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St. Augustine Beach

Florida

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Old but Good

St. Augustine was founded 450 years ago by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, and the town’s historical district, the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the U.S., has a flavor more like that of a Caribbean colonial destination than that of a stateside escape.

Beach Break

White-sand St. Augustine Beach is set along the coast in Anastasia Island, where travelers go to relax after a day of meandering through the narrow streets of the city, browsing quaint shops and dining at low-key open-air cafes. Here, there are restrooms, showers, picnic tables and a splash park and playground for little ones. If you’re bringing a lot of gear to the beach, you’ll be glad to know that driving on the sand is permitted — no lugging necessary.

Fisherman cast their lines on the pier, home to spectacular views and a shop selling treats and gifts. It costs $.50 to enter, but the scenic walk all the way to the end is worth it. From out here, you can see surfers navigating the powerful waves of the Atlantic.

Attractions

Make room in your itinerary to visit Castillo de San Marcos, a masonry fort completed in 1695 that stands as the oldest such structure in the country. The fort was built out of a seashell-based material called Coquina, and is a striking object set against the blue sea. A fascinating display of the structure’s history can be found in rooms inside the fort.

When lunchtime rolls around, head over to pedestrian George Street, lined with galleries, sweet shops, cafes and bars. See Spanish-style architecture scattered throughout Old Town and marvel at the iconic Lightner Museum, formerly the Alcazar Hotel, built in 1888 by industrialist Henry Flagler.

St. Augustine Beach at a Glance

City:St. Augustine

Country or State:Florida

Length of Beach:4 miles

Access:By car or trolley

Best time to visit:Late spring and early fall

High Season:June to September

Low Season:November to May

Facilities:

  • Shops and restaurants on AIA Beach Blvd and in town
  • Public restooms

Beach Type:

  • White sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular

Special Events:

  • Wednesday Market at the Pier

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