If you’re looking for a beautiful and exciting place to vacation, look no further than Ponte Vedra, Florida, sitting along the Atlantic Ocean. When I think of Ponte Vedra, I think of luxury. Not just luxurious accommodations, but delicious meals, the ultimate in relaxation, and a rich history.
Ponte Vedra weather is another big plus. Temperatures in Ponte Vedra range from approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit as a low in January and February, and up to 89 degrees in the summer. The best times of year to visit the lovely Ponte Vedra in St. Johns County are from late March to late May and early October to mid-November.
This little slice of heaven along the Northeastern Coast of Florida — between Jacksonville and St. Augustine — is home to stunning beaches, great restaurants, world-class golf courses, and plenty of activities to keep you busy. Here are some of the top things to do in Ponte Vedra.
Note: I visited the Ponte Vedra area as part of a hosted press trip. All opinions are my own.
1. Golf At TPC Sawgrass
If you enjoy the game of golf, you won’t want to miss teeing off at the Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass. Home to the PGA Tour headquarters and the host of one of the PGA Tour’s signature events, The Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass Stadium Course is considered one of the most challenging golf courses in the world.
There are two courses at TPC Sawgrass. The Stadium Course was created specifically to host the Players Championship and there is also the Valley Course. Master architect Pete Dye designed both. The Stadium Course is known for its par three, 137-yard signature hole known as the “Island Green.”
The PLAYERS Championship is held at TPC Sawgrass in March and boasts the largest purse of the entire PGA Tour.
Even if you are not a golfer, you will enjoy a tour of the club and lunch in the fabulous Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass.
Fun Fact: The PGA Tour worked out an agreement with Paul and Jerome Fletcher to pay one dollar for all 415 acres to create TPC Sawgrass.
2. Stay At Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
The epitome of luxury, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is a fabulous place to stay and be entertained.
Way back when, Ponte Vedra was a wilderness area. In 1912, some valuable minerals were discovered and the townsite transformed into a frontier mining town once known as “Mineral City.” Ponte Vedra Inn & Club opened in 1928, and the wealthy flocked to this sophisticated and luxurious playground along the Atlantic Ocean. The Inn & Club is one of Florida’s few AAA Five Diamond Properties.
With the gorgeous private beach, oceanfront accommodations, three pools, hot tub, two seaside golf courses, racquet club, surf club, shopping, and 10 restaurants, you can’t help but love this place. Did I mention they have an adult-only pool and hot tub that mature travelers will enjoy, plus a spa offering over 100 services?
I loved the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. I felt very pampered and enjoyed the simple luxury provided. I always welcome and ocean view.
Another option for a luxurious stay is the Ponte Vedra Lodge & Club a few blocks away.
Pro Tip: Learn more about the Inn & Club amenities and the Best Experiences At The Luxurious Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.
3. Stroll On The Beach
Take a walk on the beach. There’s nothing quite like taking a leisurely stroll on the pristine sand beaches of Ponte Vedra. Grab your sunscreen and head out for some relaxation time under the sun.CNN named Ponte Vedra beach one of “22 Can’t-Miss Beaches.” There are private and public beaches along the coast to enjoy. And if you stay at the luxurious Ponte Vedra Inn & Club you are right on the oceanfront.
4. Learn Some History
Navigational records indicate that Ponce de Leon first set foot in Florida on a south Ponte Vedra Beach at 30 degrees, 8 minutes north latitude. The famous explorer claimed “La Florida” for Spain on April 3, 1513.
You can view the spot where he reportedly arrived and snap a pic with the bronze statue marking the location. The site includes an official state historical marker, the 15-foot statue of Ponce de Leon, and interpretive signage.
Pro Tip: You have to walk across a road from the parking area to the oceanfront. Cars seem to fly by that area, so be careful and look both ways before darting across the highway.
5. Hunt For Shark Teeth
The beaches along the coast south of Ponte Verde are where you can find shark teeth. Mickler’s Beach in Ponte Vedra and the location where Ponce de Leon set foot in Florida are perfect beaches to hunt for shark teeth. Like people hunt for the perfect shell, some hunt for the exquisite shark tooth. It is the ultimate scavenger hunt! A keen eye is required to find these souvenirs hidden amongst the broken shells.
When we visited, we walked along the oceanfront at 30 degrees, 8 minutes north latitude, and spent about a half-hour hunting for shark teeth in the coquina sand — a type of sand formed by crushed shells. We didn’t have any luck, but it was a fun experience.
Pro Tip: Low tide is generally the best time to hunt for shark teeth. You can check the tide schedule online before heading out to the beach.
6. Visit A Spa
If you’re in need of some serious pampering, visit one of the local spas in the Ponte Vedra area. The Spa at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club located on Ponte Vedra Blvd has over a hundred services to choose from. There are several other spas in the area also. From facials to massages, you are sure to find the service you are looking for in these spas for your pampering and relaxation needs.
Pro Tip: Make spa reservations before your visit or as soon as you arrive since most appointments are sold out in advance.
7. Attend A Concert
Your evening promises to be unforgettable when you take in a concert at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. The modern performing arts facility housed in a former church building has excellent acoustics. Catch a show with famous performing artists such as Asleep At The Wheel, Kenny G, Art Garfunkel, Celtic Woman, Lee Ann Womack, and others.
Other events are also held at the concert hall, including classical music performances and various film series.
8. Shop All Day
You can spend your day shopping for high-end luxury items, art, antiques, and other unique items in Ponte Vedra. You can find a variety of upscale shops at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. They have everything from women’s fashion to gourmet foods.
Sawgrass Village, new to TPC Sawgrass, is the “new town square” community shopping center in Ponte Vedra Beach. The village is walkable, featuring boutique-type stores, art galleries, and award-winning restaurants.
There are over 30 boutiques in the Ponte Vedra area and two outlet malls in St. Augustine.
If you’re hunting for antiques, you will find several antique stores in neighboring St. Augustine.
9. GTM Research Reserve
A highlight of our visit to Ponte Vedra was a stop at the Environmental Education Center at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve).
It was interesting to learn what the GTM Research Reserve does and view the interactive displays and aquariums, but seeing baby alligators, snakes, and turtles up close was fascinating.
Some brave ladies in our group permitted the snakes to wrap around their arms and shoulders. I touched the snake, but that was as far as it went with me. We learned that snakes like to socialize and be out of their cage. They enjoyed going outside and hanging out at the picnic table with their caretakers.
The GTM Research Reserve has approximately 73,000 protected acres of tidal lagoons, coastal dunes, and forests and is one of the best places to kayak to see some of the birds, mammals, and plant species in the area. It is one of 29 such reserves in the country.
There are 10 miles of hiking trails and dynamic, interconnected habitats of forests and oceans to explore.
Pro Tip: Before and after touching any of the animals, be sure to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
10. Play At The Yards
The newest outdoor sports and social venue in Ponte Vedra, The Yards, is an innovative country club. It is home to a transformed and renovated Arnold Palmer-designed 12-hole golf course, the Oak Bridge Tennis Center featuring 10 lighted, clay tennis courts, pickleball courts, and a fun casual dining option.
The new golf experience at The Yards combines the redesigned, classic nine Front Yard with the all-new Backyard, featuring some amazing par threes to create the first 12-hole course in North Florida.
The state-of-the-art tennis complex is a private members-only facility and offers clinics and tennis instruction.
The Pickle Garden is the newest addition featuring 12 pickleball courts with LED lighting. One of the fastest-growing sports in America, pickleball adds elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong for a fun game with lots of movement.
Whether golf, tennis, or pickleball is your pleasure, The Yards has you covered.
11. Visit Bird Island Park
Travelers of any age will enjoy this innovative waterfront park. This unique park highlights the ecosystems and showcases the native plants and animals of the area. Visitors enjoy water features, interactive art sculptures, and dune and wetland landscapes. It’s great for just enjoying nature, stretching your legs, or having a picnic.
Bird Island Park features a sea turtle maze, a pond with a boardwalk, a storytelling area, gazebos, and more.
Ponte Vedra, Florida, is a beautiful, historic town and a fantastic place to visit, with plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing oceanfront beach getaway or want to explore all that this charming Northeast Florida town has to offer, you’ll find something to please you here.
As one of Florida’s most sought-after destinations, this quaint beach town offers something for everyone — from luxurious resorts with world-class amenities to family-friendly activities like swimming, golfing, and fishing to shopping and dining. So pack your bags and head to Ponte Vedra, Florida. You won’t regret it!
Pro Tip: There is a handicapped-accessible sidewalk that winds around all of Bird Island Park.
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