The Labor Day holiday weekend is one of the busiest times on St. Johns County’s beaches. St. Johns County lifeguards, St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies, and St. Augustine Beach Police officers will all be working together from Saturday, September 5 through Monday, September 7 to ensure the safest beach experience possible for all residents and visitors. Please review the information below to assist you and your family in enjoying the Labor Day holiday weekend at the beach.
Lifeguards and Beach Flags
Lifeguards will be on duty at various locations on St. Johns County beaches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout Labor Day weekend, weather permitting. In addition, Marine Rescue personnel will patrol the beaches on a regular basis.
Warning flags are in place along the beach to keep visitors aware of current water and surf conditions. Yellow flags indicate a medium hazard level that could include strong currents and surf. Red flags indicate a high hazard with stronger currents and more dangerous surf conditions. Purple flags indicate dangerous marine life in the area. The absence of a flag does not mean there is no danger, as beach visitors should always exercise caution when swimming in the ocean.
Rip currents are strong, fast-moving currents of water that move seaward from the shore. They may be recognized by a foamy, choppy surface and water that appears brown from sand being churned and moved rapidly out to sea. If you are caught in a rip current, the most important thing to remember is to remain calm. Swim parallel with the shoreline until you are out of the pull of the current and then swim toward shore. Those who are not strong swimmers are not recommended to go beyond knee level in the water.
Beach visitors are asked to observe flag colors, swim near a lifeguard, practice social distancing, and call 911 in the event there is an emergency.
Vehicles are permitted on the beach between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Beach passes are required for vehicle access. Passes can be purchased with cash only at any beach access ramp. For information about beach passes, please visit www.sjcfl.us/Beaches/Passes. Please help maintain safe driving practices on St. Johns County beaches by complying with the following rules:
- Vehicular traffic must remain in the designated driving lanes as identified by cones.
- Parking is allowed on the west side of the driving lane between the cones and the dune.
- Parking on Vilano Beach is parallel parking only on the east side of the driving lane.
- The maximum vehicular speed allowed on the beach is 10 mph.
- Vehicles may not enter the beach at the Fort Matanzas Ramp.
- All vehicles are required to stop at all beach ramps and yield to all pedestrians.
- Soft sand conditions may exist and only 4×4 vehicles may be allowed on some beaches.
Traffic is southbound only between the A Street Ramp and the Crescent Beach Ramp. Vehicles can travel two-way from Crescent Beach for approximately 3.5 miles south and will be able to turn around to also exit at the Crescent Ramp. Vehicles can also continue south to exit at the Fort Matanzas ramp. Please note, this stretch is tidal dependent and is one way only. Please abide by posted signage and information given by toll staff at all locations. Beach driving updates will be provided via the Reach the Beach mobile app, the Beaches Twitter feed, and Facebook page.
Vilano Beach and Porpoise Point Beach
Vilano Beach is open for vehicular access with 4×4-mandated conditions. Parking in the Vilano area is anticipated to be at capacity by 10 a.m. Please find alternative ways to access the beach, including walking, biking, carpooling, or visiting one of the other beachfront parks. Porpoise Point is currently closed to vehicular access as it has experienced extreme erosion and the vehicular ramp has been compromised.
Labor Day Weekend Shuttle Service
St. Johns County is offering a free shuttle service to Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park and the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, September 5, through Monday, September 7, weather permitting. The Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park shuttle will transport beach visitors between Cornerstone Park, 1046 A1A North, and Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park, which provides direct access to the beach. The St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier shuttle will transport beach visitors between St. Augustine Beach City Hall, 2200 A1A South, and the Pier parking lot, which provides direct access to Pier amenities and the beach. The shuttles will run every 20 minutes with the final shuttles departing at 4 p.m. In accordance with CDC recommendations and State of Florida safety guidelines, shuttles have safety plans in place to protect drivers and passengers, including drivers wearing masks, buses being sanitized frequently, social distancing protocols, and capacity limitations. Service updates will be provided via the Reach the Beach mobile app, the Beaches Twitter feed, and Facebook page. St. Johns County and the Tourist Development Council provide the Reach the Beach shuttles to give St. Johns County residents and visitors a safer and more convenient beach experience.
St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier and Gift Shop
The St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier and Gift Shop is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Visitors may purchase day and annual passes to visit the Pier for sightseeing and fishing, as well as rent fishing poles and purchase a variety of items including bait, ice, tackle, sunscreen, T-shirts, beach toys, and pre-packaged foods. For more information, please call 904.209.0326.
Reach the Beach Mobile App
For the most up-to-date information on beach access and driving conditions, please download the Reach the Beach Mobile App for iPhone and Android.
For more information regarding St. Johns County beaches, please visit www.sjcfl.us/beaches, follow St. Johns County Beaches on Facebook or Twitter (@SJCBeaches), or call 904.209.0331.