The Jacksonville 
      Waterfront House

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Beaches/Parks

Enjoy all of the beautiful beaches located near the Jacksonville Waterfront house.... including your back yard.


If you love the sand and surf, you can visit a different beach every day of your stay as Heckscher Drive is lined with beaches and parks! 

We welcome you to visit all seven of the parks which collectively comprise Talbot Islands State Parks: Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park, Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Little Talbot Island State Park, Fort George Island Cultural State Park, and Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park. All located right off Heckscher Drive, only minutes from your home away from home! In addition to state parks:Our little sandy beach is from the river.  It is actually really pretty white sand.  It is all deposited on our side of the river due to the way it flows.  It's a good place for the kids to play in the sand while you relax at the pool.

Huguenot Memorial Park: is a 450-acre horseshoe shaped peninsula, surrounded by three bodies of water:  ocean, inlet, and river. (Ft. George Inlet (north), St.  Johns River (south), and the Atlantic Ocean (east)). The park is also referred to as the Big Jetties or North Jetties. You can see this beach from our house but it would be difficult to walk to.  However jump in the car as it’s only two minutes away.  

 

My favorite beach with the kids is Huguenot.  It is the only beach in Duval County where driving on the beach is permitted so it's EASY to throw your stuff in the car and park right on the beach.  In addition, it is a very popular area for surfers, jet skiers, and wind surfers so there is a lot to watch.  The kids LOVE to body board there.  It gets really busy on weekends. It's right by Mayport so sometimes you get to see big navy ships and cruise ships, they also go on the river behind the house.  The kids think it's cool (ok so do we). Nominal entry fee is $1.00 per person.

    



Surf Report:      904-251-WAVE

Fort George Island Surf Shop:  Fort George island surf shop is located on Heckscher Drive on the way to the North Jetties.  The shop sells boards and gear and rents surfboards and kayaks.  Owner Ray Hetchka is a wealth of local knowledge. 10030 Heckscher Drive, Fort George, 904-251-3483.

Windsurfing & Kite surfing Equipment & Supplies Retail Surfboards & Surf wear Retail,
10980 Heckscher Drive,
Jacksonville, FL 32226

Little Talbot Island State Park
GORGEOUS! Don’t miss this beach!  With more than five miles of beautiful, white sandy beaches, Little Talbot Island is one of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands in Northeast Florida. Maritime forests, desert-like dunes, and undisturbed salt marshes on the western side of the island allow for hours of nature study and relaxation. The diverse habitats in the park host a wealth of wildlife for viewing including river otters, marsh rabbits, bobcats, and a variety of native and migratory birds.

Surrounding surf and tidal streams present excellent fishing for bluefish, striped bass, redfish, flounder, mullet, and sheepshead. Other popular park activities include hiking, kayaking, beachcombing (use of metal detectors is prohibited north of the first boardwalk and landward of the last high tide line), surfing and picnicking. Beachside picnic pavilions are available for use by park visitors and can be reserved in advance for a fee.

A full facility campground is located along the eastern salt marshes of Myrtle Creek.

To rent a kayak or go on a guided paddle tour of the inland waters contact
Kayak Amelia at (888) 30-KAYAK (305-2925).

If dry land is more your style, try a guided Segway tour of Little Talbot Island or Fort George Island with Ecomotion Tours. Reservations are required. Call 904-251-9477 for more information.

 


Big Talbot Island State Park: 8 minutes


Located on one of Northeast Florida’s unique sea islands, Big Talbot Island State Park is primarily a natural preserve providing a premier location for nature study, bird-watching, and photography. Explore the diverse island habitats by hiking Blackrock Trail to the shoreline, Big Pine Trail to the marsh or Old Kings Highway and Jones Cut through the maritime forest. The unique beach is famous for the salt washed skeletons of live oak and cedar trees that once grew near the shore.

  


Launch a boat from the north end of the island to fish and tour the salt marsh or rent a kayak and take a guided paddle tour with Kayak Amelia, (888) 30-KAYAK (305-2925). Kayak tours require advanced reservation.


Fort George Island Cultural State Park                                                                             

Native Americans feasted here, colonists built a fort, and the Smart Set of the 1920s came for vacations. A site of human occupation for over 5,000 years, Fort George Island was named for a 1736 fort built to defend the southern flank of Georgia when it was a colony. Today´s visitors come for boating, fishing, off-road bicycling, and hiking.

                                                                                                                                    

For an eco-friendly experience you won't soon forget, sign up for a guided tour of Fort George Island on a cross terrain Segway with Ecomotion Tours. This 2 hour tour departs from the historic Ribault Club and visits the Kingsley Plantation while traveling along more than 3 miles of maritime forest, abundant with plant and animal life. No experience necessary, but advance reservations are required so please call 904-251-9477 for more information.


Amelia Island State Park: 10 minutes away:


Beautiful broad white sugar sand beaches.  This park protects over 200 acres of unspoiled wilderness along the southern tip of Amelia Island. Beautiful beaches, salt marshes, and coastal maritime forests provide visitors a glimpse of the original Florida. Amelia Island State Park is the only state park in Florida to offer horseback riding on the beach. The view from the park is breath-taking. Many of our visitors come for the fantastic fishing opportunities.


Fishermen can surf fish along the shoreline or they can wet their line from the mile-long George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier which spans Nassau Sound. Visitors can also stroll along the beach looking for seashells or relax and watch the numerous bird species that feed in the area.


For horseback tour reservations, contact Kelly Seahorse Ranch at (904) 491-5166. Tours are given four times daily. Amelia Island State Park is located seven miles north of Little Talbot Island State Park on State Road A1A, or eight miles south of Fernandina Beach.


George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park


Located northeast of Jacksonville, this mile-long, pedestrian-only fishing bridge spans Nassau Sound providing access to one of the best fishing areas in Florida. Fishermen catch a variety of fish, including whiting, jacks, drum, and tarpon. The fishing bridge is open twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year. Primary access is on the north end through Amelia Island State Park. A small parking lot at the north end of Big Talbot Island State Park allows access to the southern end of the fishing bridge. The Nassau Sound Bait and Tackle shop (904-277-9772), located on the north end of the fishing bridge, is open year-round and offers live bait, snacks, and (more importantly!) some of the best fishing advice in the area. The whole family (no pets) can enjoy a safe, fun day of fishing or give the fish a rest and take a leisurely walk along the beach of Amelia Island State Park. The George Crady Fishing Pier State Park is located seven miles north of Little Talbot Island State Park on State Road A1A.


The Kingsley Plantation: administered by the National Park Service, is located on Fort George Island and includes the plantation house, a kitchen house, a barn, and the ruins of 25 of the original slave cabins. The history of the island spans more than 1000 years beginning with the Timucuan Indians.


Yellow Bluff Fort: Located near the mouth of the St. Johns River, this site was an important military position during the Civil War Constructed in 1862, the site was occupied by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War and-at its peak-housed over 250 soldiers.


Pumpkin Hill:  Wildlife is abundant and ranges from the threatened American alligator to the endangered wood stork. Equestrians, hikers, and off-road bicyclists can explore five miles of multi-use trails that wind through the park's many different natural communities.




The Jacksonville River house is close to everything you could want to experience on your getaway .....




Beaches/Parks