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33 SENSATIONAL THINGS TO DO IN ST AUGUSTINE FOR ALL TRAVEL TYPES

365 Atlanta Traveler logo: MainLogo 365 Atlanta Traveler 8/15/2022 365 Atlanta Traveler

St. Augustine, FL is known as the nation’s oldest city — the Ancient City. Beyond just history, this seaside destination has something for everyone.

There are beautiful beaches and more than 100 historic and unique things to do in St. Augustine that will create a memorable vacation on the East Coast of Florida

Here are 33 ways to experience history and entertainment on Florida’s Historic Coast.

Whether it’s your first time, you are traveling with kids, you’re searching for the beach, or just looking to enjoy the culinary scene – St Augustine has it all.

Click here to see all of our St Augustine photos on Facebook!

FIRST-TIME VISITORS

OLD TOWN TROLLEY TOUR

We’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating.  When a tourist destination is packed with things to see and do, so much so that it seems a bit overwhelming at first, start with a trolley tour.  It’s a great way to get a lay of the land and hear about the history, locations and activities available from an expert guide.  

When you’re done you can decide what interests you the most and head back to your favorite spots for closer inspection.  Or if you prefer, at least in the case of the St. Augustine Old Town Trolley Tour, get off at the stop of your choosing to spend a little extra time and then grab the next trolley.  They run about every 15 minutes.

We recommend you start the tour at the Old Jail.  There’s ample space here for parking, and plenty of things to do before jumping on.  There are 23 stops in total – not all of which are in the Historic District. But the trolley snakes back and forth so much the majority of the time is spent in the heart of the original city.  The tour is just shy of 90 minutes long, the entirety of which you’ll be entertained with stories from the city’s rich history to present day. 

Our tour guide’s name was quite literally Davey Jones, which opened the door to plenty of pirate (and Monkees) humor.  Queue a “Hey Hey We’re the Monkees” sing-along with the entire trolley. All in all it was a comedic and informative tour which set the table perfectly for the rest of our day.

The Old Jail, our recommended first stop is located at 167 San Marco Ave St Augustine, FL 32084 and the trolley runs daily from 9AM to 4:30 PM.  There’s plenty of ticket options that include admission to other attractions. 

FLAGLER COLLEGE

Flagler College was one of the most interesting stories we learned about on the trolley tour. Without the story, you might think this is just another (gorgeous) college campus.

In its former life as Hotel Ponce de Leon, the dining room was of special focus. Designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, he added a number of magnificent details, including a number of stained glass windows. When I say they will take your breath away, I mean it. They are gorgeous!

If you have time, take a tour of the college (given by students for credit) after your trolley tour.

THE ST AUGUSTINE OLD JAIL

The St. Augustine Old Jail was built in 1891 by Henry Flagler to look like a hotel, so the building would blend in with the rest of the city. Taking a tour from guides dressed in period garb gives you a real-life look inside the jail cells, maximum security, weapons, and the sheriff’s living quarters.

The Old Jail is located at Trolley Stop #1, which offers free parking, so don’t miss it. Admission is included with many of the trolley packages.

You’ll also find the Old General Store here, too. A walk-through, guided tour takes you on a shopping experience with a salesman from the past. You will be shown new inventions – from the animal-powered washing machine to corn shuckers, bicycles and elixirs.

CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS NATIONAL MONUMENT

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument sits in the Historic District of St Augustine, on the water and within reach of all the Ancient City offers. It sits on the Western shore of the Matanzas Bay, and is lauded as the city’s most popular attraction. We highly recommend you spend a few hours here, and this is what you need to know before you go!

Why This Fort Is Special. At over 300 years old, this fort has seen many battles, many wars, many fights…but there are two things that stood out most to me. First, it is the oldest masonry fortress in the US, built in 1695. The star-shaped design originated in Italy and came about because of the advancement in black powder weapons and cannon fire.

Second, Castillo is one of only two fortifications in the world built built of a limestone called coquina (the other is also in the same region – see more info below.) Coquina is very porous and was originally thought to be a poor material with which to build the fort. Ironic now that this one still stands and the numerous wooden forts previously in the area were destroyed.

Boy, were they surprised when that first cannon ball hit the walls – with very little impact! Turns out that all those holes create air pockets that make the fort exceptionally STRONG! Instead of shattering the walls, any cannon balls fired at the fort burrowed their way into the rock and stuck there… like a bb fired into a Styrofoam cup. On top of that, it was fire-proof!

And with that, Castillo became of the country’s few forts that remained impenetrable!

Kids Are Free. Castillo de San Marcos is a “walk in” park…so you walk through instead of driving in. The $15pp fee for adults is good for 7-days, so if you want to revisit for a cannon demonstration or sunset view while you’re in town, you don’t have to pay extra.

Kiddos 15yo and younger are free! making this an affordable family adventure.

Become a Junior Ranger. If you’re bringing the kiddos then don’t forget to ask about the Junior Ranger Program. I like to print our books before we go, and review a little with the boys to get them excited before we visit. You can also pick up a booklet at the park.

The program is perfect for kids 6-12, and it is free. The parks usually say it takes about an hour to complete, but it always takes us longer. Often we have to finish at home, but you can still send your book back in once you’re home from vacation, and they will mail your kiddo their certificate and Junior Ranger Badge.

Take The Trolley. There is a small parking lot in front of the Fort…or you can easily explore the Fort if you’ve been taking in the Downtown sites…but we visited the Fort on our trolley ride, and really recommend it.

If you start the Trolley Tour at the Old Jail, like we recommend in our St Augustine post, you’ll reach the Fort at nearly the end of the route. The stop is in the parking lot (pick up and drop off.) . Pay attention to the drop-off point because it’s not marked.

I liked this with kids, especially, because after sitting for about 45 min, they were ready to explore…and I didn’t have to hear any “I’m tired”-ness. The were ready for the adventure!

After we toured the Fort, we walked over and had lunch at Taberna del Caballo in the Colonial Quarter, explored the streets (and had a popsicle at The Hyppo) and then grabbed the trolley again back at the parking lot. Easy Peasy – no parking hassles.

Plan To Hear a Ranger Talk. As soon as you purchase your ticket, ask them about Ranger Programs for the day. The Park Rangers give a number of interpretive talks throughout the day on various subjects, and you’ll want to be sure to catch one…to get the inside scoop on the Fort.

There is also a video on the Fort every hour, so be sure to see it. If you can’t make your schedule work, then check out the great videos online before you go!

Watch a Demonstration. If you are in the area on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday then make it a priority to see a cannon-firing demonstration. You can find the schedule here.

The Park Rangers demonstrate the cannons (and other weapons) and share about the life of colonial Spanish soldiers in the 1740s.

Remember, even if you don’t want to tour the Fort on a weekend (that is their most busy time) your ticket is good for 7 days, so don’t miss this!

FORT MATANZAS

Fort Matanzas. We want to point out that Castillo de San Marcos is an amazing and important Fort in St Augustine history – but it’s not the only one.

Our favorite was Fort Matanzas – because of the water ferry, the smaller number of guests touring, the intimate story telling from the Park Ranger, and the ability to really “get our head around” the story there. Here’s the scoop…

Fort Matanzas sits on the Matanzas River, a name which literally translates to “massacre”.  The name comes from an atrocity that took place in 1565 when the Spanish army executed 111 French Huguenots in cold blood.  The Fort itself was built to protect the mouth of the river, a backdoor entry point that leads to the valuable St. Augustine port 12 miles to the north.

It’s set across the river in an area you can only get to by boat.  You have to board a small ferry where park rangers will take you across and give you a tour.  It’s a very small fort which was only used as an outpost and early warning system, and not a full scale fortification. 

I think it was the size and scope of the whole experience that made us like it so much.  It was easier to wrap our heads around all of the info we needed for a full story, creating a very comprehensive experience around the fort and its history. 

Something about the boat ride and relatively small number of people that enter the fort at any given time further lend itself to the experience.  

The whole tour takes about one hour, from the time you get on the ferry to the time you get off to go back to your car.  The experience is free, but you still need to check in at the Fort Matanzas visitor center and get passes.  Everyone in your party needs a pass. 

Check the parks’ website for the ferry schedule. When we visited the park was open from 9AM to 5:30PM.  The ferry runs every hour on the half hour from 9:30AM to 4:30PM. If you get there early enough, 45 minutes to an hour from ferry time, you can pick up your tickets and then explore the .6 mile nature boardwalk or walk the shoreline of the estuary.

(Next time we’re in St Augustine, we will also take in Fort Mose. It was the first free African settlement in the US.)

PONCE DE LEON’S FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. I knew that the Fountain of Youth had to be one of our stops when visiting St Augustine – the mystery, the intrigue…the romanticism of exploration and healing waters… Is this really Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth? Hardly. But is it still a place you should send 2-3 hours exploring? Without a doubt.

Here’s why.

Drink Up. You can drink from the famed Fountain of Youth!! While it won’t stop the aging process (I tried, I tried!) it is actually a spring discovered in 1513, flowing fresh water. The water is a bit warm and sulphur-smelling…but that just means it’s authentic.

Inside the spring house we learned from one of the period-costumed staff about the story of de Leon landing in Florida…and he fantastically sifted the myths from the truths about this time period.

Did you know that, contrary to legend, he was not intent on finding the Fountain of Youth? In fact, there is no record of him ever mentioning it – even in the recently uncovered “secret” communications between him and the king. Nothing. Nada.

His mission? Shiny gold and “taming natives.” Not nearly as noble as the legend.

See A Colorful Show. We pulled into the parking lot and were shocked to see a few peacocks. They strutted their stuff, and caught our attention for a good 20 minutes!  We were mesmerized!

Then we walked into the park…

The peacocks command the entire 15-acres of the park – roaming free, eating bugs, and cooing between each other!! So unexpected and lovely.

In the flock of 25- 30 birds are a few rare pure white peacocks. They look like giant snowflakes…gorgeous to behold.

Do The Scavenger Hunt. If you’re traveling with kiddos, don’t miss the scavenger hunt they offer (free) at the ticket booth. It’s an easy one, but creates a fun experience for the kids and allows you to guide them through the park and take everything in….even if they ARE learning new things at the same time (shhhh! They’ll never know! ha!)

Experience the Past. Speaking of learning…there are fantastic educational demonstrations within the park on a regular basis. You can see how the colonial guns and cannons were loaded — and even see the cannons being shot!

Watch the blacksmith preparing horse shoes…watch a period crossbow shooting…get a tour from a monk…view the stars as they looked to Ponce DeLeon in the planetarium…and learn about food and weapon preparations within the village.

Demonstrations happen regularly throughout the days; check the ticket booth for the schedule.

DISCOUNT TICKETS: St Augustine TourPass is the way to see St Augustine affordably. Pick a 1, 2 or 3-day pass which gets you 2, 3 or 4 Featured tours PLUS unlimited entry into all the Standard tours. The pass includes the trolley, the Old Jail and more.  Buy here.

THINGS TO DO IN ST AUGUSTINE WITH KIDS

MARINELAND AND DOLPHIN ADVENTURE

Marineland and Dolphin Adventure is the world’s first oceanarium and the perfect place to check off a bucket list item: swimming with dolphins! There are 1.3 million gallons of dolphin habitats here with a number of ways to see and experience the dolphins. MORE DETAILS: Find more info here in our exclusive post about Marineland.

Even if you are not prepared to dive with dolphins, it’s still a great place to stop. Our behind-the-scenes tour included watching them feed the sharks, watching the trainers work with new dolphins, and learn about its beginnings as an underwater film studio.  And of course we love their relationship with our very own Georgia Aquarium.

ST AUGUSTINE PIRATE AND TREASURE MUSEUM

St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum is on St. George Street which is, for most, the main attraction of St Augustine. The museum uniquely combines the history and artifacts of pirates from St. Augustine’s past with a more modern look at the subject in film.

They made the extra effort to make this a real kid pleasing experience with interactive displays.  Our kids enjoyed guessing the contents of a cargo hold just from the scent, which is not nearly as gross as it sounds.  Another favorite activity was the cannon firing simulation, where we pretended to light up the gun powder, complete with big boom.  And have you ever seen a real pirate treasure chest?  We did and were fascinated.

The inclusion of props, posters and other info about pirates on the silver screen really topped off the museum tour.   From Errol Flynn, to Johnny Depp, if a movie included pirates its likely to be represented here. The centerpiece of the exhibit was a sword brandished by the infamous Jack Sparrow.

Pro Tip: If your kiddos really love pirates, consider taking them out on the Black Raven pirate ship!

ST AUGUSTINE ALLIGATOR FARM

Alligator Farm will top your list of things to do in St. Augustine with kids. Having opened on May 20, 1893, it is  one of Florida’s oldest continuously running attractions. I can see why! My kids were in awe of the number of alligators and crocodiles here. Getting such an up-close view, it is a great place to really see the difference in these two reptiles. My son still talks about how he got to “feed hundreds of alligators.”

COLONIAL QUARTER

Colonial Quarter is where the kiddos (and adults!) can roam 2-acres, taking in how it would have been to live in the city in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. In this living museum you can see “residents” crafting a new boat, firing cannons, and more.

DISCOUNT TICKETS: St Augustine TourPass is the way to see St Augustine affordably. Pick a 1, 2 or 3-day pass which gets you 2, 3 or 4 Featured tours PLUS unlimited entry into all the Standard tours. Buy here.

TAKE A TOUR

THE ST AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is an iconic structure that is worth a visit! Climb up the black spiral staircase to the very top for a fantastic 360-view of the area. There is also a nature trail, interactive museum and shipyard playground.  Tours run on the hour from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., or you can adventure on your own.

You can do this during the day for sure, but the fun here is taking their premium tours. The Dark of the Moon ghost tour gets you into the tower at night, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse Side Quest is an escape room-type experience in which families, friends, and groups work together to solve a mystery or save the day.

GHOST AND GRAVESTONES NIGHT TOUR

Ghost & Gravestones Night Tour is voted the best ghost tour of St. Augustine. Board the trolley for a spooky ride through the sinister past of St. Augustine. As you pass all the known haunted spots, the animated guide will share stories of the ghosts and ghouls believed to still wander the streets of the town.

SCENIC CRUISE

Scenic Cruise is a relaxing way to soak up some St. Augustine history. The 75-minute, narrated boat ride takes you down Matanzas Bay where you may also see dolphins and birds in their natural habitat.

DISCOUNT TICKETS: St Augustine TourPass is the way to see St Augustine affordably. Pick a 1, 2 or 3-day pass which gets you 2, 3 or 4 Featured tours PLUS unlimited entry into all the Standard tours. Buy here.

FOLLOW THE CULINARY TRAIL

ST AUGUSTINE DISTILLERY

St. Augustine Distillery We’re no strangers to distillery, brewery and vineyard tours.  They can be a lot of fun – especially the tastings!   But some can be a bit redundant. Not this one! St Augustine Distillery is uniquely located in a 100-year-old ice factory that was renovated just for this.

A Distinctive Tour with Unique Information. This tour set itself apart from the moment we walked through the door.  The ticket area, where you receive your complimentary passes for the next tour, was itself a small museum.  The fifteen minutes we had to wait for the next tour went by quickly as we perused displays about the history of the area, distillery, and cooperage- the art of barrel making.

We were then led into a presentation area with seating to begin the official tour, another unique aspect of the attraction.  Here again you’ll learn about a lot more than just distilling – the information is told from a historical perspective, framing the distillery in place and time.. and adding depth to the story.

From there it is on to the tour of the distillery itself, and two separate tastings.  Yes, I said two!  More info on this below.

A “Cool” Venue. The building was originally the FP&L Ice Plant, Florida’s oldest ice manufacturer.  A pretty cool tie-in for those like me that enjoy their spirits on the rocks.  It’s part of the National Register of Historic Places and was the first to make ice commercially in Florida over 100 years ago.

Which is also why you’ll find a little restaurant above the distillery called the Ice Plant Bar. The Ice Plant Bar, which is not owned by the distillery, is a great place to stop afterward to enjoy lunch or dinner, or maybe just an appetizer and tumbler of St. Augustine Bourbon, on the rocks.

Innovative Tastings. This is where the St. Augustine Distillery really set itself apart.  We’re used to completing distillery tours with a small sampling of the product.  We know it’s what you’re thinking of the entire time anyway, and what tour would be complete without it?  But this tour was a bit different. 

After seeing where the magic happens we were led into a room with a very ornate and beautifully hand crafted bar. There, our tour guide showed us how to make three different cocktails, The Moscow Mule (vodka), The Tropical Tiki (rum) and The Grapefruit Hibiscus (gin).  And oh yes – we did get to sample all three.  They also had lemonade available for the kiddos – a nice touch.

And then we were led into yet another room!  Here we had the opportunity to sample any bourbon on the menu.  We found the Port Finished Bourbon the most interesting and unique – bourbon finished in a barrel formerly used to age port.  We could really taste the distinction. 

At this point they had us. We opted for a bottle of the single batch bourbon from the store, and glad we did.  As amateur bourbon lovers, they all get a big thumbs up.  As mentioned, they also create and sell vodka, rum and gin.

The St. Augustine Distillery is located at 112 Riberia Street in historic Lincolnville, just south of King Street in downtown St. Augustine.  As luck would have it, this is a stop on the trolley stop!  Tours run every day and are free of charge.

EAT YOUR WAY THRU HISTORY AT THE COLONIAL QUARTER

Three restaurants tell the history of the city through food:

The Spanish dominated the area on and off for the first several hundred years of the city’s existence.  Taberna del Caballo is an authentic Spanish restaurant that’s located in a historic “taberna”, or indoor market place.  We enjoyed the empanadas! 

Did you know that the British occupied St. Augustine from 1763 to 1784?  It’s called The British Period and came about through the Treaty of Paris.  To celebrate head to the Bull & Crown Publick House in the Colonial Quarter for authentic British atmosphere and fare.  Another historic location, the Bull & Crown was built on the original site of a skilled Minorcan carpenter, Francisco Pellicer.  Grab a draught brew or a flight from the St. Augustine Distillery with some Fish & Chips!

Finally, you can’t go to a great coastal location like St. Augustine without sampling the seafood.  We suggest the St. Augustine Seafood Company.  In their own words, “We hope to share with you the story of St. Augustine’s proud fishing legacy by showcasing the people and history behind the rise of America’s shrimp boat city.”  If locally sourced seafood is what you’re after, this is the place to go.  Try the chowder, a seafood basket or fresh catch sandwich.

WHETSTONE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

Whetstone Chocolate Factory has been making chocolate in St. Augustine for 40+ years and is a local favorite. Daily tours are given where you can learn where chocolate comes from, see how the beans are roasted, and taste the chocolate!

SAN SEBASTIAN WINERY

San Sebastian Winery sits in one of Henry Flagler’s old East Coast Railway buildings. We didn’t make it to the winery, but we did enjoy a bottle (or three…) while we were there and it is PERFECTION!

Tours and tastings are free, and you’ll want to make time to enjoy The Cellar Upstairs (on the rooftop,) which plays live music and draws the locals. Shhhh!  Most tourists don’t know this, so keep in on the down low.

THE HYPPO

The Hyppo is your go-to place for hand-crafted, gourmet ice pops. 450 different flavors all start with fresh (never pre-frozen) fruit…add some herbs, unprocessed cane sugar syrup, and you get delicious ice pops! And the name? The city of St. Augustine was given its name because it was discovered on the Feast of Saint Augustine of Hippo…or Hyppo!

DISCOUNT TICKETS: St Augustine TourPass is the way to see St Augustine affordably. Pick a 1, 2 or 3-day pass which gets you 2, 3 or 4 Featured tours PLUS unlimited entry into all the Standard tours. Buy here.

BEACH FUN

Crescent Beach is a beautiful stretch of the coastline off of A1A,  just south of St. Augustine City. It offers a wide sand space, creating a peaceful atmosphere with loads of open play area. PS. Fido is welcome here!

Vilano Beach is a secret beach, located just north of downtown St. Augustine’s historic district, on the north side of the Matanzas Inlet. Note that though in a charming area, this beach has a steep drop-off, a heavy surf, and a strong current due to its location near the inlet, making it ideal for surfing (when the tide is coming in) and skimboarding…but less attractive to families with small kids.

St. Johns County Ocean Pier is popular with both tourists and residents, with a pier offering access to the main beach as well as beachside restaurants, shops and more. It’s in the city of St Augustine Beach, where we stayed at Embassy Suites. 

Don’t miss “A Street” access where cars can drive on the beach and park for a nominal fee between March 1 and Labor Day. A Street also offers public parking with outdoor showers and restrooms.

Anastasia State Park is a full-range park facility, ideal for camping families and beachgoers. Located on Anastasia Island, you will not only find 4-miles of pristine beaches, but native Florida hammocks and tons of wildlife too.

South Ponte Vedra Beach sits north of St. Augustine in an ideal spot for little ones, offering wide open play areas and beachfront picnic spots. The beach has grills and picnic tables. It’s located just two miles south of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.

DISCOUNT TICKETS: St Augustine TourPass is the way to see St Augustine affordably. Pick a 1, 2 or 3-day pass which gets you 2, 3 or 4 Featured tours PLUS unlimited entry into all the Standard tours. Buy here.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH

Potters Wax Museum is a unique wax figure exhibit that began in 1947. What sets this wax museum apart from others we have visited, is all the facts scattered throughout the museum. Most figures have a short biography next to them to keep you engaged. Like all wax museums, this is a great place to practice your selfie skills!

Ripley’s Believe It or Not in St. Augustine opened in 1950, one year after Ripley founder Robert Ripley passed away. It is the first permanent Ripley’s collection and is housed in Castle Warden. The “castle” was originally built in 1887 for William G. Warden, partner of oil and railroad moguls Henry Flagler and John D. Rockefeller.

World Golf Hall of Fame is an impressive 35,000 square foot museum that honors famous golfers. Not only will you get to see exhibits focused on the history of golf, equipment and course design, but you get the opportunity to play a round on the 18-hole course.

The Old Wooden School House is a small attraction that will only take a few minutes to experience, but is extremely interesting to see. My elementary-age son was in disbelief by the punishment kids went through during that time. Kids will receive a little diploma upon exiting.

St. Augustine Wild Reserve lies north of the Historic District and is home to many exotic pets that needed new homes. This reserve rescues wild animals that were living as pets, but then were given up by their owners when they realized that an exotic wild animal is not a great fit for domesticated life.

When you visit the Wild Reserve, you will have a chance to see bears, wolves, lions, tigers, egrets and more.

Lightner Museum is inside what used to be the Alcazar Hotel built by Henry Flagler. Collections of antique furnishings, costumes, musical instruments, glass artwork and more fill three floors of this impressive museum.

WHERE TO STAY IN ST AUGUSTINE (HOTELS, RENTALS AND MORE)

We know you’re excited to head to St Augustine now! We’ve come to realize that accommodations can make or break an adventure.  If you’re going to visit this beautiful city, for St. Augustine his self’s sake, do it right.  Keep reading for three reasons to stay at the newly opened Embassy Suites St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort.

Minutes from the First Modern City in the New World. There’s St. Augustine, and there’s St. Augustine Beach.  Separate towns with separate names, and for a good reason. 

St. Augustine was founded in 1565 and is known as the oldest European settlement in the US (thus the oldest “city” moniker), but good luck finding an ocean resort in this inland port town.  Just ask Ponce Deleon, who likely had enough of the ocean at that point in his career and was looking for calmer seas.

But if you are a fan of the Atlantic waves, just a take a quick hop over the Bridge of Lions and a couple of quick miles more and you’re in St. Augustine Beach.  “Beach” is right in the name.  More on this below.  Yes, you can have the best of both worlds. 

If you want to create a vacation that combines history and architecture with surfside fun, we can think of no better place. 

Oceanside Views and Oceanside Fun. St. Augustine Beach is a small, unassuming beach town that offers prime locations for enjoying sun and surf, while still being close enough to St. Augustine that you can practically walk. Ok maybe bike, but you get the point.  The Embassy Suites is on the very Northern edge of St. Augustine Beach, putting it less than four miles from the Bridge of Lions.

The resort sits right on the water, and features spectacular ocean views, and easy access to the ocean.  By the way, this is not your run of the mill Embassy Suites. Opened in late 2018, it’s a full service resort which combines all of the typical perks of the brand with the amenities you’d expect at a luxury beach accommodation.

The beach itself is gorgeous.  You could easily spend a half or full day switching between pool and ocean.  And why not take a surfing lesson while you’re at it?   You heard that right – a hotel next to the oldest city in the world offers surfing lessons.

Watch our video to get a perspective on the resort’s great location.

The Famous Embassy Suites Happy Hour (Duh!) We’re kind of big fans of happy hours, and to follow this logic, the Embassy Suites’ brand.  Embassy Suites is well known for their complimentary happy hours, which typically run from 5:30 to 7:30PM.  Embassy Suites Resorts are no exception. 

Beer, wine and Wells drinks are on the house, gratuities not included.  Pro tip – you can procure top shelf liquor during happy hour if you ask for the Managers Special.  $5 a drink at the time of this article and a pretty significant discount compared to full price Tito’s or Makers Mark.  You might even be able to convince the pool bartender to give you the discount – no guarantees.

Breakfast to order is also a favorite perk of any Embassy Suites stay.  We started each morning with buffet selections and made to order omelets.

Many people are cautious of restaurants in major hotel brands. Don’t be when it comes to the Embassy Suites Oceanfront Resort. We enjoyed an evening at the resort’s Harvest & Reel restaurant dining on Fried Calamari with Pickled Shrimp, Diver Scallops and aged Brasstown Beef Ribeye Steak. Let’s face it, after a day of adventuring you really appreciate being able have a relaxing dinner at the hotel.

To sum it up, if you’d like to combine a great beach resort vacation with a historical jaunt around America’s original city, stay at the Embassy Suites St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort.  We can’t think of an experience quite like it.

MORE ST AUGUSTINE HOTELS

Here are a few other great places to stay during your St. Augustine visit.

Best in Historic District: Casa Monica Resort & Spa features Moorish-style architecture that dates back to 1888. The hotel is located in historic St. Augustine, only a 1-minute walk from Flagler College and 12 minutes’ walk from Castillo de San Marcos. Guests can lounge in the heated outdoor pool or indulge in the relaxing services and treatments at the Poseidon Spa.

Best on the Bay: Hilton Saint Augustine Historic Bayfront offers views of Matanzas Bay and Saint Augustine’s historic district. Guests can take a dip in the outdoor pool or relax in the hot tub. Castillo de San Marcos is a 6 minutes’ walk from the property.

Best Near the Beach: Located on Highway A1A, the Best Western St. Augustine Beach Hotel features an outdoor pool and offers rooms with free WiFi and a cable TV. The historic St. Augustine Lighthouse and the public beach at Anastasia State Park are both within a 10-minute drive of this hotel. Marineland Amusement Park is 13 mi away.

ST AUGUSTINE CAMPGROUNDS

Best Near Downtown: Find sunshine and old Florida charm at Compass RV Resort, one of the best RV parks in St. Augustine, Florida! Numerous site options are available including full hookups, patio sites, shaded sites, and buddy sites. They’ve got hiking trails, a pool, two dog parks, a fitness center, community campfires, and activities all year long.

Best Near the Beach: Ocean Grove RV Resort is a destination camping resort located just blocks away from St. Augustine Beach and only 7 miles south of the historic district. You can also enjoy a variety of wonderful restaurants along with the convenience of having unique shops, grocery stores, churches, and other entertainment venues nearby.

ST AUGUSTINE VACATION RENTALS

COZY FOR COUPLES

Step back in time in this tastefully appointed historical residence. The apartment features pine floors, cozy furnishings and decor, a farmhouse style aesthetic, and a covered front porch. Built in 1927 this house has 3 apartments. This one is on the ground floor (there is another being renovated and a third above you with a separate entrance.)

Details: 2 guests · 1 bedroom · 1 bed · 1 bath · Rental Info

FAMILY-SIZED STAY

Tucked away on a quiet cul-de-sac, The Salty Pineapple provides a warm, private and relaxing total beach experience. With convenient beach access, the ocean and its majestic sunrises are calling. It’s just a short 5 minute stroll (2 blocks) on a private sidewalk to reach the natural, sea-oat dunes and out onto the white, sandy St Augustine Beach.

Details: 8 guests · 3 bedrooms · 4 beds · 2 baths · Rental Info

GREAT FOR LARGE GROUPS

Enjoy this new custom-designed oceanfront vacation rental with panoramic views. Relax in a saltwater heated/cooled Mediterranean blue pool. A huge center island, two professional-grade fully equipped kitchens, and indoor + outdoor seating for 18 make everyone feel welcome. 15 minutes from Historic St Augustine.

Details: 16 guests · 7 bedrooms · 7 beds · 9 baths · Rental Info

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