Explore St. Augustine

20 Things We Love About St. Augustine

20 reasons you should visit America's oldest city right now.

America's oldest city has it all: narrow, cobblestone streets and wide, smooth beaches; intricate architecture and destination golf courses; traditional Spanish cuisine and innovative craft cocktails. Founded by Spanish explorers in 1565, St. Augustine has held onto its gems of the past while offering modern-day amenities and unique experiences for visitors today. So whether you're here with the guys or here with the family, in town for business or for a beach vacation, don't miss 20 of our favorite experiences in St. Augustine.

1. Walking our dog on St. Augustine Beach and splashing into the surf together.

St. Augustine beaches, Jacksonville beaches and Amelia Island
Florida's First Coast is known for its wide, smooth beaches. (Courtesy Visit Florida)

2. Admiring the Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass at the Lightner Museum.

St. Augustine stained-glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany in St. Augustine, FL
A stained-glass window of St. Augustine by Louis Comfort Tiffany (Courtesy WikiCommons)

3. Ziplining over a huge pit of alligators at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park.

Zipline Alligator Farm Zoological Park St. Augustine, FL
Dare you attempt Crocodile Crossing? (Courtesy St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park)

4. Learning about the city's rich pirate past and raids from Sir Francis Drake at the Castillo de San Marcos on the bayfront.

Castillo de San Marcos St. Augustine, FL
The Castillo de San Marcos was built to protect the Spanish colony from British pirate invasion. (©Chris Moore)

5. Climbing 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum and being rewarded by the panoramic views. 

St. Augustine Lighthouse
Climb to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse for fantastic views. (©Will Barnwell)

6. Sitting out on the dock overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway with a cold beer and a dozen oysters at Cap's on the Water.

Cap's on the Water
Enjoy your seafood supper dockside (Courtesy Cap's on the Water)

7. Splurging at the spa at the five-diamond Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, a vacation tradition since 1928.

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
Enjoy a full-service spa, 18 holes of golf and miles of ocean (Courtesy Ponte Vedra Inn & Club)

8. Grabbing a gourmet burger after a golf lesson and free tour of the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse.

TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fl
The TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, host of THE PLAYERS, is open to the public daily. (©Chris Condon)

9. Window shopping along St. George Street, the historic heart of the Old City.

 

St. George Street St. Augustine, Florida
Explore the history and charm of St. George Street. (©Mallory Brooks/Visit Florida)

10. Cooling off with a Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pop. Mango habanero, anyone?

Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pop St. Augustine, FL
This local mom and "pop" uses all-natural ingredients, fresh fruit and exotic flavors. (Courtesy Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pop)

11. Listening to live music and watching the sailboats on the Mantanzas from Meehan's Irish Pub.

 

St. Augustine Bayfront
Eateries along the St. Augustine bayfront offer stunning views. (©Glenn Hastings/Visit Florida)

12. Taking a tour of the St. Augustine Distillery and getting a classic gin cocktail at the Ice Plant Bar next door.

Ice Plant and St. Augustine Distillery cocktails
The Ice Plant mixes cocktails with the award-winning St. Augustine Distillery spirits. (Courtesy Ice Plant)

13. Admiring the stunning architectural details at Flagler College and getting jealous we didn't go there. (The building was constructed in 1888 as the five-star Hotel Ponce de Leon for Henry Flagler and the New York elite.)

Flagler College St. Augustine, Florida
The grand rotunda at Flagler College in St. Augustine (©Scott Smith)

14. Getting lost in a moment of peace and prayer at the Chapel of Our Lady of La Leche. The chapel was built in the early 1600s to honor the Virgin Mary, but the structure was later rebuilt due to hurricanes. 

15. Taking a ghost tour through the empty streets, graveyards and the lighthouse long after the other tourists are snuggled safely in bed.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse staircase at night
St. Augustine is one of the most haunted cities in the country. (Courtesy St. Augustine Lighthouse)
 

16. Taking a carriage ride on Historic Aviles Street, the oldest street in the country.

17. Eating amazing Spanish cuisine and tapas at Michael's Tasting Room.

18. Re-living the history of golf at the World Golf Hall of Fame then getting out to play a round. 

19. Exploring one of the world's largest estuaries, the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NEER) by kayak.

20. Chasing peacocks and getting a sip of that famous, magical water from the Ponce de Leon Fountain of Youth.