The northernmost of the beach communities in Duval County is Mayport. Moving south along the coastline are three incorporated towns: Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach. All three maintain their own municipal governments; however, due to the consolidation of the county government with that of the City of Jacksonville in 1968, denizens of these beach municipalities also vote for Jacksonville City Council members and the mayor of Jacksonville. Continuing south into St. Johns County is Ponte Vedra Beach in St. Johns County.
Relations between the Beaches and the Jacksonville city government have at times been tense. The three incorporated towns in Duval County have fought with the city over the ways taxes and government services are shared; this led to a lawsuit in 1979, which established an interlocal agreement. The Beaches governments took up a second lawsuit in 1993 alleging a breach of the agreement, and members of the Jacksonville City Council sought to review the charter in 2006, angering locals. During much of this time the Beaches threatened forming their own county, "Ocean County", though this was resolved following the election of Neptune Beach resident John Delaney as Mayor of Jacksonville in 1995.