We’re sharing all the free things to do in St. Augustine Florida, perfect for budget friendly vacations, day or weekend getaways to the oldest continually inhabited city in America.
This past winter we spent three months living in St. Augustine FL. Myself, Tony and the two kids drove the 22 hour road trip there. Where we stayed with my parents in their three bedroom rental.
It was our first trip since the pandemic and we were just happy to be able to leave the country, let alone leave for the entire winter.
Since our stay was abnormally long, we had two children to keep entertained on a budget. I found myself searching for cheap or free things to do in St. Augustine for not only the kids, but for us adults too.
I’m finally sharing our entire list of all the free things to do in St. Augustine Florida. It’s a perfect list for anyone who’s vacationing on a budget, or looking for something cheap to do while your on a day or weekend getaway to the city.
12 Free Things to do in St. Augustine Florida
I wanted to start with places that we visited regularly and things I enjoyed the most. Starting with Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine History Museum and all the other places to see in St. Augustine’s old city streets.
Visit Fort Matanzas
When it comes to places to see in St. Augustine Fort Matanzas was great! It was created in 1790 as a watch tower to guard the southern entrance into St. Augustine. Now a days, you can take a quick (and free) ferry boat ride across the river to visit the National Monument. Then you can take a stroll along the beautiful beach of Matanzas inlet, and watch for dolphins and have picnics.
St. Augustine History Museum
We’ve visited many of the St. Augustine attractions but we loved visiting the history museums. St. Augustine History Museum is one we’ve visited several times over the years. Every time is great and we always learn something new with every visit. It’s located downtown, so between brunch or lunch we spend 30 minutes to an hour visiting the museum.
Visit the Beaches
Florida is well known for it’s beautiful white sand beaches, and St. Augustine is no different. If you are looking for free things to do in St. Augustine in December you’re in luck, because you can take a sunset drive along the 42 miles of white beaches. We recommend a four-wheel drive vehicle, because we’ve seen many people get stuck. But regardless of when you visit, we recommend spending some time at the beaches, fishing pier or the delicious beachside restaurants.
Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum
The Governor’s House was a popular stop for tour guides around the city. It’s the residence of Florida’s English and Spanish colonial governors, and has hosted many visitors over the years. Including two Kings of Spain, movie stars and many more aristocrats. In the lobby of the free attraction you’ll be able to learn about the colourful history of St. Augustine.
Take a Walk on St. George Street
Whether you’re on a day trip to St. Augustine, or you’re on vacation you need to visit St. George Street. It’s like you’re taking a walk back in history, through the old cobble streets. You’ll walk by some of the original houses that were there when the Old City was built. It’s worth visiting and spending an afternoon checking out the small shops that line the streets. Not to mention, there’s plenty of things for couples to do in St. Augustine’s old city. Things like dinner at one of the many beautiful restaurants, and shopping along the cobble streets.
Drive Along the A1A
The A1A highway is a beautiful scenic drive that my parents regularly take with their Spyder. Specifically, Ponte Vedra Beach that sits next to the historic shores of Marineland is designated the All American Scenic and Historic Byway. Snaking through the oldest’s city in the nation, passing beaches, monuments, preserves and the unbelievable beauty surrounding St. Augustine is worth the trip alone.
Amphitheatre Farmers Market & Wednesday Pier Farmers Market
We loved the farmers markets, and it’s a must do if you plan on spending more than a week in St. Augustine. We loved the live music and fun atmosphere on Saturdays, and of course the amazing vendors. Usually you can find some delicious breakfast, lunch and tons of locally grown food.
St. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine
St. Photios is the first Greek shrine in all of America, that dates back to 1768. You can get a free tour of the museum and see the chapel that is filled with beautiful architecture that make you feel as if you are in Greece.
National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dion Museum
We’ve visited the Mission Nombre de Dion Museum a few times, which is located on the mission grounds. If you’re unsure of where that is, look for the tallest free-standing cross in the Western Hemisphere. The cross marks both the first Catholic mass in the United States, and the 1565 landing point of Spanish colonists. You’ll learn more about the rich history of early Catholicism in the United States at the museum. It’s open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday and Sunday, 12 until 4pm.
Splash Parks at the Pier
The splash park for kids is perfect for the hot days, when you want to do something other than go to the beach. It’s located near the fishing pier, and is only open certain times of the year. One of the many free things to do in St. Augustine that we enjoyed!
Project SWING Playground
Since we have two small children, we needed to get creative and find fun activities we could do with the family for free. One of our favourite things to routinely visit were the playgrounds around St. Augustine and St. Johns County. One of the best parks to take the kids too was “The Pirate Ship” which is located across the street from the Historic Downtown Parking.
St. Augustine Distillery
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend in St. Augustine, you can visit the St. Augustine Distillery which is free to visit and they even offer free tours. But the best part is they do daily tastings on their award winning rum, whisky, vodka and gin. It’s of course free, until you end up buying something to bring home.
Other Unique things to do in St. Augustine, FL (but still free!)
One of the oldest cemeteries in St. Augustine is the Tolomato Cementry. It’s notorious for the many legends and tales told about this 18th century cemetery. But most importantly it’s the real stories of real people that were buried there. The cemetery is only open to the public once a month, but you can find more information including a free tour guide here.
Old Jail Museum
Its your looking for something unique to do in St. Augustine, you can check out the old jail museum. Its a must do in St. Augustine, and since the old city was known for its rough and tough pirates and sailors they needed a secure fortress to house the criminals. Daily tours are offered every 20 minutes, from 9am to 5:30pm. It’s also apart of the Ghosts and Gravestones tour almost every night.
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