St. Augustine: Down Home Fun and Sunny Beaches in America’s Oldest City
Uncover St. Augustine’s Vacation Beaches, Historic Parks, Nature Preserves, Cultural Restaurants and more. South of Jacksonville and north of Orlando on the eastern edge of Florida you will discover Anastasia Island and home to the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine. With more than 40 miles of coastal paradise along the Atlantic ocean, St. Augustine offers a plethora of oceanfront and pristine beaches to choose from (any time of the year), making it a beach lovers dream come true. Whether you want to experience the spacious sands at Crescent Beach, enjoy a relaxing coastal view at Ponte Vedra Beach or see the active surf at St. Augustine’s Beach, there are enough unique coastal escapes for everyone to enjoy their own Florida beach holiday. Experience the serene views, gentle ocean breeze and the fresh scent of the oceans salt water. It’s not all relaxing in the sun in some of Florida’s best beaches; families may come to St. Augustine for a family beach picnics, couples may visit to scout out the perfect setting for a beach wedding and groups may seek out the perfect beach adventure.
POPULAR BEACHES OF ST. AUGUSTINE
The beaches of St. Augustine are relatively easy to access from along the coast and public beach parking is also easy to find. Anastasia State Recreation Park With more than five miles of pristine sandy beaches, the Anastasia State Park and Recreation Area is a great location for any beach holiday. It’s great for beach camping, for roadtrippers to park or backpackers to rest after a long beach hike. Amongst its beautiful beaches, Anastasia State Park has a bird sanctuary and offers the joy of experiencing nature or wildlife while still providing a full range of facilities. Some of its highlights include an equipment rental shop, nature trails, a volleyball court, picnic areas, gift shops, a bath house and playgrounds for the kids.
Resting below St. Augustine Beach, you can find a beach with an expanse of wide open sands called Crescent Beach. Crescent Beach is considered to be one of the most unspoiled and scenic beaches in Florida. Similar to other beaches you can hire a boat, fish, dive or have a convenient place to manage an RV.
Frank B. Butler County Park
A couple miles south of St. Augustine Beach there is a quiet beach and a park focused on preserving a fragile dune environment. GTM Guana River South Beach On the Northeast Florida coast you will find the Guana Tolomato Research Reserve. And not only is GTM a mouthful to say, it is also a lot to see, with over 70,000 acres of Vilano Beach Considered a hidden gem and the best kept secret of St. Augustine, Vilano Beach sits above the historic district and has a pleasant and welcoming local community. Vilano Beach offers a number of options for you to enjoy. There is a fishing pier and parks with picnic shelters, access to the beach and even outdoor showers. Visitors can rent Jet Skis, do parasailing, charter a sailboat or hire a boat to go a deep sea fishing.
DINING IN ST. AUGUSTINE
Dining in the St. Augustine area inspires visitors to explore their tastes as culinary masters prepare both modern and historical dishes. Options include easy access menus at beachfront shacks that sell seafood to full serviced restaurants with an international menu. If you prefer to stay near the five-star resorts, you can indulge in the fine dining that is available in places like Ponte Vedra Beach. Locally caught seafood is also available for those looking for the freshest meal options and local choice of ingredients. Whatever your taste, St. Augustine offers enough variety and options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, sidewalk cafes, and even some bakeries await to serve you what you crave in the moment.
THINGS TO DO IN ST. AUGUSTINE
Wave related activities enjoyed in St. Augustine include swimming, surfing, body surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and boogie boarding. But you can also focus on the beach itself and build sand castles, hunt for seashells, catch some fish or simply enjoy the views. Nature and wildlife is also unique as you can spot whales in the winter during their birthing ritual, dolphins in the day as they play or even an endangered beach mouse that roams the dunes of a beach preserve.
WHERE TO STAY IN ST. AUGUSTINE
How and where you decide to stay in the beach paradise of St. Augustine is part of the experience. You can choose from a variety of beach accommodations that include resorts by the beach, five star hotels, quaint bed and breakfast spots nestled nearby the ocean, campgrounds with full facilities or your can even expand your trip with a stay in a historical inn. Wherever you choose to stay you will be able to take in views of the Atlantic Ocean, relax with sea breeze and be close pretty much anything to satisfy any travelers needs.
EVENTS IN ST. AUGUSTINE
St. Augustine is famous for its heritage and considered the nation’s oldest city. In being such, it hosts a variety of events and celebrations that reflect its rich history. These events are often a great way to experience the culture that is truly unique to St. Augustine. Travelers can join locals on cobblestone streets and head to local fairs, festivals, live music, outdoor concerts and even historical re-enactments.
SHOPPING IN ST. AUGUSTINE
St. Augustine’s shopping history goes back to when sea merchants would use it as a port of trade. This old tradition continues today making St. Augustine one of the South’s most popular shopping and vacation destinations. Travelers can find a plethora of treasures for purchase in one of the many available shops. Whether you are hunting for that perfect souvenir or just looking to treat yourself to a new gift, the options are endless. You can find jewelry, clothing, condiments and even spices and wines. Art, antiques and historical gift items are also available as well as memorabilia of this ancient city.