St. Johns County beaches: What you need to know this 4th of July weekend
County officials ask public to follow beach driving rules during busy weekend
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The Fourth of July holiday weekend is one of the busiest times of the year on St. Johns County beaches.
That's why county officials are asking the public to follow safe driving rules, monitoring temporary closures to vehicle access and use free shuttle services.
Multiple departments are working together to ensure a safe holiday weekend. Those agencies include the St. Augustine Beach Police Department, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, St. Johns County Beach Services, St. Johns County Marine Rescue and St. Johns County Environmental Division.
Beach safety rules
- Vehicle traffic must remain in the designated driving lanes as identified by cones. Beach Services staff will evaluate daily driving conditions and make necessary adjustments, as well as grade ramps and relocate driving lanes accordingly.
- On the South Beaches, parking is allowed on the west side of the driving lane between the cones and the conservation zone.
- Vehicles are allowed to drive 10 mph on the beach.•
- Traffic is southbound only between A Street Ramp and Crescent Beach Ramp. Vehicles can travel two-way from Crescent Beach for approximately 3.5 miles south before turning around again to exit at Crescent Ramp.
- All vehicles are required to stop at all beach ramps and yield to all pedestrians.
- Soft sand conditions may exist. Read all signs as they are updated with changing conditions.
- Fireworks are not permitted on St. Johns County beaches.
- Alcohol is not permitted on St. Johns County beaches.
Beach passes are required for vehicle access. Passes can be purchased at any of the beach access ramps and the Pier Gift Shop at 350 A1A Beach Blvd. For the most up-to-date information on beach access and driving conditions, download the Reach the Beach Mobile App and follow St. Johns County Beaches on Facebook and Twitter.
Beach driving updates
According to St. Johns County officials, soft sand conditions are likely this holiday weekend from the recent lack of rain and significant ocean flooding events. Abundant sunshine and temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s are forecast. The conditions are resulting in rutting in some areas such as A-Street to Ocean Trace Road. This section of beach will be 4x4 only. Drivers are asked to abide by posted signage and information given by toll staff at all locations. Additional updates will be made daily during Fourth of July Weekend, from Thursday through Sunday.
Vilano Beach/Porpoise Point
Vilano Beach remains temporarily closed to vehicles due to sand conditions. Parking in the Vilano area is anticipated to be at capacity by 10 a.m. Beachgoers are asked to find alternative ways to access the beach -- including walking, biking, carpooling or visiting one of the other beachfront parks St. Johns County has to offer. Most important, Porpoise Point will be closed to vehicles starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and will not be accessible by vehicle for the fireworks display.
Due to expected tidal flooding, Porpoise Point will experience delayed openings from Thursday through Sunday. The following are estimated times only. Note that these times can change based on public safety. During closures, all vehicles will be asked to vacate the beach by the Sheriff’s Office.
- Thursday, July 4 - Delayed opening due to 10:04 a.m. high tide
Expected to open at 12:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, July 5 - Delayed opening due to 10:57 a.m. high tide
Expected to open at 1:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, July 6 - Delayed opening due to 11:50 a.m. high tide
Expected to open at 2:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, July 7 - Delayed opening due to midday high tide
Expected to open at 3:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m.
St. Johns County is offering a free shuttle service to Mickler’s Beachfront Park and the St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the Fourth of July Weekend from Thursday through Sunday.
The Mickler’s Beachfront Park shuttle will transport beach visitors between Cornerstone Park at 1046 A1A North and Mickler’s Beachfront Park, which provides direct access to the beach.
The Pier shuttle will transport beach visitors between St. Augustine Beach City Hall at 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.
St. Johns County and the Tourist Development Council provide the Reach the Beach shuttles to give residents and visitors a safer and more convenient beach experience.
For additional information, visit www.sjcfl.us/Beaches or call 904-209-0331.
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