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Best Neighborhoods For Families in St. Johns County, Florida

Published on APRIL 10, 2023 by ROB HASTINGS

CATEGORIES: Buyer Resources | Jacksonville Neighborhoods

If you're looking for a great place to raise a family in Florida, St. Johns County should definitely be on your list.

This beautiful county offers great schools, beautiful beaches, and plenty of family-friendly neighborhoods to choose from.

In this article, we'll take a look at the most popular neighborhoods for families in St. Johns County, Florida.

Why St. Johns County is Great for Families

Before we dive into the neighborhoods, let's take a quick look at why St. Johns County is such a great place to live for families.

For starters, it has some of the best schools in the state. In fact, St. Johns County consistently ranks at the top of Florida's school districts.

Additionally, the county has plenty of parks and outdoor activities, including beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and golf courses. And with plenty of shopping and dining options, there's always things to do in Jacksonville and St. Johns County.

Let's start exploring some neighborhoods!

1. Nocatee

Nocatee is one of the fastest-growing communities in the country and has been named the best-selling master-planned community in the United States.

Located just 20 minutes south of Jacksonville, Nocatee is easily accessible via the Nocatee Parkway, which connects to the major highways in the area, including I-95, US-1, and A1A. The community is also just a short drive away from the beautiful beaches of Ponte Vedra Beach and Jacksonville Beach.

In total, the community spans over 13,000 acres and comprises numerous neighborhoods that offer a range of housing options, from luxury single-family homes on the Intracoastal Waterway to townhomes and condominiums and everything in between.

Nocatee was first established in 2005 by the PARC Group, a prominent real estate development firm in Florida. The community was designed to be a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and livable community that meets the needs of its residents.

Nocatee is known for its unparalleled, resort-style amenities. The community has numerous parks, playgrounds, and sports fields that provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. It also has a state-of-the-art fitness center, multiple swimming pools, and a water park that provide a fun and engaging environment for people of all ages.


The Spray Park at Nocatee is an interactive spray playground that spans four stories in height. The main pool at Spray Park covers over 17,000 sq ft, and it boasts over 75 water features, adding to the excitement and entertainment value for Nocatee residents.

One of the standout features of Nocatee is the Nocatee Town Center, which is a hub of activity that features a range of retail stores, restaurants, and entertainment options. It is also home to the Nocatee Farmers Market, which is held every Saturday and offers fresh, locally sourced produce and other goods.

Nocatee has some of the best schools in St. John's County, making it a very popular place to live for families. The public K-8 schools are Valley Ridge Academy and Pine Island Academy. The high schools are Ponte Vedra High and Nease High School.

The Crossing, Greenleaf Lakes, Cypress Trails, Twenty Mile, Coastal Oaks, and The Settlement are some of the most popular neighborhoods in Nocatee. There are also two 55+ communities, Del Webb Ponte Vedra and Del Webb Nocatee, that are attractive to older but young at heart residents.

2. Julington Creek Plantation

Julington Creek Plantation is a beautiful neighborhood located in northern St. Johns County; it's an idyllic neighborhood that offers the perfect balance of urban convenience and natural beauty.

The community was founded in the 1990s with a vision for a community that offers a high quality of life and a sense of belonging. The community was named after Julington Creek, which runs through the area and leads to the St. Johns River. Over the years, Julington Creek Plantation has grown into a thriving neighborhood with over 4,000 homes and a population of over 13,000 residents.

Julington Creek is located in northwest St. John's County, Florida, just 16 miles south of downtown Jacksonville. The community is easily accessible from major highways, including I-95, I-295, and SR-13, making it a convenient location for commuters to Jacksonville. It is also not too far from nearby popular attractions such as the St. Johns River to the west and St. Augustine to the south.

Like most popular communities in St. Johns County, one of the main draws of Julington Creek Plantation is its extensive amenities. The community features a state-of-the-art fitness center, multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, and a skate park.

julington creek plantation

The Aquatic Complex at Julington Creek Plantation includes both a competition pool and a family pool.

Residents can also enjoy miles of walking and biking trails, as well as access to Julington Creek, which is perfect for fishing, kayaking, and boating. Additionally, there is a golf course located within the community, the Julington Creek Golf Club, which offers a challenging course with beautiful views.

Families with children will appreciate the highly rated schools in the area. Julington Creek Plantation is served by the St. John's County School District, and the community is zoned for some of the top-rated schools in the district, including Julington Creek Elementary School, Fruit Cove Middle School, and Creekside High School.

3. RiverTown

RiverTown is a master-planned community located on the western side of St. Johns County. It is situated on the banks of the St. Johns River.

The community is home to over 3,000 residents and offers a variety of amenities, including a clubhouse, pool, tennis courts, and walking trails.

RiverTown is a popular destination for families and retirees alike. The community offers a variety of housing options, including single-family homes, townhomes, and 55+ options.

Capitalizing on its riverfront location, the community amenities include The RiverClub and The RiverHouse.

The RiverHouse is the primary amenity center for RiverTown. The complex includes a clubhouse and patio space that accommodates families and event events. The fitness center at The RiverHouse includes top gym equipment while the yoga studio provides both fitness and relaxation. Two pools, one Olympic-size and one zero-entry, are popular for lap swimmers and cooling off. Finally, The RiverHouse also has tennis courts and a soccer field.

The newest amenity, The RiverClub, includes a boardwalk that spans river’s shoreline while providing amazing sunsets over the large river. Meanwhile, the pier provides residents the opportunity for fishing, and a small launch gives residents access to the river for kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. The RiverClub also offers waterfront dining and a pool. Finally, The RiverClub includes an amphitheater, a playground, and a game room, making it a very popular amenity for families.


The RiverClub Boardwalk is ideal to for an evening walk to view the sunsets, watch the fish jump in the St. Johns River, or see boats passing by.

In addition to its many amenities, RiverTown is also known for its beautiful natural surroundings. The community is located within walking distance of the St. Johns River (there are even some luxury waterfront homes on the river), and there are several parks and preserves located nearby. Residents can enjoy fishing, boating, hiking, and biking.

RiverTown is a vibrant and active community. There are a number of clubs and organizations that residents can join, and there are always events happening in the community. The community also has a strong sense of community that is evident each time anyone visits.

If you are looking for a beautiful, safe, and family-friendly community to call home for your family, RiverTown may be the perfect place. With its many amenities, activities, and several types of home options at all price points, the community has something for everyone.

4. Silverleaf

Silverleaf is a massive master-planned community located in St. John's County that offers residents a lifestyle with plenty of amenities and natural beauty.

The community itself is situated on over 8,000 acres in the heart of the county and is an easy commute to either Jacksonville or St. Augustine. Eventually, the First Coast Expressway, a roadway that will connect I-95 and I-10, will traverse through the Silverleaf area, providing even more accessibility to this area.

The centerpiece of Silverleaf is the Silverleaf Village Center, which serves as the community's central gathering place and features a range of amenities for residents to enjoy.


Even though Silverleaf does not have CDD Fees, it still has some beautiful amenities to include pools, pickleball courts, tennis courts, clubhouse, and more.

Residents can take advantage of a state-of-the-art fitness center, resort-style swimming pool, children's playground, and a variety of indoor and outdoor gathering spaces.

In addition to the Village Center, Silverleaf also has numerous outdoor amenities for residents to experience. The community features miles of hiking and biking trails, perfect for those who enjoy an active lifestyle and want to take advantage of the natural beauty of the community.

5. Durbin Crossing

If you are looking for family-friendly neighborhood in St. Johns County, Florida, you might want to consider Durbin Crossing. Located in northern part of the county, Durbin Crossing is a master-planned community that offers a variety of homes, amenities, and activities for families of all sizes and ages.

Durbin Crossing is encompassed by hundreds of acres of nature preserves and lake views. You can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature while still being close to the newest surrounding shopping areas, downtown Jacksonville, and other attractions. Durbin Crossing also provides easy access to major highways and roads, including I-95, I-295, and 9B, making your commute a breeze.

One of the best features of Durbin Crossing is its two Amenity Centers, which offer community activities, events, and social gatherings for residents. You can choose from two fully-equipped fitness centers, six tennis courts, two basketball courts, two large pools, a splash park, a playground, an open field, and a multi-purpose room. Whether you want to work out, play sports, swim, relax or socialize, you will find something to suit your mood and interest at the Amenity Centers.

durbin crossing

Durbin Crossing has not one but two amenity centers! This picture shows the south amenity center which includes a competition pool and family pool with water slide.

Another reason why Durbin Crossing is a great community for families is its proximity to the A-rated schools of St. Johns County, which are the best in Florida. You can rest assured that your children will receive a high-quality education and have access to various academic and extracurricular opportunities. The schools assigned to Durbin Crossing are Patriot Oaks Academy and Creekside High School.

Durbin Crossing offers a range of homes for sale that cater to different budgets, preferences and lifestyles. You can find single-family homes, townhomes and villas with various floor plans, features, and designs. Some of the homes have lake views, preserve views, or cul-de-sac locations.


St. Johns County, Florida, is a great place for families to live.

With its top-rated schools, beautiful beaches, and plenty of family-friendly neighborhoods to choose from, there's something for everyone in St. Johns County.


1. What are the best schools in St. Johns County?

St. Johns County consistently ranks at the top of Florida's school districts for having the best schools. Most all schools in the county are ranked high in terms of education quality, teacher to student ratios, testing scores, and other education metrics.

2. How far is the beach from St. John’s County?

The county extends to the ocean! Areas such as Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine are part of St. John’s County. However, most neighborhoods mentioned in this article are about 20-25 minutes from the beach. The only exception is Nocatee which is about 10 minutes to the beach.

3. How close is major shopping to these family neighborhoods?

The Durbin Park Town Center is the major shopping area for most of these neighborhoods mentioned. Currently, the development of this town center is in its early phases and includes retail anchor stores such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart, restaurants such as Mellow Mushroom and Keke’s Breatkfast, and a Cinemark Movie Theater. Eventually, when all phases of this town center are completed, it is expected to be the largest shopping, restaurant, and entertainment center in Northeast Florida (and larger than the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville).

4. Are there new construction options available?

Yes. Due to the high growth, new construction is rampant in St. Johns County. Of the family friendly neighborhoods mentioned in this article, new construction is ongoing in Nocatee, Rivertown, and Silverleaf. Several other communities are being built as well.

5. Do these communities have CDD Fees? What are CDD Fees?

Yes, all of the communities mentioned have CDD Fees with the exception of Silverleaf. “CDD” stands for Community District Development. To learn more about CDD fees, visit our in-depth guide on CDD fees.

6. My family wants to buy a home in St. Johns County. How can I get a list of homes that meet our needs?

Easy. Just send us an email at or give us a call at (904) 479-8785 or (904) 515-2350, and as top realtors in Northeast Florida, we can provide you access to the best St. Johns County homes on the market.

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rob hastings realtor

Rob Hastings is a top-producing real estate agent in Jacksonville, Florida and helps buyers, sellers, and investors of homes and property throughout all of Northeast Florida. He works with his wife Nancy as a husband-and wife-team with Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners. When not helping his clients navigate the real estate process, Rob enjoys working on old Corvettes and playing music (guitar and piano). A U.S. Naval Academy graduate and former Naval Officer, he also loves boating and simply spending time on the water.