Everyone knows that Jacksonville beaches have their own vibe, far from the glitterati and grandeur of Miami. We like it earthy, athletic and retro in The Jax, and our beaches show it. Spring is an easy time to hit the sand, water and piers before the summer crowds descend. Here are some highlights of Jacksonville’s beach communities in the spring season.
As the main drag of sand and sun, Jacksonville Beach is where the season kicks off. Out come the rollerblades, surfboards and snack shacks, bustling with the energy of spring. The famous fishing pier bustles year round, but spring brings out the casual anglers eager to reel in anything from barracuda to catfish, Spanish macks, flounder, trout and tarpon. It’s only $4 a day, no license required, and you’ll find a bait shop and fish cleaning stations. If you’ve got little ones in tow, the Shipwreck Island Water Park at Adventure Landing, about five minutes from the ocean, is open on weekends in April 2018, with a full schedule starting on May 5.
Sea Walk Pavilion
You’ll have to wait until late May for summer beach movies, but there’s plenty going on in early spring at Sea Walk Pavilion. Have a picnic on the beach, and then enjoy watching the thrill of competition at the ESA Surf Contest on April 15. Join the adrenaline action yourself on April 21 on the Never Quit 5K, 10K and 1K Run, which takes place on the SeaWalk Pavilion lawn and along the beach. Show off your sand-art talents at the 42nd Annual Sandcastle Contest on April 28, and don’t miss the 72nd Annual Opening of the Beaches Parade on April 29. Relax after sunset at one of many Jax Beach breweries and craft cocktails bars.
Atlantic Beach is known for its wildlife habitats and preserves, but it also coats the coastline with arts and culture in the spring. For the 15th year, the 2018 Arts in the Park brings fine arts to Atlantic Beach Johansen Park on April 21. More than 60 juried artists will be presenting their newest creations while you enjoy live music from Duo and Box Band. This is also your chance to try specialty plates from Mangroves, Balus Surf Shack, What’s Smokin’ and Shakti Life Kitchen, all in one location.