Discover St Augustine
A visit to St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra will transport you to an enchanting area that is vibrant and full of entertainment but also rich in history that’s just waiting to be explored. St Augustine is the United States’ oldest European-established city and has been continuously settled since 1565. Visitors to the area can enjoy relaxing at the luxurious beachfront hotels, touring the historic sites and diving into the many outdoor pursuits on offer here, all within easy reach of Florida’s northeastern point.
Highlights of St Augustine & Ponte Vedra
- Great for: Almost five centuries of American history, dating back to 1565
- Famous for: Castillo de San Marco, the original 17th century Spanish fortification
- Closest airport with direct flights: Orlando International Airport is 124 miles to the south
- Why we like it: This is History Central in Florida - the oldest city in the country
- Itineraries featuring St Augustine & Ponte Vedra :
St Augustine & Ponte Vedra Location
Weather in St Augustine & Ponte Vedra
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Hotels in St Augustine & Ponte Vedra
The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa is perfect for any traveller, whether you’re seeking relaxation or endless entertainment.
Casa Monica Resort & Spa is a beautiful resort situated by the Matanzas River and Bay, offering a luxury experience and endless opportunities. The hotel has everything you need including an award-winning restaurant, elegant rooms and an incredible outdoor pool.
Things to do in St Augustine & Ponte Vedra
History Of St Augustine, FL
HISTORY OF ST AUGUSTINE, FL
Fort Matanzas National Monument
This fort was built by the Spanish in 1742 to protect the land of northeast Florida while the New World was being established. Fort Matanzas is a fascinating national monument to visit in itself, but it also gives you an excellent opportunity to admire the wild flora and fauna in the area.
Spanish Military Hospital Museum
The Spanish Military Hospital Museum will give you a unique look into colonial life. Here you’ll see compelling and sometimes toe-curling reconstructions of the techniques used by surgeons in this historic hospital during the Second Spanish Colonial Period, from 1784 to 1821.
Castillo de San Marcos
Step back in time in this 20.5 acre national park and experience an important part of colonial military history. The Castillo de San Marcos is the only 17th century military building still standing in the United States today. Learn about the unusual construction with a material made up of broken shells called coquina, which withstood enemy fire and kept the area safe. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a live reenactment to get the full experience of this important piece of national history.
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
As the first lighthouse to guide ships home in Florida, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is the perfect place to learn all about the area’s maritime history, from the creation of the United States’ first port, through to the role of the Coast Guard during World War II. The keepers’ house is beautifully restored and holds the compelling exhibition space, but the best part is way up at the top of the 165-foot lighthouse tower.
St Augustine Attractions
Well-known local landmark the Alcazar Hotel, built in 1888, was transformed into the Lightner Museum in 1948 after Otto Lightner bought the dilapidated hotel building to house his eclectic collection of art, artifacts, and curios. You’ll find pieces to delight and surprise you at every corner of this spectacularly restored building, from Tiffany glass to shrunken heads, antique buttons and Renaissance paintings.
Villa Zorayda Museum
If you’ve always dreamed of a trip through Europe, you’ll be pleased to find a little piece of Spanish history right here in northeast Florida. The Villa Zorayda, built in 1883, is a tenth scale reproduction of part of the famous Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. Tour the palatial rooms and corridors and marvel at the fine Moorish details of the fittings and furniture that fill this spectacular building.
St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Enjoy an evening of live music in a unique space at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The grand outdoor theatre seats over 4000 and has modern facilities as well as a lush natural setting. Check out the varied programme of events for an unforgettable show.
Water Sports & Parks In St Augustine
Old Florida Kayak Tours
Wind your way through the expansive creek system along Pellicer Creek, the artery of Faver-Dykes State Park. These acres of forest and waterways are expansive, peaceful and mostly untouched by the tourist trail. On your Kayaking adventure, you’ll be on the lookout for dolphin, manatee and otters at paddle-level and a variety of birds overhead.
Anastasia State Park
Whether you want to learn more about the history and wildlife of the area, of just spend a couple of hours enjoying the long stretches of beach and dunes, Anastasia State Park has it all. There are guided walks to get the most out of the park, some of which take you past the coquina quarry, where the stones used in the Castillo de San Marcos were mined. Visitors are welcome to camp, picnic, bike, hike and fish in this beautiful state park.
Vilano Beach, a dainty little enclave for those in the know, is loved equally for its cafes, boutiques and dreamy holiday cottage getaways as it is for the natural beauty of its beaches. The coastline is perfect for surfers and others who like to make the most of the Atlantic waves.
Ecotourism In St Augustine
St. Augustine Eco Tours
Hop on board and let Captain Zach guide you through the dynamic estuary waters around St Augustine while expert guides introduce you to the area’s amazing wildlife. With their help, you’ll have a good chance of spotting dolphins taking in the panoramic views.
GTM Research Reserve
The GTM Research Reserve covers around 73,000 acres of coastline including pristine beaches, mangroves, and salt marshes. The Education Center is a great place to start your day to find out all that’s on offer within the reserve and get insight into the wildlife you should look for as you enjoy the hiking trails.
GOLF & FISHING IN ST AUGUSTINE
World Golf Hall of Fame
If you’re a gold aficionado you won’t want to miss a visit to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Not only can you admire iconic trophies and memorabilia from the most famous tournaments and players, but you can also try out the resort’s own two courses. The King & Bear course was designed by none other than Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
The Stadium Course at TPC at Sawgrass
Ponte Vedra’s most well-known and famous course is home to the Players Championship. You’ll recognise the island hole on the 17th, the perfect place to improve your putt.
Fishing at St. Augustine
St. Augustine’s sheltered coastal location is a very popular fishing spot for both locals and visitors from far and wide. Whether you’re after a peaceful day fishing from the piers at Vilano Beach or Lighthouse Park or an expedition through the Anastasia Park in a kayak, there’s fishing opportunities to suit every level and interest here. Anglers with skill and a taste for adventure can enjoy deep-sea fishing with one of the many charter companies in the area.