25 Fun St. Augustine Things to Do in 2024

One place that continually ranks high on the list of places to visit in Florida is St. Augustine. This is not surprising because there are so many fun St. Augustine things to do, whether you are into history, nature, or anything else. The nation’s oldest city has all sorts of museums, parks, golf courses, and main streets worth exploring, leaving endless possibilities for how to spend a trip there.

Today I want to share twenty-five ideas for St. Augustine things to do, regardless if you are a local or visiting. My goal is to share unique experiences that are not tourist traps and things that happen year-round and not just during Nights of Lights. I will cover all areas and budgets and even mention some dog-friendly St. Augustine activities!

dog friendly st augustine things to do

Historical and Cultural St. Augustine Things to Do

The city of St. Augustine was established by European settlers in 1565. This makes it the oldest city in America and with that comes a rich and fascinating history. Most of Florida was established much later than the rest of the east coast, so this is one of the best places in the state to get a glimpse of colonialism.

Learning about the history of the area is a must-do while here, as is taking part in the local culture. These six St. Augustine things to do offer educational and interactive ways to experience the culture and history of the city.

1. Explore the National Historic Fort of Castillo de San Marcos

One thing everyone visiting St. Augustine needs to experience is Castillo de San Marcos. It is hard to miss this massive fort on the city’s waterfront, and you are welcome to explore the outskirts for free. However, I recommend taking a look inside the fort, especially if you have a National Park Passport, as this is a National Monument.

Not only are there fascinating exhibits throughout the fortress, but you can also witness realistic cannon and musket firing drills! Be sure to look for rangers dressed in periodic uniforms that will answers questions and give presentations about the fort. Whether you are looking for educational or nature St. Augustine things to do, this attraction has you covered.

Castillo de san marcos st. augustine

2. Discover the Colonial and Gilded Ages of St. Augustine at Museums

History fans have no shortage of museums to explore in St. Augustine! There are over a dozen, all with unique exhibits and tidbits about the past. I have visited many museums in St. Augustine and I think the following are the best ones to check out.

Climb to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

My favorite museum is the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. This is because not only do you get to learn about St. Augustine’s nautical past, but you also get to climb to the top and see a fantastic view of the water. If you don’t mind the stairs, this museum and lighthouse is one of the top St. Augustine things to do.

st. augustine lighthouse

See Ancient Artifacts at Villa Zorayda

Another unique museum worth visiting is Villa Zorayda over in the Historic Downtown. This was originally the winter home of an eccentric collector and now showcases some of the most unique art and antiques from around the world. Admission only costs $12 and includes an audio tour explaining the significance of each room. I was especially intrigued by the Egyptian room where you can find the world’s oldest rug made of ancient cat hair.  

Walk the Plank at the Interactive Pirate & Treasure Museum

One of the best St. Augustine things to do for families is visiting the Pirate & Treasure Museum just across from Castillo de San Marcos. Here you can find pirate artifacts like an original Jolly Roger flag and the oldest wanted poster. In addition to all sorts of cool exhibits, kids will love the pirate ship replica and the treasure hunt.

Learn About Prison Life at The Old Jail

Another historic attraction worth visiting is the Old Jail on San Marco Ave. Tours are offered day and night and include all sorts of facts about the history of this jail. You will frequently find actors telling their tales and even get to see artifacts like the gallows up close.

Experience the Gilded Age at the Lightner Museum

Art enthusiasts can head to the Lightner Museum found in the Old Hotel Alcazar. Not only are the grounds gorgeous, but you can explore them and the courtyard for free! Admission is required inside where one will find exhibits of stained glass or opulent Gilded Age pieces. For an especially unique experience, have lunch in the museum at Café Alcazar, which is where the former indoor swimming pool was!

lightner museum st. augustine

3. Take a Historic Flagler College Tour

For those who prefer a walking tour to a museum, I recommend the Historic Flagler College Tour. This takes you around the college campus that used to be the majestic Ponce de Leon Hotel. On this tour, I learned all about Henry Flagler’s influence on the area and the opulence that went into making this historical hotel. You get to see all sorts of fantastic works of art, including authentic Tiffany glass, and discover easter eggs in the décor and paintings.

flagler college st. augustine

4. Go Back in Time at the Fountain of Youth Park

If you are looking for pet-friendly St. Augustine things to do, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is a fun experience for all. Here you can see what the oldest successful European settlement looked like complete with blacksmith exhibits, ancient homes and the boat house. With fifteen acres, there is a lot to explore and visitors especially love spotting the peacocks that walk the park.  

5. Shop and Stroll on St. George Street

Another must-do in St. Augustine is to take a stroll down St. George Street. This is the most iconic street in St. Augustine that is full of historical sights, shops, restaurants, and bars. You will want to get photo-ops of the Oldest Wooden School House and Old City Gate, and potentially even take a ghost tour!

6. Try a Tasting Tour

One of the most popular St. Augustine things to do for adults is to go on a tasting tour. This is a foodie town and you can indulge in tasty food and drinks endlessly while you are here. I recommend taking at least one tasting tour so you can learn about some of the unique ways St. Augustine has made a name for itself.

Sample Free Drinks at St. Augustine Distillery

If you are looking for free St. Augustine things to do, the St. Augustine Distillery tour is usually my top pick. This is an amazing facility where they distill rum, vodka, gin, and whisky on-site. In addition to seeing these processes in person, you also get a free sample of each of the drinks! With dog-friendly, self-guided tours available, this is the ideal place to cool off during the day too!

st. augustine distillery tour

Learn about Florida Wines at San Sebastian Winery

For those who prefer wine to spirits, another excellent free-tasting tour is at San Sebastian Winery. On this tour, everyone gets to sample nine different kinds of wine and learn how they are made. We learned a lot about dessert wines like port and were blown away by the flavors of the sherry! This in-depth tour is indoors, takes about an hour, and dogs are also allowed!

Get Your Sweet Fix at Whetstone Chocolate Factory

The best St. Augustine tasting tour for all ages is the Chocolate Tasting Tour at Whetstone. This chocolate factory has been open for over fifty years and has played an important role in the history of St. Augustine. On this hour-long tour, you get to see how chocolate is made and taste the different characteristics of their chocolate.

Taste the Local Specialties on a Forks and Corks Foodie Tour

With so many amazing restaurants in St. Augustine, it is impossible to try them all in one trip! However, if you want to get a taste of some of the best cuisine St. Augustine has to offer, The Tasting Tours has you covered. For $125 per person, you can sample four different places with wine pairings, while learning about the area from a knowledgeable foodie guide. Though it seems expensive, Andrew and I love food tours because they don’t end up being too much more than a nice meal, but are way more memorable!

St. Augustine Things to Do in Nature

When one thinks of city travel, nature does not often go hand in hand. However, the best thing about St. Augustine is that the city is only minutes from one of the most beautiful beaches on the east coast. Between the beaches and the thriving plant and animal life, this is just a sample of all the St. Augustine things to do in nature.

1. See Gators, Crocs, and Birds at the Alligator Farm & Zoological Park

Though an Alligator Farm sounds strange, a visit to this park is something everyone can enjoy. It is basically a zoo with all sorts of alligator and crocodilian species, as well as tropical birds, lemurs, sloths, and more.

The addition of the gators led to a rookery, so now the park is also home to hundreds of birds that nest here every year. I highly recommend visiting April through August if possible so you can see for yourself just how amazing this migration of birds is!

alligator farm st. augustine

2. Bike the Beach at Anastasia State Park

If you love the great outdoors, one of the St. Augustine things to do you can’t miss is a visit to Anastasia State Park. There are over 1,600 acres of pristine beach here and so much to do. My recommendation is to rent a bike and cycle the 4 miles of beach to see it all! Other fun things to do at this state park include birding, fishing, surfing, and hiking.

3. Relax at Vilano Beach

Another St. Augustine beach work checking out is Vilano Beach, which is just north of downtown. This is a favorite for locals due to the natural atmosphere and lack of tourists. Unlike Anastasia State Park, you can both drive on the beach and take your dog, so it’s an awesome place to bring a picnic and have a beach day. If you are there for sunset, make sure to walk over to the riverside for the best views!

4. Watch the Waves at St. Johns Pier

For amazing ocean views, St. Johns County Ocean & Fishing Pier is one of the best places to visit. You can spot loads of dolphins, watch the surfers, and even cast a line and go fishing. There are multiple shops to rent whatever beach or fishing gear you need. If you don’t mind waking up early, the sunrise views are picturesque from the pier!

5. Relax While Sightseeing on a Scenic Cruise

If you prefer sightseeing from the water, I recommend taking a scenic cruise of the bay. Not only do you get to learn fun facts while cooling off in the breeze, but you also are nearly guaranteed the have dolphin sightings! Dolphin sightings are extremely common in the warmer months, so be prepared for history and nature with this attraction.

things to do in st augustine

6. Washington Oaks Garden

St. Augustine is one of the few Florida cities without a botanical garden, but if you drive half an hour south you can get your green thumb fix. The Washington Oaks Gardens is a state park that attracts visitors each year to see the gorgeous oaks, azaleas, and beaches. There are a few miles of trails throughout the gardens with lots of opportunities to see birds.

Active St. Augustine Things to Do

For those who like to do more than relax on vacation, there are plenty of adventurous things to do in St. Augustine. These next five activities are sure to help anyone break a sweat while enjoying the unique aspects of the city.

1. Go for a Paddle with Anastasia Watersports

Just before the beach at Anastasia State Park, I highly recommend going for a paddle through the Salt Run. Anastasia Watersports offers kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards to rent for one to three hours. This is a great way to look for sea life and get a workout doing it!

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2. Take a High-Speed Ride Through the Waves

If you prefer your water activities to be at a faster speed, there are plenty of places to rent a boat, jet ski, or go water skiing in St. Augustine. Raging Water Sports offer both boats and jet skis for rent with or without a tour guide. Fishing charters are also a fun way to have a lively time on the water, so check those out too if you want to try and get a big catch.

3. Play Golf on a Legendary Course

St. Augustine is one of the most renowned places to play golf in Florida, so there are tons of courses here. Whether you want to play golf on a waterfront public course or try your hand at the famous Players Stadium Course, there is golfing for everyone! Families can also find mini-golf, including Fiesta Falls and Anastasia Miniature Golf.  

4. Traverse the Suspension Bridges of Ravine Gardens

One of the St. Augustine things to do that will appeal to nature lovers and adventurers is a visit to Ravine Gardens State Park. Though it is almost an hour away from St. Augustine, this is one of the best places for hiking in Florida. The Azalea Trail is a 2.5-mile loop over suspension bridges that offer stunning views of the ravines. You can also go cycling or geocaching while you are here.

5. Test Your Balance with SUP Yoga

For the ultimate yoga challenge, The Salty Paddle offers classes for floating yoga! It may sound intimidating, but it is actually so peaceful to try different poses on top of the water and the class will offer modifications for all skill levels. The worst thing that can happen is you fall in the water and cool off, so give it a try for a unique perspective on the water!

St. Augustine Festivals and Annual Events

It is a rare weekend in St. Augustine that you cannot find some sort of event going on! Florida’s Historic Coast has multiple weekly farmers’ markets, as well as a First Friday Art Walk every month. In addition to regular and pop-up events, here are four St. Augustine festivals that I recommend marking the calendar for.

st. augustine breweries

1. A Taste of St. Augustine in April

Every April, make sure to check out a Taste of St. Augustine. It is the biggest gathering of local restaurants and bars in the area where you can taste all the food and drinks you want! Taste Tickets start at $1 and you can purchase as many taste tickets as you want. This is a great opportunity to try local favorites like Meehan’s Irish Pub and Old Coast Ales all in one place!

2. St. Augustine Craft Brewers Fest in May

If you like craft beer, this is the perfect festival to attend! The St. Augustine Craft Brewers Fest happens every May and hosts dozens of breweries from around the state. Not only can you try the local ones, but you can also try some of the best Tampa and Orlando breweries here as well.

3. Music by the Sea Concert Series All Summer

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, The Historic Coast hosts free Wednesday night concerts for Music by the Sea. This is hosted at the St. Augustine Beach Pier and everyone is welcome to bring their own chairs and picnics and enjoy a show. Throughout the summer, locals can experience every type of music, including rock, jazz, country, and pop.  

4. Nights of Lights During the Holidays

Everyone knows one of the top St. Augustine things to do is to experience Nights of Lights. This is one of the most popular holiday events in the country and it takes place each year from November through January. During this event, the town is transformed with over 3 million twinkle lights and all sorts of holiday cheer. From horse-drawn carriage tours to caroling, it’s impossible not to get into the holiday spirit during Nights of Lights. Keep in mind, that weekends during this time are very crowded and reservations are needed in advance for hotels and restaurants.

st augustine nights of lights

 Know Before You Go: St. Augustine Things to Do

St. Augustine is one of the most popular places to visit in Florida, so it is no wonder there are so many fun experiences to have here! For those on vacation, I recommend spending some time at the beach and doing at least a couple of historical or cultural activities on this list each day. If you are a local, I hope this guide helped you find some different St. Augustine things to do that you haven’t experienced before. Regardless of what you are up to in St. Augustine, here are a few other things to keep in mind for your time here.

  • The best time to visit St. Augustine is January through June. Though it does start getting hot in May, this time of year has the best weather and no holiday crowds.
  • If you are flying into St. Augustine, the best airport to fly into is Jacksonville International Airport. It has the most options and is a little less than an hour away. You can also find flights into Orlando and Daytona Beach.
  • If you plan to stay only in Historic St. Augustine, you could get away without renting a car. However, I recommend renting a car if you can, so you can explore the beach more freely.
  • This is one of the best towns for nightlife in Florida! There are all sorts of bars open late and tons of live music.
  • If you are looking for a hotel, my favorite hotel is The Local. It is just past the Bridge of Lions and is an affordable and convenient place to stay.

Have you been to St. Augustine, Florida before? It’s one of the best places for a romantic Florida vacation! For more ideas of things to do in the Sunshine State, check out my 101 Things to do in Florida Bucket List!

Need help packing for your Florida vacation? Check out my Ultimate Florida Packing Checklist!

If you would like to get a printable bucket list for St. Augustine, check out my Etsy shop here and get one to download!

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