In this one day in St. Augustine guide we’re sharing a detailed St. Augustine itinerary, plus everything you need to know before you visit including where to stay, the best food, the top things to do in St. Augustine, and more! Ready to plan your St. Augustine adventure? Keep on reading!
Our last stop on our Florida adventure was the beautiful and historic city of St. Augustine. We spent one day wandering around the city, eating delicious treats, soaking up the views, and learning about the history. And wow, what a special place!
St. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the contiguous United States, established in 1565. It is full of old world charm and as you walk around the cobblestone streets and admire the old buildings, you feel like you have been transported to the past.
If you’re looking for a destination that combines history, a small town feel, beaches, and lots of things to do, we highly recommend checking out St. Augustine!
We’re excited to share some of our favorite spots, places to eat, and things to do if you only have one day in St Augustine. We’d highly recommend spending more than one day in St. Augustine, so we’re also including some extra ideas if you have more time to explore!
Looking for more things to do in Florida? Check out these guides:
- 18 Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks
- Hollywood Studios
- Magic Kingdom
- 7 Things to do in the Everglades
- 2 Days in Miami
Note: this guide contains affiliate links, which means that if you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We will only ever recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!
When to visit St. Augustine
St. Augustine is a year round destination with mild winters and hot summers. We visited St. Augustine in the winter (February 2020) and the weather was amazing! It was chilly in the morning, but partly sunny and in the 60’s in the afternoon, which may not have been beach weather, but it made it extremely comfortable to be outside for hours exploring. We can only imagine that spring would’ve been just as great, or even better!
If you’re looking to spend time laying out at the beach, the summer may be the best time to visit for you. However, it is the rainiest time of the year and also the busiest time of the year, so be prepared for larger crowds, higher prices, and possible rainstorms.
The fall months are also a great time to visit, as the highs are still good for visiting the beach, but not too brutal that you’ll sweat like crazy walking around town. We also hear that the holiday lights, starting in late November, are gorgeous!
No matter what time of the year you choose, there are always plenty of things to do in St. Augustine!
Getting to St. Augustine
If visiting St. Augustine by plane, you’ll likely fly into the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), which is 55 miles north of St. Augustine (a 1 hour drive). Most major airlines fly into JAX, which will make finding a flight to and from there a bit easier.
You can also fly into the Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), which is 60 miles south of St. Augustine (a 1 hour drive). While the distance is about the same, not as many airlines fly directly there, so you may have to spend a bit more for a flight to and from DAB.
If you live in or are already visiting Florida, St. Augustine is only 2 hours from Orlando, 3.5 hours from Tampa, and 5 hours from Miami.
Getting around St. Augustine
One of the things we loved about St. Augustine is how walkable the city is! Although getting from the airport to the city would require renting a car (or a very expensive Uber ride), once you’re in the city, you can walk almost anywhere on this one day in St. Augustine guide.
If you are renting a car and staying away from the old city area of St. Augustine, you can either try to find street parking which is more limited (we parked here all day during a holiday for free) or you can park in the parking garage located across from Ripley’s Believe it or Not. We believe this garage is $15 for the entire day.
You can also take Uber or Lyft around town. Getting to the major spots around town wouldn’t be that pricey, but we always recommend looking at their fare estimator tools (Uber, Lyft) to see how much you’d expect to spend.
Another option to get around town is to take a trolley tour, which costs $25.26 for a 1 day pass that allows you to hop off and on unlimited times at the 22 different stops around town. This pass also gives you free admission to the St. Augustine History Museum and the St. Augustine Beach Bus, which takes you to the alligator farm, beach, and St. Augustine lighthouse, all located on nearby Anastasia Island.
Where to Stay in St. Augustine
As we mentioned above, St. Augustine is super walkable, especially in the Old City. We’d highly recommend staying near the Old City so you can be close to all of the main sights! Here are some suggestions of Airbnbs and hotels in the area to check out, as well as a few options outside of the Old City.
Old City Airbnb
- Option #1: A 1 bed, 1 bath guest house close to everything
- Option #2: A 1 bed, 1 bath studio with amazing reviews
- Option #3: A quaint downtown studio that is very walkable
Old City Hotels
- Option #1: A 1 bed, 1 bath apartment across the bridge from the Old City
- Option #2: A super cute, beachy studio on Anastasia Island
- Option #3: A colorful, tiny house that’s still walkable to many places
PS: If it is your first time staying at an Airbnb, click this link to get $40 off your first stay!
One day in St. Augustine itinerary
If you only have one day in St. Augustine and want to see as much as possible, we’ve gotcha covered! Looking for more ideas? Check out our “if you have extra time” section for additional things to do in St. Augustine!
- Start your day with coffee and meat pies at The Kookaburra! This Australian coffee shop makes a delicious flat white and a variety of different meat pies, some of which don’t have any meat at all. We also loved their gluten-free, vegan pumpkin donut!
Another good breakfast spot to look into is Maple Street Biscuit Company!
- Check out the Lightner Museum, which is the former Alcazar Hotel built in 1888. We didn’t actually go into the museum, but we walked around the grounds, which were beautiful! If you do want to go inside the museum, it costs $15/adult.
A big highlight of the museum is the restaurant on site, Cafe Alcazar, which is located in the former indoor swimming pool of the hotel. You do not need a ticket for the museum to dine here, but if you do have a ticket, you can get 10% off your bill.
- While you’re by the Lightner Museum, check out Flagler College. This college is gorgeous and fun to quickly explore and snap photos of.
- Wander around St. George St and the historic Old City of St. Augustine. This area is a tad touristy, but also so charming! While you’re in the area, make sure to check out the city gates, which are made of coquina blocks and at one point were the only way to get into St. Augustine.
- For lunch, grab a quick bite at St. Augustine Seafood Company or for a cool experience, head to the Prohibition Kitchen.
- After lunch, treat yourself to a delicious popsicle at The Hyppo! Y’all! These popsicles are SO good! I had the peanut butter pie, which was layered with chocolate, peanut butter, and coconut flavors and it was amazing!
- Visit Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, which is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. It’s $15 per adult to enter (or free with a National Parks pass!) and a ton of fun to explore. Try to catch one of the ranger talks to learn some history about St. Augustine and Castillo de San Marcos!
- After exploring Castillo de San Marcos, spend the rest of the day at the St. Augustine Lighthouse or at St. Augustine Beach!
The St. Augustine Lighthouse is a 165 ft tall lighthouse located on Anastasia Island. It costs $12.95/adult ($10.95 for kids and seniors) to climb the 219 steps to the top, where you’ll be rewarded with 360 degree views of St. Augustine.
If you’re looking for a free activity, go relax at St. Augustine Beach! The beach is located on Anastasia Island and has miles of beach to explore.
- End the day with dinner at The Ice Plant or The Floridian, both of which have great food and cocktails!
If you have extra time…
Looking for more things to do in St. Augustine? If you have more than one day in St. Augustine, or just want some other ideas, here are our suggestions!
- Visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not. This location is the oldest Ripley’s Odditoreum!
- See the gators at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. They have a zipline too!
- Want to see some pirate artifacts? Head to the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum!
- Learn about the process to make vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey on a St. Augustine Distillery tour
- If you’re a golf fan, go visit the World Golf Hall of Fame
- Want to be spooked? Go on a Secrets of St Augustine Ghost Tour!
- While a bit touristy, the Fountain of Youth is a popular tourist attraction in St. Augustine. Learn about the colonization of St. Augustine, drink from the Fountain of Youth, see peacocks, walk the riverwalk, and more!
Ready to explore St. Augustine?
Pin this one day in St. Augustine guide to help plan your trip!