Attractions You Probably Didn’t Know Existed in St. Augustine
This article is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove Project
St. Augustine, FL is a major US tourist attraction, appealing to travelers all over the world who come to fall in love with its historical character and romantic charm. As America’s oldest town, a wealth of well-preserved buildings provide a glimpse of life in the 18th century, and spectacular white sand beaches stretch for miles, contributing to some of the most pristine coastline Florida has to offer.
Castillo de San Marcos is an impressive Spanish Fort which has stood for the past 500 years, and pedestrians enjoy St George Street which is the focus of the historic district, with heritage museums, shopping galore and an authentic Old Jail.
It’s likely you already knew about highly publicized St. Augustine attractions such as the Colonial Spanish Quarter and the Fountain of Youth. But to limit your visit to only these attractions would be a shame, as St. Augustine has so much more to offer.
Here are the top attractions you probably didn’t know existed in St. Augustine, and note that if you’re looking for ways to get a cheap hotel in St Augustine, go to Hipmunk’s St Augustine Hotels guide page. There you’ll find out what the average price per hotel is during the season, and whether or not you should tempt fate with lodging at a hostel.
Drive onto St. Augustine Beach
A town boasting a world-class coastline, St. Augustine Beach on Anastasia Island is one of the main tourist attractions in the area. But what many people don’t know is that you can actually drive onto the beach.
Surprisingly fun, and not as irresponsible as it sounds, beach goers can turn their day into a 4WD adventure and access more exclusive sections of the beach that would otherwise require a decent hike. Vehicle day access is seven dollars per day.
St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
While the majority of visitors to St. Augustine take in the Old Florida Museum and Old Jail, the Pirate and Treasure Museum also deserves a visit.
Providing a detailed history of piracy through the ages in St. Augustine, the museum boasts the world’s largest exhibition of authentic pirate artifacts. Touch a 400-year-old pirate chest used for the transportation of gold, fire a cannon, or hold actual gold pieces recovered from lost Spanish loot.
Mission of Nombre de Dios
This religious site is the spot that saw the first religious ceremonies after the arrival of the Spanish to St. Augustine.
The Gregorian chapel is quiet and peaceful, and it is completely covered in vivid green moss and vines.
It forms part of a cemetery full of fragile graves, many of which are dedicated to Confederate and Union soldiers from the Civil War.
Visitors to St. Augustine flock to the gates of Castillo de San Marcos, but did you know that the city plays host to another must-see fort?
Fort Matanzas is a national monument that lies just 15 minutes south of St. Augustine. It boasts an incredible history that is just as fascinating as that of Castillo de San Marcos.
While it was never used in battle, it was built as a Spanish outpost to guard the inlet from British enemies attacking from the South. It was also the site of a French massacre almost 500 years ago.
Note that your ticket to Castillo de San Marcos will allow you entry to Fort Matanzas, so why not combine both?