St. Augustine is so much more than just the oldest city in the United States. Along with it’s deep history, it has a great deal of natural beauty to appreciate as well. If you are looking for some fun in the Florida sun, than St. Augustine is the place for you!
Of course there are the usual things to do that many already know about when visiting St. Augustine, such as the fabulous beaches that are here. However, if you are wanting to experience more than laying on the sand and beachcombing, we have some great ideas for you!
The Nature in St. Augustine
With so many nature activities and marine life to partake in, it may be hard to decide what you will want to do first. Let’s divide the activities up into two groups, which might help you determine if you’re going to do something on land or on the water.
Fun Land Activities to Try
- Birding – The St. Augustine area is rich with a large number of birds to watch such as; Sandhill Cranes, Owls, Eagles, Woodpeckers, Scrub Jays, Black Crowned Night Herons and Roseate Spoonbills. Of course this is just a few that you might come across, and you should be able to see any of these around this region. Some of the best places to view these birds include Fort Matanzas, the State Parks, the Vilano boat ramp, St. Augustine’s Alligator Farm, the City Parks, Vaill Point Park, Matanzas State Forest and the Southeast Intracoastal waterway park. There are also guided nature walks within the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve, in which you will be able to see many different types of birds.
- Animal Sightings – You can view a large amount of different animals besides birds as well, ranging from alligators to dolphins and everything in between. Two of the best places that you are guaranteed to spot a wide variety of animals is the St. Augustine Wild Reserve and the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.
- Biking – There is a wide array of areas to enjoy this fantastic pastime. These routes range from high impact to laid back and relaxing. With over twenty cycling trails in and around the city, you are sure to find the one that is right for the pace that you are looking to keep.
- Hiking or Walking – With the many trails that are in the local parks, as well as the miles of beaches, you have a large area in which to choose.
- Plants – It would be wrong not to mention that all of the places so far have a broad number of different plants and trees with all different shapes and sizes. This of course includes our beautiful Palm Trees and Florida’s State flower, the Orange Blossom. A must see is the famous ‘Love Tree’, where an oak tree has a palm tree growing out of the top of it.
Fun Water Activities to Try
St. Augustine is filled with water activities! Between the beach, the Matanzas River, and the St. John’s River, we have a lot to offer to those who want to stay in their bathing suit and work on their tan!
- Guided Boat Tours – Hop on board a tour boat to see some of the resident marine life that we have to enjoy. There’s a lot to choose from! There are motorboat tours, sailboat tours, and many more!
- Marineland – This attraction has been open for some years, but has changed into a dolphin experience. You can come and learn about these bright and funny creatures and also interact with them.
- Pirate Ship – This family friendly activity is a great way to get out to see marine life – and have some fun doing it! By hopping aboard the “Black Raven”, you’re transported back into the early days of St. Augustine!
- Jet Skis – A great way to explore the water is to rent a jet ski and have some fun.
- Charter Boats – If you are into fishing and want to make sure you catch some great fish, check out one of the local charter boats. If you happen to be at the Conch House, go down to the marina’s first entrance and you’ll find a few of the various charters available in the area.
State Parks to Visit
There are three beautiful State Parks around St. Augustine that offer many fun and enriching things to do:
- Anastasia – This extraordinary park has an abundant amount of exciting things to do such as; exploring hiking trails, bike riding, and boating (such as catamarans, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and surfboards). All boats can be rented at the park. Of course if you have a surfboard or boat of your own, you can launch it from within the park. There is also geocaching, fishing, bird watching, swimming, shelling and picnicking. The park is also excellent for exploring the areas that were once used by the Spaniards. They used this area to obtain Coquina rock, the material used to build Fort Castillo de San Marcos.
- Faver-Dykes – The park is South of St. Augustine and it borders a state canoe trail. Some of the things to do there are; canoeing, kayaking, birding, biking, boating, fishing, hiking, viewing wildlife and picnicking.
- Washington Oaks Gardens – This is a beautiful formal garden which features a grand rose garden. It also contains a large amount of Coquina rock, just like Anastasia State Park. Biking, hiking, picnicking, and visiting the beach are all possible here.
All in all, St. Augustine is great for the nature lover in you! Come experience Florida’s wildlife with us at Beacher’s Lodge and make memories that will last a lifetime.