Go Explore: St. Augustine, Florida
Situated on the northeastern coast of Florida, St. Augustine is noted for being the oldest continuously settled city in the U.S. Here you’ll find an appealing mix of history, natural beauty, culture and outdoor adventure.
At the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, visitors can explore artifacts from historic shipwrecks, heritage boat building techniques and interactive exhibits. For a truly unforgettable experience, climb the 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse — the site of the oldest, permanent aid to navigation in North America.
Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille showcases Louisiana-inspired dishes, including chicken and shrimp creole, Cajun seared tuna and French-baked scallops. Be sure to grab a seat at the courtyard that overlooks the bay. Family-owned Raintree has been a local favorite since 1981. Located in a lovingly restored 1879 Victorian home, the restaurant features a mix of Mediterranean, American and Asian cuisine.
Interact with and feed reef fish, stingrays and sharks inside an 80,000-gallon tank at the St. Augustine Aquarium and Snorkel Adventure. Afterwards, head to the adjoining Castaway Canopy Adventure, where you can soar through the air via seven zip lines that wind past towering oak trees.
Guests at Marineland Dolphin Adventure can swim with these playful and intelligent mammals. Other activities include sea turtle and sand tiger sharks exhibits, as well as boat eco tours of estuaries and inlets teeming with wildlife.
There’s plenty of nightlife to keep you entertained in St. Augustine. For live music, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall is a multipurpose performing arts facility that hosts regional and national acts. Cap off the evening with a round at Prohibition Kitchen, a 1920s-era themed gastropub that boasts the longest bar in the city.
Link lovers have a wealth of golf courses to choose from in St. Augustine. But for a one-of-a-kind experience, there’s World Golf Village. Play at two championship courses — King & Bear and Slammer & Squire — and explore the history of the game at the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum. Here you’ll discover fascinating artifacts, personal memorabilia, photography and interactive exhibits.
St. Augustine boasts 42 miles of beautiful beaches for those who love surf and sand. Options include Vilano Beach, situated north of downtown St. Augustine’s historic district. It’s known for its sparse crowds, Art Deco vibe and great surfing. The 1,600-acre Anastasia State Park is a popular spot where you can rent kayaks, paddleboards and bikes.
There are several notable shopping districts in St. Augustine, including historic St. George Street. Indulge your sweet tooth at Whetstone Chocolates, a family-owned shop with delectable, hand-made chocolates, fudge, caramel and other goodies. Elsewhere on St. George is 1565 Trading Company, which sells varied coastal fashions. For women’s apparel and accessories, 29olives offers sweaters, tops, skirts, dresses, jewelry, hats and purses.
Member Savings: Save up to 10% when booking AAA rates on select St. Augustine hotels. Visit AAA.com/Discounts for details!
(Go Magazine January/February 2019)