With so many fun and active things to do in Jacksonville, from the annual Donna Marathon, the Players Championship or even just catching a wave at Jacksonville Beach, chances are if you’re here for any length of time, you’re going to work up a sweat. And if you ask us, any level of exertion deserves its equal in pampering, so here are our favorite places to get pampered on the First Coast.
1. One Ocean Resort & Spa
There’s nothing like the ocean to help clear your head and relieve stress. And when I really need an extra boost of zen, I head straight for One Ocean Resort & Spa in Neptune Beach.
Formerly the Sea Turtle Inn, One Ocean is a mermaid’s dream, decked out in sea-inspired decor around every corner. Blown glass sculptures, pearly, relaxing hues, and airy spaces are a breath of fresh air. In the spa, hot tubs with massage jets can be found in the lounges, along with a steam shower and luxury bath amenities.
One Ocean is the area’s only oceanfront spa with more than 40 ocean and marine-inspired treatments. For silky skin, try the Ocean Polish & Marine Detox Wrap, an organic scrub of gigartina seaweed, lavender, and salt that polish, purify and moisturize. After, go for a hydrating seaweed wrap, Vichy shower, and custom massage. The Seashell Massage is a beachy alternative to the traditional hot stone massage, using smooth, heated shells to work out tense muscles and sore joints. Perfect for winding down after an active weekend in the Bold City.
Before and after treatments, a visit to the 2nd-floor relaxation room is a must. There are floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the dunes and the Atlantic Ocean. This is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat from the spa menu in between treatments, too, or just nap, read or meditate.
One Ocean Boulevard
Atlantic Beach, Florida 32233
2. The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island
Though not in Duval County, locals count the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island as one of the area’s MVPs – most valuable properties – and consider it well worth the 45-minute drive from the city. The sprawling 446-room resort is a welcome sanctuary from the hustle and bustle and its spa is one of the best in Florida. Surrounded by salty tidal marshes, Spanish moss, ancient oak trees, and the Atlantic Ocean, the Ritz is a gentle, peaceful outpost.
Heaven in a Hammock is the spa’s most famous treatment, designed onsite to reflect unrushed Southern hospitality. It’s a one-of-a-kind, zero gravity treatment you can only experience here. Also check out the Honey Butter Wrap, where local honey is mixed with salt from around the world to exfoliate the skin. For the ultimate relaxation, check out the Shirodhara and Reflexology Bliss treatment. The foot reflexology is great, but it’s the stream of warm oil that flows over your forehead that seems to pull stress right out of you. If you’re overwhelmed or just need a break, this is the place.
After my treatments, order fresh lunch at the spa pool, private and open only to spa guests.
4750 Amelia Island Parkway
Amelia Island, FL 32034
3. The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
Between Jacksonville and St. Augustine is the historic Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Opened on the south edge of town in 1928 for snowbirds to take advantage of North Florida’s year-round temperate weather, the sprawling property features more than 300 rooms, world-class golf, tennis, and dining.
All that is great, but let’s talk about the 30,000 square-foot spa, the region’s largest, offering 100 different treatments. Try the Watermelon-tini Pedicure or the Sea C Spa Facial, an antioxidant treatment that combines Vitamin C with seaweed to brighten the complexion and moisturize dry skin.
An elegant lobby with soothing water features and soaring ceilings welcomes you, and the amenities galore will make you want to stay all day. Make time for the steam room, dry sauna, whirlpool and sparkling outdoor pool with hydrotherapy grottos. There’s also a full bar, snacks and a sunny day, so even just a few hours here is a worthwhile escape.
302 Ponte Vedra Boulevard
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082
When you find yourself on the First Coast for work, a wedding or a Jaguars football game, don’t forget to pamper yourself at one of our most luxurious spas!