Located on Anastasia Island, St. Augustine Beach is a charming oceanfront community. South of Jacksonville and north of the ever-popular Daytona Beach, St. Augustine Beach is a Northeast Florida favorite for a quiet seaside getaway with a dash of history.
Locals and travelers alike stick around St. Augustine Beach for its beautiful natural wonders. Start with sprawling out on its spacious beachfront, offering each visitors plenty of space. Or bask in its multiple protected lands where dense pine forests quickly meet tidal flats and rolling creeks. Here, hikers, cyclists, anglers, and paddlers can make the most of the natural surroundings.
Not sure what to do in St. Augustine Beach? Get a leg up with this complete St. Augustine Beach guide including where to eat & drink and where to stay.
What to see & do
St. Johns County Ocean & Fishing Pier
On the northern end of St Augustine Beach, St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier is a popular meeting point for residents. The wooden pier is steps from the A1A coastal highway and juts out into the Atlantic with elegance. It’s been at the forefront of local life since the 1930s, quickly finding a place in the hearts of residents and visitors alike.
Over the course of the 20th century, St. Johns County Ocean and Fishing Pier received numerous upgrades without losing the charm that first captured the spirit of St. Augustine. Today, you can walk the length of the 400-foot pier for a small fee. It’s even wheelchair accessible. Along the way, the coastline moves into the distance providing you with beautiful views back towards St. Augustine Beach.
Those with a rod, bait, and tackle can cast a line from along the pier. You’ll find up-to-date tied information along with gear, ice, and refreshments at the pier’s concession stand.
St. Augustine Beach
After some time traveling to St. Augustine, there’s only one place to catch your breath and find your tropical bliss: St. Augustine Beach. The sandy shore has everything you need for a picture-perfect day by the ocean. With two miles’ worth of bright white sand and translucent water, you’ll have both a cozy spot to laze under the sun and a refreshing swim.
At the heart of the Anastasia Island town that shares its name, St. Augustine Beach has no shortage of local amenities. Want to have a room by the Atlantic Ocean looking over the golden sand? No problem.
Peckish during your beach day? Check out one of the many oceanfront restaurants slinging fresh seafood and casual fare. The kids can run amok in the splash park or on the volleyball courts and the pavilion makes for a great picnic spot.
On a windy day, grab your surfboard or boogie board and make the most of the burly surf at one of St. Augustine’s most beautiful beaches.
Ocean Hammock Park Walkway
Short and sweet, the Ocean Hammock Park Walkway is a beautiful way to arrive at St. Augustine Beach. The raised boardwalk cuts through Ocean Hammock Park, a protected section of land, providing a vital habitat and nesting grounds to multiple animals.
Keen eyes may spot the small Anastasia Island beach mouse meandering through the shrubs along with the park’s resident gopher tortoises. Between May and October, visitors may also stumble upon the nesting grounds for loggerhead, leatherback, and green turtles.
The Ocean Hammock Park Walkway is a tranquil experience in nature. Although short, the trees soak up the noise, leaving you with the pitter-patter of shoes against wood and the rustling of the leaves. Soon, the sounds of crashing waves will join in and you’ll know you’re close to the beach.
Other features of Ocean Hammock Park include an observation deck, picnic areas along with a kayak launch point.
Anastasia State Park
One of the best things to do in Saint Augustine is to explore its top state park. Anastasia State Park brings the beauty of Ocean Hammock Park and amplifies it tenfold. Covering 1,600 acres of diverse ecosystems, the park has a long list of adventures for visitors to embark on.
Despite the short distance from downtown, Anastasia State Park is laden with marshlands, tidal flats, mangroves, and dunes as old as time. Spread between them are several walking trails where you can stretch your legs while admiring the scenery. Bird watchers aren’t left shorthanded either. A wonderful variety of birdlife chirps within the park as it’s a common migration stop.
To get around a little faster, you can rent bicycles, SUPs, and kayaks. Or for a memorable adventure, you can try your hand at sailing a small dinghy.
It’ll be hard to leave Anastasia State Park. If you want to extend your stay, check into the campground, offering over 130 campsites.
Frank Butler County Park West
Facing the Matanzas River, Frank Butler County Park West is a popular spot for boating and scenic picnics. Visitors looking to explore the river and the larger Intracoastal Waterway, should use this county park as their starting point. There’s a large parking area that rarely overflows, providing you with easy access to the park’s boat ramp.
At Frank Butler County Park West, visitors can also make use of the floating dock in order to board their kayaks, canoes, and SUPs. From there, you’ll have just a short ride to the multitude of tiny specks of land dotting the river. If you’re up for a longer journey, make your way south towards Matanzas State Forest and the Fort Matanzas National Monument.
Back on dry land, the wide-open park features several charcoal BBQ grills, shaded picnic tables, and plenty of lawn to laze on. You’ll also have access to the public bathrooms.
Named after the sweeping C carved into the coastline, Crescent Beach is an underrated destination. It’s tucked away between the popular St. Augustine Beach and Matanzas Inlet, with many skipping this white sand beach on their way to either attraction. But the good news is, this leaves much more room for you to enjoy.
The quiet stretch of sand provides beachgoers with a chill day by the water. Families can come and relax without the worry of larger crowds—not to mention the beach’s convenient parking.
Although a part of Florida’s Historic Coast, Crescent Beach is at the far southern end and continues the vibe of “Old Florida,” with few restaurants in between a charming residential area.
Behind the beach lies a spacious park and a place to enjoy your lunch. Here, you’ll find picnic gazebos and bathrooms while being a short walk from local shops.
Faver-Dykes State Park
Twenty minutes away from St Augustine Beach, Faver-Dykes State Park is another way to experience the gorgeous nature along Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Faver-Dykes has everything you’d want in a state park, from a variety of hiking trails, top-notch paddling experiences, fishing, and birding.
For the hikers among us, Faver-Dykes State Park has four nature trails, with the highlight being the Hiram Faver Trail. The 2.6-mile trek takes you through shaded forests to a scenic overlooking of the Pellicer Flats. To extend your walk, connect to the shorter Pine Loop Trail, where you’ll wander among wildflowers, longleaf pines, and shiny blueberries.
Faver-Dykes State Park is also home to Pellicer Creek, which is a designated section of the Florida State Canoe Trail. Jump on your canoe to see the landscape from the water, making note of the rich marine and birdlife along the way.
For lunch, there are multiple picnic areas along Pellicer Creek, plus 30 campsites for an overnight trip.
Where to eat & drink
With St. Augustine known as the Nation’s Oldest City, it’s no surprise that its history and culture have rubbed off on its younger sibling, St. Augustine Beach. The charm has also found its way into the local dining scene, providing locals and travelers alike with a great selection of restaurants that tap into the regional history and natural beauty.
Need to start each day with a coffee? When in St. Augustine Beach, there’s only one place you need to go: Kookaburra Beachside, an Aussie-American cafe. If you’re aware of Australia’s love of coffee, you’ll know the Kookaburra Beachside has the best brew in town—not to mention specialty Aussie pies.
A day at the beach isn’t complete without a midday feed at the Beachcomber St. Augustine. Indulge in their mouthwatering chowders, street tacos, and American fare with the option to dine outside on their dune-side picnic tables.
As the sun falls over the East Coast, freshen up and catch golden hour at Sunset Grille. Watch the colors burst across the horizon as you enjoy this local institution that slings amazing seafood and comfort fare.
Another popular choice for dinner is the World Famous Oasis Restaurant. Although their breakfasts are fantastic, its lively dinner atmosphere takes the cake. Enjoy classic American fare with live music.
For date night, make your way to the southern end of St. Augustine Beach for Santiago’s Florida Kitchen & Craft Beer. The restaurant has ample natural light and serves contemporary fare with a creative twist.
After dark, everyone’s attention quickly turns to Mango Mango’s. Combine your favorite Caribbean and American pub bites with cocktails in this island-style bar.
Where to stay
Looking to stay near the shoreline without breaking the budget? Book yourself in at this budget-friendly gem. The hotel offers a variety of accommodation options, suiting everyone from solo travelers to families. Extra amenities include an outdoor pool, hot tub, and continental breakfast.
Just two minutes from the beach, Castillo Ascend Hotel Collection delivers spacious modern rooms with a host of superb amenities. Enjoy a nightcap on your own private balcony, cool down in the outdoor swimming pool, or relax in the hot tub and steam bath.
Overlooking St. Johns County Fishing Pier, this beachfront all-suite hotel is the perfect spot for an extended stay in St. Augustine Beach. Besides being well-placed to enjoy the town’s finest restaurants, the convenient location at the northern edge of the beach community also puts you within a short drive of the city’s beautiful Historic District.