From the Water Cooler to the Waterfront: Business Meets the Beach in Jacksonville

Bored of the boardroom? Perhaps it’s time to turn that stuffy conference room conclave into a beachfront brainstorming powwow with a unique space that not only accommodates productivity and ignites creative thinking, but is conducive to Jacksonville’s stunning coastal backdrop.

By Eddie Velosa

With 22 miles of sandy shoreline and more than 270 days of sunshine a year, Jacksonville’s oceanfront setting provides inspiration you simply won’t find between the cubicles. And with so much corporate emphasis on thinking “outside the box” these days, now’s the time to switch the style up and substitute some fresh air and vitamin D for the old white walls.

These oceanside venues offer businesses both large and small the opportunity to add natural ambiance to weekly meetings, company events or client conferences.

Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant

691 First St. N. Jacksonville Beach, 32233

Established in 1925, Casa Marina has been a fixture of Jacksonville Beach for nearly a century. Perched atop dunes along the shore of the Atlantic, Casa Marina’s historic hotel and storied penthouse lends its timeless ’20s-era glamour to select smaller corporate events.

For private gatherings, Casa Marina reserves its entire third floor exclusively for its business guests, and ensures a professional staff to help with logistics. Customize the boardroom to your liking or arrange for conference-style seating adjacent to the outdoor veranda boasting what else than a panoramic ocean view. In addition, the beachfront courtyard offers an intimate setting to schmooze clients or charm colleagues.

Lunch in the penthouse lounge can be reserved or you can choose from an array of catering options in the grand salon dining room that include signature tapas, fresh seafood and buffet-style cuisine.

Hampton Inn Jacksonville Beach/Oceanfront

1515 First St. N. Jacksonville Beach, 32250

The Hampton Inn Jacksonville Beach/Oceanfront is part of the Hilton’s leading chain of quality, value-priced hotels, offering River City businesses more than 3,000 square feet of flexible indoor/outdoor event space. For companies seeking a resort-style feel in an intimate setting—while taking in breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean—Hampton Inn has you covered.

Or if it’s uncovered you prefer, private access to the beach and the celebratory lawn encourages a break from the boardroom. And when you’re done talking business, unwind in the largest pool on Jacksonville Beach—a 120-foot heated, lagoon-style pool and whirlpool grotto with four waterfalls—or pull up a seat at the Oceanside Tiki Bar and Waterfalls Lounge.

One Ocean Resort & Spa

One Ocean Blvd. Atlantic Beach, 32233

If you’re planning a large corporate event or a company retreat—perhaps over multiple days—then the luxurious One Ocean Resort & Spa in Atlantic Beach is our executive choice for a more dramatic oceanside respite.

Just 15 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, One Ocean Resort offers 193 oceanfront guestrooms and suites, and more than 10,500 square feet of elegant indoor/outdoor meeting space to accommodate multiple groups of all sizes. Its close proximity to Jacksonville International Airport makes it convenient for traveling guests, and because it boasts one of the only full-service oceanfront spas in north Florida, your clients and colleagues will enjoy a true VIP experience.

When meetings conclude, a host of group activities are at your fingertips, from deep-sea fishing, sailing and horseback riding on the beach, to golfing at the nearby renowned Queen’s Harbour Yacht and Country Club 18-hole Mark McCumber Royal Course, just four miles away. For an added touch, book the onsite photographer to capture all the candid, milestone moments during your stay.

Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville Beachfront

11 First St. N. Jacksonville Beach, 32250

The Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville Beachfront takes pride in whisking its guests away along with their worries. But if you’re there to do business, they’ll make sure that your time spent away from the office is well served.

Situated in the heart of Jacksonville Beach, this Starwood hotel offers two fully functional meeting rooms—the Orca and Beluga—with the option to combine both into one 1,800-square-foot space equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology and free high-speed Wi-Fi.

In addition, Four Points offers customized catering services and is sensitive to all dietary restrictions. If you’re planning on a morning meeting, be sure to grab a cup of freshly brewed joe and a hot breakfast at The Eatery.

Dolphin Plaza at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park

500 Wonderwood Dr. Atlantic Beach, 32233

Hanna Park is well known for its plush green space, a massive freshwater lake and an abundance of campsites. But what really makes it special are the 1.5 miles of pristine Atlantic shoreline.

Dolphin Plaza sits right on Hanna Park’s white sandy beach and features a 2,000-square-foot air-conditioned pavilion, with a floor-to-ceiling glass facade that faces the water. The facility fits up to 125 people and comes equipped with a sink, refrigerator, microwave and restroom.

Many families choose to host weddings here, which speaks to the natural beauty of what is often referred to as Jacksonville’s own “sanctuary in the sand.” So be sure to book the space well in advance.

Courtyard Jacksonville Beach Oceanfront

1617 First St. N. Jacksonville Beach, 32250

The newly redesigned Courtyard Jacksonville Beach Oceanfront is your economical choice on the First Coast, and part of the Marriott Reward portfolio of premier business hotels across Florida.

The meeting space comprises approximately 2,500 square feet that includes three private rooms, an executive boardroom and a 1,300-square-foot oceanfront main room. The Courtyard Jacksonville is ideal for small offsite gatherings or as a convenient satellite office for business travelers. Complimentary Wi-Fi and basic audiovisual capabilities are provided, and when the work is done, an oceanfront pool, a whirlpool and a wet bar at The Bistro patiently await.

The Courtyard Jacksonville is also recognized by the state as a Florida Green Lodging property.

From no ties to bow ties, choose any one of these awe-inspiring coastal retreats to suit your agenda’s needs, and turn an ordinary work week into extraordinary results.

After all, work meetings can be pretty mundane; they just don’t have to be. Make the beach your office and reward the team with new digs for a day that just so happen to be a stone’s throw from the water, not the water cooler.

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