St. Augustine Attractions
Whether this is your first time visiting St. Augustine in northeast Florida, or you’ve vacationed here before, you won’t run out of things to see and do:
- St. Augustine Amphitheatre: Premier concert venue in St. Johns County hosting award-winning artists throughout the year. 904-471-1965, A1A South Anastasia Island.
- Black Raven Adventures: 904-826-0000, 111 Avenida Menendez Bayfront
- Scenic Cruise: 800-542-8316, 111 Avenida Menendez Bayfront
- Ripley’s Sightseeing Trains: 904-829-6545, 19 San Marco Avenue Historic District
- Ximenez-Fatio House Museum: 904-829-3575, Aviles Street Historic District
- St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum: 904-829-0745, 81 Lighthouse Ave Anastasia Island
- Oldest Wooden School House: 888-653-7245, 14 St. George Street Historic District
- Ponte Vedra Concert Hall: 904-209-0367, 1050 A1A North Ponte Vedra
- Lightner Museum: 904-824-2874, 75 King Street Historic District
- Marineland: 904-471-1111, 9600 Oceanshore Blvd South
- Whetstone Chocolate Factory: 904-217-0275, 139 King Street Historic District
- Colonial Quarter: 904-342-2857, 33 St. George Street Historic District
- World Golf Hall of Fame: 904-940-4123, One World Golf Place World Golf Village
- Fort Mose: Historic Park. 904-823-2232, 15 Saratoga Blvd North of Downtown
- Old Town Trolley Tours: 904-829-3800, 167 San Marco Ave. Historic District
- Excelsior Museum and Cultural Center: 904-824-1191, 1102 ML King Ave Historic District
- Spanish Military Hospital Museum: 904-342-7730, 3 Aviles Street Historic District
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum: 904-824-1606, 19 San Marco Ave Historic District
- Mission of Nombre de Dios: 800-342-6529, 27 Ocean Ave Downtown St. Augustine
- “Nights of Lights“: 2016 festivities begin on November 19 with the tree lighting
What follows are ideas for a first-time visitor, or even a long-time resident of St. Augustine. And it just so happens that all of these activities are free!
- St. Augustine Beach The beaches are a small trip over the Bridge of Lions, about 4.5 miles from the Inn. Anastasia Island and the St. Augustine Beach have beautiful beaches and are not over-developed. (NOTE: Anastasia State Park, close to the St. Augustine Lighthouse, requires a small entrance fee)
- Fort Matanzas National Monument – Located a 15-minute drive from downtown St. Augustine at the southern tip of Anastasia Island, the fort was built in 1740 to guard the Matanzas River’s southern inlet entrance. Considered a “backdoor” to St. Augustine, the river could allow intruders to attack without warning. Guests especially enjoy the short ferry ride across the river to the remote island.
- Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum – Located on 32 Aviles Street, this museum features three main themes: the story of Father Migues O’Reiley who built the house, the home’s construction and architecture, and the houses’ role in keeping Catholic tradition. The museum is open and free of charge, Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and is closed on days of inclement weather (call to check at 904-826-0750).
- Pena-Peck House – Built in 1750 by order of the King of Spain, this historic home served as the residence of many iconic residents, including the King’s Royal Treasurer, Juan Esteban de Pena. The home is located at 143 St. George Street and free guided tours are available Sunday – Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Vilano Beach Fishing Pier – Located North of the city the Vilano Beach Causeway is in the small town of Vilano Beach. The Vilano Beach Fishing pier juts out into the Matanzas Bay. Here, the fishing is good and sunsets are spectacular.
- Tour the San Sebastian Winery – Tour the facility and taste the wines daily.
- Mission of Nombre de Dios – This is where it all began: St. Augustine is home to the oldest Catholic Parish in the United States. The first mass took place at the Mission of Nombre de Dios in 1565. The beautiful grounds make for an ideal place to have a picnic or just unwind. Located just north of the antique district, the Mission impossible to miss thanks to its giant cross.
- St. Augustine Walking Tour – See the city at your own pace. The tour follows a route through the old town and highlights points of interest.
- Farmer’s Market – Located on Anastasia Island at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, our city’s Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Though goods are sold and are not free, the fun experience is free!
How to have a great St. Augustine experience.
A get-away trip to St. Augustine, Florida is a wonderful and romantic experience. After deciding on where to go in Florida (because there are endless options), we chose St. Augustine. We made our reservation at Casa de Solana Bed and Breakfast located in the heart of the historic district.
We arrived at Casa de Solana Bed and Breakfast early: about noon. Check-in is 3:00 p.m., but we were able to drop off our luggage. After a friendly greeting, they gave us a map and the parking permit for their parking area. We were now off to explore St. Augustine! For our lunch we ate at A1A Aleworks which overlooks Matanzas Bay and the Bridge of Lions. We went out on the deck and the weather was just incredible: sunny with blue skies and just a slight breeze. We had a great view of the bay, relaxing with a nice cold beverage in hand while watching the sailboats pass. I highly recommend their seafood cobb salad for lunch: it was delicious and huge!
Our first stop was the Flagler Legacy Tour which runs hour-long tours from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The tour offered great information on how the railroad and the magnificent hotels (built by the great Henry Flagler), and their history making St. Augustine a great resort destination. We then proceeded on to the Lightner Museum which is directly across from Flagler College. Also in the same area is the Villa Zorayda Museum (these three attractions are all are within a block’s radius of one another). We enjoyed a delightful afternoon indeed, and we now headed back to Casa de Solana Bed and Breakfast to check in.
We just made the end of their afternoon wine and cheese hour. Our plan now was where to have dinner and definitely ask for their recommendations for a romantic and quiet dinner venue. Collage Restaurant was just fantastic: the food and service was just top-notch. It is located off the shop-filled St. George Street which has just about anything you may need.
On our second day, we wanted to go to the beach. It was another beautiful sunny day with bright blue skies and was very hot. The ocean was so refreshing to jump into (and don’t forget your SPF lotion). The beaches are close by: only about four-and-a-half miles away (we recommend driving). St. Augustine Beach is beautiful and Vilano Beach is an equally great beach about the same distance from downtown historic St. Augustine but north of St. Augustine Beach (Vilano Beach is a great
place to find shark teeth). For our lunch, we ate Mangos Mangos: an awesome sandwich shop and very close to the beach. We stayed at the beach all day and relaxed listening to the rolling waves.
On our last day we visited the Castillo de San Marcos: a Spanish fort located on the Matanzas Bay. Across from the fort is the Colonial Quarter and that is how craftsman would work centuries ago. For our lunch we walked over to the Casa Maya Restaurant and, oh my gosh, was it great and really fresh Mexican food. For a romantic ending to our day we went on the Schooner Freedom’s sunset cruise. The whole cruise is two hours in the bay that goes right out to where the bay opens into the ocean. It gives you a great view of the “Oldest City” from the water. We were lucky enough to have dolphins passing by. This was just an exceptionally beautiful and memorable time for us.
St. Augustine was an incredible surprise and just a beautiful city all around. The historic points of interest are amazing and everything is within easy walking distance. We loved Casa de Solana Bed and Breakfast’s great location in a very quiet part of town. A great memory.
Kevin and Amanda