Across the street from the Washington Oaks State Garden, this unusual beach in Florida is a well-kept secret, hoarded by the locals who refer to it as “The Rocks”.
What’s unusual about this beach is, well, the rocks. Florida beaches are known for being long and white, with miles and miles of flat, flat, flatness. “The Rocks” (sometimes) deliver a miniature Grand Canyon in the sand—a mile of unusual geological formations, caves, nooks, and crannies in the water-worn coquina rock. The “sometimes” is due to the rocks not always putting on their show—which is part of the allure of this place.
Whether or not the rocks appear depends on the recent weather and tides. If there has been a number of nor’easter-type storms, then you can be pretty sure that the rocks will appear. On the other hand, if the storms and the tides have deposited more sand than usual, you’ll walk out to the beach and see nothing but a few small bumps in the sand. Getting to the beach at just the right time to catch the rocks out in full force is a rarity, so make sure to snap a picture to back up your story.
When the rocks are visible, it’s a wonderful playground. Sometimes the waves carve small pools in the rocks, creating a shallow pool for starfish and other tide creatures. Often overlooked, it’s rare to find more than a handful of other people there, so, at least for now, you can usually enjoy the hidden seascape in relative peace and quiet.
Know Before You Go
On Highway A1A, about half-way between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. Across the road from Washington Oaks State Gardens. (To avoid confusion, some facts: Highway A1A cuts away from Highway 1 just south of St. Augustine. A1A runs along the beaches until just north of Daytona Beach, and then it joins Highway 1 again.)