There is no shortage of outdoorsy and adventurous things to do in Saint Augustine, FL, the nation’s oldest city. Its rich 500+ year history makes it an ideal destination for “funducational” family travel.
St. Augustine is a small city on the east coast of Florida that I frankly think is an underrated destination with so many unique things to do.
I’ve partnered with Hotels.com to share with you my top things to do in Saint Augustine, FL! (Full Disclosures)
There’s something for everyone, from the long stretches of beautiful beaches, numerous forts to explore, the historic downtown, and quaint places to eat and stay.
If you want to plan outdoor activities in St. Augustine, this post will give you some great ideas for an adventurous St. Augustine travel itinerary.
When it comes to where to stay in St. Augustine you can choose a quaint bed and breakfast, a vacation rental, or a traditional hotel. Hotels.com has the options you need to pick the perfect accommodations for you and your family.
1. Castillo de San Marcos
You can’t come to St. Augustine and not see the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. It’s over 300 years old, built by Spain when they were staking a claim to the “new world”.
As a boy mom, this is just the kind of thing that got my son excited about history. He was absolutely in awe of this fort when he was a little guy and even as a teenager when we visited a second time he was still really into it.
It’s a really great way to make history real for your kids while explaining it in a modern context.
It is a recognized National Monument and part of the NPS so if you’re into getting your national park stamps this is a cool one to get in your book.
It’s a really beautiful fort where you can get some awesome pics, especially along the water.
They also hold historic demonstrations and fire the weapons on certain days of the month. You’ll want to check the calendar of events when you plan your trip.
2. St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
The St. Augustine Lighthouse is a beautiful landmark on the outer skirts of the city.
Climb the 219 stairs on the spiral staircase to the top to see really scenic views of the inlets and the Atlantic Ocean.
For the kiddos they have lots of hands-on activities for them to do like a wooden climb-in lighthouse, puppets, etch-a-sketch, and viewfinders.
3. St. Augustine Alligator Farm
For my adventure lovers, you can really get your adrenaline going at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm by zip lining over the pool of massive gators.
Their zip line is more of an ariel ropes course and zip line combined. It’s not just straight zip lining. This makes it just a bit more physically challenging.
My son loved this! When we visited it was in the summer and I got heat sick and didn’t finish the course.
*Hangs head in shame.*
So just know that it’s fun, but definitely requires some physical exertion. You don’t want to have to be rescued by ladder, like me.
There are also many other animals to see and marvel throughout the park.
Our favorite was Maximo, a saltwater crocodile and the resident big boy at the park, weighing in at 1250 lbs and over 15 feet long.
OD Pro Tip: Get your tickets online to take advantage of the discounted prices.
4. Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park is by far one of my favorite Florida State Parks and favorite things to do in Saint Augustine!
White sand beach stretches for miles and miles and miles. It’s a gorgeous park.
They offer kayak rentals in the park and there is a campground if you want to get in a little extra time in nature while you’re there.
There are biking and hiking trails to explore as well.
5. St. Augustine Catamaran Tour
If you like being on the water, a great way to see the sites of St. Augustine is via the many waterways that surround the city on the catamaran tour.
It’s a guided tour in a two-seater catamaran that where you will see the Castillo fort, the lighthouse, and a chance to see dolphins and manatees.
We couldn’t fit this in our schedule but it’s high on my list for my next visit.
6. Fort Matanzas National Monument
Fort Matanzas is one of my favorite national monuments, and that’s not just because it’s FREE, though that is a great selling point.
This fort is unique because to get to the fort, visitors have to take a ferry! It’s a great short scenic ride and every time we have done it I have seen dolphins.
It’s really neat to learn about the history of the fort and where it is positioned, south of St. Augustine.
You can climb up through some tight quarters to see where the soldiers who had to man the fort slept and they also schedule live historic demonstrations often.
There are also nature trails, a boardwalk, and a beach great for shelling.
7. Fort Mose Historic State Park
Fort Mose Historic State Park is the site of the first sanctioned free black settlement in the U.S.
Though the fort was destroyed in a battle, there is a gorgeous museum erected near the site, picnic areas, and nature trails.
It is a site also known for its excellent opportunities for birding.
The park frequently has historic reenactments and weapons demonstrations as well.
I highly recommend adding a stop to this park and the museum to learn more about a piece of black history many haven’t learned about.
Bonus Tips for Things to Do In St. Augustine:
- There is no shortage of outfitters for activities like kayaking, deep-sea fishing, or backwater fishing.
- Make your accommodation plans well in advance, especially around holidays. St. Augustine is known for its amazing Christmas Lights display in the historic district.
- If you are vacationing with your dog, there are many pet-friendly places to stay and restaurants in St. Augustine.
- The north end of Vilano Beach is a great stretch of beach that is dog-friendly.