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.

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. If you can climb the

ST AUGUSTINE ATTRACTIONS

Lightner Museum

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

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.

Hotels in St Augustine, Fl

At Journey’s End B&B, St Augustine

This welcoming B&B is situated in the heart of St Augustine’s downtown in the delightful historic district. It’s in the perfect location for both relaxing and exploring, on a quiet street that’s only a stroll away from the city’s famous sights and attractions. Not only that, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the local shops, cafes and restaurants nearby. Idyllic beaches and the iconic St. Augustine Lighthouse are within easy reach on foot as well. Unique rooms, common areas and gardens with free Wi-Fi and a delicious breakfast complete the package at this unforgettable B&B.

Casa Monica Resort & Spa, St Augustine

St Augustine’s only AAA Four Diamond hotel is classic luxury at its best. The striking Spanish architecture of this listed building, which dates back to 1888, has been restored with the discerning traveller in mind. All the modern touches of a top class hotel can be found here, in the sumptuous rooms, the award-winning restaurant and the amazing outdoor swimming pool. During your stay at the Casa Monica Hotel you can enjoy a round of golf at one of the nearby courses or venture into the historic centre of St Augustine.

Hampton Inn, St Augustine Beach

The location of the Hampton Inn, St Augustine Beach is hard to beat. Facing the ocean with an outdoor pool and beach area, this well-placed hotel embraces its locale with sunny island-themed decoration throughout and many rooms boasting patios and balconies for non-stop sea views. The city’s broad offering of attractions and restaurants can be found only a short walk away.

Hilton Doubletree St Augustine

This art deco-style hotel is the perfect choice travellers looking for high-quality convenience and comfort. You can look out onto the historic Mission Nombre de Dios before travelling only a half mile to downtown St Augustine for even more fascinating historic attractions. The hotel even offers free sightseeing trains for easy navigation of the area’s points of interest. All the best amenities are on offer here, a welcoming restaurant, sports bar and attractive terrace with pool. Free newspapers are available for guests and the hotel has dog-friendly rooms if you prefer to travel with your pets.

Hotels in Ponte Vedra

Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa

Whether you’re on a family vacation or a golf trip (or perhaps a bit of both!) the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is an exceptional choice for a holiday in Ponte Vedra. Boasting five championship courses, you can spend hours enjoying the sun whilst improving your handicap. Then, take your pick from one of the four swimming pools the hotel has to offer, or cool off with a cocktail at the private Cabana Beach Club. The Sawgrass Spa offers total relaxation with a full range of treatments. Whether you’re staying in a luxurious and well-appointed room or one of the desirable two-bedroom villas, your stay at the Sawgrass Marriott will be everything you want from a relaxing vacation in Florida.

Hilton Garden Inn

The Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Ponte Vedra has a perfect location for beach lovers, keen golfers and sightseers alike. The beachside golfing haven that lies between Jacksonville and St. Augustine has everything you need for a relaxing break on the Florida coast. You won’t want to miss the famous TPC Sawgrass course for a few rounds and the beach is just five minutes away. There’s a wide range of lunch and dinner options to choose from both a short walk from the hotel and onsite. You can also relax in the modern and comfortable guest rooms and take some exercise in the fitness centre and outdoor swimming pool.

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

Ponte Vedra Beach is dominated by the much-beloved landmark hotel that is the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, which has provided visitors to Florida’s northeastern coast with grand rooms and grounds for an indulgent vacation since 1928. You’ll agree that the AA Five-Diamond rating is much deserved when you see the oceanfront location and expansive guest facilities and amenities including two golf courses, four swimming pools and 15 tennis courts. You can unwind in the onsite luxury spa or energise with paddleboards, kayaks, and bicycles to rent. A multitude of restaurant, bar and lounge options await for your evening entertainment as well, before retreating to your elegant room with dramatic ocean views.

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