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Your guide to St. Augustine
All About St. Augustine
Founded in 1565 by a Spanish admiral, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States. Some historians believe this is the first place the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon struck ashore after his sail across the Atlantic Ocean. The streets are lined with Spanish colonial-style and Moorish architecture, and the city’s sprawling historical district is home to cobblestone streets and buildings dating back to the 1700s. It’s easy to get lost in the past here, but you’re still in Florida, so when you need a break from wandering the centuries-old streets, you can seek respite at pretty Vilano Beach, a ten-minute drive from downtown.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in St. Augustine
The summer in St. Augustine is hot and wet. June through September bring highs in the 80 and 90s Fahrenheit and frequent rain showers. If you’re traveling in these months, pack light, breathable clothes and bring an umbrella or waterproof clothing. October through May brings temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the high 70s. The coldest month is January, with an average high of 66 degrees. The city is also prone to occasional flooding, so bring some waterproof shoes along with your flipflops.
Top things to do in St. Augustine
Castillo de San Marcos
Built in 1695 to fend off marauding pirates and other enemies, the imposing and stately Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest stone fort in the nation. Its walls, which are built from coquina — limestone formed by ancient shells — are 14 feet thick in some places. You can explore the vaulted casements (chambers where food, ship repair materials, and up to 200,000 cannonballs were stored) and climb the stone steps to the gun deck where up to 60 cannons were mounted. Check the website for a schedule of live reenactments, which include cannon firings.
Villa Zorayda Museum
A millionaire hardware merchant from Boston modeled his winter home in St. Augustine on the Alhambra, a 35-acre palace in Spain built over 1,000 years ago. Built in 1883 from a mixture of coquina and concrete, the Moorish-style house is an ornate tribute to what money can buy, with a three-story tower and a two-story interior atrium ringed by horseshoe arches. The house is now a museum that houses eccentric antiques, including the Sacred Cat Rug, which is reportedly 2,400 years old and woven from Egyptian cat hair.
ACCORD Freedom Trail
One of St. Augustine’s most historically significant neighborhoods is known for its role in the Civil Rights movement. Lincolnville, founded by freedmen after the Civil War, was a nexus for activism in the 1960s, when Black residents risked their lives to desegregate local businesses, staged sit-ins and protests, and played a vital role in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited St. Augustine several times, and was arrested here when participating in a protest at a segregated restaurant. Visit the ACCORD Freedom Trail website to find a self-guided tour and detailed descriptions of 31 historical sites marked with interpretive plaques.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the weather in St. Augustine?
St. Augustine typically has a humid subtropical climate. The summer months can get rather hot, averaging around 90°F (32°C), while winter temperatures fluctuate between 45°F (7°C) and 65°F (18°C). The city enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, except for the rainy season from June to September.
What are some of the best things to do in St. Augustine?
Visitors to St. Augustine can explore the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, take a stroll through the historic district, or visit the Castillo de San Marcos. For beach lovers, Anastasia State Park is a great place to relax and soak up the sun.
What is the best time of year to visit St. Augustine?
The most frequented time to visit St. Augustine is from March to May, when the weather is mild and the city hosts a variety of events like the Lions Seafood Festival and the Flower & Garden Expo. The Nights of Lights event, held from November to January, also draws a lot of visitors.
What are the best places to stay in St. Augustine?
St. Augustine has several neighborhoods that visitors often enjoy. The Historic District is known for its rich history, while St. Augustine Beach offers proximity to the sea. Vilano Beach and Anastasia Island are also loved for their peaceful residential vibes and stunning beachfront views.
What are the best places to visit in St. Augustine?
Visitors to St. Augustine often enjoy exploring the historic Castillo de San Marcos, visiting the Lightner Museum, and strolling around the Spanish colonial architecture in the city's historic district. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is also a popular destination.
What are some hiking trails in St. Augustine?
For those who love to explore nature, Anastasia State Park and Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve have several trails. Trail enthusiasts might also enjoy the St. Augustine Seawall Walk, which provides scenic views of the city and the sea.
What are some family activities to do in St. Augustine?
Families visiting St. Augustine can enjoy a fun day at the Pirate & Treasure Museum, explore the animals at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, or take a trolley tour of the city. The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is also a favorite destination for families.
What are some of the best day trip ideas in St. Augustine?
For those looking to explore beyond St. Augustine, Jacksonville and Daytona Beach are within an hour's drive. You could also visit the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve or go bird watching at the Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
What types of vacation rentals are available in St. Augustine?
Uncover the perfect home-away-from-home with our diverse selection of vacation rentals in St. Augustine. From over 960 house rentals to over 150 condo rentals, we've got you covered. For even more variety, explore our Airbnb Categories to find the ideal space for your getaway.
How much does it cost to stay in vacation home rentals in St. Augustine?
Experience the best of St. Augustine with our vacation home rentals, starting at about $110 per day, before taxes and fees. Embrace comfort and style while staying within your budget in your home away from home.