Ponte Vedra Beach

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in Ponte Vedra Beach

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Southeast of Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra is the kind of quiet and beautiful place that most people discover through word-of-mouth. It first became known for its 18-hole Ocean Course. Designed by the famed British architect Herbert Bertram Strong (with later revisions by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Bobby Weed), the Ocean Course has hosted the U.S. Open qualifying round no fewer than five times. This stretch of Atlantic Florida is known as the Historic Coast, and it has a distinctive cooking style all its own. Local seafood, including Mayport shrimp, features on many menus, as do such Southern specialties like gumbo and grits. Spanish-inspired dishes like Minorcan chowder reflect the centuries that Florida was a Spanish colony, and a locavore movement in the region delivers freshly milled rice from the Congaree and Penn rice farm and drinks mixed with spirits brewed by the St. Augustine Distillery.