Atlantans can count on one hand the number of beachfront escapes available to them that are within driving range and that are not overrun with touristy accoutrement. Add to that proximity to a robust metropolitan region with history and verve and the number of options dwindle.
That’s why the perfect weekend road trip destination from Atlanta comes in the form of a refreshing beachfront site in northeast Florida’s Jacksonville: Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and its sister property The Lodge & Club.
Coming off a year-long 90th anniversary celebration which featured $90,000 celebration packages and signature spa treatments, the AAA Five-Diamond oceanfront resort brings to mind images of quiet opulence, grace, stateliness, and history, with its 249 luxury guestrooms and suits, most of which face the ocean. The historic Inn has offered a world of upscale accommodations paired with fine service and a wide array of leisure pursuits since its opening in 1928.
At the turn of the 20th century, Ponte Vedra Beach was a pristine wilderness of sand dunes, swamps, alligators and palmetto trees. The region first captured attention in 1912 when a vein rich in minerals was discovered running through the dunes. The site soon evolved into a frontier mining town with worker’s quarters, a post office and general store. A mining corporation, The National Lead Company, purchased the rugged outpost as well as several thousand acres and in support of the U.S. war effort during World War I, mined the area for valuable ore. When the war ended, mining operations ceased and the company began to sell off its holdings in the area.
The transformation from mining town to nationally recognized seaside community began in the early 1920s when local land planners skillfully developed the area to maximize its natural beauty. With an underlying respect for the balance between man and nature, a quaint seaside village evolved with stately, pastel-colored homes featuring tree-shaded lawns—a community of graceful proportions that reflected an elegant era in America’s history.
Now, prized as one of the top family-friendly beaches resorts on the east coast, the property offers a variety of outdoor pursuits that make for the ideal beachfront getaway. From two championship golf courses, tennis club, outdoor pools and beach activities, there’s no shortage of a seaside adventure at the property. The property also offers several dining outlets to cater to every type of traveler. For a special over-the-top experience, book the Chef’s Table. Situated in the heart of the kitchen in the signature restaurant, The Seahorse Grille, the Chef’s Table caters up to 4 guests for an exclusive dining experience. The Inn & Club is also home to a famed destination spa, a haven of serenity and relaxation, accompanied by an outdoor pool.
Nearby lies The Lodge & Club, boasting 66 oceanfront luxury guestrooms and suites, several dining destinations and heated pools, including an adults-only pool and jacuzzi that face the ocean. Smaller than the Inn & Club, this property is a more intimate experience, perfect for couples.
Echoing Old World grandeur and romance, a distinctive Mediterranean-inspired architectural character is reflected throughout The Lodge’s 10 seaside acres. Indulgent days are spent enjoying the Atlantic surf, shelling along the beach, swimming, cycling, enjoying the Fitness Center, sampling The Lodge’s inventive cuisine and enjoying high tea, the highlight of each afternoon. Beach Rentals with kayaks, paddleboards, beach bicycle cruisers and more.
This spring break season — and summer, too – find yourself here: In the mix, but far beyond the fray.