There is so much to do in St. Augustine and you may have a limited amount of time to spend exploring our wonderful city. Here is our pick of the Top 10 Attractions not to miss while you vacation in St. Augustine.
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St. Augustine has so much to offer and we want to make sure that you don’t miss a thing while you are here. Check back to find more Top lists of things to do in St. Augustine. We’ll be adding more each month. Let’s start with the Top 10 Attractions to see. Be sure to check with your innkeeper to see if they have discount admissions for you to any of these attractions.
- Castillo de San Marcos – the locals lovingly call it the Fort. Built in 1672, and not finished until 1695, this is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. The fort was built after the destructive raid of Robert Searles, a British privateer that had just had his privateering commission revoked, making him a pirate when he sacked St. Augustine killing 60 of the town’s citizens! The fort has never been taken by force. The coquina that the fort is made out of is made of ancient shells that have bonded together to form a type of stone similar to limestone. This porous stone was very effective at absorbing the impact of cannon shells. Be sure to take the free, guided tour at the Castillo to learn more about St. Augustine’s military history.
- Fort Matanzas – Fort Matanzas sits 14 miles south on A1A on Rattlesnake Island defending the southern inlet to the Matanzas River. Take the free water shuttle over to Rattlesnake Island and learn about the wonderful history of this much smaller fort.
- Colonial Quarter – Experience 3 centuries of St. Augustine’s colonial history as you climb a 35ft watchtower, engage in a 17th century musket drill, witness the construction of a 55 foot Caravel ship or forge into history with a blacksmith. Dine in an authentic 17th century Spanish tavern or a British Pub.
- St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum – Want to learn the Pirate history of St. Augustine? This is the place for you. You will thoroughly enjoy this exciting experience that transports you back in time over 300 years to the Golden Age of Piracy. Notorious pirates such as Sir Francis Drake and Robert Searles, played a major role in the history of pirates and Colonial America. Explore the artifacts and history of the pirates that sailed the waters just off of our coast.
- Augustine Lighthouse Museum – You’ll never see St. Augustine the same way after you climb the 219 steps to the top of the lighthouse. The views are spectacular. There is so much to discover here. Take a self-guided tour of the tower or one of the guided tours to learn even more. The Behind the Scenes tour or the Lost Ships tours will let you dive into the history and explore shipwreck artifacts. If you are more in the spookier side of St. Augustine then the Dark of the Moon tour might be for you. The lighthouse museum is a great way to learn the maritime history of St. Augustine.
- Fountain of Youth Archeological Park – This is where St. Augustine really began. This is where the village of Seloy, the Timucuan village, was located. There is so much to see and do at the park. Explore the recreation of Seloy, and learn about the Timucuan natives. See how Pedro Menendez and his men lived. See archeological digs. Climb the watchtower. Or visit the Navigator’s Planetarium. There’s a day’s worth of fun at the Fountain of Youth Park.
- The St. Augustine Distillery – Located in the historic Ice Plant building, the St. Augustine Distillery is a small batch distillery that offers handcrafted spirits. Take a free tour to see how this small batch spirits are made and learn about the history of the building. It’s quite interesting. At the end of the tour you get a sample of the product. Right now you can sample vodka and gin with rums available soon and their bourbon will not be available until 2018. Mark your calendars. You sign up for their mailing list to be one of the first to taste these.
- Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park – First opened around the time that Henry Flagler was making his mark in St. Augustine as a small exhibition of Florida reptiles, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm has transformed into a fabulous attraction for the entire family. Today it functions as a modern zoo with educational shows and exhibits. The latest addition to the attraction is a fun time of zipping across the Alligator Lagoon on Crocodile Crossing, the park’s thrilling new zip-line attraction.
- Oldest Wooden School House – is located near the City Gates. This is a building that dates back over 200 years and is reminiscent of the type of school house that would have been used during that time. You’ll love seeing copies of old school books and other related artifacts that are on exhibit here.
- Authentic Old Jail – The old city jail was demolished and then this new jail was built in 1891 by Henry Flagler. He didn’t want his wealthy patrons gazing on a jail while visiting St. Augustine. The jail was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, the Old Jail served as the county jail until 1953. Free parking and great displays.