Looking for the best things to do in St. Augustine? You’ve come to the right place!
Being a beach person, I have always loved to explore the shorelines and recently had the most exuberating experience on my trip to the oldest city of the United States—St. Augustine, Florida. This city is a historical landmark, has a diverse cultural heritage, and offers an array of things to do and places to explore.
The “Nation’s Oldest City” is situated on the northeastern Atlantic coast of the Sunshine State. St. Augustine was established in 1565 by the Europeans and is the most ancient continuously inhabited settlement of the United States.
It is the first successfully established Spanish settlement in Florida and owes its diversified cultural and historic ethnicities to the Spanish, Europeans, African-Americans, Greeks, and Native Americans.
St. Augustine is a coastal city with 42 miles of awe-inspiring beaches like St. Augustine, Crescent, Ponte Vedra Beach, and many more pristine beaches.
There are several museums like the Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, Lightner Museum, and Pirates and Treasure Museum, where you can explore the city’s history and take a trip through time with unique historical artifacts, paintings, monuments, and much more.
You may also experience the swoon-worthy wildlife at the protected sanctuary of the Anastasia State Park or visit The Castillo de San Marcos Fortress or the Fountain of Youth. St. Augustine is a treasure and pride of Florida with lots of amazing attractions and places to explore. Experiencing the serenity and divine beauty of this city is pure bliss.
It is a fabulous vacation getaway for family trips, Romantic retreats, solo explorations, and chilled-out bachelor fun times. If you are planning a vacation to Florida, note that there are tons of exciting and unique things to do in St. Augustine. Listed here are some of the best!
Table of Contents
The 12 Best Things To Do In St. Augustine, Florida
1 S Castillo Dr. // +19048296506
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is a gem of St. Augustine. Situated at the western shore of Matanzas Bay, it was built by the Spanish to defend Florida and protect the trade routes on the Atlantic.
Castillo de San Marcos is the most ancient masonry fortress in the United States, preserved as a historical tourist attraction of the city.
The museum has been a military center that has witnessed the formation of history with the rise and fall of several empires. The monument depicts over 300 years of cultural intersections.
Plan a day-long trip to the monument and explore the Fort with its rich history, stories, and architectural facts. I used their self-guided tour app—Castillo’s Park App, to explore without a professional.
You can also experience an entirely new perspective of the Fort with their virtual tours, which allows you to read the exhibit, watch videos, and access closed and inaccessible areas virtually, without a waiting line.
Plan a relaxing picnic at the recreational area offered by the Fort’s green and witness amazing views from the gun deck.
Watch historical videos in the theater room and live-firing demonstrations of historic cannons and muskets. Engage and interact with the rangers, volunteers who would love to entertain you and answer all your questions. You may also take pictures.
A full-day trip to Castillo de San Marcos will allow you to closely experience the history of St. Augustine and have a wonderful time exploring this ancient Masonry Monument.
The monument was formerly known as the Colonial Spanish Quarter because Spain established it as a living museum. The Colonial Quarter is a premium site and one of the best attractions of St. Augustine. It’s spread over an area of two2 acres.
It illustrated life in St. Augustine during the 1740s. The 1740s were the peak ruling reign for the Spanish in the city.
The Colonial Spanish Quarter was shut down as the Living History Museum in 2011 and renovated/reopened in 2013 as The Colonial Quarter. It is a hot tourist attraction and a fascinating place for visitors.
Are you exploring things to do in St. Augustine that include historical buildings, fantastic restaurants, and shops? The Colonial Quarter is the best location to marry all of that. In addition, the place is famous for its live music and presents local bands every night for a mesmerizing experience.
11 Magnolia Ave. // +19048293168
Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is a site of antiquity and a great legend. A Spanish explorer discovered Ponce de Leon’s in the 16th century. The legend states that the “Fountain Of Youth” is a spring of eternal hope that rejuvenates and restores the Youth of anything who drinks from it.
The Fountain of Youth is a fifteen-acre archeological park and a living proof of the rich history of St. Augustine. Many ancient artifacts, structures, and remains were discovered related to the city’s Spanish rule.
The Fountain of Youth holds several attractions like the Planetarium, gift shops, Spanish lookout tower, cafe, and the reconstructed Native American Timucua village of Seloy that depicts the life of native Americans during the Spanish reign.
The Fountain of Youth is open for exploration from 9 am to 6 pm daily. It offers a chance to explore St. Augustine’s history, spend some fun time with your family, and enjoy some delicious cuisines. It is also available for hosting parties, weddings, and events.
111 Avenida Menendez // +19048101010
The Schooner Freedom is a privately owned and operated chartered vessel and one of the most exotic tourist attractions of St. Augustine. Captain John Zaruba and his family own it. The vessel is e United States Coast Guard certified for sailing passengers over St. Augustine waters.
The Schooner Freedom has been operating since 2001 and offers an incredible and relaxing sailing experience. Board the Schooner Freedom for a romantic evening, a relaxing sunset trip, or mesmerizing moonlight discovery across the ocean.
At the site, enjoy live music, mouth-watering cuisines, and learn about the extravagant marine life of St. Augustine.
The Schooner has been listed among the Top Ten attractions of St. Augustine by USA Today. They host various sailing adventures and events throughout the year. So do add it to your itinerary of things to do in St. Augustine and enjoy sailing.
4402 // +19045479608
St. Augustine Parasail is the best parasailing operator in the city. It is famous for various excursions above the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, the organization provides the most breathtaking views of St. Augustine.
It offers adventurous and fun-filled parasailing opportunities where you can witness the ancient history of St. Augustine in its glorious form from the sky.
Observe the beautiful sights, marine life across the sea, wildlife, authentic architecture, and vegetation while enjoying the thrilling rush of high elevation.
The crew at St. Augustine Parasail is so friendly and warm; they would take snaps for you and provide you with unforgettable memories to take back home.
2045 FL-16 // +19044299777
The St. Augustine Aquarium is a marine conservation facility and a popular tourist attraction of the city. It is an incredible location for everyone; visit the aquarium with your family, kids, and friends and enjoy the marine life of St. Augustine.
Depending on your preferences, they offer indoor, outdoor, and open-air expeditions with guided and non-guided tours.
At the St. Augustine Aquarium, you can learn about marine biology from experienced marine biologists and take a guided tour for the best experience.
They offer various fun activities like closely interacting with fish and invertebrates like seahorses, starfishes, and many other sea creatures, a digging search game for shark teeth, and feeding the stingrays, sharks, and groupers. In addition, visitors can participate in a snorkeling adventure in an 80,000-gallon tank at an ocean reef of St. Augustine filled with numerous fish and marine creatures.
2045 FL-16, St. Augustine // +19048299887
The Villa Zorayda Museum is a historical landmark and an architectural marvel. It was built in the 19th century by Franklin Smith as a winter residence and is a replica of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.
Established in 1883, the monument is a significant part of St. Augustine’s history and architectural foundation. The museum offers a splendid collection of antiques, artifacts, paintings, furniture from the 17th century, historical objects from the Victorian era, oriental and Egyptian rugs, manuscripts, books, ancient relics, and art from around the world.
The Villa Zorayda Museum is a sanctuary for history geeks like me. There is so much to learn and explore about the city of St. Augustine. This architectural masterpiece is definitely worth the visit.
111 Avenida Menendez // +18775785050
The Black Raven Pirate Ship is unique and utterly marvelous. It offers voyages during the mid-afternoons and early evenings daily.
They also provide a special excursion—the Blackbeard Treasure hunt, where the crew portrays a battle between the Black Raven and Queen Anne’s revenge for acquiring the treasure that Blackbeard stole.
The Black Raven provides the ultimate Pirate experience. There are cannon fires, sword fights, and a realistic sea battle. Being a huge fan of Jack Sparrow, it was an exhilarating and mind-blowing experience for me.
The Black Raven offers evening voyages for adults on the last three days of the week and is also available for hosting events, private parties, and birthdays. Trust me; you would immensely enjoy this voyage; after all, who wouldn’t want to see a live pirate battle, aye!
19 San Marco Ave. // +19048296545
Boarding the Red Train and heading on a tour across town is the most entertaining and exciting way to explore the Nation’s Oldest City. Riley’s Red Train Tours are very informative and fun-filled, with over 100 historic destinations to discover.
This is the best way to explore St. Augustine if you are on a tight schedule.
The destinations include Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Villa Zorayda Museum, City Plaza, the Old Jail, and many more amazing attractions of St. Augustine.
You will learn about the city’s history and witness unique architecture, lifestyle, and culture along with the historic attractions on Riley’s one-hour train expedition tours.
75 King St. // +19048242874
The Lightner Museum was established at the ancient hotel Alcazar built in 1887 and is situated at the heart of St. Augustine. It’s an impressive architectural monument and an iconic attraction of St. Augustine.
The Lightner Museum offers an immersive and memorable experience with its extraordinary collection of artifacts and historical objects from the Victorian era. The three floors of the museum separately house different ancient valuables for the best exploration tours.
You can observe the Victorian musical instruments, science, and Victorian village on the first floor. Then, explore the different and artistic glass collections, including the Tiffany stained glass on the second floor, and learn about all the sculptures, paintings, and furniture on the third floor.
The Lightner Museum provides incredible insights into the city’s history and offers a wonderful experience of the art, architecture, design, history, and culture of St. Augustine. Your vacation would be incomplete without exploring this beautiful place.
162 St. George St. #19 // +19048248840
The Ghost Augustine is a unique and out-of-this-world (pun intended) paranormal tour business. This attraction, or should I say the scary and haunting attraction of St. Augustine, is not for the weak-hearted.
They offer various haunting and paranormal investigative tours, famous for their exhilarating and scary adventures and truly terrifying mysteries.
The most famous tours organized are the Haunted Pub tours, Haunted St. Augustine tours, Haunted Romance, Dead Walk tours, etc. Ghost Augustine also offers riding tours like the Everdark Express and Pub Hearse Ride tour for people who don’t want to walk.
For people who don’t get scared easily and want more, the company provides a full paranormal St. Augustine tour and the ParaForce tour where you explore and investigate different buildings of your preferences.
Ghost Augustine provides gadgets and equipment for hunting ghosts in this spine-chilling excursion. They also offer haunted and scary story narrating tours at their most popular haunted spots—the Creepy Forgotten Cemetery and the Dark Mysterious Lighthouse Park. Don’t run away.
The Ghost Augustine tours are consensual, and they do not entertain kids and older adults.
112 Riberia St. // (904) 825-4962
The St. Augustine Distillery is situated inside a refurbished and renovated ice factory that is 100 years old. You can taste and experience locally crafted spirits such as vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey at the venue.
Twenty-eight locals established the St. Augustine Distillery, and today they produce the best quality craft drinks. The tours of the distillery are free and only accessible to adults over the drinking age.
In A Nutshell
St. Augustine is an incredible vacation destination of the Sunshine State, and this nation’s oldest city has so much to offer and explore. This ancient city has a rich history and culture with awe-inspiring sites and attractions that would make you fall in love with St. Augustine.
Plan a solo, romantic, or family trip today and have a blast at this fascinating destination with your friends and loved ones. You will be pleasantly surprised to find out many other exciting things to do in St. Augustine, including the city’s dining scene.
Visiting other destinations in Florida? Check out our other guides:
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Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever