America's “Ancient City” is famous for its historic streets and colonial-era monuments as well as its beaches, wildlife and water sports.

St. Augustine is the oldest European settlement on the U.S. mainland, hence its nickname the “Ancient City.” It was founded by the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, all the way back in 1565 and has been plundered and conquered several times. Visit the sunny Florida city to discover influences from the Spanish, English, Greeks, Africans and Native Americans.

Find traces of nearly five centuries worth of history in St. George Street alone. Admire the Spanish-style buildings, the Oldest Store museum and horse-drawn carts traveling along cobblestone streets. Visit the 1740s-themed Colonial Spanish Quarter, a living museum. Stop for a break in one of the old taverns; some have dining by candlelight only. St. Augustine’s many 19th-century buildings still display the splendor of the “Gilded Age.”

Don’t miss the chance to visit Castillo de San Marcos: The oldest standing European fort in continental America. Book a scenic cruise from the Municipal Marina to see the fort from the water and get pictures of the old lighthouse. While you’re at Castillo de San Marcos, take the kids to the Pirate and Treasure Museum to see artifacts such as treasure chests, maps and flags.

St. Augustine has barrier islands accessible via two bridges: Francis and Mary Usina Bridge in the north, and the Bridge of Lions in the south.

Head south to Anastasia Island to enjoy the white sand of St. Augustine Beach. Stop by St. John’s County Pier when you visit Anastasia State Park with its bird sanctuary, beaches, nature trails, picnic areas and camping grounds. The quieter northern barrier island has Vilano Beach. Come here for beachfront restaurants and fishing excursions.

In St. Augustine most attractions are within walking distance of the city center. Join a narrated hop-on, hop-off trolley tour for a faster, and affordable, way to see more of the city and learn the history. It’s best to rent a car if you plan to visit the barrier islands.

Where to stay in St. Augustine

St. Augustine Historic District
St. Augustine which includes street scenes

St. Augustine Historic District

Known for Historical Buildings, Museums, Tours

5/5(10 reviews)

St. Augustine Historic District is popular for its abundant dining options, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine or St. George Street.

Crescent Beach
Crescent Beach, St. Augustine, Florida, United States of America
trover photo by Tanya Cervo

Crescent Beach

Known for Beaches, Sea, Relaxing

Travellers come to Crescent Beach for its beaches, and you can see top attractions like St. Augustine Beach and Fort Matanzas National Monument while you're in town.

Vilano Beach
Vilano Beach, St. Augustine, Florida, United States of America

Vilano Beach

Known for Beaches, Sea, Tours

Vilano Beach is known for its stunning beaches, and you can see some sights area like Vilano Beach and Usina Beach.

Butler Beach
Butler Beach, St. Augustine, Florida, United States of America
trover photo by Carmen Bustin-Dinning

Butler Beach

Known for Sea, Beaches, Friendly People

Butler Beach is popular for its beaches, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to St. Augustine Beach or Butler Beach State Park.

Downtown Historic District
St. Augustine which includes street scenes

Downtown Historic District

4.5/5(2 reviews)

If you're spending some time in Downtown Historic District, Lightner Museum and Castillo de San Marcos are top sights worth seeing.

Old Town
Old Town, St. Augustine, Florida, United States of America
trover photo by Rathel 🦄

Old Town

Known for Historical Buildings, Museums, Walking

Travellers come to Old Town for its abundant dining options, and you can see top attractions like St. George Street and Aviles Street while you're in town.

Top hotels in St. Augustine

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Smart Stay Inn
The Smart Stay Inn
2.5 out of 5
2365 FL-16, St. Augustine, FL
£55
per night
10 Dec-11 Dec

Situated near the airport, this motel is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from St. Augustine Premium Outlets and within 6 miles (10 km) of Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,129 reviews)

"Newly remodeled. Smelled very clean and was nice and inviting. Very good for our 1 night stay. Even though it was next to the highway, it was relatively quiet."…"

Reviewed on 19 Nov 2019

The Smart Stay Inn
Villa 1565
Villa 1565
2 out of 5
137 San Marco Ave, St. Augustine, FL
£75
per night
27 Nov-28 Nov

Located in the heart of St. Augustine, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Mission of Nombre de Dios and Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological ...

3.1/5 (2,137 reviews)

"They are doing renovations, and push the carts along the cobblestone walkways early in the am , which was a bit of a nuisance for someone who is not an early riser. The water was only like warm no matter when you took a shower . Otherwise the Stat was wonderful. Staff very accommodating. Location ..."…"

Reviewed on 20 Nov 2019

Villa 1565
Guy Harvey Resort on St Augustine Beach
Guy Harvey Resort on St Augustine Beach
2.5 out of 5
860 A1A Beach Blvd, St. Augustine, FL
£80
per night
1 Dec-2 Dec

Nestled on the beach, this St. Augustine hotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from St. Augustine Beach and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Anastasia State Park. Anastasia State Recreation ...

3.4/5 (1,960 reviews)

"The front desk clerk, Eric, was delightful and friendly He gave me great tips about the area and described your property for our convenience and comfort. The property is beautiful, good bar, nice staff ,yummy breakfast and the ocean view is superb!"…"

Reviewed on 15 Nov 2019

Guy Harvey Resort on St Augustine Beach

Popular things to do in St. Augustine

Castillo de San Marcos
Image for Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos

4.5/5(8 reviews)

Explore one of the the oldest standing masonry forts in North America and watch cannons being fired from the ramparts.

World Golf Village
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World Golf Village

4.5/5(4 reviews)

Hit the links in St. Augustine at World Golf Village, a popular golf course. Stroll along the beautiful beaches or attend a sporting event in this quaint area.

Flagler College
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Flagler College

4.5/5(7 reviews)

Walk around the campus of Flagler College, a top university in St. Augustine. Stroll along the beautiful beaches or seek out the local tours.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
Image for St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park

4/5(1 review)

Feed and pet an alligator, hold a snake and meet a range of colorful and unusual reptiles and birds at one of Florida’s longest-running attractions. 

Anastasia State Park
Image for Anastasia State Park

Anastasia State Park

4.5/5(4 reviews)

Camp in the forest and relax on spectacular beaches when you visit one of Florida’s most beautiful state parks.

Lightner Museum
Image for Lightner Museum

Lightner Museum

4.5/5(5 reviews)

Lightner Museum is a popular museum in St. Augustine with a rich history. Stroll along the beautiful beaches or seek out the local tours.

Top activities in St. Augustine

St Augustine Old Town Trolley Hop-on Hop-off City Tour
Image for St Augustine Old Town Trolley Hop-on Hop-off City Tour

St Augustine Old Town Trolley Hop-on Hop-off City Tour

£22

Your expert trolley conductor navigates the streets as you admire the Ancient City, St. Augustine, in all its glory. See everything from historical attractions such as the site where Ponce de Leon first landed, to unique attractions as the Alligator Farm.

St. Augustine Haunted Tour : Ghosts & Gravestones
Image for St. Augustine Haunted Tour : Ghosts & Gravestones

St. Augustine Haunted Tour : Ghosts & Gravestones

£23

Explore the darker side of the nation’s oldest city, St Augustine. Hop on the Trolley of the Doomed to explore landmarks of the supernatural and hear tales of murder, ghostly apparitions, and hauntings. Keep watch as you enter the Old City Gates for ghost-child Elizabeth, a yellow fever victim.

Old Town Trolley, Old Jail & the Oldest Store & History Museums
Image for Old Town Trolley, Old Jail & the Oldest Store & History Museums

Old Town Trolley, Old Jail & the Oldest Store & History Museums

£38

Experience the best of St. Augustine as you ride on the iconic Old Town Trolley to sights such as the Old Jail, Oldest Store Museum, and the History Museum. Use your 1-day pass to hop on and off as you please along the trolley route at 23 stops to explore over 100 points of interest.

St. Augustine Inshore Fishing Trip
Image for St. Augustine Inshore Fishing Trip

St. Augustine Inshore Fishing Trip

£107

Let your worries sink away as you cruise in a modern inshore flats boat across the shimmering waters of St. Augustine. While away the day with a knowledgeable captain, as well as all the necessary equipment and bait, as you explore the flats in search of the perfect catch.

Potter's Wax Museum
Image for Potter's Wax Museum

Potter's Wax Museum

£10

With over 160 wax sculptures, snap photos and interact with wax-likenesses of historic figures such as Ponce de Leon, Albert Einstein, and Princess Diana. Befriend celebrities like Michael Jordan and Angelina Jolie.

World Famous - St Augustine Nights of Lights - Water Tour
Image for World Famous - St Augustine Nights of Lights - Water Tour

World Famous - St Augustine Nights of Lights - Water Tour

£31

Departing from the Vilano Beach Fishing Pier at 260 Vilano Road, Red Boat's 45 foot White Pelican will transport you across Matzas Bay and into the center of beautiful downtown St Augustine, all dressed up for the holidays, in incomparable comfort.

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