In Northeast Florida, we enjoy the benefits of a highly amenitized lifestyle, from our beautiful weather and gorgeous beaches to our abundance of golf courses, tennis courts, and of course pools, pools, and more pools! Adult pools, cocktail pools, children’s pools, wading pools — take your pick!
If you’re looking to incorporate some or all of these amenities into your lifestyle, you can find them in a variety of communities, from beach clubs to country clubs. What options are available, and how do you decide what will best fit you economically and socially? Here’s what you need to know.
Let’s start with the beaches. After all, this is one of the top attractions that can drive the property search. Buyers commonly ask, “How close to the beach is this property?” Beach access in Northeast Florida is public and unrestricted. Parking, however, is not. Once the public parking lots fill up, alternatives are limited — which is why having access to a private club with beach access is important to many people.
In Florida, beach clubs are unique to the northeast. We have six primary clubs that offer beach access: Sawgrass Country Club, Serenata Beach Club, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, The Lodge & Club, Cabana Beach Club, and The Plantation. These clubs offer prime parking, towels, chairs, and umbrellas (in some clubs these need to be rented), as well as pools, dining, and social and gym amenities.
Golf and Tennis Clubs
Golf and tennis are prominent sports played in our area. Depending on your interest and skill level, a club membership may provide an ideal option to enjoy these activities. Sawgrass Country Club, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, The Plantation, and Marsh Landing Country Club feature some amazing tennis facilities and golf courses.
Cost of Joining
So, what’s this going to cost? Club memberships are structured in a variety of ways, but most have a onetime nonrefundable initiation fee, plus a monthly, quarterly, or annual dues structure. There are typically additional fees for golf and tennis.
Full club memberships for golf, tennis, fitness, pools, the beach, and dining have initiation fees that typically run anywhere from the $25K–$40K range. Some clubs offer “social only” options that include beach access, pools, dining, and fitness.
You also want to determine who’s able to access the club you’re considering. Is it part of a larger resort, or must you reside in that specific community to join? The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and The Lodge & Club are award-winning resorts owned by the same company, and they both offer private club membership. The advantages to these facilities are longer hours for use of the gym, pools, and dining, along with multiple dining and bar options, several pools, activities, shops, and a spa.
Check whether the club has any food and beverage minimums. If so, think about how often you’ll use the club. If there are no minimum costs, figure out the monthly breakdown of the annual dues. Don’t let the annual versus monthly dues fool you — you’ll be spending money no matter what, so clarify what those charges will be. With greens fees, trail fees (for golf carts, if you use your own), court fees, and the prices of food and beverage items, costs can add up quickly. Also find out how much it will cost to bring guests, as you’ll surely be hosting visitors if you live in a recreation-friendly area like this one.
While joining a club is a choice, the benefits are immense to fully enjoying life in Northeast Florida!
Image Source: Sawgrass Country Club