St. Augustine is so much more than just the oldest city in the United States. Along with it’s deep history, it has a great deal of natural beauty to appreciate as well.  If you are looking for some fun in the Florida sun, than St. Augustine is the place for you!

Of course there are the usual things to do that many already know about when visiting St. Augustine, such as the fabulous beaches that are here.  However, if you are wanting to experience more than laying on the sand and beachcombing, we have some great ideas for you!

The Nature in St. Augustine

With so many nature activities and marine life to partake in, it may be hard to decide what you will want to do first.  Let’s divide the activities up into two groups, which might help you determine if you’re going to do something on land or on the water.

Fun Land Activities to Try

  • Birding – The St. Augustine area is rich with a large number of birds to watch such as; Sandhill Cranes, Owls, Eagles, Woodpeckers, Scrub Jays, Black Crowned Night Herons and Roseate Spoonbills.  Of course this is just a few that you might come across, and you should be able to see any of these around this region. Some of the best places to view these birds include Fort Matanzas, the State Parks, the Vilano boat ramp, St. Augustine’s Alligator Farm, the City Parks, Vaill Point Park, Matanzas State Forest and the Southeast Intracoastal waterway park.  There are also guided nature walks within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, in which you will be able to see many different types of birds.
  • Animal Sightings – You can view a large amount of different animals besides birds as well, ranging from alligators to dolphins and everything in between.  Two of the best places that you are guaranteed to spot a wide variety of animals is the St. Augustine Wild Reserve and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.
  • Biking – There is a wide array of areas to enjoy this fantastic pastime.  These routes range from high impact to laid back and relaxing. With over twenty cycling trails in and around the city, you are sure to find the one that is right for the pace that you are looking to keep.
  • Hiking or Walking – With the many trails that are in the local parks, as well as the miles of beaches, you have a large area in which to choose.
  • Plants – It would be wrong not to mention that all of the places so far have a broad number of different plants and trees with all different shapes and sizes. This of course includes our beautiful Palm Trees and Florida’s State flower, the Orange Blossom. A must see is the famous ‘Love Tree’, where an oak tree has a palm tree growing out of the top of it.

Fun Water Activities to Try

St. Augustine is filled with water activities! Between the beach, the Matanzas River, and the St. John’s River, we have a lot to offer to those who want to stay in their bathing suit and work on their tan!

  • Guided Boat Tours – Hop on board a tour boat to see some of the resident marine life that we have to enjoy.  There’s a lot to choose from! There are motorboat tours, sailboat tours, and many more!
  • Marineland – This attraction has been open for some years, but has changed into a dolphin experience.  You can come and learn about these bright and funny creatures and also interact with them.
  • Pirate Ship – This family friendly activity is a great way to get out to see marine life – and have some fun doing it! By hopping aboard the “Black Raven”, you’re transported back into the early days of St. Augustine!
  • Jet Skis – A great way to explore the water is to rent a jet ski and have some fun.
  • Charter Boats – If you are into fishing and want to make sure you catch some great fish, check out one of the local charter boats. If you happen to be at the Conch House, go down to the marina’s first entrance and you’ll find a few of the various charters available in the area.

State Parks to Visit

There are three beautiful State Parks around St. Augustine that offer many fun and enriching things to do:

  • Anastasia – This extraordinary park has an abundant amount of exciting things to do such as; exploring hiking trails, bike riding, and boating (such as catamarans, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and surfboards). All boats can be rented at the park. Of course if you have a surfboard or boat of your own, you can launch it from within the park.  There is also geocaching, fishing, bird watching, swimming, shelling and picnicking. The park is also excellent for exploring the areas that were once used by the Spaniards. They used this area to obtain Coquina rock, the material used to build Fort Castillo de San Marcos.
  • Faver-Dykes The park is South of St. Augustine and it borders a state canoe trail.  Some of the things to do there are; canoeing, kayaking, birding, biking, boating, fishing, hiking, viewing wildlife and picnicking.
  • Washington Oaks Gardens – This is a beautiful formal garden which features a grand rose garden. It also contains a large amount of Coquina rock, just like Anastasia State Park. Biking, hiking, picnicking, and visiting the beach are all possible here.

All in all, St. Augustine is great for the nature lover in you! Come experience Florida’s wildlife with us at Beacher’s Lodge and make memories that will last a lifetime.

If you are visiting St. Augustine and love history, nature, wildlife, and water taxis – than we have the place for you. And best of all, it’s free!  Fort Matanzas is one of Florida’s National Monument jewels. This fort is not as widely known as its counterpart, the Castillo de San Marcos.  It is located about fifteen miles south of the Castillo de San Marcos, which resides in downtown St. Augustine. The National park itself spans three hundred acres and is a must see!  The Spanish created both forts that are within St. Augustine and both were constructed from coquina, but Fort Matanzas was placed just south of the Castillo to prevent an attack from the south inlet of the Matanzas River.

Fort Matanzas Visitors Center

The visitor’s center is where your trip will begin! When you first arrive at the visitor center you will be able to:

  • Watch a video – This lasts around eight minutes and helps to explain the history of this beautiful piece of history.
  • Enjoy Nature – Hike a trail that is around a half mile long. It travels within trees such as live oaks, red bays, cabbage palms, magnolias, and a lot of other vegetation and wildlife.  There is the possibility of seeing some of the resident great horned owls that have made this area their home. Within this park, there are many different ecosystems with a great variety of animal life such as birds, turtles, manatees, bottlenose dolphins, snakes, beach mice, deer and foxes, just to name a few.  Some of the species that you might see are listed on the National endangered list.
  • See Demonstrations and Reenactments – Often you will have the opportunity to see what it was like for those that lived during the time that this fort was in use, with reenactments and displays that will help bring history to life.

The Water Taxi

To reach fort mantanzas itself, you will have to board a water taxi to cross the river to the Island of Rattlesnake, which is just a rock skip away.  Just know that you will have to obtain a pass for your entire group in the visitors center before you can board. The taxi leaves every half hour starting from nine thirty in the morning to four thirty in the afternoon.  You will not be able to reserve a seat either, as it is based on a first come, first served system.

Fort Matanzas

Once you step off the water taxi and you’re out on Rattlesnake Island, you can then experience the fort, which is over 275 years-old.  You will be able to explore the following:

  • Entrance – To enter the fort you will have to climb up a staircase onto the gun deck, where you will see cannons, the sentry box, the cistern and the soldier’s quarters.
  • Officer’s Quarters -The next level up is the officer’s quarters, gunpowder room and food storage.
  • Observation level – This level is only accessible via ladder, where you have an incredible view of the surrounding area.

Once you have completed your trek into the fort, you and the water taxi group that you went with will once again board the ferry back to the visitors center. The Rangers and staff welcome any questions that you might have about the fort itself or the area in which it is located.  The time that it takes to view the fort and the surrounding area depends on how much you want to explore.

Once you are finished learning at the visitor’s center and immersing yourself in the history of the fort, you can cross the road to a quaint beach area where there are no vehicles allowed – this way you can enjoy all that nature has to offer and make a day of your visit! Guests at Beacher’s Lodge can experience this beautiful National Park, just four miles south on A1A.  Even though this park does not take up a whole day, it is well worth seeing. If you can first go through the Castillo de San Marcos Fort, you will honestly understand the remarkable vision that the Spanish had for creating this small, but crucial Fort for the safety and livelihood of the area.  So, what are you waiting for? Take some time out of your busy life and enjoy what there is to offer in and around St. Augustine!

It’s that time of year once again in St. Augustine; it’s Easy Season!  During the month of September, the oldest city in America enjoys and celebrates this time of year by making it easy for you to relax and enjoy all there is to offer.  If you haven’t had the chance to experience this particular season, we invite you to come and enjoy all that there is to do!

Moreover, if you have been fortunate enough in the past to participate in Easy Season, we welcome you back, as each year there is something new and unique to experience.  Whether you can only visit one day or you’re lucky enough to stay longer during this season, there is so much to appreciate that it is hard to take it all in with only one visit. The selections are just unbelievable!

Entertainment in St. Augustine

Easy Season is all about the music! There’s an unbelievable amount of amazing artists that turn St. Augustine into the new music city.  Each venue that hosts these concerts has a charm that adds to the fun and creative atmosphere.  The month of September is when the Sing Out Loud Festival happens and it features resident, regional, and national singers and songwriters.  There will be over two hundred acts, with a wide variety of styles to choose from. All of these shows will be presented over the course of twenty-three days at seventeen different locations around the area. Best of all – all but one of the shows are completely free!


Performances and locations are as follows:

  • St. Augustine Amphitheatre – Ten Performances over Four Days
    • The only Performance that will have a charge is the September 22nd showcase, as there is a minimum donation that is required of $25.00 that benefits the Betty Griffin Center, whose mission it is to stop domestic violence and sexual abuse.
  • The Front Porch at The St. Augustine Amphitheatre – Eight Performances over Two Days
  • The Backyard at The St. Augustine Amphitheatre – Four Performances in One Day
  • Colonial Oak – Forty-Seven Performances over Eight Days
  • Sarbez – Forty-Eight Performances over Nine Days
  • Limelight Theatre – Comedy and Poetry Performances over Two Days
  • Dog Rose Brewing – Fifteen Performances over Eight Days
  • Growers Alliance – Three Performances over Two Days
  • Bokeh Bar – Twelve Performances over Six Days
  • Nobby’s – Twenty-Seven Performances over Six Days
  • Odd Birds – Four Performances over Four Days
  • Meehan’s Irish Pub – Thirteen Performances over Ten Days
  • Prohibition Kitchen – Nine Performances over Four Days
  • Plum Gallery – Forty-Two Performances over Six Days
  • Push Push Salon – Four Performances in One Day
  • Community First Credit Union St. Johns Branch – One Performance
  • Ocean Avenue Sports Bar – Six Performances over Four Days
  • The Corazon – Sing Out Loud Panel Discussion in One Day
  • Ponte Vedra Concert Hall – Three Performances in One Day

With over thirty-five headlining artists exhibiting, St. Augustine has posted a great YouTube web page where you can listen to many of these talented singers or groups ahead of time, which can be helpful if you want to familiarize yourself with the artists.  If you are interested in this, click on the above St. Augustine link.

There are plenty of places that have live entertainment every day, so you don’t have to miss out on listening to some great music if your schedule is tight.  Some of the larger venues, such as the St. Johns County Ocean Pier Park, hold a sequence of concerts on Wednesdays each week from May to September. St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitucion offers their shows every Thursday from May to August.

Along with all of the sites to see and actives to enjoy there are many eateries and restaurants to visit, and many of these places have live entertainment included for free for all to appreciate. In and around St. Augustine there are also two wineries and three breweries to help wet your whistle. Most of them provide daily entertainment as well.

There are many things to do around St. Augustine, so what are you waiting for?  This event only comes around once a year, and the crowds are much lighter during the end of the summer, and it starts to be just a tad cooler so that you can enjoy the sunshine a bit longer into the year!

So isn’t it time you treat yourself to some much-needed downtime with us during Easy Season?  Beacher’s Lodge is the perfect place to do just that: relax, unwind and enjoy all there is to do in and around St. Augustine!

Some of the perks of living in Florida are the tropical climate, ocean breezes in the evening, beautiful sunsets, and the magnificent beaches all around us. The ocean is one of the things we cherish the most, and protecting it should be something we all do. It’s our responsibility to think about it’s longevity, so the generations after us can enjoy it as well. One big aspect of preserving the ocean and it’s beaches, is caring for the marine life that is a part of its ecosystem. One beloved marine animal that is in danger is the sea turtle.

What Do You Know About Turtles?

For centuries turtles have roamed the ocean. Although now an endangered species, these majestic looking and gentle creatures are responsible for keeping the ocean healthy.  Turtles play an important part of ocean preservation by grazing on seagrass, controlling sponge distribution, feasting on jellyfishes, transporting nutrients, and supporting other marine life. During the summer months turtles come to Florida to breed and lay their eggs. Florida is one of the most important nesting areas in the United States, and one of the most frequented areas in Florida for turtles to nest is St. Augustine.  

We talk so much about St. Augustine’s history that we forget all the wonderful wildlife that it has to offer! Who would’ve thought this old city would be a favorite area for some of the main nesting sea turtles?  During the day St. Augustine beach goers enjoy the water and sun, but at night the sea turtles come to shore to find a place to make their nest and lay their eggs.

Many Florida beaches welcome more than 100,000 female sea turtles! The most common species of turtles that build their nests in Florida are Loggerhead turtles, Green turtles, and Leatherback turtles. Let’s start with the Loggerhead, as its the most commonly seen on our shores.

The Loggerhead Sea Turtle

LoggerHead Sea Turtle










The Loggerhead is the most common turtle found on Florida shores. The loggerhead gets its name from its large, wide head and powerful jaws. It is classified as a threatened species. Its estimated that as many as 68,000 Loggerhead nests are found in Florida each year!

The Leatherback Sea Turtle

Leatherback Sea Turtle











Leatherback females undertake the longest breeding migration of any other turtle species.

Fun fact: this turtle has survived the test of evolution. This turtle is part of the family of dermochelyidae, which has 7 extinct groups of turtles and only one

surviving branch. This group boasts the largest living sea turtle ever recorded!

The Green Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle










The Green Sea Turtle is one of the largest sea turtles and the only herbivore among the different species. Green Turtles are in fact named for the greenish color of their cartilage and fat, not their shells.


Sea turtle nesting season occurs in Florida from March 1st through October 31st.

Sea turtles lay their eggs on the sand at night. They lay their eggs in the sand because it is warm, and acts as an incubator.  It’s not an easy task though. Female turtles come to the shores to make their nesting burrows and cover them up with sand, dirt, and mud. They use lower dunes to nest their eggs. They deposit an average of 100 eggs in each nest and make between 3 to 7 nests during the nesting season. From there the incubation time varies, but the average time is around two months before hatching occurs. After laying their eggs, the female turtle’s job is done and they go back to sea. So, baby turtles will have to fight to survive on their own.

Baby Sea Turtles

Baby turtles, called hatchlings, will hatch between 40 to 70 days of being laid.  When they are still in the shell, a group of hatchlings is called clutch. Watching hatchlings struggle out of their nest and make it into the water is a dramatic and emotional experience. Hatchlings will wait until the sand cools at night before going into the water to float in beds of seaweeds for several years.  This is not an easy task, as they face many obstacles to get there. The challenges begin as soon as they leave their nests. From crabs, driftwood, to tourists, the odds are against them. This gauntlet is important for their survival, interestingly enough. It is estimated that only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings will survive to adulthood. The odds are 1000:1 against a baby sea turtle living long enough to reproduce!

To help baby turtles beat the odds there are some things that you can do:

  • Turn off the lights: If you are in a nesting area, turn off any lights! The hatchlings use whitecaps and the moonlight reflecting on the water to guide them to sea. Other light sources including flashlights, flash cameras, fireworks, campfires and light from beach houses disorient them.
  • Smooth the sand: When you’re the size of a baby sea turtle, sand castles and moats can be life-threatening obstacles. Knock them down or fill them in, along with any other obstacles that could stand between the babies and the sea.
  • Clear the beach: Pack up your trash, furniture and belongings before leaving the beach for the day. These are more challenges for the turtles to overcome.

What Do You Do If You See A Sea Turtle Nest?

Follow the rules. If you decide on a solo turtle-viewing, PLEASE keep these official do’s and don’ts in mind:

All Florida’s sea turtles, nests and hatchlings are threatened or endangered species protected under Federal and state law. Do not disturb them. If you find an injured or dead turtle, call Florida Fish and Wildlife at 888-404-3922 or just dial *FWC and provide the animal’s location, closest access point and approximate size. If you see spray paint, it’s a documented turtle.

To be on the safe side, you should consider joining the many places having events that show you the right and safest way to enjoy watching this wonderful act of nature without fear of harming the turtles or hatchlings.

Anastasia State Park hosts a presentation about the sea turtles that can be found at the park on Saturday, October 20, 2018, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

This talk will include all the fascinating facts about sea turtles — how to identify them, how they nest and hatch, and how we can help them survive the many dangers they encounter on our beaches. This free program is family friendly and will take place at the Sea Turtle Pavilion near the Island Beach Grill. For more information, call (904) 461-2033 or visit here.
Admission: The Sea Turtle Talk is free with regular park admission: $8 per vehicle with up to 8 people, $4 per vehicle with one occupant, and $2 for pedestrians/bicyclists.

Come be a part of this wonderful turtle experience. Enjoy the sites and be a part of the effort to preserve some of our most beautiful and oldest sea friends.

St. Augustine is America’s first city. As such, it has a rich history with plenty of monuments located throughout town. As a guest of Beacher’s Lodge, you can enjoy these historic locations and learn about how St. Augustine became the thriving city that it is today. Here are some of our favorite places to check out.

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse is one of St. Augustine’s most popular attractions. During the day, the lighthouse is open from 9 AM to 6 PM with behind the scenes tours happening from 11-3. In the evenings, a special ghost tour takes place, featuring some of the area’s most shocking history. While the museum and views of the lighthouse are truly spectacular, be prepared to climb the 219 steps to the top if you want to see the Bay!

The Oldest House, Store, and Jail

Aside from the lighthouse, you may be surprised to find that the city has also done a remarkable job of protecting St. Augustine’s original architecture as well. You can tour the very first house, general store, and jail. You will learn about how these buildings were constructed, and some of the families who made a name for themselves in the area at that time.

The Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth is an extravagant park built to commemorate Ponce de Leon and his arrival in St. Augustine. This landmark will take you all the way back to the year 1513 as you take a wild journey through the legend of the Fountain of Youth. This is a perfect attraction for people of all ages to enjoy living history and an incredible story all at once.

The Prohibition Kitchen

Residing in a true to form speakeasy of historical fame, the Prohibition Kitchen is the perfect way to punctuate your day with a delicious meal. You will be surrounded by the imagery and legacy of what it meant to live on the edge during the Prohibition era. While the food is that of a modern gastropub, the environment will truly take you back to that most contentious period of American history. St. Augustine is a city alive with many trails back to its earliest history. The city features some of the most well-preserved architecture and landmarks in the United States. When you book your stay at Beacher’s Lodge, you have access to all of these incredible attractions and a chance to explore what makes St. Augustine, America’s first city, so legendary!

When it comes to keeping the whole family busy for a day in St. Augustine, the Alligator Farm is the place to be. This gigantic zoological park is full of fascinating critters, including some of the largest alligators, you will ever see up close and personal. Here are a few of the things you’ll find at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

Getting to Know the Gators

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is one of the only places in the world that you can see every known living member of the crocodilian family. With exhibits spread throughout the park, you can meet a wide range of different gators and crocodiles, including some of our longest living celebrity gators. Many of these alligators will put on a show for our guests during the day, so you can appreciate their power and strength.

Other Animals

While the Alligator Farm is best known for their crocodilians, they actually provide homes for dozens of other unique animals as well. You can explore a variety of saltwater reptiles and amphibians, check out some tropical birds, and explore a whole exhibit dedicated to Florida’s natural wildlife. If you’re really brave, you can enter the Python cave and discover some of the world’s most dangerous reptiles.

The Zipline

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can try out one of the Alligator Farm’s two zip line courses. They have an easy and a hard level, with the harder level lasting up to 90 minutes as you fly over the park. These courses are challenging, but they will give you a birds-eye view of the entire park like you’ve never seen before.

Daily Shows

In addition to all of the great exhibits at the Alligator Farm, the expert staff also put on a handful of incredible wildlife shows throughout the day. Enjoy the intensity of the Alligator Feeding show as the gators jump out of the water to catch their lunch, or sit back and watch the Rainforest Review full of brightly colored birds and other interesting animals. There are even child-friendly shows where the kids can pet some of the animals after they perform.

The Alligator Farm in St. Augustine is truly a marvel of science and exploration. If you want to learn everything there is to know about these magnificent creatures, the Alligator Farm is the place to go. You and the kids can explore, learn, and even pet the animals in some demonstrations. The best part is, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm is located just 8 miles away from Beacher’s Lodge so you can make the most of your stay!

The 4th of July is always a big event in St. Augustine, FL and this year is no exception. For more than two decades, “Fireworks over the Matanzas” has been one of the largest shows in the area, drawing thousands of people to the waterfront to watch the fireworks explode up in the air, while also creating mesmerizing reflections in the water. We love celebrating our freedoms everyday, but on America’s birthday we go all out! Plus there is plenty of other great stuff to do in the area this week as well.  Let’s discover a few ways you can celebrate the Red, White and Blue.

Fireworks Over the Matanzas

The show begins at 9:30 p.m., but you’ll definitely want to be there early if you want to be close to the action. There will be a live concert beforehand with tons of local acts, followed by the firework show itself. During the fireworks display, be prepared to be moved as the fireworks are in rhythm with classic patriotic songs like America the Beautiful and God Bless the USA. The shows choreographed display is one you won’t want to miss! Enjoy some food and drinks and chill out with your friends and family while you enjoy the free entertainment.

Bridge of Lions

If you don’t want to be in the historic district and have to wait for the traffic to clear out after the fireworks show to get back to your condo at Beacher’s Lodge, then take advantage of the Bridge of Lions. Many folks go to the Bridge of Lions and even further back on A1A to watch the Fireworks display. The traffic clears much faster than the traffic in the historic district and you still get to see the amazing firework show.

Visit the Art District

The Art District of St. Augustine almost always has something up their sleeves when it comes to national holidays. This 4th of July you can head on down to see some brilliant pieces of art that are dedicated to this great nation, as well as live performances of all kinds. Shop from local vendors, meet the artists and explore the area.

Sunsets at Beacher’s Lodge

Not everyone enjoys the crowds or the loud bangs that come with a Firework display. Many of our guests enjoy a nice long walk along the beach as the sun sets. After enjoying the peace and tranquility of a beach sunset walk, our guests love to retire to their condo and enjoy a nice cold drink on their balcony as they listen to the waves lap upon the shore and the moon shines down upon the ocean.

Enjoy Some Local Ice Cream

It’s hot outside, even late into the evening when the fireworks start. Fortunately, locations like the Hyppo have their very own specialty ice cream just for the occasion. You can enjoy a fruit-filled popsicle that will cool you off and keep you refreshed long into the night.  Nothing says the fourth of July like ice cream and fireworks in America’s first city.

The First Coast is a virtual treasure trove of delicious wine finds for any enthusiast. Local distilleries and vineyards offer a huge variety of wines matching every profile. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out these local favorites or sign up from one of the popular winery tours that will take you through St. Augustine wine country with a great group of friends:

San Sebastian Winery

The San Sebastian Winery is one of the largest wineries in the First Coast area, and their tours include a complete history of their company as well as a walkthrough of their 18,000 square foot facility. You can sample some of their most popular flavors and learn a ton about the history of winemaking and the area. One of the best parts is keeping the souvenir glass at the end! You will love exploring this amazing facility and learn how they have become an award-winning winery since 1996. After sampling a few wines, head upstairs for a bite to eat paired with your favorite wine and enjoy live entertainment on select nights. You can find the San Sebastian Winery in the historic district of St. Augustine. This is a short drive from Beacher’s Lodge.

Gifted Cork Wine Tasting

If you prefer tasting wine over touring the vineyards, The Gifted Cork is a great choice for you. The Gifted Cork has brought together a huge selection of wines from Florida and and around the world. The Gifted Cork has a daily tasting where you can sample 4 wines for $5 and keep the Souvenir Gifted Cork glass. The unique wine boutique has events throughout the month with various themes for their wine tasting events.

Custom Wine Tours

If you want a more intense experience, you can enjoy several different First Coast  local wine tours. You and your friends can jump on a bus and ride around to the area’s most popular wineries. You will have downtime at each winery so you can explore, taste, and take in the scenery before hopping back on the bus and heading to the next location. This is one of the most affordable and efficient ways to see as much of the wine country as possible. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting behind the wheel at the end of the day. There are also wine tours that allow you to walk to various stores that offer wines and allow you do a little extra shopping along the way.

Hammock Wine and Cheese

If you are looking for a more secluded area, we would suggest heading a few miles south on A1A to Hammock Beach. There you will find a quaint little spot called Hammock Wine and Cheese. This cute little spot offers live entertainment as well as imported wines and beers, gourmet cheeses, cigars, as well as adorable gifts for you to take home.

After exploring the wines and finds of St Augustine’s First Coast and our surrounding areas, relax and pop open the bottle of wine you chose to bring back to Beacher’s Lodge. Unwind on the balcony as you swirl away your worries in a Beacher’s Lodge wine glass, perfectly paired with your gourmet cheese and enjoy a private wine tasting on a Beacher’s balcony just for you.


A day on the First Coast can be the relaxing and romantic getaway you’ve been dreaming of. There is plenty to see and do here on the First Coast no matter what your favorite hobbies are. Here in our perfect world, your day can look just like this:

Coffee at Beacher’s Lodge

The best way to start any day is with a fresh cup of coffee here at Beacher’s Lodge. You can walk out onto your balcony, overlooking the beautiful coastline. Listen to the waves crashing, and watch the sunrise over the ocean. Enjoy the picturesque scenery with a quiet and serene surrounding.

Visit the Farmer’s Market

St. Augustine is home to an enormous farmer’s market that takes place every weekend. You can enjoy fresh foods from local vendors, as well as an assortment of other locally made products that are perfect for your collection at home. In addition, the farmer’s market is an excellent way to explore the area and meet a few locals.

Visit the Princess Place Preserve

If you’re a fishing fan, the Princess Place Preserve offers a world-class experience. It is just a short drive from the lodge, and you can spend a whole day on the water. The old lodge is a monument to the Princess who lived there in the late 1800s, and the preserve is filled with amazing trails and chances to see the wildlife. You can spend a whole day here just exploring.

Enjoy a Wine Tour

The First Coast is home to San Sebastian Winery. This local winery boasts the tastes of florida in each and every wine they produce. You can enjoy a tour of the winery as well as an educational and entertaining tasting.

If wine is not your thing, give our local distillery a try. The St. Augustine Distillery is a local favorite. The spirits that are created there are truly inspired by the spirit of St. Augustine, both current and past. If you like a good ole’ fashioned screwdriver we suggest you try the Florida Cane Vodka with your orange juice while you enjoy a true Florida evening sitting on your Beacher’s Balcony.

Come Back to Beacher’s Lodge for Dinner

Each suite at the Beacher’s Lodge offers a kitchen so you can enjoy a home cooked meal with your family. Take it out onto the patio and eat your meal while enjoying the same view that you woke up with. Have a romantic dinner oceanfront and listen to the music of the waves crashing on the beach.

Here at Beacher’s Lodge, you could have your dream vacation experience any day of the week. There is so much to do in the area, come enjoy a Day on the First Coast with us!

Think Practical for Your Beach Wedding


When thinking about your beach wedding, you probably think of all the romantic things for that special day. You think of the atmosphere, the love you will be surrounded by, and the beautiful beginning to a lifelong journey with your spouse. What you might not think of, is all the little practical beach wedding details that make up the day. Permits, planning, and backup plans don’t sound so romantic do they? But these things are vital to making that special day its best. Don’t worry, we’ve got a list to keep you on track from those who have signed on the dotted line before you! Here’s some of the most important pieces of red tape to consider:



It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of you and your groom standing face to face, toes in the warm sand, in a little bubble of bliss. But it’s important to think about also having a practical beach wedding and to think about grandma or grandpa too — are they wheelchair bound? Can they make it through the sand? Do you need chairs for those who cannot stand through the ceremony? You also need to think about parking. Is there sufficient parking for your guest? Public parking, a mile away, could make your guests melt in their wedding duds by the time they reach you, especially if you’re having a summer wedding. If you are holding your wedding at a venue like Beacher’s Lodge, you will want to select a time of the year when the property is slower to ensure that your guests who aren’t staying at the property have ample parking options available.



The time of year you choose for a beach wedding is vital. It’s natural to think of the warmer months for trips to the beach. If you choose summer or spring, beware. Spring breakers crowd the beaches and summer tourists flood in to enjoy the sun. It adds a festive feel for sure — but if you value privacy, it’ll be harder to obtain this during this time of year.


Instead, think of the November – February time frame. Many of these months in Florida are still warm enough for a beach wedding. Even better, they are less humid and usually more comfortable with an average temperature of 72 – 75 degrees.


From May to October, there is the issue of turtle nesting. These beautiful creatures make their way up the sand and lay their eggs in safe nests up and down the coast. Florida is very protective of these special animals, so there are a few rules to consider. After dark, there are no lights allowed on the beach. No bonfires, no string lights, nothing. This will help keep the hatchlings from getting confused on their trek into the ocean. The party must also be diligent about any chairs or decorations on the beach. Everything must be taken inside at night, so not to create any obstacles for the turtles.


Next you need to select a day of the week. Traditionally, Friday and Saturday sunset spots are filled first. What’s better than a beach wedding? A sunset beach wedding, of course! If you want one of these spots, plan ahead and lock in that date early. Another alternative to think about is a sunrise wedding. You get all the same spectacular colors as the sunset, just at a different time. The beaches are usually more quiet at that time as well. The downside? Waking up early of course! Make sure you take your time and think about what would work best for you and your bridal party. In the end, most agree the beach is lovely any time of day!


Dress Code

It’s a good idea to let your family know what kind of dress code you expect from them at the wedding. You may expect that everyone would consider the wedding theme or colors and wear something to match the occasion — but don’t assume anything. If you’re going to have a laid back wedding, poor cousin Chuck might feel out of place (and sweaty) showing up in a suit and tie while everyone else is in hawaiian shirts. You may want to specify footwear as well. Is it a themed wedding? Let everyone know way in advanced! Making that coordinated effort will really pay off for your wedding pictures!  


Back-Up Plans

No one wants to think about their wedding day not going as planned. And nothing is more of a nail biter than an outside wedding at the mercy of the weather. In Florida, there are frequent showers. The good part of these showers is that they usually don’t last long! Same for a tropical storm, if you wait a few minutes, the rain will usually let up. But plan for delays just in case and have a back up plan in place too. It’s important to have an inside venue on call, and many brides find it most convenient to have their reception space be that plan B. Whatever you decide to do, don’t be caught off guard with a thunderstorm.


Private or Public

When deciding which beach to tie the knot, you may need to ask yourself whether or not you expect privacy. Some places will allow you to rope off a small section of beach for small parties. You will have to check your local ordinances to see what is and is not allowed. You have the chance to find a willing private owner that will let you have your event on their secluded stretch of beach, but be prepared for a lot of ‘no’s… so have thick skin! All in all, what is wrong with a few admirers? You’ll be in a world of your own on your special day and you’ll find that sharing parts of the beach will just add to the fun atmosphere!



This one is a big one for a practical beach wedding. Most beaches require paid permits to have your wedding. Public beaches are free, but holding an event is not. Most beaches ask that you pay a fee of $100.00 or more, plus allow a few weeks beforehand for processing. This cannot be a last minute chore, or you may have to reschedule the wedding altogether!


If your wedding will be more than 200 people, special processing may be needed and it may cost more and/or have a longer wait time. Check with your local permits office to ensure you are following their regulations.


There are also usually restrictions on balloon and lantern release, beach access for cars, and also for things like lights and photography.


For the Crescent Beach area, you can contact the permit office here:


Get more information about passes, please contact Beach Services at (904) 209-0331.

For more information on Special Events or Beach Pavilions, contact: Danielle Fountain at (904) 209-0752 or


Some of these issues may be stressful and after the glow of the proposal it may be the last thing you want to think about. Get some help from friends and family, or hire yourself a wedding planner who has experience in planning beach weddings! One thing is for sure, there’s a lot of little details to consider if you’re going to throw a beach wedding without a hitch!