St. Augustine is famous for being the oldest occupied city in the United States. The old city still stands with its cobbled stone streets, houses that are hundreds of years old and the famous Castillo de San Marcos, the fort built by the Spanish colonialists starting in 1672. The attractions at the heart of the city are fascinating and fun to wander through, but just ousude the city are more treasures: beautiful natural beaches, wildlife preserves and outdoor sporting areas. Here are some places to put on your itinerary when visiting the Ancient City.
This beautiful 72-foot sailboat takes daily 90-minute cruises. Choose from the family-friendly daytime tour or even a romantic sail at sunset or during a full moon for gorgeous views of the city by water.
Just across the river from downtown St. Augustine is this oceanfront state park with camping, nature trails, shaded picnic areas and natural beaches for swimming, sailing, canoeing and fishing.
This state park is a bargain. For just $5 per vehicle, you can enjoy a formal garden with citrus groves then walk across to the amazing beach with coquina shells.
Just north of St. Augustine lies one of the largest estuaries in the world. Visitors can take the boardwalks to enjoy the pristine nature and wildlife or step back to the 18th century with a guided tour of Fort Mantanzas.
Seeing an alligator is on the bucket list of many Florida travelers, and at this venue, visitors can see a rare white alligator along with all 23 species of crocodilians. Be sure to stay for the alligator feeding for the ultimate photo.
St. Augustine has a river, a bay and an ocean, making it the perfect spot to get outdoors and enjoy the water. This outfitter takes visitors on a wildlife expedition to see dolphins, manatees, birds and more.
The stories say that Ponce de Leon came to St. Augustine in search of a magical fountain. Whether you believe the legend or not, it's still a fun place to have a drink and walk the grounds, once occupied by the Timucuan Indians and the Village of Seloy. The waterfront site is picturesque with gorgeous peacocks roaming the property.
Taking a trip to this sacred ground is a must. In 1565, the country's first Easter Mass was held at this waterfront spot shaded by oaks. Masses are still held here today. Another highlight is the Lady of La Leche Shrine, an intimate Spanish-style chapel dedicated to mothers.