Being in Florida has perks that no other place has. If you want beaches, Florida is the place to be! There is a wide variety of beaches, all within a few hours of each other. It’s the only place in the US that you can access two different coasts on the same day. Or simply drive down one coast and up another for endless beach after beach. You can enjoy everything from gloriously soft white sugar sand to just driving all the way up to the water.
Yep, that’s right! You can drive onto some beach areas. Drive On Beaches are few and far between. And for good reason. If you drive on most beaches, you can get stuck with a rising tide creeping closer by the minute.
Safety While Driving On The Beach
For most beach areas you need to avoid driving on the beach at all costs. Even pickup trucks can succumb to the soft, shifting sands. Make sure to follow all posted signs for your safety. There is a reason for those signs…….
Jacksonville beach at sunset
But there is such a thing as a Drive On Beach
As promised, you can drive onto the beach at Huguenot Memorial Park in Jacksonville, Florida! It is a special pleasure to be able to enjoy driving on the beach. My favorite part is not having to trek all the regular beach going needs back and forth. Chairs, towels, kids toys, water, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, the list is endless. Being able to open your vehicle and have all of your party accessories right there is awesome.
No worries about forgetting something in the car a mile back in the parking lot. Think of the comfort, no blisters from that walk in sandy flipflops. Don’t judge, we’ve all been there in some form or another. Also, no worries about security. Take a swim or a long walk, your vehicle is locked and secure. No one can mess with your stuff. And a vehicle makes the perfect windbreak and tent to hide in the shade.
Driving up to the ocean is such an awe-inspiring experience. How could it get any better? First, be aware of what your vehicle can do…or can not do. If you have to ask “can I make it?”, you probably can’t. Take a walk to look around before you decide to drive on the sand. If you see a bunch of small cars along the sand and they are not stuck, then you have an excellent chance of having a most incredible day. As long as you use your sunscreen, of course.
Driving onto Huguenot Memorial Park makes it easy to experience nature. This place makes spending time outdoors as easy as driving and parking at some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. For some, this is the only way to get an actual view of the sea since they can’t walk far or may be confined to a wheelchair.
This seaside park offers 70 primitive campground sites, a playground, picnic areas & fishing. But wait, Huguenot Memorial Park is a whole lot more. “The Nature Center allows visitors to explore and discover many of the plants and animals they may find along the beach. It offers games, interactive displays, reference books and staff that is happy to show and explain all the items on display. A portion of Huguenot Park is designated as a critical wildlife area for nesting terns and shorebirds. It is roped off to protect these nesters in season.”
And that’s not all! Huguenot Memorial Park is also part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. The Wings Over Florida is a free bird and butterfly listing recognition program that rewards people for their Florida life list and big year list achievements. —http://floridabirdingtrail.com/
Talk about something for everyone. This place is perfect for family reunions, weddings, and bus day trips. There are group discounts and you can call in a reservation for events. This makes for an affordable gathering venue for all occasions.
Huguenot Memorial Park 10980 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226 (904) 255-4255 Click here for a full list of Huguenot Memorial Park fees. Hours of Operation (seven days a week): 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. March 11- November 4 (Daylight Savings Time) 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. November 5 – March 10 (Eastern Standard Time) Park entrance gate closes one (1) hour prior to closing time
The only downside is the Dog Policy. Please note that for the safety of both dogs and their people, day-use customers are not allowed to bring dogs into the park. Campers with dogs must make sure they are on a leash and never left alone. Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp show an overall 4.5 Star rating for Huguenot Memorial Park based on about 500 hundred reviews so you know it is a decent place.
A recent question thread on Google summed up the environmental concerns after Hurricane Irma.
De’ana Nicole–“So is there no more driving in the beach?” Trish Sharpe– “Yes you can drive on the beach De’ana Nicole. Now if you haven’t been here in a few years, i should warn you, Irma destroyed it nearly. I would send you a video, but doesn’t allow me too. Anyway enjoy your trip.”
Aletha Lowry– “I was there on Monday 06/25/18 & it says 4×4 is recommended but yes, many vehicles drove on the beach. P.S. I have an Elantra & had no problems.”
There was a lot of damage to the coast. But the amazing caregivers have it ready for your visit. Huguenot Park is a perfect solution for a very low cost destination that can keep everyone in the family happy. Be observant, be safe & have a great day driving on the beach.
 
Written by Heather Hess
Pictures courtesy of Hessco Innovations