Sunny 75-degree days, blooming hibiscus, and cool bayfront and ocean breezes make Spring one of the best times of the year to visit St. Augustine. Pack your sunscreen and lunch for a picnic on the grounds of the Castillo de San Marcos. Stroll through Washington Oaks Gardens State Park to admire blossoming roses, butterflies, and birds. Or, head downtown for a curated show of local artists during the First Friday Art Walk and Uptown Saturday Night! Additionally, Spring activities in St Augustine include a plethora of free nature hikes, and well-known artists, comedians, and celebrities performing at the Amphitheater. In fact, this Spring the Amphitheatre will host concerts by The Beach Boys, John Fogerty, and Donnie & Marie!
First Friday Art Walk and Uptown Saturday Night
First Friday Art Walk
First Friday Art Walk is on the first Friday of each month from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Participating galleries can be found throughout the Historic Downtown and even on Anastasia Island.
Vacationers and residents kick-off each month at an art lover’s collaboration with over 25 galleries displaying works by local artists. Creations include abstract paintings, stained glass (unfortunately, not that of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s), constructivism iron wall-art, photography of historical sites like the First Light House, and much more. Additionally, attendees have the opportunity to chat with artists, enjoy local and live music, munch on hors-d’oeuvre, and sip wine at several of the galleries.
Uptown Saturday Night
On the last Saturday of each month, spend your evening strolling Uptown San Marco Avenue (between Ripley’s Museum and the Mission de Nombre de Dios). During this time, the five-block radius that is occupied by locally-owned boutiques, galleries, antique shops, and restaurants, host an outdoor celebration where attendees enjoy live music, special deals, and art! While the First Friday Art Walk is a totally art-themed occasion, Uptown Saturday Night is a great opportunity to spend some time outside while you browse art, shop, and enjoy a meal at the Beer and Wine Garden at Borrillo’s or on the patio of The Raintree!
The Amphitheatre and Free Live Music
Outdoor concerts, comedy shows, and talk shows during a cool, bug-free, Spring evening make for a fun night out! In particular, the St. Augustine Amphitheatre has an ever-changing, diverse lineup. They often host classic artists like Brad Paisley, Salt N’ Peppa, and Huey Lewis. Yet, just this year, they had a comedy show with very famous Impractical Jokers. Then, of course, there’s the much-anticipated show in July, featuring Donny and Marie Osmond. Furthermore, the Amphitheatre has a delightful staff, locally-brewed beer on tap, and quality concert food. This makes enjoying their shows all the better!
Free Live Music
If you’re out and about downtown, just follow your ears to a number of establishments with free live music by local bands. No Name Bar across from the Castillo de San Marcos, Mi Casa Cafe on famous St. George Street, Harry’s Seafood on the bayfront, St. Augustine’s American Legion on the corner of the Plaza de la Constitucion, and A1A Ale Works on King Street are only a few of the restaurants that host local bands with outdoor seating!
Outdoor Spring Activities
Anastasia State Park
A drive over the Bridge of Lions to Anastasia State Park will take you on an interactive wildlife walk, perfect for a Spring day. Each month, the state park invites all nature lover’s to join them on several educational and active wilderness Spring activities! The park has over 1,600 acres of diverse ecosystems which include miles of sandy shores, marshes, and a nature trail! Their Spring activities are often themed tours like the Historical Look Into the Old Spanish Quarters, an Ancient Dunes Hike, a Guided Bird Walk, and a Discovery Marsh Walk. Music lover’s, save the date for Anastasia State Park’s Music in the Park Concert Series! The concert series kicks-off on April 21 and ends August 19. However, there is a $4.00 cover charge for the concerts.
Note: The entrance fee at Anastasia State Park is $4.00 for a single-occupant vehicle. It is $8.00 for a vehicle with up to eight passengers. Parking is $2.00 for each pedestrian, bicyclist, and extra passenger.
The GTM Research Reserve
The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve reserves over 74,000 acres of coastal vegetation, wildlife, and land that stretches from Ponte Vedra Beach to Palm Coast. Part of their goal is to educate visitors on why it is important to preserve estuarine life. In light of these efforts, the GTM Research Reserve hosts a series of educational guided walks, lectures, and activities! This Spring, stay cool under canopies of oaks and palms while embarking on a Marineland River to Sea Walk. Learn about crabs and fish during Family Seining Day. Or, keep your toes in the sand during their Beach Exploration Hike!
Note: There is a $3.00 entrance fee to enter the GTM Research Reserve and registration is required for guided-walks and tours. Visit the GTM Research Reserve’s website to register for events.
St. Augustine Historic Inns
The REAL BnBs
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Photo credits: OldCity.com