Beach Driving Is Back At Fernandina’s Seaside

The city of Fernandina Beach has announced effective May 8, 2020, vehicles will be allowed to drive onto the beach to park in the sand at Seaside Park (near Sliders).

Fernandina Beach Florida Beach Driving Parking Seaside Sadler Rd
Seaside Park at Sadler Rd. (photo from archives)
Seaside Park at Sadler Road

The city of Fernandina Beach has a section of beachfront at Seaside Park (entrance at the Sadler Road roundabout), where driving onto the beach to park had been temporarily banned. But this is changing as of Friday, May 8, 2020.

Beach Driving (To Park) Begins May 8th

The city of Fernandina Beach has announced that effective Friday, May 8, 2020, vehicles will be allowed to drive onto the beach to park in the sand at Seaside Park (near Sliders). The city is anticipating “heavy use at that area” [Seaside Park]. The city states “visitors are strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing and employ personal protective measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).”

Beach Restrooms

In addition, the city indicated restrooms at Seaside Park and Main Beach Park will also be reopened on May 8th. According to the city, “restrooms will be cleaned and maintained four times daily.”

Central Park

Also back open as of May 8th are the city’s tennis, pickleball and petanque courts at Central Park on Atlantic Avenue. Downtown along the riverfront near Front Street, Fernandina’s petanque courts are also reopening to the public.

Nassau County Beach Driving

Since the county beaches on Amelia Island reopened May 1st, beach driving has been banned temporarily. But the county issued a press release on May 7, 2020, indicating a plan for beach driving is underway. If the plan, as described in the release, is approved (see below), then beach driving would be reopened at Peters Point and American Beach, but restricted to Nassau County residents only. However, county commissioners have not yet voted to approve this beach driving plan (they will discuss plan at May 13, 2020 meeting). Read more below.

Nassau County’s News Release (5/7/20)

“County beaches were reopened on Friday, May 1, 2020, for most normal activities. Social distancing is still being recommended by the Center for Disease Control. So, in an effort to prevent overcrowding, beach driving has been temporarily delayed.
County officials met on site today with the Sheriff and members of his department to discuss a plan to reintroduce cars to Peters Point and American Beach. The plan includes designated driving lines for safety of beach users and designated parking areas to maintain social distancing.
The initial plan also includes keeping parking areas open for everyone to utilize, but to limit on-beach parking to Nassau County residents only. This would require attendees to be present at each access point to check identification to ensure those driving onto the beach are Nassau County residents.
The scheduled time for beach use would remain 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. each day as previously set. This would include the use of the beach, walkovers and parking lot areas.  
Please note these are initial plans and that no decision has been made yet by the Board of County Commissioners. The County Manager hopes to have the plan finalized for Board consideration on Wednesday, May 13th.  
So far, it appears that everyone has been adhering to the CDC guidelines and maintaining social distancing. Great job everyone! The Board appreciates everyone’s patience thus far.”