Florida has a well-deserved reputation for being a tourist state. However, there is more to Florida’s sights and experiences than its more famous areas such as Orlando and Daytona Beach. A great example would be the city of St. Augustine, which provides plenty of recreational activities and things to do for both residents and visitors alike.
St. Augustine has a compelling blend of historical monuments, museums, outdoor shopping areas, and entertainment venues to please visitors of all ages. Residents and visitors can enjoy live music, learn about Florida’s history, sample unique foods, or even hunt for ghosts!
Beacon Lake recommends the following activities for both first-time visitors and long-time residents of St. Augustine:
Deemed the oldest city in America, Old Town St. Augustine is the oldest European port city in the continental United States, having been continually occupied since 1565.
It is a beautiful city filled with historic sites, quaint shops, delightful courtyards, ancient cemeteries, boat tours, barrier islands, a pristine beach, and great food.
The Historic District is truly the heart of St. Augustine. As the oldest part of the city, it boasts buildings from the 1700s with a variety of design elements including Spanish Colonial, Queen Ann, Byzantine, Minorcan, Caribbean, Revival Renaissance, and other styles. The streets invite you to explore this easily walkable city to witness the abundant history through its sites—which include churches, courtyards, homes, cemeteries, and museums.
History is not the only draw, as the city of St. Augustine offers an abundance of shopping venues and opportunities to sit back, enjoy live music, or reflect while gazing at the panoramic views of the Matanzas Bay and riverfront. In fact, there is so much to do in Old Town that it deserves its own list of offered activities, including:
Within the Lightner Museum, you will see Gilded Age (1870-1900) furniture, clothing, and other artifacts. There is also an exquisite art glass collection featuring Tiffany, Victorian, and other designs.
Today, the Ximenez-Fatio House has been authentically restored to its time as a stylish boarding house. It features the main area of the residence, a detached kitchen, a washhouse, and a museum store.
The Huguenot Cemetery dates to 1821 when it was used as a final resting place for the victims of yellow fever. With elaborate grave markers and tombs, this small cemetery is worth exploring. The National Cemetery was originally a part of a Franciscan monastery and was later dedicated to deceased armed forces members. Finally, the Tolomato Cemetery saw use from 1777 to 1884, and its graves exhibit the backgrounds and lives of city settlers and residents from over a century of time.
St. George Street offers a variety of local goods and sights, as well as having a location within walking distance of many other St. Augustine attractions. Visitors with a sweet tooth will enjoy spending time at The Bunnery – a bakery that serves coffee and baked goods – or shopping at Whetstone Chocolates for a variety of fudges and other chocolate treats.
Historic attractions on St. George Street include the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine and the Historic Pena-Pack House. The stores and vendors on St. George Street sell a variety of antiques and local goods.
The Pirate Ship Black Raven is a unique dinner-and-a-show experience involving two ships: the Black Raven and the Queen Anne’s Revenge. The main show involves a pirate attack by Captain Blackbeard and the crew of the Black Raven giving chase to reclaim their stolen goods.
Pirate Ship Black Raven also offers birthday party packages for children with a variety of scenarios such as treasure hunts and pirate raids. Pirate Ship Black Raven also performs Rum-Runner tours with humor, skits, and songs geared specifically for adults.
The St. Augustine Trolley has 22 stops on its route, making navigation through St. Augustine simple. The St. Augustine Trolley sells one-day and two-day packages for residents and visitors on the go, but the service also conducts multiple types of tours.
During the day, trolley-goers can see the sights of St. Augustine. Night tours include additional viewings of the Tolomato Cemetery and the Old Jail. As a bonus, usage of ghost-detecting equipment is included in the price of the tour package.
St. Augustine has two farmer’s markets for residents and visitors. The Farmers Market at the AMP is open on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. In addition to vendors that sell produce, fine art, and snacks, the Farmers Market at the AMP provides live music and art galleries. The Farmers Market at the AMP also offers yoga lessons on the first Saturday of the month and a bookmobile on the second and fourth Saturdays.
The Wednesday Pier Farmers Market is open on Wednesdays from 8 am to noon and serves both residents of and visitors to St. Augustine. The Wednesday Pier Farmers Market sells produce, fresh foods, arts and crafts, and herbs.
Beacon Lake offers its residents a variety of activities as well, providing individuals and families with entertainment and activities that are steps away from their homes. Aquatic activities include a junior Olympic pool, a launch area for canoes/kayaks, and a splash park. Fitness-related activities include tennis courts, a fitness center, and a multipurpose park. Social-centered facilities include event rooms, a culinary studio, and a boardwalk.
If you are interested in exploring Beacon Lake’s award-winning homes just 30 minutes away from St. Augustine, please contact us by filling out our online form.