Hot Off the Press!
Our annual Best of the Best issue is here! We enjoy hearing from our readers about their favorite local businesses in Northern St. Johns. From photographers to home improvements to spas and salons, our list, divided into helpful categories, gives natives and newcomers alike a go to guide to the cream of the crop.
Enjoy this perfectly curated list and as always, we hope you continue to show your love to these amazing local businesses!
Best Home Builder
Ever heard a horror story about someone’s home? It’s possible that lackluster builders set homeowners up for failure. Look to Master Craft Builders for a high-quality abode, like the ones in Shearwater and Oxford Estates, Silver Leaf, and Trailmark. Readers also liked Toll Brothers, home builders dedicated to quality materials, timeless design, and next-level luxury. Dreamfinders offers homes with beauty and innovation.
Best Interior Designer
Turn your home into a residence worthy of Architectural Digest. Readers had a few favorite local designers equipped with style and the ability to listen, including Donna Haley Designs, Specializing in residential design and remodeling.
Dreaming of your own personal backyard oasis centerpiece? Agua Pools, Breakwater Construction, and Eagle Pools were given the thumbs-up by our readers.
Best Garden & Patio Designers
For a dream-like patio design try reader favorite River Stonework: their in-house team specializes in providing customer-driven solutions reflecting high-quality workmanship. Designing a Garden that connects people and nature, beauty and joy is the goal of reader-recommended Ruah Gardens. “Working with a focus on sustainable practices and a love of Florida native plants, the experienced team at Ruah Gardens is passionate about making your dream outdoor space come to life.” Readers also like Atlas Pavers, where they combine superior quality service with affordable prices to create stunning designs.
Mad Bacon Landscaping is a favorite among readers. “We are your neighbors here in St. Johns! Ours is a small, family-owned landscape company that takes care of the dirty work so you don’t have to.” Readers also suggest Curbscapes, and Heritage Group Landscapes.
Best House Cleaning
If you would rather free up some personal time and let someone else clean your abode, Readers love First Coast Green Clean best.
St. Johns has a few local boutiques, but how do you know which shop stocks the best stuff? According to readers, Makk Fashions in JCP has the best clothing, accessories, and more. If you desire the perfect gift or some upscale fashions look no further than Market Street Boutique in Palencia for inspiration. For home furnishings, our readers recommend Echo in Bartram Walk, JCP, described as “a boutique experience for your home, discover an ever-changing selection of decor, furniture, and gifts”.
Best Furniture Store
Whether you’re looking for a unique piece of furniture or want to overhaul your whole home, there’s a furniture store for that. The knowledgeable staff at J Turner and Co. Design will assist, Some double as interior designers there to help customers craft their space with special pieces from their collection. Many have heard of Woodchucks Furniture for its reputation and quality. Currently, in the hands of its second-generation owners, the staff is committed to the company’s legacy of quality and integrity.
Best Family Activities
Local families in St. Johns are active and love natural settings best. Some reader recommendations include Amelia Island Neptune Beach, Micklers, AMC Durbin, Freedom Boat Club, Beachwalk Lagoon, Hannah Park
Best Antique Store
The Hands down favorite is Sugar Bear just off 13N. Prepare to be transported to another time and place as you wander the isles for hours. Also recommended was Bayard Antique Mall on Route 1.
Best Art Gallery
Readers’ favorite art galleries included Cummer Museum, Cutter & Cutter Fine Art, John Beard Art Gallery. For the best local artists readers love the St. Augustine Art Association with revolving exhibits throughout the year.
Best Day Trips
Two and a half hours in either direction from St. Johns and you could go to Disney or Savannah for a fun day trip. If you are not keen on driving too far try beautiful St. Augustine, America’s most historic small city.
Best Cup of Coffee
Readers say if you want some good coffee and treats combined with good customer service try Brass Tacks in JCP, 1928 Cuban Cafe on CR210 West, Pour Mike’s Coffee House off CR210 near Beachwalk.
What is better than a Margarita on a hot summer day? Readers say Los Portales, Peppers, and Cantina Louie are the best places to find this delicious drink of summer.
Best Health Club/Gym
There’s no better time than summer to start sweating it out. After all, you want to be beach body ready through Labor Day. Readers love our local YMCAs, located throughout the county and each one offers its own lineup of group classes, personal training schedules, and plenty of fitness equipment. Another hot workout place for readers is Training for Warriors in Bartram Walk in Julington Creek where you can “accomplish what you never thought possible” with a focus on losing fat, gaining muscle, and strength training.
Best Children’s Gymnastics
Parents flip for this local gymnastics hot spot. World Golf Gymnastics comes highly recommended by readers. “We provide love and encouragement while inspiring kids to develop self-esteem and confidence through gymnastics. We offer a wide variety of classes including tumbling, preschool, parent and tot, and of course gymnastics at the recreational and competitive level”.
Best Veterinary Clinic
When a beloved pet is ill, they can’t tell you where it hurts or how long they’ve felt sick. That’s why you need a quality veterinarian to correctly diagnose your pet. Dr. Deckard and the staff at Pets R Family Veterinary Hospital provide only the most advanced care to the furry friends of St. Johns, with their extensive services including surgical, dentistry, dermatology, and more, as well as boarding and grooming. Readers also love Dr. Esra at Nease Animal Hospital is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA), a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist (CCRT), and a Certified Spinal Manual Therapist and has a special interest in Chinese Herbal Medicine.
Best Family Physician
Our readers chose Dr. Donald Levine (Baptist Primary) when it comes to their healthcare. “He listens to his patients and includes their perspectives in the care he provides. He enjoys getting to know the families he treats.” Readers also love Dr. Richard Townsend (Flagler Health), and Dr. Allison Mabus (Ascension),
Dr. Lewis and Dr. Barlow at Bartram Dental Center near Grumpy’s on CR210 East are well-loved by readers. “Patients receive exceptional, gentle services centered on building strong, beautiful smiles. Bartram Dental dedicates our efforts to improving the dental health of patients in St. Johns, FL.” In World Golf Village you will find another reader favorite, Polished Dental, a Veteran-owned full-service dental practice, providing cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry.
Those pesky braces may be a challenge, but with the right doctor in charge of the process a beautiful smile is close at hand. Expert orthodontic care comes from experience and customer service, two things you can expect from reader-recommended Smiles by Glenos and Hadgis in JCP & St. Augustine, “Our mission is to provide each and every patient with the highest quality, most affordable orthodontic services available anywhere in a manner that makes the entire experience a pleasure”. Another option readers love is Dr. Henry at Henry Advanced Orthodontics off CR210 West. “He treats everyone like family and ensures the best long-term outcomes for their dental health”.
If you want a top-notch photographer go to Ozzy Trevino Photography. His impeccable work speaks for itself, whether you are looking for personal, professional, or artistic photography. You’ll also want the best photographer to capture cherished memories of your children through the years. Families of St. Johns trust Mindy Kerr at Nature’s Child Photography to capture these moments. Mindy takes advantage of the region’s natural beauty, using outdoor light and surroundings to enhance family photos, as well as in-studio stylized photography. Some other reader recommendations include Rachelina Marshall Photography and MColichio Photography.
Best Day Spas
Go ahead, pamper yourself. Readers love Massage Green in JCP with its expert massages and facials, a couples room & more. Ponte Vedra Inn and Spa was a reader favorite. With its world-class quality, the Spa offers an extensive menu of over 100 beauty and body treatments, a comprehensive mix of the familiar and the exotic. If you are looking for a medical spa, look no further than reader favorite, Amason Aesthetics where they seek to enhance your natural beauty and give you the confidence that you need and deserve with services including hydrafacials, microneedling, dermal filling, and hair restoration. Readers also enjoy The Spa at Bartram Walk.
Best Auto Repair
Looking for reliable and trustworthy services for all your vehicle’s needs? Our readers love Tuffy’s in JCP & Mr. Benchwrench on 13N.
For the best products and customer service in our community readers love family-owned Mad Bacon Golf Carts on 210 West near St. Johns Golf and Country.
Best Hair Salons
Head into summer with a new look. Get perfectly coiffed at perennial favorite, Brush Salon on 210 West. Looking for a combination of luxury and nature for your styling experience? Try reader-recommended Frangipani Salon in JCP. “At Frangipani, we bring the ease, warmth, and joy of beachside life—and the recognition of nature’s ability to heal and transform—to every service.” Need an alternative? Get inspired by stylists at Salontique or Willow Salon.
Readers recommend Lamar Wheeler at Wheeler & Associates. They have been in business for 40 years in Jacksonville and possess extensive experience in all areas of accounting.