Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Beach

Sandy beach
2711 S Ponte Vedra Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082, USA
259 miles from Panama City Beach, FL
Water quality
Grades suggested by our reviewer
Water Quality
Unknown (read more)

Beach amenities

  • Pet friendlyBring your little friends!
  • WCPublic restrooms nearby
  • ParkingCar parking nearby
  • Picnic tablesPicnic benches available
👉 Download a FREE PDF map

About this beach

Warnings and hazards

Use a tick spray for yourself and your dog – there are some dangerous tick species in the area.

Bring a lot of drinking water.

The GTM Research Reserve protects a great diversity of plants and animals in many interconnected habitats and offers a spectacularly beautiful natural landscape for traveling and recreation. It includes salt marshes, tidal wetland, sand dunes, Old Florida Beaches, and estuarine lagoons. If you’re looking for a quiet, uncrowded, pristine beach, this is the place to visit.

Location and Access

The GTM Research Reserve is located at 505 Guana River Road in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It’s between St. Augustine and Jacksonville; you can reach it via A1A. There is plenty of parking and it’s close to the water. For parking, you’ll have to pay $3 (that includes entrance). If you go on foot or by bicycle, you’ll have to pay only $1.


There are clean restrooms and picnic tables by the parking lot – bring your own lunch and you can eat it in comfort.

Beach Access

This beautiful pristine stretch of sand is a good place to hunt for shells, shark’s teeth, and sand dollars. Exercise more caution in the water because the surf is stronger and more unpredictable than at the other beaches in the area. Unfortunately, there are no lifeguards on duty.

Nature Trails

The GTM Research Reserve has several trails ranging from 0.3 to 5.8 miles. They are clean, clearly marked, and with benches along the way. At the start of the trails, you can take a little map showing the distances.

The views are scenic – don’t forget to take some photos. You can also spot lizards, tortoises, armadillos, and various bird species including egrets, herons, pelicans, a bald eagle, belted kingfishers while hiking. On the shore, you can see dolphins, sea turtles, and sharks.

Gay Visitors

There is an unofficial gay meet-up in the GTM Research Reserve. If you’re interested, it’s at Guana’s first beach access point, reached by a boardwalk running from a tall dune system to a pristine stretch of sand. If you go in October, you can also visit River City Pride Parade in Jacksonville.

Dog Owners

The area is dog-friendly so you can bring your pet.

Driving Time

  • 50 minutes from Jacksonville, FL
  • 1 hour 40 minutes from Brunswick, GA
  • 2 hours from Orlando, FL

Hotels and rentals

If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:

Beaches nearby

Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Beach which you can visit:

Beach reviewed by:
Photos from Google Maps
Driftwood on the beachGuana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve beachSunset on the beachSea creature on the sandFishermen on the beachSeashore
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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Beach videos

Fiddler Crabs
An intriguing video of little crabs seeking food on the beach
The GTM Reserve
A picturesque drone made video of the Research Reserve

Weather conditions

Current weather at the beach and 3 day forecast

Best times to visit

Average temperature (°F)
Beach map and directions
The beach is located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 2711 S Ponte Vedra Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082, USA (Open on Google Maps)
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Other beaches nearby
Explore other beaches near Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
South Ponte Vedra Beach Recreation Area
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2 mi away
Vilano Beach
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7 mi away
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve Beach reviews and photos
Reviewed on: February 12, 2020