St. Augustine is a "Don't Miss It" opportunity. It is the oldest city in the nation, with plenty of early Spanish influence. It is unique to any city we have visited. St. Augustine gives a new twist to early American history! It has something to offer everyone.
For families, the day is packed with adventure! Don't miss the beautiful drive up the coastline with the first stop at Fort Matanzas and the free boat ride to explore the fort. Our next stop is the Gator Farm. This will take a couple of hours at least, but it will be a memory they will not forget. If you are staying a week or so, buy the family pass and go a couple of times. It pays for itself in two visits. The lighthouse is on the right, just before you enter the city. It is expensive for a climb. We usually skip it and take the kids to the Ponce de Leon lighthouse south of Daytona. It is only $4.00 to climb and twice the height!
The kids will love St. Augustine city. The Castillo de San Marcos is a great stop. It is a national park, so 16 and under is free, and adults pay only $6.00 each. It is an awesome place to explore, but the kids also learn a bit of history. Speaking of history, the kids can tour America's oldest wooden school house, spend the afternoon in a Spanish colony learning crafts and history, tour some of the creepiest cemeteries around, and find time for some gelato or ice cream. Our boys LOVED the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum. I didn't think it was worth the money, but my boys thought it was great! Of course, gross, weird, and disgusting: it's a match made in heaven for boys! St. Augustine is also the site for pirate ship adventures, slave market discussions, and was a key city in the Civil Rights Movement.
For those romantics, the city is a treasure. Voted one of the most romantic cities in the U.S., St. Augustine is a dream. Stroll through the many shops down St. George Street. Take a carriage ride around the city. Dine in one of the outdoor cafes. Take a relaxing boat ride, or even a helicopter tour! Don't forget to stop at the Fountain of Youth for a rejuvenating glass of water! After dark, the city boasts several ghost tours!
If you have one extra day and have to choose what to do away from the beach, choose St. Augustine. You will not be disappointed.