Top Things to Do Outside in St. Augustine

St. Augustine is a bold and beautiful town. Hidden in its many cobble streets and beach paths are innumerable outdoor activities.

The weather is inviting pleasant throughout the year for outdoor exploration, the cool water breeze keeps the afternoons slightly windy. Below are four things to do outdoors when visiting the gorgeous historic town of St. Augustine.

Visit the Castillo de San Marcos

Surely, the most iconic landmark in St. Augustine is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. This historic fort lies on a 20.5-acre plot with stunning views of the Matanzas Bay and downtown St. Augustine.

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest existing military fortress, dating back to the 17th century. This fort protected the colonial city of St. Augustine under both Spanish and British rule, and it features over three centuries of military history. If you want to enjoy the Florida Sunshine and learn the fascinating history of America’s oldest city, visit this historic landmark.

This National Monument is open daily from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you are visiting on the weekend, make a plan to watch a historic cannon firing from the gundeck of the Castillo. Cannons are fired every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10:30 am, 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

The Monument also offers Ranger talks with a park ranger – when you visit, ask what they are offering! You can also explore the grounds for some quiet and open trails.

Entrances fees are $15 for individuals 16 years old and older. Admission is free for children aged 15 and younger. Admission is valid for up to seven consecutive days. Admission is also free for those who hold National Park Service Interagency, Senior, or Annual Passes.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is formerly located at 11 South Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine, FL 32084. You won’t miss it.

Castillo de San Marcos in st augustine
Photo from Shutterstock

Take a stroll down St. George Street

St. George St is the historic heart of the town. While walking the famous main cobble street, you can witness breathtaking views of Flagler College, the Castillo de San Marcos, the Bridge of Lions, and the country’s oldest school house.

Visit the World-Class Beaches

Keep an eye out for dolphins, manatee, and sea turtle sightings on some of the most acclaimed Atlantic Ocean beaches. Whether you want to explore the seas with your family or enjoy a romantic sunset cruise, you can get the full beach experience.

St. Augustine Beach is the main beach of the city, but you can head north to Vilano Beach or further south to the subdued and relaxed Crescent Beach. You can rent a bike for a biking adventure right on the beaches.

St. Augustine Beach is home to a popular area for kayaking and renting water equipment. You can stop visitors and locals surfing the day away, perhaps using equipment rented from the surf shop, the Surf Station.

Cruise the Matanzas Bay on the Schooner Freedom

When the weather is good, there is no better view of downtown St. Augustine than from the Matanzas Bay. One of the most peaceful, relaxing ways to explore historic St. Augustine from the water is by taking a cruise on the Schooner Freedom. This beautiful sailing vessel features a 64’ deck and is an authentic replica of a 19th-century ship.

The Schooner Freedom departs from the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, on the bayfront by the Bridge of Lions. In season, they offer day sails, sunset sails, and moonlight sails. Sunset and day sails are two hours long; the moonlight sail features live music and lasts one hour and fifteen minutes. Schooner Freedom also offers specially themed sailings throughout the year.

There are limited offerings to cruise with a dolphin expert from Marineland Oceanarium, a storytelling pirate, or to view St. Augustine’s Holiday Nights of Lights from the water. All excursions include complimentary water, soda, beer, and wine. The departure times for each sailing vary throughout the year; be sure to check their website for seasonal departure times.

Explore Colonial Quarter

This living history museum is a step back in time when the colonials first began settling in St. Augustine. Where families huddled together by the fire, masons ruled the roost, and a town guard was posted 24/7 on a giant watchtower, the Colonial Quarter is an open celebration of the city’s roots. Enjoy a live musket demonstration, climb to the top of the watchtower, and see blacksmith experts explain and use a variety of historic tools and equipment.

The quarter sits in downtown St. Augustine, on the north side of St. George St and spans from Castillo Dr. to St. George. The Colonial Quarter is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ghost Tours

All St. Augustine vacations could benefit from a deep-dive into the ancient city’s spooky and haunting history. 

Ghost tours are a blast- and they come in different types. There are two main ways to engage with a ghost tour in the city. The first is by a walking tour. A trained expert in the area’s mysterious lore will share stories while visiting a variety of haunted sights, notably the Tolomato Cemetery, Flagler College, the first schoolhouse, and the Old Jail, among others.

You can also explore the city’s dark side via trolley on the Ghosts and Gravestones tour. Here, you’ll cover more ground as you head through downtown, into Lincolnville with some of the area’s oldest residential homes, and along the Castillo de San Marcos.

Both tours occur exclusively after dark. These are genuine ghost tours, so don’t expect costumed monsters and ghouls to jump out at you. It’s about past-down stories and atmosphere with the best St. Augustine ghost tours.

Plan Your Next Visit

St. Augustine has many outdoor experiences to suit your needs and interests. Reach out to us today for more information on any ambitious vacation outdoor activity here.

Explore Nearby Parks

There are numerous parks in and around local St. Augustine oceanfront condos, and they all individually offer something unique. While we couldn’t possibly name them all, we do have a few top favorites. Anastasia State Park is the big attraction for wildlife lovers. It is dense yet sparse, with numerous trails both along the water and through the wetlands. It is accessible by car, and includes welcoming amenities, like boat rentals, camping, and guided tours.

We also love Fort Mose for its quiet nature and history. Fort Mose is the oldest and first free black settlement in the country. What it lacks in amenities it makes up for in its quiet expanse, light foot traffic, and wildlife sighting possibilities.

The nearby parks also provide plenty of fantastic Florida fishing. You can fish at the beach at St. Augustine Beach’s Ocean Pier or head to the pier at Vaill Point Park.

Swim With Dolphins

As much as you may hope for it, you may not be fortunate enough to jump in the water anywhere and have wild dolphin nuzzle up against you. Fortunately, we can recreate this wild possibility at Marineland.

Marineland is the area’s best place to swim with dolphins. This marine park also hosts dolphin shows and other interactive activities with turtles and yes, even sharks! Shark talks are daily at 10:30 a.m. with feedings three days a week. The dolphin training presentation is daily at 11:15 a.m. There is also a daily turtle talk at 1 p.m.

Dolphin swimming activities are currently limited. We recommend calling ahead to confirm available times and book your spot.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm

The best way to see any alligators in Florida is through the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. This uproarious adventure park and is chockfull of gators from all across the state and even the world. 

You will also find a number of other species, including pythons, sloths, lemurs, and birds in the giant bird boardwalk trail.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is a special treat worth any visit. This classic city landmark looms over Anastasia Island, where you can see the city and the ocean in one full swoop. The lighthouse is located at 100 Red Cox Dr. but don’t worry- you can’t miss it!