I’ve long been trying to convince Jade to join me in Nashville. Oh the fun we’d have drinking all the whiskey, eating all the biscuits, seeing all the shows. And while I’ve been pretty close to swaying her and Bob in the past, she always tells me: “I just can’t imagine being so far from the beach.” After I joined her for a romp around her childhood stomping grounds in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, I can see why.
I’ve spent decades visiting the beaches of the Florida Panhandle, but the Atlantic side is relatively new territory to me. And while the water may not be as clear, there’s still such a charm to this coastal area that other beach towns simply don’t have.
Though it was cold while I was visiting in early March—low-60s, which is pretty much Arctic temps for Floridians—we still moseyed on down to the coast in Vilano Beach, where Jade’s parents live, and spent some time soaking up the fresh air, thick with moisture and heavy from the salt.
Jade was so worried about me being entertained while in her care; little does she know as much as I’m always on the go, sitting on a picnic blanket on the beach with zero plans is actually my favorite way to spend any day.
Even though it was a weekend in March—and Vilano Beach is not even 10 minutes from downtown St. Augustine—it was pretty deserted nonetheless. We had long stretches of shell-scattered coastline all to ourselves. It was perfect.
I’m working my hardest to get a return invite to her family vacation next year, because who wouldn’t want a lazy weekend in Florida with this squad?
Maybe if I continue to offer my photographic services as the family documentarian, they’ll oblige me.
Looking for other trip ideas to Florida? I’ve got a few:
- Swimming with Manatees in Crystal River
- 4 Ways to Explore Jacksonville
- Taking Your Dog to South Walton
- Planning the Ultimate Vacation in the Florida Keys
- Getting Your Water Park on at Volcano Bay
- Exploring the Elegance of St. Augustine
- Planning a Gulf Coast Bachelorette
- Experiencing the Magic at Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Going Wreck Diving in the Gulf of Mexico
- Swimming with Dolphins in PCB