St. Augustine is known as the oldest city in the United States, founded in 1565 by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. The settlement was named after the feast day of St. Augustine. There is so much history in St. Augustine, and by default, a TON of amazing things to do that you won't want to miss!
Flagler College is not on this list, but an honorable mention. It is located smack dab in the historic downtown area of St. Augustine. The College is absolutely beautiful. Feel free to explore the grounds and even get a chance to tour the College.
Here is a list of the Top 10 Things to do in St. Augustine:
1. Visit St. Augustine Beach
If you are staying on the beach, then that's a bonus! St. Augustine beach is just a quick 10 minute drive from downtown St. Augustine. The beach touches the warm Atlantic Ocean and boasts the most beautiful sunrises. St. Augustine Beach has a long pier you can walk out to, or fish off of. You may also catch some surfers when the waves are decent.
2. Explore George Street/Historic Old Town
In the center of downtown St. Augustine, you'll come across George Street. You can't miss it - You will see more people here, and tons of eateries and shops. The historic cobblestone street of old town are a must visit when you are here. You'll find more unique shops and hidden gems when you walk down side street, away from the crowds. Casa de Vino 57 is a hidden winery among these streets, so if you find it, stop by!
3. Take a Ghost or Vampire Tour
Because St. Augustine is the oldest city in the Nation, just imagine with spooky ghost stories you'll hear on a unique ghost tour via trolley. Your guide will take you to the most haunted areas in the city and share stories of deceased citizens that can still be seen wandering the streets in the darkest of hours. Tours are both spooky and informative. You can find these all over trip advisor.
4. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
This is by far the most visited attractions in all of St. Augustine. The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is the oldest and largest masonry fort in the United States. It was built from Coquina, made from crushed sea shells, and is quite the site to see. It sits right on the Matanza Bay in the History District of St. Augustine, so you truly can't miss it. You may even get a chance to see soldier re-enacting the daily duties of colonial life. Listen for the canon!
$15 per person for adults 16+. Children under the age of 16 are free.
5. The Black Raven Pirate Ship
You can see the Black Raven Pirate Ship floating on the water outside of Historic Downtown St. Augustine. This Pirate Ship is home to the best treasure hunts, pirate parties, birthday parties, and more. A great excursion for families with young kids, as the treasure hunt is super interactive for young ones. The excursion is just 1.5 hours long, and there is a bar on the ship for adults as well. $35 for adults, $25 for children.
6. Be a Prisoner for a day
Visit St. Augustine's Historic old Jail that was built in 1891. It was built by Henry Flager, who designed it to look like a beautiful Victorian hotel so that it blended in with the elegant vibe of the city. You'll get a chance to tour the entire facility, explore the prisoner cells, sheriff's living quarters, and the extremely secure cells where dangerous prisoner's on death row were held. You can also see this prison on certain ghost tours, which make it an even more eerie experience! Adults $13, Children $7.
7. Visit Anastasia State Park
Located just 5 minutes from downtown St. Augustine, Anastasia State Park is sandwiched right between downtown and the beaches. The beach is beautiful, but the park itself boasts with sand dunes, tidal salt marsh, and tons of wildlife. You can also rent kayaks or paddleboards here and explore on your own, or take lessons! There is a nice walking path as well, and a gorgeous boardwalk leading out to the beach. Additionally, you can camp in Anastasia State Park too!
8. Walk Across the Bridge of Lions
The Bridge of Lions is a double-leaf bascule bridge that spans the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine. A part of State Road A1A, it connects downtown St. Augustine to Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay. A pair of copies of the marble Medici lions guard the bridge, begun in 1925 and completed in 1927. Roads & Bridges magazine named the Bridge of Lions as fourth in the nation's top 10 bridges for 2010. It is a beautiful bridge and a gorgeous walk, especially at sunrise or sunset!
9. Tour St. Augustine Distillery
The tours here are FREE. St. Augustine Distillery is located in the old Ice Plant Building. The owners are committed to creating some of the best whiskey, vodka, rum, and gin in the nation. Take a free tour to see how these liquors are distilled and grab some grub at the popular Ice Plant restaurant up stairs.
10. Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
While exploring historic downtown St. Augustine, you'll likely catch a glimpse of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. This gorgeous cathedral was built in 1793 and is home to the oldest Christian congregation in the nation (est. 1565). Take a peek inside to see the breathtaking ornate design and exposed ceilings. You can't miss the Cathedral Basilica.
There you have it! The Top 10 Things to do in St. Augustine, FL. Although I'm sure you can find more things outside of this list, these are the Top 10 Things you DON'T want to miss while visiting the nation's oldest city.
Honorable Mention -
The Scoot Coupe Rentals are SO. MUCH. FUN. If you are visiting St. Augustine and want to tour the city without hopping on a packed, touristy trolley, look into renting one of these bad boys! We rented one for 2 hours, toured the entire city, and even stopped by Maple Street Biscuit Company for a quick bite. We had a blast, wind blowing in our hair, and felt like we were kids again. Highly recommend if you want to do something out of the ordinary.
I hope this list gives you some great ideas for things to do in St. Augustine. Between the history, outdoor adventure, and walkability of the city, you'll find plenty of things to do to keep you busy.
Looking for more? Check out this Ultimate St. Augustine Weekend Getaway Itinerary
Don't forget to check out these too:
Top Eats in St. Augustine - best spots for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and drinks
Best Accommodations in St. Augustine - where to stay and why