Are you looking for the best things to do in Saint Augustine, Florida? We have you covered with our list of the Saint Augustine attractions you can’t miss!
A visit to the nation’s oldest city has lots to offer. Founded in 1565, it wasn’t until Henry Flagler transformed the city into a bustling hub in the late 1800s with the railroad.
From castles, beaches, museums, national parks, ghost tours, distilleries, and wineries there are a ton of things to do in Saint Augustine no matter your interests.
Saint Augustine is one of the most romantic cities in Florida as well as a great place to visit anytime of the year or if looking for a spring break destination! Located on the Atlantic coast Saint Augustine, is perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers.
If you are hungry after exploring Saint Augustine check out our list of the best restaurants in Saint Augustine!
Here are the best places to visit in Saint Augustine, FL!
16 Best Things To Do In Saint Augustine You Shouldn’t Miss
Eat at Columbia
Columbia Restaurant has locations in Tampa, Sarasota, and Saint Augustine. It is one of the best restaurants in Florida you must try! Located in the historic district in St. Augustine, it only makes sense one of the oldest Florida restaurants opened a location in the country’s oldest city!
The award-winning Spanish and Cuban food is served in a fun dining experience. The restaurant serves local Gulf seafood and family recipes that have been passed down for generations. It is the perfect place to stop in for lunch when exploring historic Saint Augustine.
Entree favorites include Paella a la Valenciana with seafood, la Completa Cubano feast with roast pork, empanadas, the 1905 salad which is big enough for the table, Grouper Jimmy, and stuffed shrimp!
Lunch is served until 4 pm. Try the chicken and yellow rice, palomilla steak, mahi-mahi, meatloaf, or an original Cuban sandwich. Make sure to leave room for desserts like key lime pie or churros.
If you are looking for more things to do in downtown Saint Augustine, simply walking around and admiring the Colonial Quarter is a great way to burn off your meal. Don’t forget to check out some of the best breakfast restaurants in Saint Augustine!
Take a Trolley Tour
Trolley tours are one Saint Augustine attraction for both daytime and night! Tickets can be purchased for either 1 day, 2 days, or after dark nighttime tours during the holiday season to view the lights of the city.
The Old Town Trolley Tours have live narration by a knowledgeable guide and are hop-on hop-off with over 22 stops. The tour guide narrates you through America’s oldest city on the green and orange trolleys.
The loop takes about an hour and a half if you don’t get off, however, the trolley comes by each stop every 20 minutes. The ticket also includes admission to the Saint Augustine History Museum as well as service to most Saint Augustine hotels.
Get Spooked on a Haunted Tour
Saint Augustine is known for haunted ghost tours. This city has a history filled with ghost stories over the past few hundred years making it the perfect city for your next paranormal vacation! Perfect if visiting in the fall or during Halloween time!
We have a list of the best Saint Augustine Ghost tours for you to check out while visiting. This is one of the best things to do in Saint Augustine at night as you walk or ride around the nation’s oldest city and experience paranormal tours, ghost tours, and historical sights after dark.
Get ready to be spooked as you enjoy one of the classic attractions in Saint Augustine. If you really love paranormal activities, try staying in a haunted hotel!
Book Here: St. Augustine: Haunted Walking Tour
Find Amazing Views at the Lighthouse
Saint Augustine Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Florida and should be a must-visit Saint Augustine attraction. Construction began in 1871 and took three years to complete. It was first lit on October 15, 1874, and is still an active lighthouse today!
The lighthouse stands 167 feet tall with 219 steps to the top with distinct black-and-white spiral stripes, topped by a red lantern guarding Florida’s oldest port. It was built using brick. You can learn about the over 500 years of history at the museum located on the property.
For families with small children or those under 44 inches (who are not allowed to climb the steps), there is a family fun shipyard playground at the base of the lighthouse.
Get a Drink at the Saint Augustine Distillery
Saint Augustine Distillery is located in the historic area and is one of the activities in Saint Augustine for those 21 and older. Founded in 2013 by 20 local families, the distillery aims to educate guests on the spirits in one of the most visited distilleries in the United States.
If you love whiskey or are interested in learning about whiskey, the Saint Augustine Distillery runs the number one whiskey tour in North America. It is free and runs 7 days a week! Perfect for those on a budget, it is one of the great free things to do in Saint Augustine.
The distillery is housed in the historic Ice Plant building and you will learn about the distillation process and how local agriculture is turned into amazing spirits.
Visit Castillo San Marco
Castillo San Marco is one of the best National Parks in Florida and is located in Saint Augustine. This monument was built by the Spanish to control their empire from other European powers. In 1763, after the Treaty of Paris, it was controlled by the British.
Built by the Spanish over a 23-year period in the 17th century (1672-1695), it protected Saint Augustine from both pirates and the British who attacked in 1702 and burned much of Saint Augustine down.
A visit to Castillo San Marco will transport you back over 315 years through the history of the oldest masonry fort in the United States. Take a ranger-led tour and visit the soldier’s rooms, cannon firing, gun deck, and more!
Visit the Lightner Museum
The Lightner Museum is one of the best Saint Augustine attractions for both architecture and art lovers. This is one of the best indoor activities in Saint Augustine, perfect for a rainy day.
Housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built by Henry Flagler, it is known for its opulence and attracted over 25,000 guests in the late 1800s and 1900s. It was known as the palace of happiness.
Founded in 1948, the Lightner Museum has curated one of the best fine and decorative arts collections in the country. From paintings, furniture, stained glass, and the Otto Lightner Collection, the museum gives a glimpse into life in the 19th and 20th century Gilded Age.
If looking for what to do in Saint Augustine, this should top your list!
Photograph Castle Otttis
In St. Augustine, you can find the historic Castle Otttis which was built by Ottis Sadler and Rusty Ickles in 1988. This castle was built “in remembrance of Jesus Christ” and took over three years to complete. Castle Otttis is open for tours by appointment only.
The Castle was based on the design of Irish Castles from the 20th century, and you can view turrets rising above the trees as you enter the castle. It stands open to the elements with its rock walls standing over 50 feet tall acting as a landscape design.
Catholic historians helped design the interior to evoke the atmosphere of an Abbey or an old Irish church. Castle Otttis is a deeply religious experience and visitors should act with respect. Visitors can attend scheduled religious services here which can be found on the website.
This is one of the Saint Augustine activities you can only do here, so you do not want to miss out.
Hike in Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park is one of the pristine white sand beaches to visit in Saint Augustine. The 1600-acre state park is known for its wildlife, beautiful beaches, marshes, and sand hammocks.
For those who love adventure or the outdoors, Anastasia State Park should be on your list of things to do near Saint Augustine. There is so much to do here from canoeing, kayaking, biking, hiking the Ancient Dunes Trail, fishing, or enjoying the four miles of pristine white sand beaches.
Make sure you explore the old Spanish coquina quarries that began mining coquina in 1671 for the nearby Castillo San Marcos Monument and you can also see the Saint Augustine Lighthouse.
This is one of the most epic places to camp in Florida with over 139 full-service campsites many of which are located right off the beach! This is one of the best things to do in Saint Augustine with kids to make memories.
Taste Test at San Sebastian Winery
If you are looking for the best things to do in Saint Augustine for adults head to San Sebastian Winery. Founded in 1996, the winery is located inside one of Henry Flagler’s old railroad buildings in the historic area of downtown!
The tours and tastings are complimentary, and you will enjoy exploring the winery and learning about the winemaking at San Sebastian Winery. The last stop of the tour is tasting the delicious Florida wines!
The grapes are grown on a 75-acre vineyard in nearby Clermont, Florida, as well as along the Florida panhandle. Head to the third floor of the winery and visit the Cellar Upstairs, serving wine alongside delicious appetizers and live music on the outdoor deck on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
If looking for one of the best restaurants in Saint Augustine after visiting San Sebastian Winery, Crave is located across the street.
Explore Fort Matanzas National Monument
Fort Matanzas is a National Monument in Saint Augustine that was completed in 1742. The fort used fortified coquina to fortify the Spanish Military settlement of Saint Augustine against the British. It protects Saint Augustine along the Atlantic coast of Florida to guard the Matanzas inlet and river.
Visitors to the fort will take a free five-minute ferry ride to the fort located on Rattlesnake Island and are issued at the Visitors Center at the fort for free. Fort Matanzas’ name means “slaughter” and was named after 1565 when Menendez killed 250 French Huguenots.
The fort frequently hosts reenactments and living history demonstrations for visitors on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are also walking trails and a boardwalk through the forest where one can find shells and fish or a place to have a picnic for lunch.
Check Out the World Golf Hall of Fame
The World Golf Hall of Fame is open daily (minus Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) from 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sunday!
Located at the World Golf Village in Saint Augustine, this museum is interactive. If you want to try your own skills, take a swing at the Challenge Hole. Tickets include one shot at the hole, which is similar to the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. If you don’t make a hole in one, more shots can be purchased.
Take a walk through the Member Locker Room and the 1,800-square-foot “THE PLAYERS Experience” exhibition which holds many stories and photographs.
There are also special exhibits that rotate through the year re-creating some of golf’s most iconic holes. This is one of the unique things to do in Saint Augustine, FL.
If you are looking for the best golf courses in Florida check out our list!
Visit the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum
The Saint Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum is one of the fun things to do in Saint Augustine! This is the perfect museum to visit for families because of the fun theme. It will transport you back through 300 years of history all the way back to Jamaica!
You will discover the pirates of Sir Francis Drake and Robert Searles as you walk through different exhibits with over 800 artifacts.
At the museum, you can view the world’s oldest wanted posters, Blackbeard’s treasure, oldest treasure chest, real cannons, Jolly Rogers’s Flag, and guided pirate tours throughout the day. There is even a treasure hunt through the museum to keep the children entertained.
Discover Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
The Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is one of the best things to do in Saint Augustine if looking for something educational. Since 2400 BC the Native American Timucuan people began putting down roots in the area.
Located in 1513 by Ponce de Leon and then settled by Pedro Mendez Aviles in 1565, this is the oldest settlement in North America as it was founded 55 years before the pilgrims settled Plymouth Rock.
From exploring the land, waters, and the Timucuan civilization, the spring where the fountain of youth was discovered is the oldest attraction in Saint Augustine and Florida! You can even take a sip of water from the spring like Ponce de Leon did. Or visit the Timucuan burial ground.
Relax at Saint Augustine Beach
Saint Augustine Beach has been voted one of the best beaches in America by Southern Living Magazine. As you explore the two miles of white sand, you will quickly agree a trip here is one of the best activities in Saint Augustine!
As one of the best family beaches in Florida, you will make great memories with your loved ones. Kids will have fun building sandcastles, playing in the splash park, and swimming in the gentle waves.
If you are looking for something a little action-packed, try surfing, body-boarding, or playing a game of sand volleyball. You can also drive on the beach with a permit.
The pier offers a place for fishing and watching the sea birds circle. There are plenty of restaurants and shops in the area where you can get out of the sun.
See the Oldest Wooden School House
The Oldest Wooden School House Historic Museum & Gardens is a great place to step back in time.
While Saint Augustine is the oldest city in the country, much of it was burned to the ground in 1702 and no wooden buildings from before then remain. The exact date the Oldest Wooden School House was built is unknown, but tax records show it existed in 1716.
The building was originally a home until Juan Genopoly made it a school in the 1780s. When he later expanded it and made it co-ed, it becan the first co-ed school in the country.
The tour here is very fun and interactive. At the end, you will even receive a diploma!
The school house is located in the Minorcan Quarter of the city on St. George Street near the Old City Gate. This is one of the best things to do in Saint Augustine, Florida, for history buffs.
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