Posted by on September 26, 2021

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Music by Brent Walsh, “Moon Creep” from his EP, Are You Even There At All (Click top right start button if music does not start automatically.)


to express their sincere happiness together and share that with you on this special weekend at the First Coast Beaches. Their wish to be together goes beyond the simple dreams of love to the exceptional nature of the personal vows of matrimony. Befitting the gift of marriage, the sun rises each day on these shores of the Americas into the windows of the places you share this weekend with Tyler and Lindsay, and their wedding.

Jax Beach Sunrise


The northeast coast of Florida meets the Atlantic Ocean, west of other east coast towns like Bar Harbor, Cape Cod, Ocean City, Virginia Beach, Nag’s Head, Myrtle Beach and Charleston. We, here, like the extra half hour of the darkest before the dawn.

With the exception of coastal ports north of Bar Harbor, where possibly, certain Vikings landed and established transient villages, the Spanish arrived here, where the sun keep things warm, year-round. Saint Augustine, just miles south, dates back twenty years before Sir Walter Raleigh set down in North Carolina and unfortunately lost his colony; nothing has been lost in Saint Augustine.

Thankfully, the Gulf Stream drifts as much as 70 miles east of the First Coast, so due to its effect on the local weather, you will see many older homes in the area. The Gulf Stream kept the eye of the Cat 5, Hurricane Mathew, 50 miles out over the ocean, the normal path leading to trouble in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic seaboard.


The North Florida beaches extend from Georgia, south all the way down to Daytona (about 100 miles). Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach are primarily residential towns on the island east of Jacksonville, across the San Pablo River. Heading south on scenic A1A, Jacksonville Beach (Jax Beach), takes on the commercial nature of beach life with its hotels and nightlife. Just south of Jax Beach is Ponte Vedra, where the PGA Players Tournament is held each year in March. The 2022 schedule is from March 10th – 13th March 2022.

At the “top,” the Mayport Navy Base extends to the beach at the north end of the island, north of Atlantic Beach and east of the town of Mayport, a shrimping and fishing village,with a ferry across the San Pablo River, where A1A continues north through Fernandino Beach.

Atlantic Beach is north of State Route 10, Atlantic Boulevard. It, as well as Neptune Beach, to the south of Route 10, is a residential beach with commercial properties along the main highway. Atlantic and Neptune Beaches share a town center, where the only two beachfront hotels sit, with local restaurants and shops surrounding.

Jax Beach is the commercial section of the island, with beachfront hotels, condos, apartments and a healthy retail, restaurant and service industry, serving not only the islanders, but the greater Jacksonville population. You will see the boardwalk and the pier, still under construction from damage caused by Hurricane Matthew. Jax Beach, at its mid beach amphitheater, hosts several music and cultural festivals each year

Ponte Vedra starts at the south end of Jax Beach, and is the home of the PGA Tour’s Player’s Championship at Sawgrass. For the right price, you too and golf on the Players Stadium Course – about $600 (that would be about $6.oo a shot for me).

Below the capital of golf, is Velano Beach and natural grasslands. Velano is more like what you think of as the beachfront road of vacation homes – away from most everything until you get to the southernmost extent of the island, at Saint Augustine.


In the fall, daily temperatures average in the mid 70’s, with normal highs between 680 and 840 F. Nighttime lows rarely fall as low as 510, and average between 600 and 700 F, so hoodies, light jackets and/or a sweater make for a comfortable evening walk, just remember it can be windy on the First Coast.

Hurricane season technically extends into November, so late storms can pop up, and just about any day a good wind can have hair and flowing clothes whipping through the air.

The two charts shown below include daily sunrise and tides for wedding week. Tides will generally be low in the morning and evening, with afternoons seeing high tide conditions. And since we are still in daylight savings time, sunrises will be between 7:35 and 7:39 AM, easy peasy.


With the climate, and the beaches, we hope your trip to the First Coast will offer ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Respecting the nature of the pandemic, the beaches population has gone from completely closed beaches, to wide open.

If you believe in wearing masks, so do many of our fellow beach residents, in shopping and restaurant venues particularly, and most everywhere at the Beaches it’s quite easy to respect greater than personal distances of 6 feet or more. Remember, Jacksonville, the city, is 15 miles west.

And no matter what you may have heard, it is okay to wear masks in Florida! So please feel free to wear masks anywhere, and everywhere if you feel it helps. We have not asked, but many of us have been vaccinated, and several are into the booster phase of our fight against the new Big C.

We also hope, that if you do have any concerns, you will speak with anyone of us here in Neptune Beach, and the Jax Beach and Ponte Vedra venues, to help.


The venue, Casa Marina, The Grand Lady, is a fine example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. As a private venture, it opened on May 23, 1925, in the midst of the Roaring 20’s. Their website, (CLICK HERE), has a great deal of historical information about the hotel and the area – the link will open a new page.


For wedding events, transportation is provided. Many local hot spots are walkable, but if not, there is the Beach Buggy, a local beach area free service (tips are suggested). They have an app you can locate either on their website at or look for Beach Buggy – Your Local Ride app in the Apple App Store. The app looks like:

Shows the icon for the Beach Buggy app.

Again, the Beach Buggy service is free and usually quite reliable, and they do have some larger vans that can handle a group.


The Town Center is shared by both cities, split down the middle, and includes our own, everyone’s walk of fame. You too can be immortalized in that same kind of red brick that made the Third Little Piggy famous. BUY A BRICK and help keep our town pretty – or at least that is what they are supposed to be doing with the proceeds…


You may notice an abundance of lizards, birds, including a number of hawks, and other wildlife around the area. There are rarely any alligators reported on the islands – too salty a lifestyle, but if you see a sign by a freshwater lake, you may want to pull out a new Titleist.


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