Discovering Ponte Vedra Inn & Club: An Oceanfront Oasis

by Kim (Hudson) Karrasch on June 25, 2024 in Travels,
Resort front entrance

Whether you’re a tennis or golf enthusiast, a foodie, or simply in search of a tranquil beach getaway, this beachfront resort near Jacksonville, Florida, offers an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Nestled on the pristine shores of Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club offers an unparalleled coastal retreat just steps from the ocean. This timeless gem stands out from modern resorts by offering guests the unique opportunity to experience the soothing sounds of the Atlantic right from their rooms. Since opening its doors in 1928, the resort has seamlessly blended historic charm with modern luxury. The resort’s exclusive AAA Five-Diamond rating highlights its commitment to exceptional service and indulgence, making it a standout destination for any traveler. It was the perfect place for us to enjoy our belated honeymoon!

Enjoy the serenity of a private, quiet beach just steps from your suite. Photo courtesy Kim Karrasch.

A Lasting First Impression Upon Arrival

The approach to Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is a grand introduction, with palm tree-lined streets and pristine tropical landscaping. Guests are greeted by iconic red roofs and a stunning plaza fountain as they pull up to check in at the warm and welcoming Historic Inn. The entrance alone evokes a sense of stepping into a serene, upscale haven, promising a stay filled with relaxation and refinement.  

The Historic Inn offers a glimpse into the resort’s rich heritage. This central hub not only serves as the check-in area but also houses the Inn Dining Room, the Tavern, several boutique shops, and The Gourmet Shop—a charming coffee stop and the best place to start your day. History is evident throughout the Historic Inn, as its hallways are adorned with noteworthy newspaper clippings and intricate models that depict the resort’s fascinating development over time. The Tavern and adjacent Great Lounge, provide comfortable spots for unwinding with a drink, playing a game of billiards, or cozying up next to the fireplace. 

From dining, golf, or the beach, it’s all conveniently located within a short walk or cart ride from the Historic Inn, allowing for easy exploration and enjoyment of the resort’s offerings. At every corner of the resort, you will encounter the compassionate and attentive staff who perfectly embody the true “spirit of Ponte Vedra.” They effortlessly anticipate every need and go above and beyond to ensure that your stay is comfortable and seamless. Their commitment to personalized service makes guests feel genuinely pampered from arrival to departure, whether it’s a warm greeting at the entrance or a handwritten note card during turndown, the meticulous care given throughout your stay shows the staff’s dedication to excellence and leaves a lasting impression of exceptional hospitality.

Comfort and Coastal Views in the Superior Oceanfront Suite

Resort patio
Relax in barefoot luxury with stunning oceanfront views and a private balcony from the Superior Oceanfront Suite. Photo courtesy Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.

We stayed in the immaculate Superior Oceanfront Suite, housed in the recently renovated Peyton House. Our arrival was made special with a welcome charcuterie board and wine, setting the stage as we admired the gorgeous suite, decorated in “Coastal Chic—elegance with a breezy vibe”. 

Resort room
Unwind in style and comfort with plush beds and coastal-inspired decor. Photo courtesy Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.

Each morning, we woke up to breathtaking sunrises and the soothing sound of waves. The suite had a furnished patio and a private stairwell with direct beach access, ideal for beach enthusiasts like us! The suite’s large soaking tub, offering panoramic ocean views, provided a perfect setting to unwind. The immaculate 24-hour room and turndown service (with artisan orange-flavored chocolates) was the icing on the cake for our stay. 

A Food Lover’s Paradise: Dining at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

Be sure to arrive at the resort with a hearty appetite! With more than a dozen dining options available onsite, finding the opportunity (and room in your stomach) to enjoy each one can be a fulfilling challenge! Beginning with breakfast, The Inn Dining Room offers a delightful breakfast buffet each morning, featuring freshly baked pastries, specialty hot dishes, fresh fruits, and gourmet coffee.

Food on table
Sip on Florida-themed cocktails at the Surf Deck Grille, just steps away from the beach. Photo courtesy Kim Karrasch.

For lunch, the Surf Deck Grille offers a relaxed atmosphere with beach-themed cocktails and tasty dishes right on the sand. The menu features fresh seafood, salads, and a variety of grilled options, complemented by delicious locally-named cocktails like the Florida Mule and the Ponte Vedra Punch. 

Food on table
Savor exquisite, fresh cuisine with ocean views at the Seahorse Grille, a premier waterfront dining experience. Photo courtesy Kim Karrasch.

Located on the second floor, just above the Surf Deck Grille, the Seahorse Grille provides a sophisticated and upscale dining atmosphere. Guests can enjoy an exquisite dinner and decadent desserts while taking in breathtaking panoramic views of the Atlantic. The chef’s ever-evolving menu features innovative specials with fresh, artfully presented ingredients that please both the eyes and the palate. We had the pleasure of taste-testing a new appetizer and absolutely loved their signature 72-Hour Short Rib and Seafood Risotto—highly recommended! The delectable meal and elegant setting, with an impressive wrap-around aquarium and floor-to-ceiling windows, made for a truly unforgettable night. The moment became even more magical as a beautiful full rainbow emerged following a refreshing rain shower.

Food on table
Friday night couldn’t be better with the Golf Club Dining Room’s Prime Rib buffet night and a perfect sunset overlooking the Ocean Course’s signature 9th hole. Photo courtesy Kim Karrasch.

After a round of afternoon golf, end your day at the Golf Club Dining Room, which offers a specialty Prime Rib night on Fridays. We savored a vast buffet of prime rib, lobster, an irresistible selection of desserts, and more while enjoying the view of the Ocean Course’s signature 9th hole from the patio. The setting is especially magical at sunset, providing the perfect backdrop for any guest, especially golf lovers.

Amenities: A Resort Rich in Recreation and Relaxation

Tennis courts
Enjoy a match at The Racquet Club, home to 15 pristine Har-Tru clay courts and recognized as one of Florida’s premier tennis resorts. Photo courtesy Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.

The resort’s expansive, top-notch amenities cater to various interests and guests of all ages. One of the most popular amenities is The Racquet Club, which attracts tennis enthusiasts from far and wide to play a game on one of its 15 pristine Har-Tru clay courts. The courts sit right across the street from the rooms but are surrounded by thick vegetation which offers privacy and great playing conditions, even in ocean winds. Recognized as one of Florida’s premier tennis resorts, it boasts a team of highly qualified pros who organize diverse programs and clinics. Whether you’re an experienced player or new to tennis, the club accommodates all skill levels—it even inspired us to give pickleball a try!

Golf course
Experience championship golf amidst breathtaking ocean views at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club’s renowned courses. Photo courtesy Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.

Another standout feature is the resort’s nationally acclaimed golf offerings, with two 18-hole championship courses: the Ocean Course and the Lagoon Course. Both offer stunning oceanfront views and challenging play, making them a dream destination for avid golfers. The Ocean Course, with its historic ties and beautifully manicured greens, offers a classic golfing experience, while the Lagoon Course, known for its strategic layout and water features, provides a modern twist on traditional course design. Each course presents its own challenges and rewards, making them ideal for golfers of all skill levels.

Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the expansive oceanfront fitness center, equipped with various machines, workout classes, a lap pool, and a spa. Whether you prefer a vigorous workout or a leisurely swim, the center caters to all fitness needs. The stunning beachfront view is a motivating backdrop for achieving those beach bodies! If you’re an early riser, their beach yoga class is a must. 

Spa pool
Indulge in tranquility at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club’s serene spa, offering rejuvenating treatments and relaxation. Photo courtesy Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.

For those seeking relaxation over exercise, The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is a perfect retreat. As the largest spa in northeast Florida, it offers over 100 beauty and pampering services, including specialty massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and hair styling. Spending an afternoon here, indulging in deep tissue massages, and enjoying the private facilities’ tranquil ambiance was a rejuvenating experience. Pro tip: request masseuse Laura for an exceptional deep tissue massage.

The resort also features several swimming pools, each with its own unique setting and ambiance. The family-friendly pool, with waterslides and play areas, is perfect for children, while the adult pool offers a more subdued environment for relaxation. Additionally, the resort offers a variety of beach rentals, including paddleboards, surfboards, bikes, and sand toys, ensuring that there’s never a dull moment for beachgoers.

Exploring Beyond the Resort: Local Attractions and Activities

Beach and boardwalk
Explore lively activities such as sand volleyball, fishing, and boogie boarding at the bustling Jacksonville Beach and Pier. Photo courtesy Kim Karrasch.

During our stay, we rented bikes from the resort and rode north to Jacksonville Beach and Pier (Jax Beach and Pier), stopping to watch sand volleyball games, fishermen, and the mesmerizing sight of windsurfers along the way. A pit stop for lunch across from Jax Pier was The Grom, which offered delicious subs, sliders, and wraps. The Grom’s casual, beachy vibe makes it a must-visit for anyone exploring the area. Pro tip: Order the Fried Shrimp or Peruvian Sliders for lunch, and make sure to try all the homemade hot sauces and take one home! 

Neighboring Jacksonville Beach sits Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach which offer more golden beaches and a shared charming downtown area—The Beaches Town Center. The cobblestone streets, lined with boutique shops and artisanal eateries, make an excellent spot for a day trip, adding a bit of local flavor to your resort stay. Enjoy an afternoon treat at Whit’s Frozen Custard of Atlantic Beach, where their Daily Flavor Calendar is sure to surprise you—our special of the day was Kahlúa-Snickers, and it was to die for!

Have a beach day with a variety of rentals available at the resort—perfect for enjoying the sunshine! Photo courtesy Kim Karrasch.

The vibrant atmosphere near Jacksonville Beach and others nearby, with a mix of locals and visitors, provided a lively contrast to the peaceful Ponte Vedra beach. While the beaches beyond Ponte Vedra were more crowded, the resort’s private beachfront remained intimate, often feeling like a secluded paradise just for us. It’s evident how much time and energy Ponte Vedra Inn & Club’s staff invests in maintaining their beachfront property’s pristine condition. 

A perfect morning adventure is a trip to Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park. It’s a short 10-minute drive south of the resort that takes you through a neighborhood of stunning beachfront mansions. The beach is known for its unique composition of sand, made up of millions of very tiny seashells, known as Coquina, which is Spanish for “little shell.”  This makes Mickler’s Beach an ideal destination for hunting shark teeth, appealing to both casual vacationers and avid collectors. Pro tip: Take Ponte Vedra Inn & Club’s Shell & Shark Tooth Hunting class—learning the tricks can make the search much easier!

A Perfect Destination for All Travelers

Reflecting on our stay, it’s clear that Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is more than just a resort; it’s a beachfront jewel on the Atlantic that offers a perfect blend of historic elegance and modern luxury. With its prime location, outstanding amenities, and unwavering commitment to exceptional service, it stands out as a premier destination for those seeking a coastal escape. We were particularly captivated by the breathtaking ocean views from our room and the convenience of the resort and all amenities. Whether you’re indulging in gourmet dining, relaxing in the spa, or enjoying a round of golf or tennis, every moment at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is designed to provide an unforgettable experience. This resort not only meets but exceeds expectations, making it a cherished retreat for both first-time visitors and returning guests. 

Couple on beach
Author, Kim, and her husband Dan, enjoying a night on the beach outside of the oceanfront room. Photo courtesy Kim Karrasch.


Cover photo courtesy Ponte Vedra Inn & Club.

Kim (Hudson) Karrasch is a graphic designer and travel writer for Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She is a world traveler and is always up for a new adventure. During her free time, you can almost always find her and her husband, outside either running, boating, paddleboarding, or skiing.