Parking is lousy in St. Augustine. There are many narrow streets, lots of the roads are one-way, few houses have their own parking spaces, even the city lots are mostly reserved for inns and hotels.
Metered parking available starting at $1.50 an hour in lots owned and leased by the city. The city also has a few parking lots, which cost $1.50 an hour, but offer huge discounts with a city "Park Now" card. The city also has coupon books that give a big discount.
St. Augustine is a beautiful city, with lots for the interested tourist to do. But parking is a bear. Your best bet, if your hotel stay is downtown, is to walk; or, barring that, bicycle (but be sure to lock your bike up - St. Augustine Beach has a reputation for disappearing bicycles. When your touring the historical area (and anything downtown), don't forget the Trolleys. They run regularly, they have interesting tidbits of information about the city; and you can usually get a deal for a few day's worth of riding. A newer convenience, is the scooter rentals; and now there are these little two-seater electric cars you can rent as well. Unless you're planning to extend your tour to Jacksonville, Daytona or any of the smaller towns in the area; you can get by pretty well by leaving your car at the hotel.
Walking is defiantly the best way of getting around on a tight budget... plus everything but the beach is in walking distance... Parking is so hard in the downtown area... people arent courtious of others when it come to parking and will not give you eough room to get out... they will bump you while parallel parking, there are meters at the fort, its all the tourist, not the locals... if you staying close the just walk if not, just go park at the visitor centers parking garage....trust me
I 95 south to exit 95 SR16 east to US1, right to the MAB paint store and right again into town. About a mile. You will pass the fountain of youth ( did not work for me ) Oldest jail, ( don't like jails ) Ripley's (very cool place. they film the TV show from this Ripley's ) ahhh the Castle will be on your left and the old town on your right. Have fun!
Buy a moto cycle and don't worry about parking again! Only bugs and rain!
My usual tip in America: public transportation is decidedly a joke in most of the USA. Few metros in city centers, a national bus system thats archaic and a national train system that is late, goes few places and frankly is an embarassment. In Florida its even worse than the 'norm'. Dispite a public voting mandate that bullet trains ply between Jacksonville/Orlando/Tampa/Miami..we are still waiting for any progress on that event. Miami does have a train that will get you a fair number of places..but the rest of Florida you have little choice but to rent a car.