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Joyful kids on Jacksonville Beach; (c) Soul Of America

Jacksonville Beaches

American Beach
DESCRIPTION: In 1930, Al Lewis, president of the African American Insurance Company in Jacksonville, bought 200 acres of along 13 miles of beach property as a place for “relaxation without humiliation” for his black employees. Until 1970, Americans from every walk of life vacationed and lived here. MaVynne Betsch (1935-2005), the former unofficial mayor of American Beach and older sister of Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, had many kind stories to share about the warm history of the beach. It is now on the National Registry of Historic Places. Residents can apply for grants to historically restore houses more than 50 years old. Two books, An American Beach for African Americans by Jacksonville native Marsha Dean Phelts and American Beach a Saga of Race, Wealth, and Memory by Russ Rymer provide ample background. Today, only 120 of the original 200 acres remains untouched by developers.
ADDRESS: Greg Street at Lewis Street, American Beach, FL MAP
PARKING: on street
PHONE: 904-261-3248 Chamber of Commerce
WEBSITE: http://www.historicamericanbeach.com

Jacksonville Beach
DESCRIPTION: Another popular beach for locals located on the Atlantic Ocean, but this one includes a 1000 foot long fishing pier oft enjoyed by fly casters and sightseers. The pier has a restaurant, game room, and tackle shop.
DAYS & HOURS: daily 6a-10p, reduced evening hours December-March
ADDRESS: 503 First Street North, Jacksonville Beach, FL MAP
PARKING: paid lots nearby and on street
PHONE: 904-241-1515
WEBSITE: http://www.jacksonvillebeach.org

Huguenot Memorial Park
DESCRIPTION: On the north shore of the St Johns River near the Atlantic Ocean, this popular park and beach is good for surfing, fishing, and swimming. Tent and RV camping are permitted, but there are no electrical hook-ups.
DAYS & HOURS: daily 8a-sunset
ADDRESS: 10980 Hechscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL MAP
PARKING: $3 per vehicle up to 6 persons
PHONE: 904-251-3335
WEBSITE: https://www.coj.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/recreation-and-community-programming/huguenot-memorial-park.aspx

Fort Clinch State Park
DESCRIPTION: On the north end of Amelia Island, Florida’s northernmost barrier island, one finds 62 campsites, 1,363 acres of beach, dunes, tidal marsh, hiking and bicycling trails, the park includes a Pre-Civil War coastal fort listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Leased & well-behaved pets are welcome.
ADMISSION: $5 per vehicle up to 8 people. There are also small fort museum entrance and bicyclist fees.
DAYS & HOURS: daily 8a-sunset
ADDRESS: 2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL MAP
PARKING: on premises
PHONE: 904-277-7274

Butler Beach
DESCRIPTION: In 1927, St. Augustine businessman Frank B. Butler bought this small stretch of land between Mantanzas River and Atlantic Ocean. For many years, it was the only beach between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach that welcomed African-Americans. There’s also a small park nearby named in Mr. Butler’s honor.
ADDRESS: A1A Highway at Wefts Road, St. Augustine, FL MAP


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