Since our boat motor gave out last year, St. Johns Riverkeeper has been relying heavily on volunteers like our River Patrol to help us investigate and communicate pollution spills and algae blooms. This summer, we are launching a fundraising campaign to purchase a new Kencraft from Sadler Point Marina, and are hoping to get back on the water soon. Having a boat is critical to the work that we do.
Thinking about the prospects of a new patrol boat for St. Johns Riverkeeper got me thinking about all the great places to visit on the water for food and drinks. Rent a boat, use your own, or consider joining one of the local boat membership groups like Freedom Boat Club on Julington Creek to enjoy hot summer days and nights exploring the river and frequenting these businesses.
Whitey’s is located on Doctors Lake just south of Duval in Clay County. Whiteys features several outdoor decks and bars, great peel and eat shrimp, plus a full menu that makes the space ideal for large parties. Expect to see turtles, birds, and other wildlife in the water, making for a picturesque backdrop especially during sunset.
This local brewery located on Goodbys Creek off Baymeadows Road, offers a parklike setting for enjoying their excellent food and large craft beer list. If you are looking for air conditioning, you can head inside, or enjoy the large patio. This brewery is slightly hidden, but worth finding.
Finding a slip at the marina isn’t always easy, but relax and enjoy the water before heading inside to this casual but fine dining experience. For seafood, this is the place to take your out of town guests (or any of the other restaurants owned by the same local family). The food is worth the trip, but traveling on the nearby St. Johns River to get here will make the journey just as fun. Julington Creek at the St. Johns is a favorite area for boats with tubers or skis. Have fun, and order the special! It never disappoints!
Clark’s is known for the stuffed wild animals adorning the walls and bizarre menu of exotic meats. It could just as easily be known for its excellent waterfront location, and is well worth the trip to arrive by water. Located on Julington Creek as it narrows, this seafood spot is a great place to relax, have a drink, and listen to the water lap the dock.
Take a trip!
The St. Johns is 310 miles long, and if you are willing to trailer or rent a boat in the middle basin, check out Swamp House Grill & Tiki (DeBary), St. Johns River Grille (DeLand), Blackwater Inn (Astor), Renegades on the River (Satsuma), Waters Edge Pub (Welaka) or all of downtown Sanford accessible from the municipal marina. Each of these restaurants are a small treat to a wonderful day on the water touring major tributaries, springs, creeks, and islands that are worth the drive time!