St. Augustine is a beautiful city in northeast Florida known for its rich history. St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States. The city has many historical landmarks, including the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States.

In addition to its historical attractions, St. Augustine has a vibrant downtown area with shops, restaurants, and bars. The city is also home to several beautiful beaches, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals.

History is something other than what you visit in St. Augustine. You feel it in the air, in the people, in the food, and in the architecture.

Is St. Augustine worth a visit? 

Yes! St. Augustine, Florida, is totally worth a visit. St. Augustine is a city with a lot to offer visitors. It is not just a tourist town. The city’s richness and depth can be found in its history, culture, and people. When visiting St. Augustine, you may explore historical sites, indulge in delicious food or shopping on St. George Street, tour the area on a sailboat, climb a lighthouse, rent a coupe car, and much more. There is something for everyone. 

My family and I love St. Augustine and have been visiting for over 20 years. St. Augustine is one of those places that always surprises us. The historic buildings, the cafes, the shops, and all of the activities always mesmerize us. There is always something new to try. 

What are the best months to visit St. Augustine?

The best time to visit St. Augustine is between March and May. During this time, the crowds will be less, and the temperature will be more comfortable. This will also be the cheapest (less expensive) time to visit St. Augustine, given that it is the low season.

Having said that, if you plan to explore the beaches around St. Augustine, you will be better off during the summer months due to the weather. 

Another thing to remember is that St. Augustine is famous for the Night of Lights during the Holiday Season. Although the weather can still be warm, this would be a unique experience you want to check out.

How many days do you need in St. Augustine? 

I recommend 2-3 days to explore the main sites and attractions in St. Augustine. 

Where to stay in St. Augustine

St. Augustine offers a variety of accommodations, from beautiful Bed and Breakfasts to boutique hotels, chain hotels, particular houses, and everything in between. 

Casa Monica ResortThis luxury hotel is in the Old Town historic district. It is a beautiful hotel with Mediterranean Revival-style architecture. The hotel has many amenities, including a spa, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool.

The Francis InnThis bed and breakfast is in the heart of the Old Town historic district. It is a beautiful inn with Victorian-style architecture. The inn has impressive amenities, including a complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea.

The Ponce de Leon Hotel: This historic hotel is in the heart of the Old Town historic district. It is a beautiful hotel with Spanish Colonial Revival-style architecture. The hotel has a spa, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool.

Aura St. Augustine: This boutique hotel is in the heart of the Old Town historic district. It is a beautiful hotel with a modern design. The hotel has a spa, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool.

What is the prettiest street in St. Augustine? 

The prettiest street and most Instagrammable spot in St. Augustine is Magnolia Avenue. 

Magnolia Avenue is a beautiful street in St. Augustine lined with 100-year-old oak trees that create a canopy of Spanish moss. 

Magnolia Avenue is a popular spot for photographers and locals who enjoy walking, biking, and driving along the avenue.

Tip: If you are trying to take photos/video, get there before the Fountain of Youth opens to get your best shots with fewer people. 

Is St. Augustine a walkable city? 

Yes! St. Augustine is a walkable city. 

St. Augustine is pedestrian-friendly, with sidewalks and crosswalks throughout the city.

What is so special about St. Augustine? 

St. Augustine is a beautiful city with mesmerizing Spanish architecture and history. One thing that makes St. Augustine special is that it is the oldest city in the United States. St. Augustine is known as the ancient city, so imagine the richness in history, culture, and architecture. 

Are the beaches pretty in St. Augustine?

St. Augustine is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. There are more than 40 miles of beaches to be explored. Here are our top 4 beaches in St. Augustine. 

Anastasia State Park

This beautiful state park is ranked #6 on the best state park list and is known for various recreational activities. Anastasia State Park is a popular destination for camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, bird watching, and kayaking. The park also has a campground with 139 sites, a visitor center, a playground, and a gift shop.

Crescent Beach

The beach is named for its crescent-shaped shoreline, approximately 2 miles long. The sand is soft and white, and the water is typically calm and clear. Several public access points along the beach and a few small shops and restaurants exist.

Mickler’s Landing Beachfront Park

This public beach park is located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It is a popular destination for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and shark tooth hunting. The beach is known for its soft, pink coquina sand and clear, calm waters. 

Vilano Beach

Just north of the historic district, Vilano Beach is a charming community, and the beach is one of St. Augustine’s best-kept secrets. Here, you can also spot the Vilano Beach Lock Bridge. The Vilano Beach Lock Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that crosses over A1A in Vilano Beach, Florida. It is a popular spot for couples to attach padlocks to the bridge’s railings to symbolize their love. 

Where to eat in St. Augustine

St. Augustine has a rich history and culture, and its food scene is no exception. From Spanish tapas to Southern comfort food, there’s something for everyone in St. Augustine.

The Columbia Restaurant: This iconic restaurant has served Spanish and Cuban cuisine since 1915. The menu features classic dishes like paella, ropa vieja, and flan.

SunDay Gathering Table: Classic cafe fare & sourdough bread are featured at this casual, light-filled, bohemian eatery. You may eat in the neatly decorated dining room or the beautiful tables surrounding a beautiful fountain on their patio. Open for Breakfast and Lunch.

The Floridian: This fine-dining restaurant offers a tasting menu that changes seasonally. The menu features locally sourced ingredients and creative dishes that showcase the flavors of Florida.

The Hyppo: This hip spot serves gourmet popsicles made with all-natural ingredients. The popsicles are infused with herbs and spices, creating unique and delicious flavors.

Meehan’s Irish Pub & Seafood House: This casual restaurant serves classic Irish dishes like corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie.

Coffee House Realty Cafe: This casual coffee house is the perfect place to stop for a quick bite, a cup of coffee, or a refreshing drink as you walk towards or from the Fountain of Youth or the Old Jailhouse. Great desserts, coffee, and atmosphere.

What to do in St. Augustine

Visit the Castillo de San Marcos: This massive Spanish fort was built in the 1600s and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in St. Augustine. 

We love to pack hot beverages and treats and head to the Castillo de San Marcos for sunrise. St. Augustine feels so different when most people are still sleeping. If sitting on the edge of a national monument, feet dangling over the water, seeing the sailboats come and go, spotting dolphins, turtles, and manatees, and enjoying the sunrise doesn’t sound magical to you, then I don’t know what would. 

Castillo de San Marcos is open to the public for tours. Visitors can walk through the fort, explore the barracks, and see the cannons used to defend the city. 

When are the cannons fired at the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine?

Cannons demonstrations occur most Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m. 

Explore the Old Town historic district: This area is home to several well-preserved colonial buildings, including the Old City Gates, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, and the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum.

One of the things we love to do in St. Augustine is to grab a cup of coffee and walk the old town’s historic district. As you walk and explore, you will stumble upon beautiful streets and buildings full of history. 

Take a trolley tour: This is a great way to see the city’s top attractions and learn about its history.

Take a tour of Flagler College: This private college was founded in 1889 by Henry Flagler, a wealthy industrialist who built many grand hotels and mansions in St. Augustine. The college’s campus is in the heart of the city’s historic district and is home to several beautiful buildings, including the Ponce de Leon Hotel. Flagler College is known for its strong academics and beautiful campus.

Visit the Lightner Museum: This museum is housed in a beautiful former hotel and features a collection of art, antiques, and artifacts from around the world.

Take a boat tour: Many boat tours offer a unique perspective of the city and its surroundings. 

You genuinely get a different feeling seeing St. Augustine from the water. My husband and I booked a tour with Schooner Freedom Charters in St. Augustine during our last trip. The schooner Freedom is the largest U.S. Coast Guard Certified Sailing Vessel in St. Augustine.

They offer Day Sail Adventures, Sunset Sails, and Moonlight Sails. Although we truly wanted to do the Sunset Sail, no spots were left when we called to make the reservation. Having said that, we had a fantastic time in the Day Sail. We enjoyed the breeze, saw marine life, and saw St. Augustine from a different angle. 

They book up very fast, so be sure to call them to make a reservation as soon as you know the dates of your visit to St. Augustine. 

Go shopping on St. George Street: This pedestrian-only street has shops, boutiques, and art galleries.

Find the Love Trees: Love trees are two different species of trees that grow together in the same spot. They are a common sight in St. Augustine, Florida, due to the city’s humid climate. The most famous love tree in St. Augustine is located on Cordova Street, near Tolomato Cemetery. It is a live oak tree that has a palm tree growing directly through it. There are several legends about how these love trees came to be. One legend says that two lovers planted the trees, one palm, and one oak, and as their love grew, the trees fused together. Another legend says that a lightning strike created the trees.

Relax on the beach: St. Augustine has several beautiful beaches, including the St. Augustine Beach Pier and the Anastasia State Park Beach.

Rent a Scoot Coupe car: Although you can explore most of St. Augustine by foot, you can also rent a scoot coupe and have a great time exploring the city in a quirky, fun way. 

We wanted to do something different during our last visit to St. Augustine. We saw a few people driving these cute little cars, and they were having so much fun. We decided to go ahead and rent one. We had the time of our lives. It really was such a fun way to explore St. Augustine. 

What is a scoot-coupe car? 

A Scoot coupe is a three-wheel motorcycle dressed in a cute car costume. 

How fast does the scoot-coupe car go? 

A Scoot coupe goes up to 30 miles an hour. Having said that, it feels faster. 

The Fountain of Youth Archeological Park: It is a 15-acre themed park with historic preservations, archaeological finds, living history recreations, a barbecue cafe, a picnic area, cannon and small arms demonstrations, and resident peacocks who wander the property at will. And, of course, the Fountain of Youth. 

During our visit, we were surprised by the peacocks showing us their beautiful arrangement of feathers. You can drink water from the spring (Fountain of Youth), which is said to have healing properties, but you can also learn about the fountain’s history and legend.

Old Jail House: The Old Jail Museum offers tours that last about 30 minutes. The tours take visitors through the jail, including the cells, the gallows, and the sheriff’s office. The museum also has exhibits about the history of the jail and its prisoners.

What are the Nights of Lights in St. Augustine?

It is an impressive Festival of Lights in St. Augustine. During Nights of Lights, St. Augustine glows with millions of holiday lights, creating a magical atmosphere.

When are the Nights of Lights in St. Augustine?

The Nights of Lights in St. Augustine changes slightly every year. For 2023-2024, the festival will run from November 18, 2023, to January 31, 2024. 

Sunrise in St. Augustine

Here are some of the best spots to see the sunrise in St. Augustine

The Castillo de San Marcos: This massive Spanish fort is a popular spot to watch the sunrise. You can climb to the top of the fort for panoramic views of the city and the ocean.

The Bridge of Lions: This historic bridge offers stunning views of the Matanzas River and the Atlantic Ocean. You can walk or bike across the bridge to St. Augustine Beach, where you can watch the sunrise over the ocean.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is located on Anastasia Island, across the Matanzas River from St. Augustine. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse for 360-degree views of the city and the surrounding area.

The Anastasia State Park has several beaches and hiking trails, making it a great place to watch the sunrise. You can also go for a swim in the ocean or have a picnic on the beach before sunrise.

The Vilano Beach Pier: This pier is a popular spot for fishing and a great place to watch the sunrise. You can walk or bike to the pier or take a boat tour that departs from the pier.

Parking in St. Augustine 

There are a lot of places to park when visiting St. Augustine. The later in the day it gets, the trickier it may become. Just be patient; people are always coming and going, so if the parking lots seem busy, take your time, and eventually, you will find a spot. 

A popular parking spot in St. Augustine is the Historic Downtown Parking Facility. It is right next to the visitor center. This parking facility is open from 7 am to 9 pm.

We like to park at one of the largest lots in St. Augustine, the Castillo de San Marcos lot. It makes it central to most of the activities and attractions. 

You will also find street parking with meters as you enter the Downtown area. Just be sure to pay and reset your time as necessary. If you know you will use the meters, download the city app to make payment easier. You can download the ParkStAug App here

In addition, you will find a few private lots throughout the city with an attendant charging for parking. Be sure to have cash if you need to use one of these lots. 

Is there any free parking in St. Augustine?

Yes. All meters and city pay stations are free to use on Sundays and national holidays. 

The city-marked meters and pay stations are free Monday- Saturday before 8:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. 

St. Augustine is a city with a rich history and culture. There are many things to see and do in St. Augustine, from exploring the historic Old Town to visiting the Castillo de San Marcos. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or simply a relaxing vacation, St. Augustine is the perfect destination.

You might also enjoy: