lighthouse, years ago.

    Great job. Thanks for keeping a running tab of participants. And you have them in alphabetical order! I love a man that is organized.

    Do you want to come and organize my desk, and folders, and my other desk, and my tear sheets from the newspaper, and just about everything else that is creeping up around me like ivy gone wild?

  12. Gordon i sense a theme with the gators.

  13. The clarity of the light you get to work with is wonderful. Thanks for the tour of the beach, I particularly like the shot with the overturned boats.

  14. Thank you for your address I will get your gifty out in the mail this week.
    Glad you have a good time in Alaska. It's all fun stuff, especially fishing!
    I'm going to do this coming friday's shoot out, in between finals at school so be on the look out for that too.

  15. Hello Gordon! Thanks for taking the time to stop and look at my blog!
    My blog address is