Just north of St. Augustine, Florida, lies the sleepy beach town of Vilano Beach. It is a small community, but warm and welcoming. Since its beginnings, Vilano Beach has welcomed visitors to its oceanfront, restaurant and scenic marshes. To experience all Vilano beach has to offer, just take a two-mile drive up State A1A from St. Augustine.
About Vilano Beach
Vilano Beach is, and always has been, a pleasant and popular beach site. Tourism to the area began in the 1920s, when Henry Flagler, the Daddy Warbucks of Florida, brought tourists to his beloved city of St. Augustine. Vilano Beach soon became a popular playground for those in the Golden Age, and ferries and horse-drawn trolleys took excited visitors to and from the beach and other attractions.
One of the first man-made attractions to the area was the Grand Vilano Casino, a Mediterranean Revival-style building that hosted big-time bands, vaudeville acts and all kinds of other events during the season. Unfortunately, in 1937, violent winds and ruthless tides destroyed the beautiful building. Following its fall, the city sought to build a community that would last and grow through the Florida seasons. And so the building and beautification projects began, and through the decades the city grew to include many residents, regular visitors and beautiful places to enjoy.
Vilano Beach has an abundance of restaurants to visit during your trip to the seaside city. Many of them offer seafood right off the boat. Take a walk, or drive down Yacht Club Drive or Vilano Road to find plenty of places to dine and enjoy your friends and family who are sharing your vacation. There are plenty of recreational shops that provide boat rentals, beach apparel, sports equipment and charters. Many of those shops are located right next to the pier.
Like we said, Vilano Beach is a mere two miles from St. Augustine—between the Tolomato River and Atlantic. Its waters are high energy, meaning currents are strong and waves are big. Its sand is coarse, with more shells than some other surrounding beaches, such as St. Augustine and Daytona Beach.
And in efforts to extend its welcoming arms to residents and travelers alike, the city has gone through a recent major facelift. Projects to brighten the façade of Vilano over the years have included the addition and improvements to the Nature Greenway Boardwalk, the Vilano Beach Town Center and Streetscape, the Pier Pavilion, and other landscaping projects.
These beautification projects have made this town an even more beautiful and charming place to visit on your next vacation to St. Augustine.