While the beach and surf of St. Augustine are certainly exciting, the wildlife attractions are unsurpassed. If anyone in your vacation party is thrilled with birdwatching, loves marine life, or has a passion for native plant life, adding a wildlife tour to your list of St. Augustine things to do is a must.
Local tour guides will help you find wildlife and identify it on these tours. Walk through areas rich in local flora, find the wild side of Florida, or explore what truly lies under the sea at these places to see on vacation in St. Augustine. Your group will gain memories to last a lifetime.
St. Augustine Eco Tours
The Eco Tours begin at the Augustine Municipal Marina and take visitors out to sea. Boat riders have a chance to search the waters for dolphins, turtles, manatees, jellyfish, and much more. There are a variety of guided tours including kayak, sailboat, or motorboat tours.
The tour guide will fill you in on the local wildlife and happily answer your questions. Many of the guides are marine biologists, so they have excellent knowledge when it comes to the specifics about the local species and conservation related topics.
Birds and fish alike will flirt with the boat, and riders will not be disappointed. Look for land and sea wildlife on these tours. It’s a perfect activity for friends, families, weddings, and even corporate teambuilding. Choose the type of experience that you want, with many tours lasting between 1 to 2 or more hours.
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
The nature walks at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve take visitors back to a time when people lived off the land and nothing else. Over 73,000 pristine acres are protected from development here, ensuring that hundreds of important native plant and animal species always have a home.
Amazingly, many of the events and guided tours here are free, as are the self-guided hikes through this picturesque preserve. The plant, animal, and marine life species found here are as endless as they are fascinating.
If you quietly explore the habitats being careful not to disturb anything, the chance to view rare wildlife increases. Many visitors take tours early to avoid the midday Florida heat, but this does not hinder their wildlife viewing.
A guided tour will come with a plethora of information not only about the wildlife, but also about how the first settlers interacted with the wildlife. Visitors will learn what plants were used, what animals were hunted, and how the settlers used the trees to build homes. Educational and beneficial, this is the perfect opportunity for a morning or afternoon stroll.
Be sure to book tours ahead of time as they fill up very quickly at this very popular St. Augustine attraction. Also check the calendar for popular family friendly events such as the fall Estuary Fest and other programs that are held throughout the year.
There are three state parks in the St. Augustine area: Anastasia, Washington Oaks Gardens, and Faver-Dykes. Each attraction holds its own unique opportunities for viewing wildlife. Nature lovers can camp at any of these parks, gaining the opportunity to watch wildlife as it moves from day to night. Each unique location will feature different wildlife, from city birds to waterfowl, turkeys, deer, river otters, bobcats and gopher tortoises.
Families enjoy exploring these natural areas as they learn more about the behaviors of their favorite Florida animals. Go to Washington Oaks Gardens for the impressive Spanish-moss covered oak trees. Visit Anastasia for the watersport opportunities and try to spot dolphins or jellyfish along the way. Visit Faver-Dykes for some of Florida’s premier bird-watching opportunities.
Spend a few days of your vacation at these top wildlife attractions
There are many convenient opportunities to view wildlife in the St. Augustine area, including simply sitting at the beach. You might see pelicans and shorebirds catching breakfast in the early morning hours and dolphins during the midday.
But for an unforgettable experience, spend a few days of your vacation visiting some of these top St. Augustine wildlife attractions. Your list of St. Augustine things to do will be much more complete after you visit these extraordinary places to see on vacation.