Whitey's Fish Camp
Fleming Island, FL
Clark's Fish Camp
Safe Harbor Seafood
Atlantic Beach, FL
Singletons Seafood Shack
Atlantic Beach, FL
Flowing north, the river turns eastward as it nears Jacksonville and continues east, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean at Mayport. While the south side of the river at Mayport is a military base and bustling urban area, visitors will discover several State Parks and a National Preserve along the coast north of the river. There is no bridge over the river here; a National Park ferry service operates at Mayport.
Whitey's Fish Camp... www.whiteysfishcamp.com 2032 County Road 220, Fleming Island, FL 32003
Whitey's Fish Camp is located on Swimming Pen Creek off Doctors Lake at Fleming Island, about 5 miles by boat from the St. Johns. The sprawling restaurant - opened in 1963 - contains several bars and dining areas, both inside and out. (More seating than any fish-camp restaurant we've ever seen!) Steamed shrimp dishes are a specialty, along with mostly deep-fryer fare. In addition to food, there's an RV Park, boat ramp and rentals (kayaks, john boats), bait and tackle shop. Nightly dinner specials with live music Wednesday through Sunday nights on the deck.
Clark's Fish Camp... www.clarksfishcamp.com 12903 Hood Landing Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32258
Clark's Fish Camp is located at Hood's Landing on Julington Creek, about 3 miles off the St. Johns by boat. Seating is available both inside and out. Today it's far removed from its bait-and-tackle roots 30+ years ago. The extensive menu ranges from fish-camp foods to ostrich and kangaroo. Featuring one of the largest privately held collections of taxidermy in the country, a menagerie of wild animals surround you in the dining and bar areas. Some may find it unappetizing, but we were glad to read that the animals mostly come from zoos and died from natural causes and not hunting.
Safe Harbor Seafood... www.safeharborseafoodmayport.com 4378 Ocean St #3, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
A popular seafood market that does a huge to-go lunch business. A few small tables, but no table service. We stopped by twice, before and after prime lunch hours. In both cases the lines were still almost out the door. Obviously the seafood is great. If you're on the go, this is the place. For a more relaxed meal, check out Singleton's just up the street.
Singleton's Seafood Shack... www.facebook.com/singletonsmayport 4728 Ocean St, Atlantic Beach, Florida 32233
Seafood market, restaurant, and working boat dock. A funky, laid-back place; the seafood may not be as popular as up the street, but full table service, and their coleslaw is great. Nothing fancy; plastic ware, wooden tables, and bar. Some outside seating. Seasonal weekend live music. Surprise Bonus: tucked to the side is a free carved wooden boat museum, featuring work by the original owner. Unique & enjoyable.
Sandollar Restaurant... www.sandollarrestaurantjax.com 9716 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Located on the quiet north shore of the river (near ferry), the location has some challenges. State Parks and preserves dominate the area, so far fewer people. The restaurant layout seemed a little quirky (pink chairs?), but the outside deck is huge. Live music Friday-Sunday (weather permitting). The deck was closed during our summertime visit. Lots of outdoor recreational opportunities nearby, so after a day of fun, we're looking forward to a return visit when cooler.
Note: downtown Jacksonville... there are a couple of restaurants along the river downtown, but not flip-flop friendly, so we omit them here.