Fodor's Expert Review Vilano Beach
This beach, just 2 miles north of St. Augustine, is sandwiched between the Tolomato River and the Atlantic. In the 1920s it was home to the Grand Vilano Casino, but that was destroyed by a hurricane in 1937. Until recently, Vilano Beach had deteriorated into a small, somewhat run-down area, though with a nice, laid-back '60s surf vibe. That's changed rapidly, however. Now it's home to new stores and restaurants, the Vilano Beach Fishing Pier, and other community improvements. A Hampton Inn & Suites is within a few minutes' walk. The beach has some nice breakers for surfing—skimboarding is also popular—but strong currents sometimes make it dangerous for swimming. It's also one of the few beaches on which you can still drive a car. Amenities: lifeguards (seasonal); showers; toilets. Best for: solitude; surfing; walking.