Mayport is a tiny but distinctive neighborhood in the city of Jacksonville situated where the St. Johns River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. It was named such because this is the site where French Hugenot Jean Ribault is believed to have first landed on May 1, 1562. Today, historic Mayport is simply a rustic shrimping and fishing village, despite having the economic powerhouse of Naval Station Mayport located in its backyard. This small village is comprised mainly of a couple fresh-from-the-boat-in-back seafood shacks that many people would argue have fresher and better tasting dishes than do more refined dining establishments, a fleet of weathered shrimping boats used for commercial fishing operations, an active boat ramp, and the southern terminus of the St. Johns River Ferry.
ST. JOHNS RIVER FERRY
The St. Johns River Ferry is Florida’s only public ferry service. It is actually part of Florida’s famed coastal route, A1A, and carries cars and pedestrians alike across the St. Johns River to and from Ft. George Island every hour. Just a block over from the ferry landing, Mayport Boat Ramp is a great place to go dolphin spotting or watch the antics of the local pelican population.
ST. JOHNS RIVER LIGHT
Two lighthouses are also located on the grounds of NAS Mayport. One, a decomissioned orange lighthouse, is visible from both the fishing village and the ferry. It serves as an iconic landmark for the village.
SHOREBIRDS OF MAYPORT
VIEWS ON THE ST. JOHNS RIVER