Thinking of taking a trip to St. Augustine, Florida? You’ll be glad you did. Located on Florida’s Historic Coast, there is so much to do in St. Augustine. It is perfect for a family trip, solo traveler, or traveling couples.
Let’s take a look at 14 things to do in St. Augustine, Florida.
- Visit Castillo de San Marcos
- Shop St. George Street
- Explore Colonial Quarter
- Check Out the Lightner Museum
- Tour the Old Jail
- Visit the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
- View the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
- Visit the City Gates Spirit Distillery
- Ponce de Leon’s Fountain Of Youth Archeological Park
- Get into Nature at Anastasia State Park
- Head to St. Augustine Beach
- Take a Trolley Tour
- Visit the Whetstone Chocolate Factory
- Visit the Oldest Store Museum Experience
Visit Castillo de San Marcos
When you pull into the city of St. Augustine, you can’t help but notice Castillo de San Marcos. The imposing star shaped fort sits on Mantanzas Bay and is made from coquina stone. History buffs may know that it is oldest masonry fort in the US mainland, with construction beginning in 1672.
There are daily ranger programs held at the Castillo de San Marcos, or you can explore at your own pace. If you visit on a weekend, be sure to ask about the historic weapons demonstration. Depending on the available volunteers, you’ll be able to see them fire either colonial flintlock muskets or a replica cannon.
And, don’t forget to head to the gun deck for great views of both Colonial Quarter and Mantanzas Bay.
Castillo de San Marcos | 1 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Shop St. George Street
St. George Street is a pedestrian only district of St. Augustine and starts at the Old City Gates and is located across from the Bridge of Lions. The gates were built as a defense system to keep settlers safe. Now, they offer a great photo opportunity.
As you wander the narrow streets, you’ll find shops, restaurants, bars, historical buildings, and museums. You might stumble across live music, historic walking tours, and the occasional pet dog. Don’t forget to bring some cash for the buskers that perform along St. George Street, too.
Old City Gates | 102 Orange Street, St. Augustine, FL
Explore Colonial Quarter
The Colonial Quarter is a two acre section of St. Augustine that takes you through four different eras of St. Augustine. You can tour a replica of a Spanish ship, climb the watchtower, and view archaeological discoveries. Most importantly, it offers a glimpse into the lives of 16th, 17th, and 18th century settlers. Visitors are welcome to explore on their own or join a guided tour.
Within Colonial Quarter, there are a few restaurants as well as a small concert venue.
Colonial Quarter | 14 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Check Out the Lightner Museum
Housed in a building which dates back to 1887, a visit to this beautiful museum is the perfect way to learn about St. Augustine’s history. The building itself was a Gilded Age hotel but now offers visitors an immersive way to experience art, architecture, design, and history.
The museum is home to a quirky array of exhibits ranging from Native American artifacts to shrunken heads. There is a museum store, café, and plethora of rotating exhibits for you to enjoy.
Lightner Museum | 75 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Tour the Old Jail
It might surprise you that one of the prettiest pink buildings in St. Augustine is actually the site of the Old Jail. Built by Henry Flagler in 1891, it has a storied past.
Tour guides dressed as inmates will lead you through the jail as they tell you about the atrocities that occurred where you may be standing. You’ll get up close and personal to the women’s cells, men’s cells, kitchen, sheriff’s office, and more.
If spooky things get you excited, consider the Old Jail After Dark ghost hunting experience. As one of St. Augustine’s most haunted places, you’ll use ghost hunting tools to tour the jail in the dark.
The Old Jail | 167 San Marco Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Visit the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
If you have children on your trip to St. Augustine, you won’t want to miss the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum. This hands on museum displays artifacts from various shipwrecks, pirate relics from around the world, and stories of pirates.
The kids will love the (free!) treasure hunt through the museum that will have them opening drawers and cabinets to find treasures. At the end of your visit, turn in the completed treasure map for a small prize.
Another not to miss exhibit at the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure museum is the audio experience. To experience it, you’ll enter a mock ship, put on headphones, and listen to a multimedia story.
St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum | 12 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32084
View the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
Like much of historical St. Augustine, this lighthouse dates back to 1874 and is 165 feet tall. Overlooking the Matanzas Bay, you can climb the 219 winding stairs to the top of the lighthouse and take in the beautiful coastal views.
Take some time to check out the Maritime Museum for more on the history of both St. Augustine and the lighthouse itself. Experience life at a Light Station through the Keeper’s House exhibits to learn how the Lighthouse served to protect our coast in World War II. You can also learn about the shipwrecks that happened in the area.
St. Augustine Lighthouse | 100 Red Cox Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Visit the City Gates Spirit Distillery
The adults will want to make a stop at the City Gates Spirit Distillery. Located on St. George Street, the City Gates Spirit Distillery offers free tastings for adults over age 21.
The tastings take place in small groups and give you a chance to sample vodkas, moonshines, whiskeys, and rums. In addition, bartenders provide information about each sample. Our favorite? The Apple Pie Moonshine! But, samples vary from day to day.
City Gates Spirit Distillery | 11 St George St, St. Augustine, FL
Ponce de Leon’s Fountain Of Youth Archeological Park
Another historical site to enjoy while in St. Augustine is Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park. This is the place where Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer that came to the Americas in search of the Fountain of Youth, landed in the 16th century.
Leon landed in Florida and came ashore at a Timucua village tucked safely into a small harbor off the Atlantic Ocean. Let the kids feed free roaming peacocks, take in a show, or a living history reenactment.
No trip is complete without a drink from the Fountain of Youth. After you taste the natural spring water from a small cup, you can choose to buy a bottle and take some home.
Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archeological Park | 11 Magnolia Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Get into Nature at Anastasia State Park
Located on Anastasia Island, Anastasia State Park is a great place to hit the nature trails and explore. Anastasia State Park is home to the endangered Anastasia Beach Mouse and the Spanish coquina quarries which helped build St. Augustine.
Of course, the park has plenty of outdoor activities from birding to fishing, and shelling to swimming, and camping and boating, too.
Anastasia State Park | 300 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Head to St. Augustine Beach
After spending time in the hustle and bustle of the historic buildings, a day of relaxation will be needed. Just 5 miles from historic downtown, St. Augustine Beach features two miles of white sand beaches and clear Atlantic waters. No need to lug your beach gear with you – you can rent chairs and umbrellas from vendors on the beach.
If lying on the beach isn’t your thing, check out the St. Johns County Ocean Pier for the opportunity to catch everything from tarpon to spanish mackerels. Again, don’t worry about bringing your own fishing gear. You can rent fishing poles and buy bait at the gift shop on the pier.
Take a Trolley Tour
St. Augustine can be a lot of walking. Put your feet up and book a ride on the hop on hop off trolley by Old Town Trolley Tours. Once you check in for the tour, you can ride all day and get on and off throughout the day as much as you want.
The Old Town Trolley Tours not only provide a ride from one place to another, they also provide facts about each of the 22 trolley stops. If you simply want to ride the trolley loop from beginning to end – it’ll take about an hour.
If you like spooky tales and locations, check out the Ghosts & Gravestones tour. This tour highlights some of the areas haunted places, along with great storytelling and acting.
Old Town Trolley Tours | 40 Charlotte St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Visit the Whetstone Chocolate Factory
If you are looking for a sweet treat while visiting St. Augustine, check out the Whetstone Chocolate Factory Tour. This chocolate factory offers chocolate tasting tours. Yum!
The tour explains the history of chocolate, chocolate making, and how they make it right there in the factory. You will then be given some samples of freshly made chocolate to taste.
Whetstone Chocolate Factory Tour | 139 King St, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Visit the Oldest Store Museum Experience
Located next to the Old Jail, the Oldest Store Museum Experience takes you inside a general store replica from the 1900’s. The museum houses thousands of authentic goods from the turn of the century.
You’ll get a tour as if you are a shopper buying groceries, farm equipment, the latest in home appliances, and more. This tour is partially led by a guide, dressed in period attire, with the remainder being self led.
This experience offers something for visitors of all ages.
Oldest Store Museum Experience | 161 San Marco Ave, St. Augustine, FL
America’s oldest city has tons to see and do. We recommend three to four days to see it all. If you happen to be in St. Augustine in November, December, or January, check out our article on Nights of Lights – St. Augustine’s annual holiday tradition.