If you’re buying a new ICI Homes custom home in greater Jacksonville, one of the perks is that you’re less than a hour from splendid Atlantic Coast beaches.

If you’re considering buying a home in “JAX” but haven’t made your final decision, the proximity to those beaches could be the clincher!Jacksonville beaches

For most new Jacksonville residents, being close to several beaches is a big plus. There are few better places to catch an early-morning sunrise, and the recreational and relaxation options are nearly endless.

So, let’s assume living near beaches is a good thing for your household. What’s the best way to enjoy the beach once you commit to moving here or buying your new ICI Homes custom home? We’ll give you a game plan. Since Jacksonville’s beach communities align in three distinct areas, it’s easy to sample all three (separately, to maximize your beach time) and pick your favorite.

Let’s say you’re buying a home in Tamaya, our master-planned Jacksonville community. Tamaya’s 780 acres are located on Beach Boulevard, between Kernan and Hodges Boulevards, only six miles west of the beaches. How convenient!

Using Tamaya as a starting point, here’s our guide to planning a Jacksonville beach day.

Atlantic Beach

This is northernmost beach area convenient to greater Jacksonville. From Tamaya, take Beach Boulevard east and turn left (north) on A1A, Florida’s Atlantic coastal highway. You’ll come to Neptune Beach first, but save it for another excursion.

A few miles further is the Atlantic Beach community, which provides enough funky restaurants, hotels and shopping areas to show you a good time with little fuss, but also exudes an Old Florida charm. The road less traveled and built-up, so to speak.

Wide stretches of light gray sand and teal waves invite peace and quiet, but if you’re looking for an active scene, join the surfing crowd at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. You’ll find lots of parks and preserves near Atlantic Beach, plus the historic fishing town of Mayport just north of it.

Neptune Beach

Another day, another beach! Neptune Beach resembles the more laid-back vibe of Atlantic Beach, but with a bit more buzz. Bars, restaurants and lodging options are more plentiful. Yet you’ll still drive long stretches of A1A with mostly residential areas on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the opposite side.

The surfing culture is serious here, too. Those wide beaches and an active Atlantic beckon amateur and serious surfers from all over the region. If you want to dress the part or sign up for lessons, it’s not difficult to find a surf shop.

Jacksonville Beach

From Tamaya, once you reach A1A, turn right (south) to explore Jacksonville Beach. It’s the largest of “JAX’s” beachside communities and offers all the amenities and atmosphere that serious vacationers expect. One is its much-photographed Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier.

That said, Jacksonville Beach is home to many part-time and full-time residents. It’s hardly a tourist trap! You’ll find art galleries, museums, parks, youth- and adult-league sports. The bustle is fun, and with Jacksonville’s even larger metropolitan services, sports and entertainment possibilities only an Intracoastal Waterway bridge away, Jacksonville Beach and its two sister beach communities to the north are perfect getaways for any local resident.

Ready to live the Jacksonville lifestyle? Talk to ICI Homes here.