Do you know what St. Augustine’s known for? Founded in 1565, it’s the oldest city in America that’s bursting with history! It’s a great place to visit as there’s so many things to do in St. Augustine for any age.
The downtown Historic District is full of charm, history, museums and of course, bars, restaurants, & many souvenir shops.
My family & I just visited St. Augustine during our kids Spring Break. While we had plans to spend most our time at the beach and pool, mother nature decided to deliver us a freezing cold front(grr).
Better yet, this pushed us off the beach to explore the ancient city. With 5 kids in tow, ranging from ages 8 to 1, here’s our kid-approved but also fun for adults; best things to do & see in St. Augustine.
This round-up of the best things to do in St. Augustine contains affiliate links, where I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
St. Augustine has been awarded one of America’s most walkable cities.
There’s so much to see in the square mile of the Historic District – shopping, museums, shops & restaurants, and even the oldest wooden schoolhouse. The popular streets great for walking, include St. George Street, Aviles Street, Treasury Street, Spanish Street, Avenida Menendez, & Cordova Street. Walking around St. Augustine’s Historic District you’ll find plenty of historic markers and architecture dating back to the 1600s.
If you love history, consider taking a Walking Tour of St. Augustine’s Historic District.
Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
An hour and a half trolley tour will allow you to explore the best of St. Augustine. You’ll see the Old Jail Museum, Potter’s Wax Museum, the Fountain of Youth, even to the Saint Augustine Distillery & more! It will take you beyond the the square mile Historic District with 23 stops. Hop off and check out one of the many things to do – your next trolly come by every 15-20 minutes!
Animals & Nature
Get up & close to Florida alligators – see a live feeding, even zipline over them on in Crocodile Crossing. St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is home to more than just gators; come see sloths, turtles, monkeys, snakes, and birds of Africa. The park also offers a large kidzone play area.
Cost: Adults (ages 12+) $34.99 and Kids $19.99 (ages 3-11)
Duration: Plan 1-2 hours
Pirate & Treasure Museum
Attractions & Shopping
The gift shop is full of pirate-y treasures kids love. If you want to explore beyond the shop’s swords, skeletons and piles of pirate booty, purchase tickets to the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum. See some of the world’s largest collections of pirate artifacts dating back to the 16th century. It’s located right across from Castillo de San Marcos Fort.
Cost: Explore the pirate store for free. Museum costs adults $17.99 and kids (ages 5-12) $9.99
Do your kids love pirates? There’s plenty of Pirate Tours in St. Augustine.
Dolphin & Wildlife Adventures
For the nature & animal lovers, this relaxing cruise is for you! The calm ride takes you up the Intracoastal Waterway on the lookout for dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, pelicans, & native spoonbill. Parents, there’s also a bar on board!
Cool Off with a Hyppo Popsicle
Food & Drink
Take a break, and eat a popsicle! Made fresh with local and natural ingredients. There’s 2 Hyppo locations – George St or Charlotte St. Try one of the fun flavors like mango habanero, raspberry cheesecake, or prickly pear margarita.
Cost: average $5
Find The Love Trees
Our local friends surprised us with this one. There’s a few “love trees” in St. Augustine, where two different species of tree grow into each other. On 6 Cordova Street, next to Tolomato Cemetery, you can find a palm tree that’s emerging out of a large oak tree. Legend has it if you kiss underneath you’ll stay in love forever. This is one of the many stops if you decide on a Walking Tour.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum
Attractions & Shopping
Explore 14 themed galleries in the Odditorium filled with strange artifacts, art, animal oddities, and hard to believe stories of people – like a shrunken head. St. Augustine Ripley’s offers historic train rides around the city and even mini golf.
Cost: Odditorium only – Adults $24 & kids $13 or Odditorium + Train = $38
Attractions & Tours
America’s oldest city is known to be one of the most haunted destinations in the United States. Story has it that the old buildings and cobblestone streets are filled with spirits – no thank you, I’m a scaredy cat! But if you’re intregreed and want to learn more about St. Augustine’s spooky past there are many ghost tours to choose from!
Cost: Starting at $25, See All Ghost Tours
Swim with Dolphins
At Marineland Dolphin Adventure is located oceanside. Get up close with bottlenose dolphins and swim with them. Make sure to book/reserve ahead of time.
Cost: Prices to swim with dolphins start around $130. See all dolphin activities & book here.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
Climb Florida’s first lighthouse to get the best view of St. Augustine -165 feet up! Let your kids burn off some energy as they climb the 219 stairs to the top. Kids must be 44″ to climb up. Access to the Maritime Museum is included in the ticket. History dates back over 500 years – first it was a wooden watch tower in the late 1500s to the current St. Augustine Light Station, built from 1871-1874.
Cost: Adults $14.95 (ages 13+) and kids (Ages 12 & younger) $13.96
Look for Sharks Teeth
My salt family’s always on the hunt for sharks teeth while at the beach. We found 4 at Vilano Beach during our trip! Your chances of finding sharks teeth and great shells will increase if you head about 40 mins north to Ponte Verda Beach – Mickler’s Landing.
Tip: Black & gray teeth are easiest to spot against the white and cream shells.
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Explore the 17th-century Spanish stone fortress – the oldest masonry fortification in the U.S. Castillo de San Marcos sits right next to the St. Augustine inlet with great bay views – while on top of the fort we saw a seal swimming!
Cost: $15/adults, kids 15 and under are free
Duration: 1-2 hours
The Fountain of Youth
St. Augustine is known for the “magical” Fountain of Youth, which legend says if you drink out of it, it will make you younger. You can actually drink from it – (spoiler: it tastes bad)! Also included in the ticket is more historical exhibits, a boardwalk over the river, and peacocks that roam.
Cost: $20 (ages 13+) and $10 (Ages 6-12)
Kitties & Coffee
Food & Drink
Grab a cup of coffee and pastry for the kids while playing with room full of cats! St. Augustine has 2 cat cafes – Frisky Cat Cafe and Whitty Whisker Cat Cafe both located on Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Attractions & Shopping
There’s 3 mini golf courses in St. Augustine, but Fiesta Falls Mini Golf has the best course – 8 waterfalls, caves, a 65 ft. Spanish ship and a view of the ocean from the mountaintop gazebo. Its part of the La Fiesta Ocean Inn & Suites.
Cost: Adults (ages 12+) $14.50 and Kids $11.95 (ages 3-12)
St. Augustine Aquarium
Smaller than most expect but this aquarium allows you to get in the tank and snorkel with the stingrays and fish! The Shark Meet & Greet allows you to touch and feed nurse sharks and southern stingrays. You might even see a swimming mermaid in a tank during your visit.
Cost: Adult $14.99 and Kids $9.99. Snorkeling Adventure is $49.99.
The Ice Plant
Food & Drink
Inside the same building as the St. Augustine Distillery, is a most wonderful restaurant, the Ice Plant. The menu features unique farm to table food – I ate a crunchy asian salad with kimchi spiced nuts. Kids menu is also kid approved with made-fresh chicken fingers, hoe cakes and bacon. Ever see a craft cocktail menu that lets you see what type of ice will be used? Crushed, long cylinder, or even shaved ice! It’s name comes from the buildings history dating back to 1927, it used to make and sell blocks of ice to shrimp boats and local customers.
St. Augustine Distillery
Food & Drink
St. Augustine Distillery is built inside Florida’s oldest ice plant. Come try free samples of bourbon, whisky, vodka, and our favorite new world gin. No reservations are required and there’s free self guided tours – it’s kid friendly too. If you’re looking for an in depth bourbon education and hands on guided tour, they start at $35.
Where to Stay
We stayed on the beachside community, Vilano Beach. Just a short drive over the Francis and Mary Usina Bridge, only 10 minutes to the Historic District of St. Augustine. We rented a large home across from the beach with a heated pool. It was perfect for our large group.
Vilano Beach also has a hotels right near the beach. The Holiday Inn looks like it was just built and has an indoor pool which would have been great for the winter month cold fronts. See Vilano Beach hotels.
St. Augustine has oodles of quaint Bed, and Breakfasts in and around the Historic District. Casa de Solona Bed & Breakfast is a spanish-style property dating from the 1760s, enjoy a daily free wine hour and also free bikes to use. If you’re looking for a stay with a heated pool, check out St Francis Inn Bed and Breakfast.
Things to do in Florida:
- Kayaking Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, FL
- Paradise in Key Largo – Bakers Cay Resort
- Visiting Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
- Palm Beach Zoo
- Key Largo, FL – Theater of the Sea
- Best things to do in Siesta Key
We hope you found our list of best things to do in St. Augustine was helpful! Comment below and let us know if you’ve been to St. Augustine or if you have any questions on this historic city.
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