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places to avoid in Florida....

4003 Views 17 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Scallywag2
Hi all,
I was sure I posted this already, but I couldnt find it so ...

I recently ventured into Florida; stopping at Fernandina Beach, Jax Beach, and
then St. Augustine. Then I turned around and started north.

I plan to explore florida again next season, but my varying experiences on my
three stops makes me want to pick my destinations more carefully.

Fernandina Beach was pretty nice. Laid back. Seemed to like sail boaters.

Jax beach was kind of indifferent.

St. Augustine, I won't be spending more of my time in.
Lots of negative interactions I had there.

So what places would you not visit again?

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would be interested in hearing more about your experience. what type of boat, where did you stay,anchor /marina
how much time at places
,what time of year, etc.
I am surprised with your experience in St. Augustine. Generally it is a very sailboat friendly place. Can you elaborate on your negative experience?
well, you threw it out there, don't leave me hanging.
I need more details.
I find St Augustine expensive and not very savy. They have filled all the anchorages with expensive mooring balls. Free launch - 10 AM to 3 PM or something like that. So not dinner, no nightlife unless you launch your dinghy. Very strong currents - sometimes getting on and off the fuel dock can be a challenge. Other than that its great!

Fernandina - very noisy - lots of 24 hour per day industrial activity. I turn right at the entrance and head north to St. Mary's. Fantastic Thanksgiving celebration ever year but quaint, very small, quiet town with a good anchorage.
You need to be more specific about what you are looking for.

If you are looking to stay in slips, rent cars and dine out in gourmet style I can give one set of places to avoid.

On the other hand if you are looking to anchor out, leave a dink on a dock while you sight see and want easy access to local farmers markets then the list will be different. [ Much more extensive too, basically everything from North Lake Worth to Key Biscayne.]
well, let's see both lists.
sometimes I feel like a nut,sometimes I don't.

Have you been to New York City lately? Expensive is relative. The current is tough. Have you cruised on the Delaware River near Philadelphia? Wow! Swift and powerful. Divers clean bottoms of boats at slack tide. I try to time my travel with the tide. It does not work out all the time and the s/v goes slow if not at all. Then I anchor. Many people travel with a dingy. That way they do not have to depend on the marina. The St. Augustine City Marina is open 24 x 7. Traveling from St. Pete to St. Augustine, most marinas close at 5pm. When there is a need for fuel, their schedule limits the cruising schedule. Wait till they open or be there before 5.

Dot and JOhn
I am not trying to spark a debate/defense on St. Augustine.
I simply shared my experience there. Kind of a buzz kill. Kind of like svzephr said also.

Please just leave YOUR opinion on what places in all of florida that you have visited.
Dont try to pick on my opinion. Its just an opinion.
well, if you come to Daytona, you can anchor in the ICW.
Or take a slip at the Halifax city marina or loggerhead, or sunset harbor. Probably $1.50 or $2 a foot. overnight.
if you anchor you can dingy to any of the public launches. they are under the seabreeze bridge or adjacent to orange avenue bridge as well as others.
not sure the marinas offer dingy dockage will find out.
there is a good bus service, several grocery stores nearby. As well as. many cafes, restaurant, bars,etc.
I'm always surprised more sailors don't stop in Daytona.
particularly since St.Augustine started limiting anchoring.
lol... I just came across this...


As part of Florida’s recreational boat mooring and anchoring pilot program, the City of St. Augustine has submitted a proposed anchoring ordinance to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission that limits anchoring within city limits to ten consecutive days. If the ordinance is passed, once this time limit is reached a vessel would have to move to an approved mooring field or marina, or outside city boundaries for at least one full day, before the boat would be allowed to return to the area.
I just read that the above law has passed except instead of 10 days it is 30 days.

In Florida, the only places I really find really boater friendly, are on the panhandle.

The west coast tolerates boaters. The east coast wishes they could shoot us out of the water.

The Keys are somewhere in between.

On my last trip back from the Bahamas, I spend two nights in Florida.
I have stayed on a mooring and have anchored out in St. Augustine. The people at the town dock are helpful and polite. The showers are clean. The moorings are the right price. The Fl mooring fields are a bonus to everyone and there are always other places to anchor if you really want to save the $30. I most often anchor on the ICW. With a little planning it's no problem but I'm happy at times to have a secure mooring. The fact that the mooring fields are in the best locations is not surprising.
Hmmmmm.....looks like this thread drifted off the OP's intent right from the get-go. Groundhog asked what areas to stay away from, and mentioned SA as an example.....and almost every reply is either defending SA or suggesting other nice places to go. ?

Of all the places I've been in Florida the place I'd suggest to avoid is South Florida - specifically Miami north through Fort Lauderdale.....too busy, too many drawbridges, too few anchorages, too expensive to get a slip. Close to the Bahamas and every kind of marine service or equipment dealer here, though.
We have sailed the entire Florida coast from Fernandina to Pensacola many times in the last 22 years and can't say we have stayed anywhere we don't feel welcome. Always found a place to anchor and most times a place to dinghy ashore. Maybe we are just lucky?
One person's negative is another person's positive. Some like big city boating and others like a tranquil setting. The same goes for places to avoid. Others like the area and others do not.

Dot and John
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