You can find enough things to do in downtown St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach to never leave the area for your entire vacation. You can spend all your time outside your St. Augustine vacation rental and still find new activities, places to walk to, and interesting local restaurants.
Getting out of St. Augustine is a tough sell, we know it. But, we also want to take a little time to spotlight one of the area’s more intriguing stops. It is Vilano Beach, and it is a hidden nook of St. Augustine that many people hardly even know exists.
A Look at Vilano Beach
Vilano Beach is not a place to go to see an exciting major tourist haven. It is a quiet and subdued enclave and a perfect complement to the bustling energy of St. Augustine proper. It is locally known as one of St. Augustine’s best-kept secrets with its characteristic Art Deco look and beautifully tiled fountains.
Vilano Beach has only one main beach entrance. It is typically rather quiet. There is only one major hotel right by the beach. The other hotels are mostly one-story and brightly-colored in the Art Deco design. They are charming and nice, allowing for unblocked views of the ocean and a big difference from the major hotels sitting along St. Augustine Beach.
For a quiet atmosphere and a romantic escape away, Vilano Beach is the perfect place to be. You can easily walk to a nearby Publix grocery store, which has everything you need if you get hungry during the day and you just want a quick snack. Publix also has a medication pick-up, a deli counter, and some acclaimed sandwich subs and hoagies which are freshly-made for you.
Vilano Beach Restaurants
There are also a few nearby restaurants. You can stop by Puccini’s Pizzeria (85 Ava Way, St. Augustine, FL 32084) for some specialty pizza slices. A few blocks further back, you can get an authentic Italian dish at Vilano Grill 180 (180 Vilano Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32084). The restaurant offers American staples, like burgers and French fries, as well.
Fire Wok (Ava Way #104, St. Augustine, FL 32084) is your local Chinese restaurant and Casa Benedetto’s (2979, 165 Vilano Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32084) has some outdoor seating and a fantastic Sicilian-Italian menu.
Many of these restaurants are right within walking distance of the main Vilano Beach access. You can park in the free parking lot by the beach and walk to the beach, to a restaurant, and back to the beach without having to leave and go anywhere.
Vilano Beach is easy to get to from St. Augustine. It is right past the Francis and Mary Usina Bridge, which is at the northern end of St. Augustine.
To get there from downtown, you head north on A1A/San Marco Ave and turn right to continue onto A1A/May St. Once you clear the bridge turn left onto Village Drive and head to 3400 Coastal Hwy, St. Augustine FL. It is about a 10 to 15 minute drive from St. Augustine’s downtown.
Vilano Beach is special because it is a quiet and casual complement to St. Augustine Beach. If you find yourself wanting a different experience with the beaches of the area, you can take a trip to Vilano Beach and enjoy a new view and more relaxed atmosphere.
No matter where you go, the beaches are spectacular and the views are gorgeous. Keep an eye out for dolphins. Indulge in every minute of your vacation break.
Vilano Beach makes for a splendid afternoon trip. But it’s well worth it to stay right in St. Augustine Beach for your vacation. There’s certainly more nearby activities and attractions, like mini golf, authentic Florida eateries, ice cream, espresso, and more.