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Discover St. Augustine: 20 Must-Do Activities Beyond Nights of Lights

St. Augustine Distillary, Castillo de San Marcos, Anastasia State Park, and the Alligator Farm
Discover St. Augustine: 20 Must-Do Activities Beyond Nights of Lights

St. Augustine, Florida known for its historic charm and beautiful beaches, offers a wealth of experiences beyond the renowned Nights of Lights festival. Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

Based on the recommendations of St. Augustine natives and/or life-long St. Augustinians, we've compiled a list of 20 must-do activities beyond our famous Nights of Lights Festival.


St. Augustine, FL, founded in 1565, is the nation’s “Oldest City.” Pedro Menendez de Aviles settled it 42 years before the Jamestown colonists arrived in Virginia which makes St. Augustine the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement on the North American continent. It is truly a wonderful place to visit and an even better place to call home. It’s no wonder that St. Augustine has graced many of the nation's and even the world’s “tops” lists from being recognized for its top beaches to top historical cities. Many of us are life-long St. Augustine residents so we wanted to give you the inside scoop from a local’s perspective, starting with the best attractions.

*We were not paid or endorsed in any way by these attractions or their owners. This is based purely on the agents in our office’s recommendations.

1. Explore Castillo de San Marcos:

Step back in time and visit this centuries-old fort, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States.

Castillo de San Marcos and Matanzas Inlet in St. Augustine
Castillo de San Marcos

2. Wander through St. Augustine's historic district:

Take a stroll along cobblestone streets lined with charming shops, galleries, and historic landmarks.

3. Visit the Lightner Museum:

Marvel at the eclectic collection of antiques and artifacts housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, including Tiffany glass and Victorian-era curiosities.

4. Climb the St. Augustine Lighthouse:

Ascend the 219 steps to the top of this historic lighthouse for panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.

a lighthouse overlooking the ocean in St. Augustine
St. Augustine Lighthouse

5. Relax on St. Augustine Beach:

Spend a day soaking up the sun, swimming, surfing, or beachcombing along the pristine shores of St. Augustine Beach.

6. Take a scenic boat tour:

Cruise along Matanzas Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway, spotting dolphins, seabirds, and historic landmarks along the way.

7. Explore Anastasia State Park:

Hike nature trails, paddle through salt marshes, or enjoy a picnic on the beach at this scenic state park located on Anastasia Island.

a campground with picnic table
Anastasia State Park

8. Visit the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park:

Get up close and personal with alligators, crocodiles, and exotic birds at this family-friendly attraction.

an alligator jumping up at his trainer in St. Augustine, FL
St. Augustine Alligator Farm

9. Attend the First Friday Artwalk:

Participating galleries and venues open their doors to the public, welcoming visitors to view a diverse selection of artwork in a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, and more. 

10. Tour the Whetstone Chocolate Factory:

Indulge your sweet tooth with a guided tour of this local chocolate factory, complete with delicious samples.

11. Dine at local eateries:

Sample fresh seafood, Southern cuisine, and international flavors at St. Augustine's diverse restaurants, cafes, and food trucks.

*Click the picture above to be directed to our previous blog "50 Top Restaurants in St. Augustine, FL*

12. Visit the St. Augustine Distillery:

Take a guided tour of this craft distillery and sample handcrafted spirits made from locally-sourced ingredients.

2 vats in the St. Augustine Distillery
St. Augustine Distillery

13. Explore the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum:

Embark on a swashbuckling adventure through pirate history with interactive exhibits and treasure artifacts.

14. Take a Ghost Tour:

Discover St. Augustine's haunted past on a guided ghost tour of the city's historic district, where you'll hear spine-chilling tales of pirates, ghosts, and legends.

15. Visit the Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park:

Explore the site where Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon allegedly discovered the legendary Fountain of Youth in 1513.

a Fountain of Youth Exhibit in St. Augustine
The Fountain of Youth

16. Explore the Colonial Quarter:

Step back in time to St. Augustine's colonial era with interactive exhibits, living history demonstrations, and historical reenactments.

17. Visit the St. Augustine Wild Reserve:

Get up close to exotic animals, including tigers, lions, and bears, at this non-profit wildlife sanctuary.

18. Explore the St. Augustine Amphitheatre:

Attend a concert, festival, or cultural event at this outdoor amphitheater, known for its scenic setting and live entertainment.

19. Take a horse-drawn carriage tour:

Explore St. Augustine's historic district in style with a guided carriage tour through the city's charming streets.

a horse drawn carriage ride in St. Augustine, FL
Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour

20. Visit the Oldest Wooden School House:

Learn about early education in St. Augustine at this historic schoolhouse, which dates back to the 18th century.

The agents at First Coast Realty strive not just to be your agent for the sale but your agent for life. We do not leave you after the sale is concluded. We can be relied upon to help you with many things including local area expertise. We hope you enjoyed this list of our favorite activities and attractions. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.


Whether you are looking to buy or sell, First Coast Realty would welcome the opportunity to earn your business. Feel free to reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter and we would be happy to assist you in getting the ball rolling. Or, to talk to a qualified, experienced agent call/text today 904-494-8408 or email


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