Explore St. Augustine

Things to Do With Kids in St. Augustine

Pirates. Forts. Ghosts. A 165-foot lighthouse. With interactive sites and hands-on activities, St. Augustine offers children a lively history lesson they'll take with them to the classroom. Many first-time visitors are surprised to learn that St. Augustine was founded before both Plymouth Rock and Jamestown, and that Christopher Columbus never even set foot in the continental United States. It was Ponce de Leon, who once sailed with Columbus, who first landed in Florida 500 years ago, and Pedro Menendez who founded America's first European city 50 years later in St. Augustine.

You and your family can explore the country's beginnings at sites like the Fountain of Youth and Colonial Quarter. Shop for souvenirs and ice cream on historic St. George Street before letting the kids loose inside the nearby Pirate and Treasure Museum. More history awaits at a massive brick fortress on the bay, the Castillo de San Marcos, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse. For the boys and train-lovers in the family, the Old Town Trolley promises a full day of adventures hopping on and off at key landmarks throughout the city, or perhaps treat your daughter to a Cinderella-style carriage ride down the oldest street in America. 

For families who love the outdoors, St. Augustine offers plenty of opportunities, from sandy Atlantic beaches to sunset cruises on a beautiful schooner. The area is also home to one of the world's largest estuaries, with raised boardwalks perfect for exploring Florida's natural side and maybe even spotting an alligator. Of course there's always just a lazy day on the beach, just soaking up the Florida sunshine and enjoying the secluded dunes that look the same as they did when the Spanish arrived five centuries ago.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

The fort is the oldest and largest stone fort in the continental United States, built by the Spanish during 1672-1695 with blocks of coquina. The fort endures as the nation’s oldest and only remaining 17th-century stone fort. $15 ages 16 and up. Demonstrations held F-Su. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Colonial Quarter

Step back in time with this living history compound that depicts how residents lived from the 16th through 18th centuries. Created with the help of University of Florida historians, the area features artisans’ shops selling period items, blacksmith and military demonstrations, and the popular Taberna del Caballo restaurant.

Anastasia State Park

Visitors will discover shaded picnic areas, campsites and nature trails and can enjoy windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and saltwater fishing on the Atlantic Ocean. 8 am-sunset, daily. $8/vehicle, $4/single-occupant vehicle and $2 pedestrians/cyclists.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

One of the country's first zoos houses all 23 species of crocodilians. The shaded park features raised wooden boardwalks through exhibits of exotic birds, monkeys and humongous alligators and crocodiles. Zipline through the trees over gator-infested waters. A playground, gift shop and restaurant are on site.

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

Completed in 1874, the lighthouse offers a rare view of the ancient city—once you climb the 219 steps that lead up to the 165-foot tower. The museum displays maritime artifacts and recent archaeological discoveries. Open 9 am-6 pm daily. Admission $12.95/adults and $10.95/children under 12 and taller than 44 inches.

St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum

Home of one of the world’s largest collections of authentic pirate artifacts and treasures. See the world’s only authentic pirate chest, its oldest wanted poster and one of only three Jolly Roger flags in existence. Fire a cannon, climb aboard a ship and learn about famous pirates.

Ripley's Believe It or Not

Witness mystical treasures, international oddities and exotic art forms that inspired the hit TV show. Located in a beautifully restored 1887 historic landmark, the country's original Ripley’s has three floors with hundreds of fascinating items.

Old Town Trolley Tours

The tour covers more than 100 sites of interest and features 23 stops, including the old jail that was originally built in 1891 and the oldest store museum, where you can hop on or off to sightsee, shop or dine. Open daily from 9 am-4:30 pm. Admission $25.26/adults and $9.36 children 6-12. Includes free admission to St.

Schooner Freedom Charters

The 72-foot schooner Freedom is St. Augustine's only tall ship and departs daily from the City Marina for day tours, sunset cruises and moonlit sails. Prices range from $45/adults and $35/children for daytime family cruises to $60/adult for specialty cruises. 

Fountain of Youth

Legend has it that it was here, on the site of the ancient Indian village of Seloy, that in 1513, Ponce de Leon arrived in search of magical waters that could preserve youth. In 1565, Pedro Menendez founded St. Augustine here.