Casa Marina: Jacksonville Beach Historic Hotel of America

Was Jacksonville Beach …the first Hollywood?? True, the movie industry boomed here in Jacksonville long before Hollywood greats emerged. And the Casa Marina Hotel saw it all! But not before they had one of these! Best Key Lime Martini in Jacksonville.

BEFORE JACKSONVILLE BEACH WAS JAX BEACH!

Two hundred guests dined and danced here during the Grand Opening of the Casa Marina on June 6, 1925, the same day this town got its present name of Jacksonville Beach. The train terminal had just opened a few years prior and anybody who was anybody was flocking to Jacksonville’s beaches. Notables like Al Capone, Jean Harlow, John D. Rockefeller and President Harry S. Truman made their stay here.

CASA MARINA & JAX BEACH HISTORY

It’s not surprising that Casa Marina became a top destination, with its idyllic oceanfront location and stunning views. Jacksonville Beach was the most alluring town in all of northeast Florida when the railroad and depot were completed. Crowds of beachgoers arrived in tents during the height of Florida’s first land boom.

Inside the Casa Marina you can catch a glimpse of what Jacksonville Beach was like during the early 1900’s.  Old photographs line the walls and you can almost hear the music and laughter coming from the lineup of
Model T Fords on the beach. You see photos of the boardwalk, casinos, dance halls, and amusement rides.

What a rich history preserved in this one small spot. Casa Marina is located on 1St North and 6th Ave North , a few blocks north of Beach Blvd in Jacksonville Beach. It’s two stories tall but a third-story penthouse and veranda was later added to the original structure.

THE CASA MARINA HOTEL & RESTAURANT TODAY

Today, over 81 years later the Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant has 23 gorgeous bedroom and parlor suites, each meticulously decorated to represent different pieces of the hotel’s rich history.  Inside you’ll find elegant four-post beds, oriental rugs on hardwood floors, exquisite furniture and oceanfront views from every room!

The Casa Marina is still a top destination for locals and travelers alike. Many choose its Spanish-Mediterranean design and classic glamour to be the backdrop for their weddings.  What could be more romantic than this charming, old Florida setting with the sound of waves crashing in the background?

CASA MARINA’S PENTHOUSE LOUNGE

The Restaurant and Penthouse Lounge is also still a local hot spot for happy hour. Working professionals and beachgoers alike make their way up to the third story Penthouse Lounge each evening just before sunset to catch of glimpse of the breathtaking views while they sip signature martinis. Want to experience the Florida lifestyle to the fullest? Try the Key Lime Martini. Even better than the dessert itself, this drink will have you singing a different tune in no time!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What do YOU look for in hotel accommodations? Is it the amenities, the historical significance…or celebrity sightings? Share with us in the comments below!