Vilano Fest Tour of Homes features water views


The third annual Vilano Fest Tour of Homes on Nov. 3 highlighted water views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. The traditional festival is a celebration of the history, future, individuality and community of Vilano Beach, conceived by a group of residents who are passionate about their small, eclectic and growing neighborhoods. In 1997, residents partnered with St. Johns County to build a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly Vilano Beach Town Center. Vilano Fest is a fundraiser to underwrite the continued initiative.

Tour of Homes Chair, Elisa Hill, selected a variety of structures that represent Vilano living, intentionally including smaller cottages as well as palatial estates.

“I walk up to the door and ask if they want to be on this year’s tour,” Hill said. “Usually it’s a positive response.”

The tour began at Magic Beach Motel, which was featured in the TV series, “Safe Harbor” in 1999. Built in 1951, the motel has undergone a recent renovation that also restored each room’s unique mural depicting coastal and historical scenes.

Next on the tour was 313 Porpoise Point Drive, a townhome with views of St. Augustine Inlet, the lighthouse, Bridge of Lions and downtown. Having lived in Europe and the Middle East, owners Bruce and Andrea Andrews settled in St. Augustine to raise their daughter, Mattie.

Farther north at 3741 Coastal Highway, the trolley stopped at a three-story home with separate six-car garage housing a Model T truck, vintage gasoline pumps and other collectibles. William and Betty Porter have 5,800 square feet of living space to host extended family for holidays and celebrations. Their third-floor master suite features works by Emmett Kelly and other collections.

Title sponsor Generation Homes recently built 3780 Wahoo Drive for longtime Vilano residents Bill and Kai Long. The 1,780 square foot home has a mid-century modern feel with high ceilings with large windows that flood the space with natural light. A woodworker by trade, Bill Long created functional and artistic pieces featured throughout the home, including a traditional wooden boat hanging in the living room.

There were eight stops on the 2019 tour, which included refreshments provided by local restaurants at the North Shores Community Center at 120 Meadow Avenue. For more information, visit


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