The many neighborhoods of St. Augustine reflect its rich heritage and culture. It is the oldest city in the country, almost 450 years old. The city has been influenced by many cultures including Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc. Its terrain of vast beach expanses, intercoastal waterway, historic downtown, and rustic acreage leaves many different types of communities for people to choose from to live. This chapter of choosing a neighborhood in St. Augustine will focus on beach homes on St. Augustine Beach and Anastasia Island.
This writing assumes you have answered questions such as: how do you like to spend your time?. What is important to you? Do you like the outdoor beach activity, fishing and boat recreation, privacy and peaceful lifestyle unencumbered by restrictions from home owner associations, hubbub of being downtown, historic neighborhoods, easy access to interstate and airports, or carefree condo living?
Usually when people think of St. Augustine, they think of the miles of pristine beaches that St. Augustine offers. Anastasia Island, is a barrier island connected to the mainland by three bridges, is famous for its beaches. The Island is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Mantanzas River (a part of the Intercoastal Waterway) on the west. The part of the Island closest to downtown, known as Davis Shores, was actually filled in to provide more land mass for development during the early 1900’s. There are several tourist attractions such as the St. Augustine Light House and Park, The Alligator Farm and Anastasia State Park. Parts of the beach are open to vehicle traffic for a daily fee.
The Island is split from east to west with state road 312 being a dividing line between the more northern Davis Shores area and that part of Anastasia Island south of 312. A1A runs from north to south. A1A Beach Boulevard is an extension of 312 that runs north/south also and directly parallel to the beach. The few homes/condos east of A1A Beach Boulevard have immediate access to the dunes and the beaches.
Directly along the ocean front, are many condominium developments. Many of these were built during the 1970’s and 1980’s and have direct ocean views. These tend to have short-term rental capability and only a few will have garages. They frequently provide numerous amenities such as community pool, clubhouse, tennis courts, etc. Some popular condominium complexes are Ocean Gallery, Sea Place, St. Augustine Beach and Tennis Club, to name a few. Several hotels are also available throughout this area. Sea Colony is a newer gated community with single family residences with direct ocean access.
The “Magic Triangle” is an area south of 312, west of A1A Beach Blvd. and west of A1A. This is a highly desired area because of its proximity to the beach and tends to be more single family residences. The fact that the beach is only a short walk away draws a seasonal crowd in the communities that are not obligated to covenants and restrictions. Some common neighborhoods associated with this is area are Coquina Gables, Woodland Estates, Ocean Woods, Ocean Walk, etc. Other neighborhoods that have home owner associations are Serenity Bay, Whispering Oaks, Magnolia Dunes, and Island Hammock.
Homes west of A1A have proximity to the Intercoastal Waterway. Marsh Creek , the only gated golf community in St. Augustine, is located here. Because the land mass narrows as one travels south on the Island, proximity to both ocean and intercoastal will increase. In some homes just north of the 206 bridge, you can view both water masses.
The vacation lifestyle of Anastasia Island yields plenty of leisuretime activity such as boating, parasailing, surfing, etc. Because of the short-term rentals available, there can be a “transient” feel to this location. The peak season is during summer when people are vacationing while the kids are on school break.
An Marshall, REALTOR
Prudential Network Realty
Extremely Full Service
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