No matter where you come from or what takes you to the Historic Coast of Florida, you’ll fall in love with the brick-lined streets and quaint alleys that make up the St. Augustine Historic District. There is so much to see and do, you’ll be tempted to drive around to catch it all. But to really experience St. Augustine, we suggest a slower pace and a leisurely stroll to take in the beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of the nation’s oldest city.
There are plenty of special walking tours to choose from, or you can freestyle it at your own pace. Ready? Here is our Favorite 5.
There may be no prettier or more photogenic spot than a walk along the bayfront from the Bridge of Lions to the Castillo de San Marcos. First, say hello to “Firm” and “Faithful,” the two marble lions at the foot of the bridge. Along the way, you’re sure to catch the aroma from the many quaint restaurant kitchens and cafes that dot Avenida Menendez, from the classic Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille to Meehan’s Irish Pub & Seafood House.
Further up, stop in for a cup ‘o Joe at City Perks. The grounds of the Castillo are a perfect backdrop for selfies. And, if you’re there before dawn, be sure to catch grand vistas of sailboats along the Matanzas Bay at sunrise.
St. George Street
This might be everybody’s favorite street in St. Augustine. Between the quaint shops and historic inns, there are also plenty of open-air restaurants and ice cream parlors to lure you in for a bite or a treat. The sound of live music fills the air as you stroll down the street. Be sure to stop in at the Colonial Oak Music Park to listen to some great local musicians under the canopy of a mighty oak. It’s simply magical.
If you happen to be traveling with a pet, take a walk in the early morning before the crowds where you’ll discover a peaceful, quiet time to appreciate the ancient city’s architecture. Then, skip across Cathedral Plaza to the brick-lined Aviles Street, the oldest street in the U.S. You’ll think you’re in Europe with its cafes, balconies, and cascading bougainvillea.
If you love architecture, welcome to the trifecta of gilded age jewels built by Henry Flagler, all just steps from each other. The Hotel Ponce de Leon, now Flagler College, is a stunning example of Spanish Renaissance architecture with its towers and terra cotta roof. Right off of King on Sevilla Street, the Memorial Presbyterian Church will dazzle you with its soaring arches and domed copper roof.
Back on King Street, the Lightner Museum, formerly the Hotel Alcazar, welcomes you with a koi pond in its central courtyard.
Be sure to stop in the Café Alcazar for a light lunch, which is located in what was once the pool of this luxurious hotel.
First Friday Art Walk
If you love art, the first Friday of each month offers you a unique opportunity to enjoy all genres of artwork.
Local galleries open their doors and welcome visitors with refreshments, wine and cheese, live music, and sometimes, the company of local artists who can talk about the inspiration for their pieces.
Stop into any of the galleries participating in First Friday Art Walk from 5 – 9 p.m. for a tour map or check the listings online.
There are special guided walking tours for all kinds of special interests–the authentically ghastly Ghost Tours of St. Augustine will get you in the mood for a spook-tacular Halloween.
You won’t want to miss the popular “Conquistatour” with St. Augustine Historic Tours, given by local expert guides, and all sorts of Tasting Tours and St. Augustine Experiences for foodies who really want to experience the culinary scene in St. Augustine.
More tours are added throughout the year, into Nights of Lights and beyond, so be sure to check back to this page for the latest available guided tours.
Information Source: Florida’s Historic Coast Tourism Board