Visit Saint Augustine - the Oldest City in the US

By gogotravelfun | Jun 19, 2022
North America > United States > Florida > Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine is a city in the Southeastern United States, on the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, it is the oldest continuously-inhabited European-established settlement in the contiguous United States.

Saint Augustine is a tourist delight with so many things to see and do as well as some of the most beautiful beaches and waterways. It is central to Jacksonville and Daytona Beach (about 45 minutes drive to either) and only a little over an hour to Orlando and Gainesville. If you fly to Saint Augustine, you can fly into either Jacksonville or Daytona airports. Jacksonville offers more flight options, but if you prefer a smaller airport, Daytona is your best bet.

One of the main attractions in Saint Augustine is the historic downtown area and the Spanish fort – Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental US built in 1672. The downtown area boasts many historic monuments, buildings and museums as well as more modern restaurants, pubs, stores and attractions. Downtown is also home to Flagler College, Saint Augustine Distillery, San Sebastian Winery, Whetstone Chocolate Factory, Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum and don't forget the famous Fountain of Youth! The Distillery and Winery both offer free tasting tours.

Just a few miles from downtown is the Saint Augustine Alligator Farm which is worth a visit. The Anastasia Light House is just across A1A from there and offers tours (if you are willing to climb the 219 steps to the top).

Outside the downtown area, there are many other sites and activities to keep you busy. Matanzas Inlet is one of the most famous beach areas for tourists and locals alike. It boasts a beach on the Atlantic Ocean as well as a beach on the Matanzas River where the river meets the Ocean. Fishing, boating, swimming and shelling are favorite past-times in this beautiful spot.

Closer to downtown, there are several excellent breweries to visit. Ancient City is one of our favorites and they offer a downtown taproom as well as the brew house off I-95 near the Saint Augustine Outlet Mall. Dog Rose Brewery is downtown on Bridge Street. The Bog is close to downtown off King Street just off Hwy. 1 (Ponce de Leon Blvd). Old Coast Ales is across the Lions Bridge from downtown on Anastasia Blvd (Hwy A1A) and is next door to Osprey Tacos (another locals favorite).

There are many hotels available in the area to suit your needs from local boutique hotels such as The Ponce Saint Augustine Hotel and Ancient City Inn to the standard franchise players such as Red Roof Inn, Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Radisson and more. I recommend using Airbnb or VRBO to find a place with more local flavor and more space. You can also save some money from eating out if you book a place with a kitchen.

Saving the best for last, there are so many great places to eat it is difficult to visit them all in just one visit. My favorites are Prohibition Kitchen downtown (lobster rolls are to die for!), the Floridian downtown, Ice Plant (on the roof of the Distillery), Saint Augustine Fish Camp, Hurricane Patty's, Back Forty Urban Cafe and Beachcomber. For sandwiches, you can't go wrong with the Cheese Wheel and Sandwich Board (across the street from The Bog Brewery).

If you are craving tacos, you must take a trip to the beach on A1A and stop at Burrito Works Taco Shop. Be sure to order a Mexican UFO and you will be hooked!

A visit to Saint Augustine is definitely worth the trip and with so much to see and do, you will leave planning your next visit!

Saint Augustine North America Florida United States Things to do

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