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St. Augustine, FL Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 51
Total Sleeping Rooms 3,579
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 301
Committable Meeting Rooms* 14
Largest Exhibit Space 56,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 26,450 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $119
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $59
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $180
*Maximum for a single hotel

St. Augustine, FL Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to the Meeting and Event Planning Guide to St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches, a guide for meeting professionals. Though it holds the title as Florida's most historic destination, the cities of Florida’s Historic Coast are anything but outdated. In fact, they have managed to blend Old World elegance and modern conveniences to create a selection of attractions and spirit that are truly one-of-a-kind. It's no surprise that the region has seen an explosion of growth over the past 10 years, rising into a role as one of Northeast Florida's most sought-after destinations for business and leisure travelers alike.

Getting to St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches is a breeze, thanks to their location about 50 miles from the Jacksonville International Airport. Operating more than 200 daily arrivals and departures, the airport is less than an hour's drive from downtown St. Augustine, 40 minutes from the popular World Golf Village, and 30 minutes from Ponte Vedra Beach. Once in St. Johns County, the Sunshine Bus Company provides county-wide service on six lines, offering connections to beaches, attractions, and accommodations as well as to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus system.

With a top-notch selection of award-winning resorts, guests often find they have little need to travel far to find everything they need. The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village is one of the largest combination hotel and conference center venues between Orlando and Atlanta. Its 40,000-square-foot St. John's Convention Center features two ballrooms and a pre-convention area, along with high-speed Internet, teleconference and audio-visual services. The 301-room resort's incredible culinary team is also on hand to custom-tailor catering for events of up to 3,000 guests.

Meanwhile, the Marriott Sawgrass Resort and Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach boasts 56,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. From black-tie galas in its 16,000-square-foot Champions Ballroom to tradeshows in its 12,500-square-foot Tournament Hall to an evening cocktail reception at its 5,100-square-foot outdoor Island Green Pavilion, the Marriott Sawgrass has the venue for events of any type and size. Plus, the 508-room resort offers amenities such as a private beach club, world-class spa and more than five on-site restaurants – all perfect for meeting attendees who need to unwind after a long day in the boardroom.

The meeting resorts in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches offer much more than just conference space and accommodations. They are also the perfect place to enjoy one of the region's biggest attractions: championship golf. Planners can treat guests to some tee time by hosting an event on one of these world-class greens. Before hitting the links at the Renaissance Resort's King & Bear course, host a meet-and-greet at the exclusive Trophy Room at the resort's World Golf Hall of Fame.

Or, invite guests to a luncheon at the 77,000-square-foot Mediterranean Revival-inspired clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass. Afterwards, guests can spend the afternoon bonding over the 36 challenging holes at TPC's world-renowned Stadium Course and Valley Course.

Though golf is certainly a top attraction in the region, it is certainly not the only way for groups to enjoy the history and majesty of the destination. Make meetings memorable at Marineland. Widely recognized for its fantastic private event space, this oceanarium welcomes parties of up to 400 people on its 4,800-square-foot deck located adjacent to the dolphin habitats. Or, journey back in time at the Colonial Quarter to experience life as lived in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. For a truly refined setting, consider the banquet room at San Sebastian Winery, where up to 100 guests can enjoy fine food, wines and breathtaking views of the San Sebastian River.

Beyond its renowned resort facilities and unique meeting destinations, Florida’s Historic Coast is one of the highest-income counties in the United States, with an economy based greatly on tourism. The county is headquarters to such organizations as the Florida Department of Military Affairs, PGA Tour, Inc., and the Universal Beverages Holdings Corporation. Florida’s Historic Coast is also home to St. Johns River Community College, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, Flagler College, and the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.

About St. Augustine, FL / Additional Info

A laid-back atmosphere, historic sites and landmarks, 42 miles of pristine beaches and no fewer than 12 championship golf courses are just a few of the many reasons for Florida’s Historic Coasts allure as meeting and vacation destination. Encompassing St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Ponte Vedra Beaches, the 821-square-mile county is a rising star in the Jacksonville Greater Metropolitan Area.

The region's history goes as far back as the nation's story. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is regarded as the oldest continuous settlement of European origin in the country. Its striking architecture and balcony-lined brick streets are influenced primarily by the area's Spanish founders, as are still-standing historical wonders such as the 1695 Spanish Fort Castillo de San Marcos. The massive fort is regarded as a symbol of the city's perseverance and determination, and is today open to guests looking to explore its unique limestone casements or scenic gun deck.

A number of other other attractions spread across St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches honor the area's historical significance and its Native American and Spanish founders. The interactive Old Florida Museum allows guests to participate in daily living activities dating from pre-European times to the early 1900s, with a focus on native Timucua Indians, colonial Spaniards and American pioneers. The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum is located on the site of the oldest aid to navigation in North America. Its current lighthouse, built in 1880, serves as St. Augustine's oldest surviving brick structure. Visitors who climb the lighthouse's 219 steps will learn about its restoration and history and experience awe-inspiring views.

In addition to getting to know the history of the area's human inhabitants, guests also have a number of options for getting to know its unique flora and fauna. A leader in conservation efforts, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is the only place in the world that features an exhibit of all 23 alligator species in one place. Not just a haven for crocodiles and alligators, the park is also home to a vast collection of rare and exotic birds and mammals set in a lush tropical atmosphere. Or, get up close and personal with the fun-loving dolphins at Marineland, which offers several dolphin encounter options for guests of all ages.

Many visitors to St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches choose to enjoy the great outdoors in a slightly different way: by hitting the links at one of the area's championship golf courses. The Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass has been ranked number 1 by Travel & Leisure magazine among the Best Resort Courses in Florida. Playing the course at the Marsh Landing Country Club is akin to golfing at a serene nature preserve, as courses wind through Intercoastal Waterway marshes and lagoons and ancient forests. Meanwhile, the King & Bear and Slammer & Squire courses at the World Golf Village have hosted professional tournaments such as the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.

After a long day under the Florida sun, there's no better way for guests to kick back than by indulging in one of the region's well-reputed restaurants. The county's culinary collection includes the contemporary American and French powerhouse Opus 39, run by famed chef Michael McMillan, and funky and chic 95 Cordova, which blends New World, Middle Eastern and Asian flavors in each of its exotic dishes. Or, diners can take a trip to the tropics by dining in the grass huts at the Conch House Marina restaurant, which serves Caribbean cuisine in a Key West-inspired atmosphere.

 
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