No matter where you go in St. Augustine, odds are you'll stand face to face with American history. Founded by the Spaniards in 1565, this city in northeastern Florida is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the U.S. Alongside narrow cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, you'll find Romanesque Revival-style buildings, many of which were designed by railroad and oil tycoon Henry Flagler, who played a key role in developing St. Augustine and the rest of Florida's east coast. With so much history, it should come as no surprise that St. Augustine also has a penchant for the paranormal: Many of the city's top attractions, which are believed to be haunted by Spanish settlers and original inhabitants, tout nighttime ghost tours.
Though the main draw here is the abundance of landmarks that date back to the Spanish occupation, the Ancient City also offers various boutiques, eateries, live music venues and art galleries. Travelers with children should check out the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum and the St. Augustine Wild Reserve. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Lightner Museum's eclectic collection, while shopaholics cannot pass up a chance to peruse the boutiques on St. George Street. And once you're ready to relax, grab your gear and head to the beach. As with many coastal Florida cities, St. Augustine offers prime access to the Atlantic Ocean and year-round sunshine.
The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions. Read more about how we rank vacation destinations.
The best time to visit St. Augustine is between March and May. During this time, you'll find fewer people, comfortable temperatures and low hotel and airfare rates. Crowds are typically at their largest from June to August, while temperatures can drop into the 40s between December and February. You'll also enjoy favorable temperatures and score accommodation deals from September to November, though these months fall within the Atlantic hurricane season, which starts in June and lasts until the end of November.
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
St. Augustine sits by three rivers, a lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, so you'll find plenty of top-notch seafood served at the city's restaurants. Florida seafood specialties found on St. Augustine restaurant menus include grouper, shrimp and mahi-mahi. To sample some of the region's fresh seafood, pay a visit to popular eateries like Sunset Grille and O'Steen's Restaurant.
Though you'll find casual American fare at most St. Augustine restaurants, several internationally influenced cafes, bakeries and eateries are available as well. Some of the city's most popular restaurants include Casa Benedetto's Ristorante – an Italian dining establishment – and Mango Mango's Caribbean Grill & Bar. And on St. George Street, diners can enjoy Cuban classics like pan con bistec (steak and grilled onion sandwiches) and papa rellenas (or stuffed fried potatoes) at The Cuban Cafe & Bakery, Spanish tapas at Columbia Restaurant and British-inspired pub fare at the Bull & Crown Publick House.
The easiest way to get around St. Augustine is on foot and by trolley. Most of St. Augustine's top attractions are located within the city's historic downtown, while other sights like the Old Jail and Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park can be reached by the local sightseeing trolley. To get to and from Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), the area's closest major airport, visitors can drive or take a taxi. The Northeast Florida Regional Airport (UST) is a closer option, about 5 miles north of the city, but offers limited flight options through just a few carriers. The city's Sunshine Bus Company can be used for half of the journey, but travelers will need to use two or more Jacksonville Transit Authority buses for the other part of their trip. The Sunshine Bus Company can also be used to get around central St. Augustine. Driving within St. Augustine is not recommended due to limited street parking.See details for Getting Around
Search for the best flight deals across Orbitz, Expedia, Kayak and more.
Dec 11, 2018
Create priceless honeymoon memories without breaking the bank.
Dec 04, 2018
You don't have to travel to a big city to experience nonstop Christmas fun.
Nov 26, 2018
These family-friendly mountain resorts offer exceptional snow sports and activities for all ages.
Nov 19, 2018
Get away to enjoy the views and activities at these properties around the world.
Nov 13, 2018
Find out which lines will help you save big on your next cruise vacation.
Nov 13, 2018
See how cruise lines are raising the bar with tech-savvy touches and improved luxury experiences.
Nov 13, 2018
Find out how taking a cruise can support your health, fitness and nutrition goals.
Nov 08, 2018
These tips can help you snap stunning and creative images without a fancy camera – or any experience.
Oct 22, 2018
Learn more about these accommodations and why they are so popular.
Oct 17, 2018
Play, learn and explore nature together during one of these fun autumn trips.