A short drive toward the coast from Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach is synonymous with golf – though it offers many other allures. The PGA Tour and The Players Championship are played at TPC Sawgrass, home of the famous 17th-hole island green. But don’t forget that the word "beach" is part of this destination’s name. Ponte Vedra’s 40-foot sand dunes are among the highest in Florida. From their peak, they race down to white sand beaches made from Appalachian quartz and ancient coquina. Seaside resorts and private escapes can be found in the twisted oaks and hammocks of wild palmettos. Miles of fresh-water streams, creeks and lagoons course through the natural area. Of course, elegant shopping and fine dining also are widely available.