The Ultimate Beginners Guide to St. Augustine Florida


St. Augustine Florida History

St Augustine Florida. The oldest city in America. Ever wondered how this became the oldest city in America and why it is so popular?

Let’s explain.

St Augustine is known as one of the oldest cities in all of America due to its very interesting historical background. What began as the European settlement in 1565 ended with the Spanish and French attempting to colonize it.

Don’t forget to check out the top 10 things to see while visiting the St. Augustine Historic District if you ever get a chance.


It was the Spanish explorer named Juan Ponce de Leon, also governor of Puerto Rico, who named it “La Florida” in the year 1513. He was the first explorer to venture into the unknown area.

But it wasn’t until the year 1565 that Pedro Menendez de Aviles would be the first governor to name his settlement “San Augustin” on St. Augustine’s Feast Day.

It was here where he contributed to expansion and further exploration. Since majority of the history was done before the time of the pilgrims and the English colony, St. Augustine Florida became known as the oldest city to date.

There is a lot of St. Augustine history and it is definitely a place you must see for yourself before anything.

Where is St. Augustine in Florida?

St. Augustine Florida is located on the northeastern coast of Florida. It is south of Jacksonville Florida and found on the Atlantic Coast.

If you are traveling from Orlando, you are approximately 2 hours from St. Augustine. It is North East of Orlando.

In order to get to St. Augustine from Orlando, you can simply take the 1-4 East and then take the I-95 North up to St. Augustine. It is definitely a place you need to check out while you are visiting Florida on vacation in the summer.

If you want to find a closest beach from Orlando be sure to check out Orlando to Cocoa Beach or if you are traveling with your pup then check out the best pet friendly beach right here. Both are also amazing beaches.


St. Augustine Florida Beach

One of the many free things you can do in St. Augustine is to check out the amazing Atlantic  coast. It is here where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of your vacation for a chance to just let go.

This area consist of 42 miles of Atlantic coastlines so you can definitely get a chance to check it out. Step foot on the very same beach that the early Spanish explorers came across.

You may also hear about St. Augustine’s neighboring beaches. In the north you can find Ponte Vedra Beach of Jacksonville and Vilano Beach. Along with others found in the south such as Crescent Beach, Butler Beach, and Anastasia State Park.

All of these Atlantic beaches are unique in their own way, some have more people while others have more wildlife. Whichever you choose, you should definitely plan for it on your vacation of travels.

You will most definitely enjoy it!


St Augustine Beach is one of the most popular beaches because of its proximity to the downtown area and other close attractions. It is more of a busier beach in the summer, but definitely a place to check out.

The beach of St. Augustine Florida is one of those beaches where the sand is made up of broken coquina shells.

Because of this, the sand is a little bit more rougher since you will feel the seashells beneath your feet.  

The color of the sand is made up of a stunning orange hue color.

There many other activities that are available in the summer such as kayaking, surfing, fishing, and swimming. It is the perfect place to have a BBQ and relax.

St Augustine has St Johns County Ocean Pier where you can find many people fishing.

Even though you do have to pay to walk the pier, it is definitely one of those places to get pictures and great view of the entire ocean front.

The nice thing about this beach is that there are lifeguards everywhere so you do not have to worry about being alone without any supervision.

This beach is very family oriented since there is also a playground area where children can splash around in the water spouts.

There is plenty of off site parking so it won’t be difficult to find any.


St. Augustine Florida Things to do

Besides the amazing St. Augustine waters, there is so much other stuff to see and do. St Augustine is a historical living museum all in itself.

When the Spanish first arrived, they left nothing but traces of historical monuments and buildings behind.

One of the first things you need to do is check out the downtown area of St. Augustine.

Walk the streets of the main downtown area which are filled with little shops of restaurants, and souvenir shops.

You can buy anything from the delicious Spanish tapas to a key lime pie. Be sure to take in the historical district by just walking around the downtown.

Check out the visitor center since they can provide you with a free map and tell you of all the popular locations to walk to.


St. Augustine Popular Attractions

There are many popular attractions to visit when you find yourself in the oldest city of America.

Check out:

The Castillo de San Marcos –

One the most popular attractions in St. Augustine Florida. It is a paid museum where you can go inside and climb the same stairs that the Spanish once did.

If you wish to walk outside and around the fort then it is free to do so. This fort is one of the oldest known since 1695 and was used to protect people and military weapons.

The most interesting thing is that this fort was made of coquina shells which resulted in durability and great protection.  

The Old Jail House –

One the places that used to have some of the worst criminals between the years 1891-1953; there are tours offered daily. You do pay for admission, but it is worth hearing the stories from the past.

The Oldest House Museum-

The oldest house is an attraction you can visit as part of the historical landmarks in St Augustine. You can either walk or drive to it. If you would like to see the inside of the museum then all you pay is admission.

You can definitely learn a lot since it is one of the oldest houses occupied since the 1600s during the spanish colonial time in Florida. The building is known to date back to the 1700s and was once known as the Gonzalez-Alvarez house.

Trolley Ride –

The popular red and green trolley allows you to see around the city. It is one of the best way to see the whole town in a couple of hours.

It is definitely recommended if you want to be able to check out more places without having to do all the walking from one side of the city to the other. It stops at the all the popular attractions of St. Augustine.

You can get on and off the tour bus and hop onto the next trolley whenever you wish.  It’s a great way to save time when walking and see more of the popular attractions.

If you are visiting in the summer, then this may be something you should do.

St. Augustine Florida Pin 3

The Ghost Tour-

There are many scary and fun ghost tours in St Augustine at night where you can experience the supernatural. Of course, only if you believe in ghosts. You will be able to hear tales and stories of ghost that once roamed the streets of St. Augustine.

Definitely a nice way to end your day with the St. Augustines Ghost Tour. You can check out the updated times and prices at their homepage.

St Augustine Florida has a lot of beautiful history, from the time the first Spanish stepped foot onto the stunning historical city.

Not only does St. Augustine offer you gorgeous beaches to relax in, but an interesting downtown filled with food, souvenirs, and popular attractions.

Do not forget to end you day with a popular ghost tour!

There is truly more to see and do and this only scratches the surface. The city of  St. Augustine has many things you can do that will keep you busy for a couple days. Next time your in Florida don’t forget to check this amazing place out!

If you do have time to check out one more beach in your stay then check out Ormond Beach here.

Jess and Jeanette
About Jess and Jeanette

Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.

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Hi! This is Jess and Jeanette. Two sisters & beach travelers. We built this blog to share our travels in hopes of helping you plan your next beach vacation. Cheers! ❤️



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