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A Complete Guide of The Best Things to Do in St Augustine, Florida

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Welcome to one of the cutest towns in the US- a town that will take you back in time, a town that has cozy beach vibes, and a town that will make you feel like you've transported to Europe. St Augustine is our new favorite weekend getaway, and is definitely one to add to your bucket list.


We stopped in St Augustine for a quick stop on a road trip, and loved it so much that we ended up going back just days later. With its colorful pedestrian streets and small beach town vibes, there are plenty of things to do in St Augustine to make the perfect weekend trip.


In this guide we're going to share everything you need to know for visiting, from the best place to stay, to some of the best local hot spots. Here is our complete guide for visiting St Augustine, Florida.

Where is St Augustine Florida?

St Augustine is a small beach town located on the east coast of Florida. Located in the north of the state, it is just 45 minutes south of Jacksonville, 1 hour north of Daytona, and an hour and 40 minutes east of Gainesville. Florida is the south eastern most state of the country, and has quite a few hubs surrounding it. 

where is St Augustine florida

St Augustine is located on the north east coast of Florida.


Getting to St Augustine, Florida 

St Augustine has a small airport right outside the city. Cities with flights to St Augustine Florida include Atlanta, Chub Cay, Cincinnati, Fairhope, Fort Lauderdale, Lakeland, Marsh Harbour, New York, Orlando, Teterboro, Thomasville, Waynesville, Westhampton Beach, and West Palm Beach.


If your city doesn't have flights to St Augustine Florida, then you can fly into Jacksonville. This city is just 45 minutes away, has a bigger airport, and has a few more flight options to choose from. Cities that fly direct to Jacksonville include Albany, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, San Juan, St Louis, Washington, Westchester, and Wilmington.


If you are looking for flights to St Augustine Florida from an International destination, you'll first want to fly into one of the bigger hubs. The two biggest airport hubs in the South East are Atlanta and Miami, which are both 5 1/2 hours away from St Augustine. You can fly into one of those and then rent a car and drive. Another option can be to then take one of the short flights to St Augustine Florida or Jacksonville.

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Entry Requirements for the USA

Before taking a trip anywhere, it's important to know the requirements for entering. Here is what you should keep in mind before looking up flights to St Augustine Florida.


Visa Requirements for USA

If you are from the United States, you can go ahead and skip this part. But if you are from a country outside the US, it's important to know whether you need a visa or not to enter the country. The US unfortunately isn't the most warm and welcoming country when It comes to foreigners, so getting your visa (if you in fact need one) is a must.


If you want more information about how to get a visa to visit the US, you can simply click here.


Covid Entry Requirements for USA

Up until this year, a negative Covid test was required to enter the US, no matter what your nationality was. However, we're excited to announce that there are no longer any additional requirements to enter the US due to Covid.

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Local Adjustments

When traveling anywhere new, there are things that may be different from where you are coming from. That's why we're here to help. Here are a few of the local adjustments to keep in mind while traveling to St Augustine, Florida.


Language

The official language in the US is English. Being in Florida, you may find some people that speak Spanish as well, but learning some English will definitely be necessary.


Currency

The currency used in the US is the USD. This may seem unnecessary to write, but we include this in all of our guides, as we hope to have viewers from both near and far! Credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, and even local vendors may have Venmo, so you really won't need much cash when it comes to hotels, food, or shopping. 


Outlets

The US uses three types of plugs. One has two rectangular prongs, one has two rectangular prongs with a third round pin, and one has two rectangular prongs, one being slightly larger than the other. The US operates on 120 V with a supply voltage of  60 Hz. 


It is important to know that if you are coming from Europe, you won't only need to get an adapter, but you'll need an energy converter. This is necessary so that your electronics will work properly.


Water

The water is perfectly safe to drink in St Augustine. It is custom for restaurants to automatically bring water from the tap, or from a machine free of charge. Don't bother wasting your money on bottled water, as it truly is not necessary.


We suggest bringing a refillable water bottle to bring with you around the city, especially because it can get super hot in Florida!


Tipping Culture

The tipping culture in the US is very controversial, but extremely important for people to understand. Tipping is never something that is forced, although many restaurants will actually add a gratuity. It is very important to tip in the US, because if you don't tip your server, they are actually losing money. It may sound crazy, but servers rely 100% on tips for their salaries.


Servers also generally have to tip out the bus boys, bartenders, and sometimes even the kitchen on a percentage of their sales. So if the bill is $100, and you leave nothing, the server will actually be losing around $5. We're not saying it's fair, but unfortunately this is how it is around the states. The up side to this is you'll generally get outstanding service anywhere you go.


While people tend to tip a bit differently throughout the country, an average tip is 20% for good service, and is 15% if it isn't so great. Tips can be added to a credit card payment, but are also appreciated more in cash.

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Things to Do in St Augustine, Florida

Despite its size, there are actually plenty of fun things to do in St Augustine, Florida! Here are the best things to do in St Augustine.

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

things to do in St Augustine Florida pin
things to do in St Augustine Florida pin
things to do in St Augustine Florida pin

Explore the Historic Center

Being the oldest registered city in the US, St Augustine is one of the few cities you'll find in the country that has a ton of historical value. The historical center not only has a ton of great things to learn about, but is well preserved and simply adorable. Enter the city gates and simply wander the small streets to go back in time.

things to do in St Augustine, Florida
things to do in St Augustine, Florida
St Augustine gate, things to do in St Augustine, Florida

St Augustine has the cutest downtown area to check out.

Visit the Castillo de San Marcos Monument

The fortress in St Augustine is extremely important for the history of the city. It's not just any fortress, but it is the oldest one in the continental United States. Built by the Spanish, it was used to defend against pirates hundreds of years ago, and still stands today as one of the top attractions in St Augustine. The inside can be visited 7 days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm. The price is $15, and can be used for a total of 7 consecutive days.

St Augustine fort

Visiting the fort is one of the top things to do in St Augustine, Florida.

Relax at the Beach

Florida is known for its beaches, and luckily St Augustine is located right on the coast. With long stretches of sand and tropical weather, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a good beach day in St Augustine. If you're an early bird like us, you make just be lucky enough to see a beautiful sunrise.

St Augustine Beach, things to do in St Augustine, Florida
St Augustine Beach, things to do in St Augustine, Florida

St Augustine Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy the warm Floridian weather.

Check Out the Light House

Located just a few minutes outside of the center, and steps away from the water, lies one of the main attractions of St Augustine. Head to the Anastasia island and you'll easily spot the black and white spiraled design, with the red roofed museum in front. The lighthouse can be visited from 9 am to 6 pm, and the ticket is $15. In addition to the museum, there is also a cute gift shop worth checking out while visiting.

lighthouse, things to do in St Augustine Florida
lighthouse, things to do in St Augustine Florida
lighthouse, things to do in St Augustine Florida

The light house is one of the top attractions to visit in St Augustine, Florida.

Take an Old Town Trolley Tour

Want to go sightseeing but have a fun guided way of doing it? Well, rather than the traditional hop-on hop-off buses in many cities, there are open trolleys that drive around to show you the best of St Augustine. We found this to be a popular tour for school trips, as well as for families with young children, or those that have limited mobility. There are 22 stops, and you will get to see all that the town has to offer at your leisure.

trolley in St Augustine

The trolley is great for big groups to explore the best things to do in St Augustine Florida

Want to sign up for a trolley tour? You can check out the ones below for the day time, as well as the special one for the "Nights of Lights" (which we'll also talk about a bit further into the article)

Walk Down The Oldest Street in the US

Did you know that the oldest street in the US is located in St Augustine? Aviles street is not just a historical landmark, but is now home to the arts district in town. Here you can find art gallery, local handicrafts, and a few great eateries.


historic center of St Augustine
Historic center of St Augustine
Historic center of St Augustine

St Augustine is home to the oldest street in the US.

Visit the Oldest School House in the US

Not only is St Augustine home to the oldest street, but also the oldest wooden school house! You can find it right along the historic center, and even go inside to learn all about it.

Oldest wooden school house, things to do in St Augustine, Florida

The oldest wooden school house is located in the heart of St Augustine.

Check out the St Augustine Florida Downtown Area

Right outside the historic center you'll find the St Augustine Florida downtown area. This is where the most beautiful buildings in the city can be found. Some notable landmarks the visit are the Lightner Museum, Flagler College, and one of the most impressive Starbucks that you'll ever see.

things to do in St Augustine Florida
Starbucks in St Augustine Florida
St Augustine, Florida
Lightner Museum, things to do in St Augustine, Florida

The downtown area has some of the best architecture.

Take a Walk Down Magnolia Avenue

Did you know that not only the oldest street is located in St Augustine, but also one of the most beautiful. Mangnolia Avenue is lined with oak trees that canopy over the street, and it makes for a truly romantic area to explore.

Magnolia Avenue, things to do in St Augustine, Florida

Magnolia Avenue is one of the most beautiful streets in the US.

Peak Into Flagler College

While you're staring at the marvelous architecture of Flagler College from the outside, make sure to take a peak on the inside. Walk through the dates of the school and you'll find a beautiful plaza with a garden area and a fountain.

Flagler College, things to do in St Augustine, Florida
Flagler College, things to do in St Augustine, Florida
Flagler College, things to do in St Augustine, Florida
Flagler College, things to do in St Augustine, Florida

Flagler College is one of the most beautiful universities in the US.

Take a Ghost & Gravestones Tour

The oldest ghost tour in America can be found right in St Augustine. These one hour narrated tours are the perfect mix of sightseeing and storytelling, as you learn about dark stories that make up the streets of St Augustine. This is definitely one of the best things to do in St Augustine at night time. Want something even more fun? There are haunted pub crawls as well!

Tours in St Augustine

You can book tours online, or along the streets in the center of. St Augustine.

Want to book a haunted tour in St Augustine? Here are a few different options:

Admire the Bridge of Lions

The lion is the symbol of St Augustine, and you can find statues of them all around. Our favorite spot though is the Bridge of Lions, which is a giant drawbridge that connects downtown St Augustine to Anastasia Island. Spanning the Intercoastal, it is beautiful to admire from the outside, and a cool spot to get a birds' eye shot if you have a drone.


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Experience the Night of Lights

Want to witness the true magic of St Augustine? Well, each Saturday starting from mid November to the end of January the entire city lights up. Restaurants, shops, and hotels all contribute to bring some holiday joy, where you can enjoy three million lights shining along the streets. This is definitely one of the best things to experience in St Augustine, and one to add to your holiday bucket list!


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There are plenty of fun tours to experience the nights of lights. Some of the ones that you can choose from include trolley tours, gold cart tours, or even booze cruises.


Want to book one of these fun activities? Here are a few that we picked out for you:


Local Food & Drinks

One of our favorite things to do in St Augustine was experiencing the amazing restaurants and bars that this coastal town has to offer. From fresh seafood to boozy brunches, we've picked out some of the best restaurants in St Augustine Florida recommended by locals.


Best Restaurants in St Augustine Florida for Dinner:

Here are the top picks for a nice night out.

  • Michael's St Augustine: High quality steak house for those that want an extra nice dining experience
  • Collage: Romantic restaurant for a fancy night out
  • Llama: Cute Peruvian restaurant with fresh dishes

Best Restaurants in St Augustine Florida for Breakfast:

Ready for a fun way to start your day? Here are the top breakfast/brunch spots in St Augustine.

  • Pk's Roosevelt Room: The most incredible brunch spot in St Augustine, located in the heart of the historic district.
  • Maple Street Biscuits: Comfort food with a modern twist

Best Restaurants in St Augustine Florida for Lunch:

Now let's check out some great spots to eat to enjoy while it's still light out.

  • The Floridian: Great southern cuisine
  • Burrito Works: As our friends say: "The best damn burrito in town"
Roosevelt room, best restaurants in St Augustine Florida

The Roosevelt Room is one of the best restaurants in St Augustine Florida for brunch.


Getting Around St Augustine

St Augustine is a very small town, and is best explored on foot. We drove here, and rarely ever needed to use our car. The only places you'll really need to drive to are the beach and lighthouse.  Unfortunately, there aren't really public transportation options. However, a great way to get around is by bicycle, and you can also grab a taxi or Uber if you want to quickly get from the beach to the downtown area, or vice versa.

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Where to Stay: St Augustine Florida Best Hotels

Our favorite area to stay in St Augustine is in the historic district. This is where you'll find the best restaurants, shopping, and the top things to do in St Augustine. We love this city because it is completely different to other places in Florida like Orlando or Miami. Rather than huge hotel chains, there are adorable Bed & Breakfasts, that support locals rather than large corporations.


We stayed at an amazing B&B, and it is actually one of our favorite places we have ever stayed! (especially in the US). Lions and Lanterns is located in the heart of St Augustine, and is family run. The owner Josie and her sister Mack have incredible energy, love, and hospitality, making every guest feel like the family. The rooms are just gorgeous, and they have stunning details like handcrafted floors, a giant bonfire, and elaborate chandeliers hanging outside on the trees.


Lions and Lanterns, where to stay in St Augustine
Lions and Lanterns, where to stay in St Augustine
Lions and Lanterns, where to stay in St Augustine

Liona and Lanterns is the most beautiful place to stay in St Augustine.


Is St Augustine Safe?

St Augustine is an extremely safe town, and can easily be enjoyed both day and night. Whether you are a couple, group, or even solo traveler, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to safety in St Augustine. The locals are super friendly, and despite being a touristic destination, you will see locals always hanging around, chatting, and being helpful to those that are visiting on vacation.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting St Augustine

Now you know the best things to do in St Augustine, where to stay, and some of our favorite restaurants in town. But don't go anywhere! Here are a few other things to keep in mind.


Weather in St Augustine

Florida generally is much warmer than the rest of the country, and experiences sunshine and heat throughout the entire year. It's important to note that it rains a ton, especially in the summer months. The weather is extremely hot and humid in the summer months, while it has perfectly beautiful days in the winter months.


The Best Time to Visit St Augustine

Our favorite time to visit Florida is in the winter, from November to February. Hurricane season is from July through October, so this is when you'll experience the worst storms. It is also extremely hot and humid from May to September, so we definitely suggest avoiding these months. December and January is when Florida is the driest, and it is super comfortable to walk around. If you want to get in some solid beach days, the best time to visit St Augustine will be in the shoulder months like October or March.


Another reason that November and December are a great time to visit St Augustine is due to the epic "Night of Lights" celebration which happens every Saturday of the holiday season. It is perfect because you can experience a tropical getaway, but still feel the magic of Christmas at the same time.


Packing For a Trip to St Augustine

St Augustine is a great destination to enjoy the beach, but also enjoy the cute downtown. We suggest bringing a swimsuit, towel, and sunscreen for the beach, and some comfortable shoes to walk around and explore the streets of St Augustine. Finally, we suggest bringing a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated.

St Augustine Beach, things to do in St Augustine, Florida

St Augustine is a great beach destination.


St Augustine is Florida's best kept secret, and one of America's most underrated towns. We think spending a weekend here is the perfect amount of time to enjoy all that this quaint beach town has to offer.


Want to learn more about other US destinations? We have quite a few other popular destinations to check out, as well some other articles about Florida coming soon!


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