Explore the Outdoors at These St. Augustine Parks on Your Next Vacation

St. Augustine, Florida, is home to many breathtaking state parks. St. Augustine parks are always a great experience, and your admission fee goes directly toward improving that experience for next time. Of course, there are so many natural parks in the St. Augustine area that you would need weeks or even months to visit them all.

We’ve highlighted the best state parks for you in the St. Augustine area to narrow it down. 

Of course, there are other things to do in St. Augustine while visiting or outside the state parks. To get the most out of St. Augustine and its many activities, you’ll need a place to stay! St. Augustine vacation rentals are best done through The Ocean Gallery. We specialize in all sizes of vacation homes to suit any group.  

Anastasia State Park

Anastasia State Park is the ideal destination for a beach trip on a budget. For an entry fee of $5.00 per vehicle, you have access to 1,600 acres of paradise, including four solid miles of snow-white beaches, crystal clear water, and all the swimming you can handle. It’s only a few minutes from downtown St. Augustine and features a 1700s-era archeological site for history buffs. Not only that, Anastasia State Park is rated #6/100 in the country by Reserve America!

Surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more are all available, although you can bring your equipment. Coupled with small forests to hike in, Anastasia State Park is a perfect destination for a day trip or vacation.

Washington Oaks Garden

Washington Oaks Garden is slightly removed from downtown St. Augustine and a little more formal to boot. However, it is home to some beautiful botanic gardens, rock formations, and shady trails to hike or bike at your leisure. Washington Oaks Garden is home to some massive, old-growth oaks, as it befits the name. They’re a majestic sight to behold and provide cool shade for picnics. If you like rock formations, botanic gardens, and shady, quiet trails, you’ll love Washington Oaks Garden. Admission is $5.00 per vehicle or $2.00 per person/cyclist, so there is no reason not to visit.

Faver-Dykes State Park

Faver-Dykes State Park is an ideal state park for nature lovers and bird watchers. The park is home to over 100 species of birds and insects during the spring and fall migration periods. The park is also located on Pellicer Creek, connecting to the Matanzas River. There’s a boat ramp, so kayaks, canoes, personal watercraft, and motorboats can all be launched from the park. Kayak and canoe rentals are also available; the birds are best observed from the water with no visual obstructions.

If you’re looking forward to fishing in St. Augustine, Faver-Dykes is also home to a campground and a fishing dock so that a stay can extend over multiple days. Spotted trout, sheepshead, and other fish are commonly caught and eaten here. The kayak and canoe tributaries are must-see attractions for the natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Admission is $5.00 per vehicle or $2.00 for pedestrians.  

Alpine Groves State Park

Despite the name, Alpine Groves State Park is not situated on a mountain. Instead, Alpine Groves is more of a botanic garden. It features rock formations, shady, quiet trails, massive oak trees, and many historic structures to tour. Pets are welcome, and the park is related to the 19th-century citrus industry so that you can experience a history lesson and a relaxing day in the park with your furry friend simultaneously.

Alpine Groves is maintained by the Garden Club of Switzerland, FL, and contains unique natural habitats for all native animals. Think of it as a state park and wildlife preserve all in one, and you’ll have a great time.  

Canopy Shores Park

When you’re ready to venture out of your St. Augustine vacation home rental, consider visiting Canopy Shores park! Canopy Shores Park is relatively small at only 33 acres. Still, it features looping walking trails, a playground with a jungle gym, and canoeing/kayaking equipment. The oak trees also interlock to form a massive canopy that provides much-needed shade during the summer. Trail fitness equipment is also available, and there is a paved 1.5-mile loop for walking or biking.  

While Canopy Shores is not a massive park with endless activities, it is a lovely, secluded getaway to spend a few hours. If you need some relaxation in nature, this park is for you.  

Castillo San De Marcos

Castillo San De Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Built to defend Spain’s property claims in the 1700s, it is the oldest structure in St. Augustine and one of its biggest tourist attractions. Cannon firings and weapon demonstrations are performed multiple times per day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, weather permitting. The sight and sound of an 18th-century cannon firing is something you don’t want to miss.

The massive gun deck also offers a perfect view of the city, and the rooms that once were barracks or prison cells are open to the public. The fort is a national attraction worth visiting for the history and sheer size of the structure.  

Fish Island Preserve

Fish Island Preserve is a protected, undeveloped waterfront property in St. Augustine that is open to public traffic. It was the first orange grove in Florida and helped birth Florida’s booming citrus industry. The upland and wetland areas on the island are home to bald eagles and a maritime forest. The entire island also supports nearby marshes. It was also home to a 1700s plantation owner, hence the orange groves and citrus trade. At just 57 acres, it is a small chunk of the property but well worth a visit to see undeveloped, wild marshes and wetlands. You might even see a bald eagle!

Plan Your Stay!

If you’re ready to experience your favorite vacation yet, begin planning your trip to St. Augustine today! Select your ideal vacation dates, book your favorite rental, and prepare for your best rental yet!

Lakeside Park

Lakeside Park is ideal for a small picnic or a brief walk. It is on the shores of Lake Anhinga, where you can feed the fish and watch them swarm to any crumbs in the water. Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed, but there are benches and a small fishing pier; catch and release are the policy. Free parking is available between City Hall and the police station. Lakeside is not a park for a day trip but more for a small picnic or brief walk on your way through.

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park is a small park surrounding the large St. Augustine Lighthouse on Salt Run on Anastasia Island. There’s a boat ramp, plenty of shady oaks, a complete recreation center, and a playground. It is a secluded area with plenty of shade to relax in. Unfortunately, there is no beach, and swimming off the boat ramp is not advised. Nonetheless, Lighthouse Park is a great location to use as a set-off point or enjoy a few hours in the park.

Where To Stay?

St. Augustine vacation rentals are best done through The Ocean Gallery. We specialize in every size of a vacation house, from 1-bedroom apartments to luxury villas that sleep 20 or more people. The Ocean Gallery has waterfront property throughout the St. Augustine area, so we have you covered no matter where you want to stay. Contact us today to learn more!