The beach at St. Augustine Beach is one long, wide uninterrupted sandy beach - clean, family friendly, dog friendly, and as far as I could tell, free of any private areas. In mid-February there were few folks braving the chilly water, other than a couple of surfers-in-training in their wet suits. I would guess the short waves here would be equivalent to the bunny slopes at a ski resort.
We mostly encountered folks like us - retired seniors out for a relaxing walk. After March 1, however, the demographics change considerably.
Automobiles are allowed on portions of the beach, but there is a parking fee during peak season.
Sand dunes and the native sea oats separate the beach from the cottages, rental properties, and resorts. These dunes are off-limits, as they are the nesting habitats for sea turtles.
the st. augustine alligator farm was founded in 1893 is one of florida's oldest zoological attractions. george reddington and felix fire started collecting alligators they found on anastasia island and put them on display for tourists. today the alligator farm has a collection of alligators, crocodiles, snakes, and other wildlife. the st. augustine alligator farm is listed on the national register of historic places.
fort matanzas was built in 1740 to guard st. augustine's southern flank from british attack. during the british-spanish war of jenkin's ear governor manuel de montiano built this fort on the site of a 1500's watch tower in order to repel an attack on st. augustine from the south. general james oglethorpe tried to attack st. augustine from the matanzas river twice, once in 1741 and again in 1742 but was defeated both times. fort matanzas is a worth while site to visit in the st. augustine area. the admission is free.
We visited the lighthouse in January 2005, but we did not climb to the top of the 165' tower. I didn't think my knees would take it or my heart either and later when I did climb the Key West lighthouse, I was proved more than right about that. It would have been fun to see the inlet from above though. Admission to the Museum and Tower is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for Seniors and $5.00 for Children ages 5-11.
We had already seen the extensive exhibit at Ponce Lighthouse on the Fresnel lenses, so I wasn't really gung ho on paying the admission just to the Museum of $5 for adults, $4 for Seniors and $3 for Children ages 5-11.
The other thing you can see here is the artifacts from shipwrecks lost in the treacherous St. Augustine inlet.
Open daily from 9am to 6pm with extended summer and holiday hours
This is the shopping street downtown between the plaza and the fort. It's just one of many areas to see. We've been coming here for several years as snowbirds -- and as grandparents since we have two granddaughters who live here.
Off the beaten path: check Magnolia Street with its beautiful overhanging Live Oak trees.
Well, we've been coming here so much that we now find it a bit boring. (This is still a backwater, unsophisticated town in spite of the culture provided by Flagler College.) So we stay at a resort where we can find activities with other snowbirds, and have the granddaughters overnight every week.
Suggestions: take a trolley the first day you are here to get a great overview.
Visit the old town area. Lots of shops and neat things to see. Be sure to take a guided ' Ghost Tour' at night. We had a lot of fun. They go over some area history and you get a walking tour around town. Plus you get to look for ghosts. ( We never saw any, but you do get that creepy feeling)
anastasia state park is a very nice state park located at st. augustine beach. the state park offers swimming, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and camping.