Thanks to the Visitors Bureau in St. Augustine, Florida for the family passes to historic and notable attractions on our extended family vacation! No other compensation was received. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
On our big family vacation to St. Augustine this year, I was determined to see as much history as I could! We were only in town for 4 days, and we wanted to experience St. Augustine’s living history, the beach, the awesome food AND hang out with family. Even though we visited last year to the same rented beach house, I’m convinced that you could stay for three weeks in this historic town and not see everything. Despite our short-lived stay, I took our challenge by the horns and drug our family out into the town to see as much as possible!
If you’re heading to St. Augustine with your family, try this few-day itinerary to make the most of your time.
Tackle the historic district first. It’s my absolute favorite part of town, with living history, landmarks, museums, gardens and some of the coolest shops in the state. Many of these attractions/landmarks are within a few streets of each other (if not right next door), so it’s easy to knock them out in one day. If you’re sans kids, you might be able to see everything before lunch!
- Oldest Wooden School House: More than just a facade, buy the ticket and head inside. You’ll see mock-classrooms, a beautiful garden, well and old school bell. Give it a ring to see if the students start gathering!
- Pirate Museum: This is a must for your historic district stop. EVERYTHING is touchable, and there’s an actual 400 year old treasure chest waiting for you. When you begin your trek through the exhibits, grab a treasure map to find all the pirate marks; you might just earn a trip to the jewel chest before you leave.
- Hyppo Pops in the Historic District: If it’s a warm day, you’ll want to cool down. Snag a Hyppo pop from one of their locations… they beat the PANTS off any popsicle I’ve ever had!!
- Castillo de San Marcos: The historic fort lines the waterfront, and is massive. A must-see. The fort’s parking lot is paid, but a great place to stick your car while you trek downtown.
- Bridge of Lions: As you approach the city, you’ll either see or cross over this beautiful bridge. The statues on either end (lions) are gorgeous! It’s right next to the fort… you can’t miss it!
- Columbia Restaurant: End your historic trek at the famous Colombia restaurant. Make sure to keep a menu at your table while you wait for your food to read about the extensive history of the restaurant. If you’re of drinking age, order the sangria (red, white or champagne) for a delicious way to end your day.
The nice thing about this next set of attractions is that they are all in ONE SPOT. The Fountain of Youth is just a block away, but you won’t waste any time driving about the city. Visit the booth in the center of the lot for tickets to multiple attractions.
- Fountain of Youth: Enough said on this one. Stay young and hydrated with a trip that the whole family can enjoy. 15 acres of beautiful historic land with re-enactments, history, and of course, the historic spring. I dedicated an entire post to the Fountain of Youth and what you should see!
- Old Jail: Red loved this. The tour was led by a guide-in-character, who was knowledgable, funny and approachable. The grim history is something you won’t want to miss.
- Oldest Store: The oldest store dates back to 1908 and the general store it used to be. Catch a Snake Oil Salesman’s pitch as well as the most “modern” of inventions. You can catch a tour about every 20 minutes.
- St. Augustine History Museum: While we waited for our jail tour guide, our family popped into the FREE St. Augustine History Museum. There was a neat walk around to show the progression of the town, artifacts, touch-ables and even a store in front where you could grab a few postcards for family.
- The Spice and Tea Exchange: Another gem in this area, the smells are amazing! I can vouch for the hot cocoa mix; it’s spiced and different from any other!
There’s still more to do!! If the weather is nice, you’ll catch the Lighthouse and it’s museum before you head to the Alligator Farm!
- St. Augustine Distillery: A grown ups only stop on the tour, the distillery is a cool place to taste the home-grown liquors. See my sister in law’s great photos in this post about the St. Augustine Distillery.
- St. Augustine Lighthouse: A literal beacon in the town of St. Augustine, the Lighthouse has its own museum to be explored. Get to the top of the lighthouse for views unlike any other.
- St. Augustine Alligator Farm: The kids would LOVE a stop here. See tons of gators, crocodiles and learn more about these animals that date back to the dinosaurs!
- The Beach: If there’s time left, you MUST see the beach. Unlike the west coasts of Florida, you’ll find different sands and tons of shells. Dig deep to make your family a wading pool and enjoy a drive on the beach after paying a toll.