St Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the continental United States. It’s most well-known for its charming Spanish architecture and relaxing beaches. If you’re planning a Florida road trip make sure to add this city as a to your list. You won’t be disappointed. Whether it’s a day trip to St Augustine’s old town or an extended vacation you will find just what you’re looking for. Here are some of the things I recommend doing if you are going to visit St Augustine.
Visit St Augustine: Old Town Charm
No trip to St Augustine is complete without a visit to the historic district. This area is fun to walk around and the Spanish architecture is so pleasing to the eye. Here you can stroll down cobblestone streets, while you shop, eat, and learn a little history along the way.
Aside from an abundance of shops and restaurants, the Old Town is home to the Father O’Reilly House, one of the oldest structures in St Augustine, as well as the oldest house and the oldest wooden school house.
St Augustine is also home to Flager College (one of the prettiest college campuses in my opinion). Its giant live oaks provide a beautiful canopy and some much needed shade on a hot day. Touring the campus is something I always enjoy doing when I visit St Augustine.
Castillo de San Marcos
No trip to St Augustine is complete without a stop at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. It’s the oldest masonry fort in the United States and is one of only two forts in the world built out of coquina (a semi-rare form of limestone). I still remember the fun I had visiting this fort as a child on field trips and with my family but don’t worry, it’s just as much fun visiting again as an adult. Admission is $15 for adults but if you have a National Parks Pass, you don’t have to pay.
Visit the St Augustine Lighthouse
Towering above the trees as a beacon to keep sailors safe, is the St Augustine Lighthouse. It stands out with its eye catching black and white spiral design. The lighthouse is open to the public and admission includes full access to the tower, museum exhibits, Keepers’ House, and WWII Coast Guard Barracks. If you want to visit, general tickets are $12.95 for adults and $10.95 for children. They even offer nighttime ghost tours. Visiting or at least catching a glimpse of the St Augustine Lighthouse is a must do on any trip to St Augustine! For more information on available tours, you can check out their website here.
Anastasia Island State Park
An easy drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown St Augustine is Anastasia Island State Park. This is where you can come for some peace and quiet after an exciting day exploring the city. The white sand beaches invite you to relax on them all day and it is usually less crowded than most of the public beaches in the area. This area is also great for bird watching and is actually located on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. We camped here and thoroughly enjoyed their wooded campsites, an easy walk from the beach.
Are you planning a trip to Florida? We’d love to hear where you are planning on going and what you hope to explore. You can also check out some of our other blog posts about where to go on your next Florida Road trip!