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50 BEST Things to do in St Augustine Florida America’s Oldest City

The oldest city in America is also one of the most beautiful cities in America. Located along the Florida A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway St Augustine Florida has the perfect combination of history and outdoor fun.

Before planning my solo trip to St Augustine, I took a quick look at some of the attractions in town. Not only are there a ton of things to do in St Augustine but the variety of cool things to do is amazing.

I had a blast in St A!

But how do you decide what to do in St Augustine?

No worries! I put together this list of 50 fun things to do in St Augustine.

There’s a whole lot of history to St Augustine, founded in 1565, it’s the oldest city in the USA. And there’s abundant beauty and wildlife in the northeast Florida region.

We’ll start our fifty things to do in St Augustine with some fun outdoor activities.

 

50 FUN Things to do in St Augustine Florida

 

1. St Augustine Beaches

Florida is known for gorgeous beaches.

And St Augustine has several beautiful beaches for you to enjoy surfing, fishing, kayaking, beachcombing, jogging, or relaxing while watching the waves and working on your suntan.

There are so many beaches in and around St Augustine that I wrote a whole separate blog post to help you find the best beach in St A.

The closest beach to downtown St Augustine is Vilano Beach (Surfside Park) at 3 miles (1.8 km) from the downtown area.

 

Sand walkway with wooden fence to Vilano Surfside Park

Vilano Surfside Park is a few minutes from St Augustine Florida

 

Sand dunes along Crescent Beach in St Augustine FL

Sand dunes along Crescent Beach in St Augustine Florida

 

Outdoor Fun in St Augustine

When you visit the Sunshine State, you’ll want to spend time outdoors enjoying the sunny days on the coast. Fortunately, St Augustine is a great city for walking around and exploring on foot. I love walking when I’m on vacation because I think it’s the best way to get to know a place.

One of the things I loved about St Augustine, especially as a solo female traveler, is that I felt safe walking around on my own.

Since St Augustine is on the coast it makes sense to go exploring on the water too! Whether you are into surfing, fishing, or simply want to get out on the water, St A has something for you.

 

A large white lion stone sculpture at the Bridge of Lions in St Augustine FL

A lion sculpture at the Bridge of Lions in St Augustine

 

2. Bridge of Lions

Part of the scenic Hwy A1A the Bridge of Lions connects St Augustine to Anastasia Island. There are pedestrian walkways on both sides of the bridge. The Bridge of Lions is a draw bridge that opens up to let boat traffic through the Intracoastal Waterway.

Walk across the Bridge of Lions at sunset!

I loved walking across the Bridge of Lions for the spectacular views of old St Augustine and you can see the fort from the bridge too.

St Augustine is one of the most charming places to visit in the United States. It’s a wonderful combination of beautiful scenery and history.

READ MORE: 28 Awesome USA Road Trip Destinations

Bridge of Lions over the Intracoastal Waterway in St Augustine Florida

Bridge of Lions over the Intracoastal Waterway in St Augustine Florida connects Anastasia Island to St A

 

3. St Augustine Marina

Does anyone else love visiting marinas? Even though I’m not so much into boating I love walking around the harbors and seeing all the boats, and sometimes some cool birds too!

 

Boats in the harbor with St Augustine Lighthouse in the background

Boats in the harbor with St Augustine Lighthouse in the background

 

4. St Augustine Boat Tours

Boat tours are a great way to see St Augustine from the water. I’m not sure how I missed doing a boat tour in St Augustine, but it’s a great excuse to visit again!

If you do an internet search for “St Augustine boat tours” you’ll find a variety of water tours from dog friendly boat tours to Eco-tours and ghost tours on the water.

 

Taking a scenic boat cruise is a fun thing to do in St Augustine

Taking a scenic boat cruise is one of many fun things to do in St Augustine

 

5. Fishing

Florida is kind of a fisherman’s paradise so St Augustine will keep the fishing folks super happy! St Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier and Vilano Beach Pier are two great fishing spots in St Augustine.

Remember to buy your fishing license for St Augustine. There’s a a freshwater license or saltwater license or combination license so you’re covered for both freshwater and saltwater.

Visit Florida Fish and Wildlife to purchase your license and read up on fishing regulations in Florida.

 

Sign for St Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier

St Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier in St Augustine

 

Perfect fishing spot in St Augustine at St Johns County fishing pier

Perfect fishing spot in St Augustine at St Johns County fishing pier

 

6. Wildlife and Bird Watching

Florida is home to dozens of bird species as well as endangered and protected animal species including gopher tortoises, sea turtles, manatees, and the North Atlantic Right Whale.

If you are into nature and getting outdoors you will LOVE St Augustine and Florida in general. When I visited St Augustine in October and November the weather was perfect – not too hot and hardly any rain.

 

Snowy egret has gold feet and black beak

Snowy egret has gold feet and black beak

 

Gopher tortoise diet consists mostly of grass and legumes

Gopher tortoise diet consists mostly of grass and legumes

 

READ MORE: Best Things to Do in Orlando (besides theme parks)

 

7. Surfing

So what if you don’t have a surfboard and don’t know how to surf? You can rent a board and take surfing lessons in St Augustine. You’ll have fun learning to surf the waves!

Check out Surf Station or Pit Surf Shop for surfboard rentals and lessons.

 

Visit Pit Surf Shop near the beach in St Augustine for surfing lessons and board rentals

Visit Pit Surf Shop near the beach in St Augustine for surfing lessons and board rentals

 

8. Mini Golf

I love mini golf! Near the Bridge of Lions in St A you’ll find one of the coolest mini golf courses – with beautiful views of the bridge and the marina.

 

Red Train Tours and Bayfront mini golf St Augustine

Take a Red Train Tour in St Augustine

 

9. Golfing in St Augustine

After warming up your short game on the mini golf greens you can do a round of 9 hole or 18 hole golf at one of the outstanding golf courses in St Augustine.

Check out this list of golf courses in St Augustine to get your tee times sorted out and have a great day on the links.

 

10. Plaza de la Constitucion and First Friday Art Walk

First Friday art walk every month in downtown St Augustine at Plaza de la Constitucion, which is worth a visit any day.

The plaza is the central park of St Augustine – since 1573. Plaza de la Constitucion St Augustine is located on Cathedral Street (next to Cathedral Basilica) near Bridge of Lions.

 

Historical Sites – Museums – Tours

St Augustine is a dream come true to any history buff. Enjoy touring around these museums on your own or sign up for a guided tour in St Augustine to explore the culture and history with a local expert.

You have several options for tours in St Augustine from the roaming rail or trolley tours around town to specific tour sites. Explore historical St Augustine and learn about the rich culture in America’s oldest city.

 

St Augustine Sea Wall coquina stone info

St Augustine Sea Wall coquina stone information

 

11. Castillo de San Marcos

Plan to spend at least a couple of hours at the Castillo de San Marcos – I have friends that could spend DAYS here!

The oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States, built from 1672 to 1695 out of coquina stone. The fort is over 320 years old!

 

Castillo de San Marcos - the oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States

Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and largest masonry fort in the continental United States

 

12. Flagler College

Flagler College campus is a stunning and attractive college campus. Formerly the Ponce de Leon Hotel, built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler in 1888, the architecture at Flagler College is extraordinary.

Flagler College tours are available to the public, cost is $15. The tour start again on May 27th, 2021 with tours on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm. Find out more about tours at Flagler College.

You can still go and look around the courtyard and the Frog Fountain at Flagler without signing up for a tour.

 

Frog Fountain at Flagler College in St Augustine

Frog Fountain at Flagler College in St Augustine

 

13. Lightner Museum

Located at 75 King St, the Lightner Museum is housed in the former Hotel Alcazar, an 1888 Spanish Renaissance Revival style building in downtown St Augustine built by Henry Flagler.

The building features Tiffany stained glass windows and a great collection of art and antiques.

Check the Lightner Museum website for ticket info and hours .

 

Built in 1888 Alcazar Hotel is now St Augustine City Hall and the Lightner Museum

Built in 1888 the Alcazar Hotel is now St Augustine City Hall and the Lightner Museum

 

14. St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

Want the best view of St Augustine? Go climb 219 steps up the lighthouse and take in the panoramic views of St Augustine. Sunset is a great time to go!

The museum is interesting too! Learn about life as a lightkeeper and tour the lightkeeper’s house.

 

St Augustine Lighthouse Museum

Be sure to visit the St Augustine Lighthouse Museum

 

View from St Augustine Lighthouse Anastasia Island

It’s a great view from St Augustine Lighthouse Anastasia Island

 

St Augustine Lighthouse with black and white striped tower and red lantern room

St Augustine Lighthouse is a landmark that’s easy to spot

 

15. St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum

Do you love pirates? You must go visit the Pirate and Treasure Museum because it’s full of pirate artifacts. Arrrr!

 

16. Fort Matanzas National Monument

Visit Fort Matanzas, constructed in 1740 by the Spanish, along the Matanzas River. There is a large salt marsh and barrier islands at the site. Get your (FREE) ticket, from the Fort Matanzas Visitor Center, to ride the ferry.

Free admission + Free ferry ride = WINNING!

Get more info on hours and ferry times at Fort Matanzas from National Parks Service so you can plan your visit.

 

17. Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum

Located downtown at 48 King Street, next to Plaza de la Constitucion. The building is constructed of coquina stone and served as the governor’s official residence from 1710 until 1812.

Free admission and the interior recently upgraded with ADA compliant access.

 

18. Potter’s Wax Museum

Located on Orange St, the oldest wax museum in the USA features over 150 wax figures – perfect family outing! Get info on ticket prices and hours here.

 

19. Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center

Where was the first free black settlement in America? Find out and learn more on the St Augustine Black Heritage and Civil Rights. Visit the Lincolnville Museum to learn about 450 years of black history and civil rights heritage in St Augustine.

10:30 am – 4:30 pm from Tuesday to Saturday

 

20. Villa Zorayda replica of Alhambra Palace

Located at 83 King Street. Built in 1883 by Boston millionaire Franklin W. Smith as a winter home. The building was inspired by the Moorish Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, built in the 12th-century.

 

Essential St Augustine Florida travel guide

 

21. Ghost Tours in St Augustine

Explore haunted St Augustine with one of the St Augustine ghost tours. Have a ghostly good time while getting all the best ghost stories around St A.

 

22. Old Jail Tours

Visit the historic jail located at 167 San Marco Avenue – more info on St A old jail tours.

 

23. Visit the oldest house in St Augustine

14 St Francis Street – Gonzalez-Alvarez House is the oldest house in St Augustine.

Open from 10 – 5 daily

Tours run every 30 minutes.

 

Oldest House St Augustine Florida Museum

Oldest House St Augustine Florida Museum

 

24. Saint Francis Barracks

Located across the street from the oldest house. This historic structure is built from coquina stone.

Named for St Francis of Assisi. There is a series of plaques honoring military troops from the area.

The building is now home to the Florida National Guard headquarters.

 

Memorial plaques St Francis Barracks St Augustine Florida

Memorial plaques St Francis Barracks St Augustine Florida

 

25. Oldest Wooden School House

The oldest wooden schoolhouse in the United States is located at 14 St George Street in St Augustine – check hours and more info here.

 

The oldest wooden schoolhouse in the United States is located in St Augustine on St George Street - it opened in 1702

The oldest wooden schoolhouse in the United States is located in St Augustine on St George Street – it opened in 1702

 

26. Colonial Quarter St Augustine

St George Street is a great place to explore old St Augustine – shops, restaurants, historic buildings, and free outdoor concerts every week.

 

Taberna del Caballo St Augustine restaurant in the Colonial Quarter

Taberna del Caballo St Augustine restaurant in the Colonial Quarter

 

27. Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park

The Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is located at 11 Magnolia Ave. Learn about the Spanish settlers and explore the theme park.

 

28. Old Town Trolley Tours

Take a tour around St Augustine on the Old Town Trolley Tours – get trolley tour info here.

 

Old Town Trolley Tours stop in St Augustine - a fun way to explore the city

Take a tour of St Augustine with Old Town Trolley Tours

 

29. Red Train Tours

Another option for St Augustine tours is the Red Train Tours – more info on St A train tours.

 

Red Train Tours and Bayfront mini golf St Augustine

Red Train Tours and Bayfront mini golf St Augustine

 

30. Aviles Street

Visit the oldest street in America! Walk the cobblestone street and visit art galleries or get something to eat/drink at the restaurants and bars.

 

Aviles Street in historic St Augustine FL is the oldest street in America

Aviles Street in historic St Augustine is the oldest street in America

 

Annual Events and Festivals

Who doesn’t love a festival?! St Augustine loves to celebrate. Catch the fun at one of these cool annual festivals in St Augustine.

31. Colonial Night Watch

The St. Augustine Colonial Night Watch Torchlight Parade is at 7 pm December 4, 2021. The parade is from the Castillo to the Governor’s House Cultural Center & Museum. And throughout the day the Historic Florida Militia will have reenactment activities at the Colonial Quarter and Castillo de San Marcos.

July 10, 2021 was the 200th anniversary of Florida becoming a United States Territory. A grand celebration took place in St Augustine to commemorate the event.

 

32. Night of Lights – November through January

Over 3 million lights on display in the historic district of St Augustine for the Night of Lights celebration every night from November 20, 2021 to January 31, 2022.

Tour the Night of Lights on foot, via trolley, train, boat or… plane? Sorry, no plane tours but helicopter tours are available.

 

33. Celtic Music and Heritage Festival in March

Celebrate Celtic heritage in St Augustine with Celtic bands, Highland Games, artisans, and Celtic food, plus a St Patrick’s Day parade.

Fun fact – St Augustine hosted the first St Patrick’s Day parade in the world in 1601.

Saturday March 12, 2022

 

34. Music by the Sea from May – September

What’s the best thing to do in St Augustine on a Wednesday in the summer?

Enjoy this free concert series with music on the beach at St John’s County Ocean and Fishing Pier with Music by the Sea. No tickets required – free event. Parking is limited so walk or bike there if possible.

2021 opening event on Wednesday May 26 from 3 pm – 7 pm

Free beach music every Wednesday from March 26 to September 1, 2021

 

35. Concerts in the Plaza from May – August

What’s the best thing to do on Thursday night in St Augustine in the summer?

Free music in the plaza! Another fine concert series in St Augustine at the beautiful Plaza de la Constitucion between Cathedral Place and King Street, just west of the Bridge of Lions.

2021 is the 30th season of Concerts in the Plaza

2021 opening event on Thursday June 3 from 7 pm – 9 pm

Free music in the park every Thursday night from June 3 to September 2, 2021

 

Bayfront St Augustine at Bridge of Lions sculpture of a lion

Bayfront is a wonderful place to walk in St Augustine with Bridge of Lions and the waterfront at your side

 

Churches in St Augustine

Whether you wish to attend a church service or simply enjoy the beautiful architecture and historical significance here are 3 churches to visit in St Augustine.

 

36. Memorial Presbyterian Church

A beautiful historic church constructed in 1889, another of Henry Flagler’s contributions to St Augustine. More info here.

 

37. Cathedral Basilica

Historic cathedral and seat of the Catholic Bishop of St Augustine – get more info.

 

38. Mission Nombre de Dios Museum

A Spanish Catholic mission – more info here

 

Small oquina stone at Washington Oaks Garden State Park beach

Coquina stone at Washington Oaks Garden State Park beach

 

State Parks near St Augustine

Visit one of Florida’s amazing State Parks. St Augustine is home to 7 of Florida’s state parks.

 

39. Anastasia State Park

On Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay from downtown St. Augustine visit the beautiful beaches, tidal marshes, sand dunes, and the Spanish Coquina Quarries site.

There are 139 campsites (for tents and RVs) at the Anastasia campground. You can rent bikes, canoes, kayaks, standup paddle board, or a sailboat.

The Ancient Dunes Nature Trail is an easy and family friendly hike. Info panels along the trail provide facts and names of the local flora and fauna.

Bring a picnic lunch or eat at the Island Beach Grill restaurant

 

Old Spanish Quarries sign in Anastasia Island Florida - the location of the coquina stone used for many early structures in St Augustine

Old Spanish Quarries Anastasia Island Florida – the location of the coquina stone used for many early structures in St A

 

Ancient Dunes Trail at Anastasia State Park leads through the forest, once a series of sand dunes

Ancient Dunes Trail at Anastasia State Park leads through the forest, once a series of sand dunes

 

40. Faver-Dykes State Park

Enjoy biking, hiking, paddling, camping, picnicking, popular site for birding – over 100 species.

Visit the Pellicer Creek and hike the nature trails.

Faver-Dykes State Park Campground has 30 campsites

 

41. Fort Mose Historic State Park

This national historic landmark is the site of the first legally sanctioned free African slave settlement.

Just two miles north of St Augustine it’s a good choice for a day trip.

Along with the museum there is a salt marsh, kayak launch boardwalk, birding boardwalk, and picnic areas.

Museum is open 9 am -5 pm from Thursday to Monday

 

42. Guana River State Park

Escape the city for Guana River State Park and enjoy fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking, and beautiful nature trails.

 

43. Matanzas State Forest

Explore the woodlands and wetlands at Matanzas State Forest. Visit the salt marsh for birding, wildlife viewing. Go biking, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, or fishing.

Matanzas State Forest is close to Crescent Beach and north of Faver-Dykes State Park.

For overnight stays you can book a campsite at Cedar Creek Campground.

 

44. Ravine Gardens State Park

National Register of Historic Places

Ravine Gardens State Park features 2 ravines up to 120 ft deep, with steep banks up to 45 degree angle. Hike the Azalea Trail and enjoy the fountains, ponds, suspension bridge, and maybe see some alligators.

There is a spring-fed creek and picnic tables.

For peak flowering time go during azalea season, January to March

 

45. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas River the Washington Oaks Gardens State Park features gorgeous formal gardens with lots of azaleas and other blooming plants. Beautiful fountain features make for great photography opportunities.

After you walk the gardens be sure to visit the beach with amazing coquina rock. There is a small parking lot and the admission fee to Washington Oaks Gardens includes this shoreline area.

 

Water fountain surrounded by lush garden, oak trees, and palm trees at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park.

Walk the beautiful lush gardens at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

 

Food – Drink – Entertainment

If you really want to get to know a place you have to immerse yourself in the culture. That means you must eat the local food and sample the local booze in order to fully embrace St Augustine.

 

Roasted peppers Michael's Tasting Room St Augustine

Roasted peppers Michael’s Tasting Room St Augustine

 

46. Seafood

St Augustine is on the Florida coast, with some of the best fishing in the USA, so you must try the seafood.

 

47. San Sebastian Winery

Visit the winery at 167 King Street for a tour and wine tasting – check the winery website for more info.

 

48. St Augustine Distillery

For small batch whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka. Take a free tour at the distillery and learn about the process of making booze.

 

49. St Augustine Amphitheatre

Built in 1965 to commemorate St Augustine’s 400th birthday the St Augustine Amphitheatre is a performing arts center. Updated in 2002 the venue capacity is 4,100 people – check St Augustine Amphitheatre website for upcoming events in St Augustine.

 

50. St Augustine Farmers Markets

Visit the Old City Farmers Market at 1370 – 1380 Hwy A1A on Saturday mornings (at the Amphitheatre parking lot) or the Wednesday market at 350 Hwy A1A from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.

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Top Things to do in St Augustine Florida Including Free Stuff

50 Best things to do St Augustine Florida USA

50 Fun Things to do in St Augustine Florida USA

 

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Rebecca Faith

Friday 21st of May 2021

I was in St A in November 2020 and loved it. The weather wasn't great the week I was there, but I've determined to go back another year. I visited many of the places you mentioned and now have some more ideas for my next visit. It was a great place to visit.

Susan Moore

Friday 21st of May 2021

Hi Rebecca, I'm glad you had fun in St Augustine despite the weather, it is truly an amazing city. May you have sunshine and beautiful skies for you next visit :) Cheers, Susan

Will

Wednesday 12th of June 2019

Good timing for your post. We'll be there in three weeks. I'm planning for my family to stay three nights. We're driving there from Austin.

Susan Moore

Wednesday 12th of June 2019

Cool! Have a great time in St Augustine! It's such a fun place for a family vacation, enjoy!

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