Northeast Florida is known for its profound history, amazing beaches and great golf. From Amelia Island to Jacksonville and from Ponte Vedra to St. Augustine, miles of beautiful Atlantic Coast beaches lure travelers to come relax and recharge. Here is our list of the most luxurious hotels, spas, shops and restaurants along the First Coast of Florida.
Retreat to the resort island of Amelia Island, in the northernmost corner of Florida. This resort has a comfortable but luxurious Old Florida feel with an amazing spa, poolside cabanas and award-winning restaurant Salt. Inviting outdoor spaces with fire pits and sitting areas invite travelers to relax and take in the scenery.
This gorgeous resort is the perfect destination for golfers with two, 18 hole courses. The Ocean Links Course, designed by Pete Dye and Bobby Weed, includes five spectacular holes right on the Atlantic Ocean. Other amenities include deluxe pools, a full-service spa, tennis and upscale restaurants.
In the quiet beach community of Ponte Vedra is a historic five-star inn and resort located right on the Atlantic Ocean. Amenities include a full-service spa, oceanfront fitness center, tennis, golf and a cozy lobby that still offers high tea.
Built in 1888 and once owned by millionaire Henry Flagler, the Casa Monica Hotel still celebrates much of its original luxury and charm with its Moorish Revival and Spanish Baroque architecture. Its location is ideal for exploring the historic sites by foot. Guests can also enjoy the Poseidon Spa, 95 Cordova restaurant and art collection.
Each May, TPC Sawgrass plays host to the famous PLAYERS Championship, but golfers are invited to play the course and dine at the clubhouse any day of the year. TPC Sawgrass is home to the most photographed hole in golf (the 17th), as well as a PGA Tour Academy.
The neighborhoods near Jacksonville's downtown are known for their independent restaurants with excellent cuisine, and Orsay is among the best. The chef was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2015 and is known for his sublime French cuisine with Southern ingredients.
Chef Matthew Medure has an outstanding reputation in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra with three successful restaurants. His namesake Matthew's is located in the heart of charming San Marco Square. Try the Maine diver scallops and pork belly with a side of the Anson Mills grits with goat cheese.
This upscale outdoor mall is a shopper's paradise with a Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton, lululemon, Michael Kors, William Sonoma and Tiffany & Co. Great bets for grabbing a post-shopping cocktail or meal are Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails or Capital Grille.
The ultimate NFL fan can rent one of the brand-new cabanas with access to the pool and party deck during a Jacksonville Jaguars game. The price tag is around $12,000 for a group of 50 people.
Visitors can charter their own yacht for a private sunset tour or a sightseeing trip along the St. Johns River and out to sea. Rates start at $2,400 for private parties.