On our inaugural trip as new full-time RVers, we stopped in the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida. We’ve tried to slow down and spend at least a few days at each location we stop, but sometimes you’re just short on time. If you’re looking for things to do in St. Augustine in a short amount of time, we hope our guide to 24-Hours in St. Augustine helps you!
Where to stay: North Beach Campground
What we loved about it: You can read the full review on this campground here, but a few highlights are the private back-in spots, the delicious restaurant all the way in the back of the property on the water and access to the beach directly across the street.
What to do:
- Grab lunch in downtown St. Augustine: There are so many great spots to grab a bite to eat. You can stroll around the picturesque streets and pick a place or ask a local for a recommendation. We stopped at Meehan’s Irish Pub & Seafood House which was suggested by the folks at our campground and it didn’t disappoint. The portions were large and the food was yummy!
- Get your climb on at the St. Augustine Lighthouse: Don’t worry… it’s only 219 steps to the top! No trip to St. Augustine is complete without a visit to their iconic and historic lighthouse. Admission to the lighthouse and maritime museum is $12.95 if you purchase tickets on their website. The climb up and views from the top are easily worth the price of admission. (Plus, if you’re lucky enough… you’ll meet Dan at the top who gave us all kinds of great information on the history of the lighthouse and St. Augustine itself. He is fantastic!) When you’re done taking in the views, head back down and explore the rest of the property. While we were there, there was an active archaeological dig happening on an old shipwreck found off the coast. There’s a group of retirees who spend a few hours a week constructing yawls, which are ships that were used by the British Navy is the 18th century.
- Venture inside Castillo de San Marcos: This National Park is the oldest masonry fort in the U.S. and was used to guard the harbor entrance into St. Augustine. Another fun fact: It’s made out of coquina which is tiny crushed shells. Admission is $15, or FREE with your National Park Pass, which we totally recommend. Read why here. Normally, you can walk along the upper walls of the fort, but there was a massive thunderstorm rolling in when we went so they closed it off for safety. We still had a great time checking out the interior rooms and the ancient artifacts housed there.
- Walk the grounds of Flagler College: This is a private college in the heart of St. Augustine that has been built around the luxurious Ponce de Leon hotel, which was constructed in 1888. As you can imagine, the architecture is swoon-worthy and makes for some super instagrammable pics. The exterior grounds and a few of the buildings are open to the public. Even in the rain, we spent about 45 minutes wandering around.
- Stroll the streets of downtown St. Augustine: Again, it was raining by the time we wanted to walk around but knowing we probably wouldn’t melt, we stuck it out and ducked into a few of the kitschy shops. The streets and several of the stores are quite charming and it’s worth a stroll through.
There are so many more things to check out while visiting St. Augustine, but if you are like us and are passing through on a time crunch… try not to miss these awesome spots.