My family and I traveled to the St Augustine area for a wedding and vacation to follow. Before we went I began wondering how I could incorporate my sea kayak into the mix. I started looking on-line and found a condo to rent for us that was nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway on South A1A neat Crescent Beach.
The area had several state parks to go cycling, hiking, and paddling. There were a couple of kayak rental shops in the area that rented the open cockpit kayaks if I had not wanted to use mine. This area is about 15 minutes south of St Augustine, where there are houses, condos and a few restaurants but still with undeveloped sections of beach also.
After a few inquiries I found that some property owners do not want boats of any kind stored on their property so I quickly weeded those out. Some of them provided covered parking and I could have kept my kayak on my truck but there were height restrictions for some of the parking garages.
I was able to paddle nearly every day while we were there, mostly in the morning to avoid the afternoon thundershowers but many opportunities presented themselves since we were so ideally situated. All I had to do was to carry my boat less than 50 yards either way. There were trips that included brackish water paddling in the Intercoastal Waterway (called "The Ditch" by locals) where dolphins would surface within 10 yards of me and of course trips into the ocean. There were ospreys, a lot of other wild birds, snakes, spiders, and lizards.
The ocean trips were very challenging with surf entries and exits, and some of them wet exits to be sure! There were also places that I steered clear of because of the rip tides, breaking water in the inlets, heavy boat traffic, and cross currents in the bay to the south (I was paddling alone). High and low tides were things to keep up with because it helped predict water depth and movement. I was able to paddle during sunrise, sunset, rain, and under the full moon in the ditch and in the ocean. It was a great trip for all and there is a lot to do with the family and some educational components because of the history in this area. My camera gave up the first day so sorry to say, no great pictures except those from my phone.
When I wasn't paddling, there was a lot of time to enjoy with the family just sitting on the balcony, bicycling, going into St Augustine, shopping (traveled with 3 women, haha) walking and driving (4wd only) on the beach, eating seafood, all of the Florida things. I would recommended this area to any other paddlers.
John from St. Augustine Kayak Company was very helpful with local information and offered helpful comments and suggestions
Several RV campsites existed, as well as camping at some of the state parks. Houses and condos are for rent, and are common in the area. Restaurants too numerous to mention.
17' sea kayak
Typical fees for state park access, small charge to drive on the beach on weekends
A1A South, Crescent Beach