Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Upon arrival at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area, the bright, copper-colored sand bordering the Atlantic Ocean stands out. Formed with coquina shell, the beach is known for excellent shelling opportunities. Boardwalks allow easy access up and over the dunes to the half mile of park shoreline where visitors enjoy swimming, surfing, fishing, and birding. From May through September, multiple species of sea turtles crawl up onto the sand to lay their eggs. These nests are monitored by wildlife staff and marked with wooden stakes and tape for protection. After approximately two months, the baby turtles hatch at night and use the light of the moon to navigate to the ocean.

Across route A1A the park extends into Smith Creek and the Intracoastal Waterway. A launch provides access for motorboats as well as canoes and kayaks. The 3/4-mile Joe Kenner Nature Trail winds through coastal hammock as twisting live oak branches cast shade on the narrow pathway. Benches create comfortable places relax and meditate within the woodlands. Though the trail is relatively short, the dense, shady forest can feel like a magical passageway into another world, and it is great for young explorers.

The park is a recognized site on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, and nearly 150 avian species have been recorded here. Visitors should look for herons and egrets within Smith Creek, as well as shorebirds, gulls, terns, and pelicans along the coquina sand of the beach. For best birding opportunities, reserve a site in one of the two campgrounds to start at sunsrise!

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Close to town. Good swimming.

Cons

Can be crowded.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Family friendly
ADA accessible
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Boat ramp(s)
Fishing
Surfing
Bird watching
Wildlife
Sand Dunes
Showers
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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