VIBE: Relaxed, Family Friendly
12157 Heckscher Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Where is the perfect getaway for a quiet beach camping weekend? Little Talbot Island State Park is located on the northern end of Little Talbot Island. About 30 minutes north of Jacksonville, it could be the getaway you've been looking for.
Little Talbot Island Things to Do
If you love to camp, you will enjoy the intimacy of this small camping paradise. The park features a campground perfect for small tent sites, smaller RV sites and primitive campsites as well as a picnic area with pavilions, grills and tables. Even if you're not a camper, this beach is known for its cleanliness and privacy among the oaks so it's great for walking. Relax and enjoy the sound of owls as you go to sleep: you can even use a hammock. Wake up to the sunrise and walk a half mile to the pristine ocean beach. If you like to fish there is a boat launch and dock down the trail. Biking, hiking, bird watching and surfing are popular here too. If you get a permit, you can have a natural beach wedding in this private paradise.
Little Talbot Island Beach Sand
Even though Florida beaches like Siesta Key are famous for their pristine white sand, its hard not to be blown away by the pristine beauty of Little Talbot Island beach. The sand is white near the dunes but a little darker close to the water and has a variety of shells to explore. Some people have even found sand dollars and shark's teeth! It's thick and you can definitely build a sandcastle here. There is no driving on the beach here which is to be expected since it is an undeveloped barrier island. In 2022, they are experiencing some erosion issues so the south end of the beach is closed for evaluation. Camping is still allowed but capacity has been reduced. Check here for further updates.
Little Talbot Island Beach Water
The beach here as mentioned above, has experienced some erosion. When the beach is sloped, the ocean waves can be a little rougher. Like any Atlantic Ocean beach, you must be aware of possible rip currents. This beach does not have a lifeguard. Although we think families would have a lot of fun at Little Talbot Island beach, make sure it is low tide for maximum safety. Being a northern Florida beach, the water will be quite cool until the summer months.
Beach Parking and Amenities
Little Talbot Island has an entry fee of $5 per vehicle with up to 8 people included. It has two parking areas and 5 boardwalks to the beach. Three bathhouses and outdoor showers are also provided and they are kept very clean. For safety reasons, swimming is permitted in the areas accessed from the north beach parking lot only. Pavilions have grilling areas with lots of shade. Like other Florida State Parks, they can be rented for large groups such as parties and wedding receptions.
The best thing about Little Talbot Island is that you can do nothing at all. Sure, you can hike, camp, fish and swim. But this little paradise is so unspoiled it is perfect for pure relaxation. Long Island Outfitters is Talbot Islands State Park's canoe and kayak provider located on A1A between Little Talbot and Big Talbot Islands. Rentals and guided trips are available. It's worth it to rent a kayak and explore the Simpson and Myrtle Creek salt marsh waters to see the variety of wildlife. This beach is definitely a paddling paradise.
Look Out! This Could Happen...
The biggest issue right now in 2022 is beach erosion on Little Talbot Island. Sadly this is a challenge for many beaches in Florida, especially after hurricanes. Because of this, the beach access and camping sites may be limited. This is not a beach for larger RV camping. Check the Florida State Park website before you head out. On the weekend, like every other beach, Little Talbot Island can get crowded. It is very secluded and there is only one route into the park and that is A1A. Depending on the time of day you are traveling, you could get stuck in traffic for hours. That's why we recommend you check FL511 for timely traffic congestion issues, weather and more. Don't leave home without it!
What We Really Think About Little Talbot Island
Like Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, this beach has a secluded, unspoiled feeling. It is very beautiful. It often feels like you are the only ones on the beach, which can be very romantic. Sand dunes are always amazing and its nice to see them protected and not built up with condos and hotels. For ultimate relaxation, we can recommend it. The scenery is fantastic for those who love photography. You might even see dolphins jumping in the ocean. No dogs are allowed on the beach.
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Susan and Bruno are travel bloggers. We write about Florida beaches on every coast. Our opinions only.