There are so many things to love about living in Northeast Florida. The sunshine, the crystal-clear water and the many parks and preserves that ensure our natural environment is available to all. But, nothing stirs my soul like the area marinas.
I may get seasick on the water, but seeing the sailboats resting in the sunlight conjures up memories of lives I've never even lived—sleepy, seaside villages and adventurous voyages on the high seas.
I happened to be in the Julington Creek area in early December and caught the Mandarin Holiday Marina at the most glorious time of day—sunset.
Owned by Charles Andreu and Lovie A. McEwen, the marina sells gas, ice and snacks to boaters on the St. Johns River.
The New Orleans Cafe, next door to the marina, is the perfect place to wait if your boat requires repairs or service. Crawfish Etoufee, Red Beans and Rice, and Muffelattas are just a few items on the Creole-style menu. A welcome respite from a day on the water, the cafe serves us hearty cuisine, live music and a breathtaking view of the marina.
Mandarin Holiday Marina
12796 San Jose Blvd. (SR 13)
The New Orleans Cafe
12760 San Jose Blvd.