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Best Places to See in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is the country’s oldest city, and it shows in the most wonderful of ways. Cobblestone streets line the main downtown area of St. George Street. Horse feet clatter along 300-year-old historic buildings and the country’s first school. The bay is the city’s backdrop, giving it an alluring and small-village ambiance.

Welcome to St. Augustine.

Amongst the cobbled streets are some astonishing places you just have to see. Our 2019 Planning Guide to St. Augustine will get you to the best city locales for the upcoming year.

St. Augustine Vacation Rentals and Things to Do

Castillo de San Marcos

Few St. Augustine visitors skip out on the Castillo de San Marcos. It is the city’s most defining feature. It is the oldest masonry fort in the country. Still impressively intact, the fort was a major point of contention for the Spanish, using it to defend their ownership of St. Augustine from incoming water port attacks.

You can witness a real cannon firing daily. Walk through the rooms to see living quarters and weapon preparation areas. Reenactors go about their day, polishing old weaponry and accessorizing their garb. The Castillo de San Marcos stands as St. Augustine’s most significant place to see.

The Lighthouse

Resting right above St. Augustine Beach, on the northern end of Anastasia Island, is the quintessential lighthouse. The contrasting black and white stripes run up its 164 feet. You can visit the top of the lighthouse for some majestic water views. You can see both the ocean and the inlet, with the sprawling wetlands between. And if you turn around, you can see the very edge of historic St. Augustine, the cobblestone downtown the city is known for.

Surrounding the lighthouse are walking paths, gardens, and a small gift shop. The Maritime Museum is also in the lighthouse grounds (you can purchase tickets to both sites as a package).

Second only to the Castillo de San Marcos, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is the city’s prized gem of history.

The Distillery

The St. Augustine Distillery is a recent addition to the canon of the city, but the building is a long-standing community icon. It was originally an ice plant, most prominent at the turn of the 20th century. It has been closed down for decades, but was recently purchased by a large group of community members in an effort to save the building from a planned deconstruction.

The Ice Plant bar was built upstairs to preserve the original ice plant structures and to capture the spirit of the building. The remainder was turned into an active distillery. The result is a building that is a time capsule to a century ago.

If you are traveling on a tight budget, the distillery is a great place to see. Tours are free and available about every 30 minutes.

Alligator Farm

Want to zipline over an alligator swamp? How about get up close and personal with a python? Maybe you just want to stay on the beach. The Alligator Farm is the perfect place to see for the animal lover and adventurer inside (some of) us.

The farm is perhaps best known for its wild and up close wildlife shows. There are some spectacular sights, including a family of albino alligators, curious Madagascar lemurs, and Maximo, the 15-foot alpha of the alligator family.

The farm also prioritizes conservation, wildlife protection, and research by working with national zoos and local scientists.

Flagler College

If you spent any amount of time in St. Augustine or saw pictures, you were bound to see what looks like a massive cathedral or castle looming over the cityscape. This is most certainly Flagler College, an attention-grabbing active arts college that stands in the heart of downtown.

Tours, which take you inside the halls of this acclaimed historic castle, are open to the public during specific hours.

Visit St. Augustine and experience a part of its old world charms. The above are the top five places you must see during your next (or first) visit to this old city.

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4600 Highway A1A South,
St. Augustine, Florida USA 32080

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