Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, St. Augustine holds the title of the oldest city in the United States. Located in Northeast Florida, the historic city is chock-loaded with old-world charms and sandy beaches. Whatever your travel interests, there’s a perfect choice for where to stay in St. Augustine, FL, to enjoy a blissful trip.
Saint Augustine offers plenty of diverse accommodation options for travelers. The best hotels in St. Augustine are spread throughout the city, sweeping through its Historic District to its barrier islands. Lodgings choices range from decadent vintage luxury to modern family apartments to laid-back resorts.
Planning the ultimate Saint Augustine vacation? Get your St. Augustine accommodations search started with this complete guide to the best places to stay in St. Augustine, FL.
Best places to stay in St. Augustine, FL
Each of the distinct neighborhoods and areas in St Augustine has its own distinct character. And where you choose to spend your days & nights in Saint Augustine will deliver a completely different travel experience.
To experience a little romantic charm, set your sights on the magical Historic District. Wander its narrow brick roads, lined with Spanish colonial homes and pedestrian walkways leading to secret courtyards. Many of the top tourist attractions in Saint Augustine lie within the lovely Historic District.
Or if languid days on golden beaches and the call of the ocean set you alight, head for Saint Augustine’s oceanfront. For beach bums, the top places to stay in St. Augustine lay around Vilano Beach, Anastasia, and St. Augustine Beach. Some of the top-rated St. Augustine hotels are located right on its beautiful beaches.
Looking for cheaper lodgings and a more local experience? Venture over the San Sebastian River to West St Augustine. Located west of the city’s main historic sites, this city center neighborhood still offers plenty to visitors but at a slower pace.
The best areas to stay in St. Augustine are:
✓ Best area to stay in St. Augustine for first-time visitors
A first-time visitor to Saint Augustine? Settle down in the Historic District. St. Augustine’s Historic District holds the honor of being the oldest part of the oldest city in the United States.
In this famed neighborhood, quaint coffee shops and restaurants line narrow brick roads. Many of the buildings date back to the 18th century. Plenty of eye-popping examples of Spanish Colonial architecture also pepper the area.
The Historic Downtown area buzzes with activity. Most of Saint Augustine’s top attractions are located here. St. George Street lays claim to the district’s most popular street. And with good reason. On St. George Street, travelers can visit boutiques, galleries, and bistros. (All without having to worry about vehicles.)
On your visit, wander off onto Aviles Street. The famous stretch holds the title of the oldest street in the U.S. Aviles Street is known for its art galleries, historic home museums, and restaurants.
Carve out time in your St Augustine itinerary to visit Castillo de San Marcos overlooking Matanzas Bay. Built by the Spaniards, this 300-year-old fort is the most visited site in historic St. Augustine.
Recommended hotels in Historic District
Steps away from the shops and restaurants of the Historic District, the remodeled Agustin Inn melds old-world charm with modern amenities. Choose a room with a balcony or spa bath for a real treat. Every day the hotel serves an inspired two-course gourmet breakfast free of charge. Mingle with the other guests over champagne at the end of the day.
The centrally located St George boutique hotel combines luxurious finishes with historic charm. The large bedrooms feature opulent décor. Some lead onto large, cool balconies overlooking Castillo De San Marcos and the Historic District’s antique Spanish architecture. Start the morning with a complimentary breakfast before you step out into the pedestrian-only street outside.
Step back in time with the Moorish architecture and opulent finishes of the Casa Monica Resort & Spa. The property has all the amenities you’d expect from a four-star hotel, including a fitness center, and outdoor heated pool. Book a session at the luxury spa or enjoy delicious Mediterranean cuisine at the on-site restaurant. Cocktails and light meals are also on offer.
Overlooking Matanzas’s Bay and just a 6-minute walk from the Castillo de San Marcos, the Hilton Saint Augustine is in the perfect location. Upgrade your room to superb panoramic views of the bay from your balcony. Sip cocktails at the sparkling outdoor pool or relax in a hot tub. The on-site restaurant serves delicious cuisine with a Spanish flavor.
✓ Best place to stay in St. Augustine for a quieter beach getaway
Looking for a quieter beach holiday near Saint Augustine? Slide up to Vilano Beach. Locals love flocking to Vilano Beach, located just north of St. Augustine, to enjoy warm waters lapping the soft white sands of its pristine beaches.
Vilano Beach also boasts some of the area’s finest local restaurants. All offer outdoor seating. Enjoy the fragrance of the sea breeze as you savor seafood in idyllic surroundings. Or sip an ice-cold beer while watching the sunset over the city.
Among the best things to do in Vilano Beach are to bask in the warm Florida sun on the beach or splash around and cool off in the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. You’ll also get to engage in several fun water activities around the beach. Fishing is a favorite pastime here, whether straight into the surf or off the pier. You can also take a boat trip for deep-sea fishing or to watch dolphins play.
Recommended hotels in Vilano Beach
Across the road from the golden sands of Vilano Beach, the Ocean Sands Beach Inn is all about holiday fun. The hotel has a saltwater mineral pool, open until the early hours of the morning. Board games and bedside candy are all up for grabs. If you need beach chairs and boogie boards just ask at the desk. The fun starts with a delicious hot breakfast each morning.
A contemporary hotel close to the beach, the Hampton Inn & Suites Vilano Beach offers large comfortable rooms. Some even include balconies. The business center has a full suite of facilities. Take a dip in the sparkling outdoor swimming pool or work up a sweat in the fully-equipped fitness center. Start your beach day with a complimentary breakfast.
When you stay at a Holiday Inn, you know exactly what to expect. And it’s no different at the Holiday Inn Express Vilano Beach. At the property, you’ll enjoy clean, modern lines in comfortable surroundings. The hotel has a fully-equipped fitness center and offers a hot and cold buffet breakfast. It’s steps away from the beach.
✓ Best neighborhood to stay in St. Augustine for nature lovers & families
If you’re a nature lover, spend your Saint Augustine vacation in Anastasia. Located on Anastasia Island, the area is home to Anastasia State Park. The popular Florida state park comprises 1,600 acres of marshes, beaches, and ancient sand dunes. It’s a bird lovers’ paradise with a wide variety of waders and birds of prey. You can also book a kayak or canoe trip here to get a closer look at the wildlife.
The warm pristine pink sands of Anastasia Island invite long days in the sun. And it’s not just the beaches that attract visitors to the island. History buffs will find plenty here, too.
Climb to the top of the lighthouse at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. The views of the Atlantic Ocean and Matanzas Bay are well worth the effort. Or head over to Fort Matanzas National Monument, built in 1742. If you plan your visit well, you may get to see history re-enacted at the site.
One of the oldest attractions in the area is St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. The park has been around since 1893. It’s the only place on earth where you can see every species of Crocodilia: crocodiles, alligators, gharials, and caimans.
Recommended hotels in Anastasia
The Budget Inn offers comfortable accommodation at a reasonable price. Every room has a microwave, a small refrigerator, and a tea and coffee machine. Outdoor facilities include a pretty sun terrace, picnic areas, and a shared barbecue. Vending machines take care of your cold drink requirements.
The Marker 8 Hotel and Marina offers 3-star comfort along with fantastic views of the river, the bridge, and the old town. The hotel has a fully-equipped fitness center, a bar, and an outdoor swimming pool. There’s also a sun terrace and garden. Start each day with a delicious full breakfast.
If you choose the right room at the Edgewater Inn, you can sit on the deck at the edge of the water, stepping right onto the sand of the Matanzas River. The hotel has all the modern amenities along with a superb view of the river. Take a dip in the outdoor pool and start the day with a full American breakfast.
St. Augustine Beach
✓ Best neighborhood to stay for fun beach activities
Let’s face it: Nothing beats a beach holiday. And staying at St. Augustine Beach on your Northeast Florida vacation won’t disappoint. The beachfront park at the entrance to the beach offers visitors a host of amenities. The facilities include a children’s playground, volleyball courts, change rooms, picnic spaces, and bait & hook areas.
Home to the top-rated beaches in Saint Augustine, St. Augustine Beach is the perfect beach holiday destination. Kite surfing, swimming, sand volleyball, and sailing draw sun lovers. At Saint Augustine, you can surf, kayak or fish. St. John’s County Ocean Pier is particularly popular among fishermen trying their luck. There’s always something happening at the pier, including craft fairs, live music, and a weekly farmers’ market.
There are a number of popular restaurants in the area. If you haven’t brought a picnic basket you can always sit down to a delicious meal. Surf shops, boutiques, and beach bars buzz with activity throughout the day.
Take the Ocean Hammock Walkway onto the beach. It’s a beautiful natural trail through the wilderness, leading all the way onto the golden sands of St. Augustine Beach.
Recommended hotels in St. Augustine Beach
If you’re looking for modern, comfort and a trusted brand, you’ll find it all at the Best Western St. Augustine Beach Inn. The hotel offers a range of accommodation options that can house up to six people. Some of the rooms have a fully-equipped kitchen, so they’re ideal for families. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub. Each day starts with a continental breakfast.
Just a two-minute walk from the beach, the Castillo Ascend Hotel Collection offers modern amenities with plenty of little extras. The rooms are large and modern. You can even choose one with a balcony or spa bath. There’s a sparkling outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, hot tub, and steam bath. Guests will enjoy the menu at the delicious on-site restaurant.
Three minutes from the sands of St Augustine Beach, the Courtyard by Marriott offers everything that you’ve grown to expect from the brand. The large comfortable rooms feature refrigerators and coffee machines. An on-site Bistro serves light meals and cocktails. Relax around the palm-fringed outdoor pool at the end of the day or take a circuit in the well-equipped fitness center.
Boasting a full ocean view alongside the St John’s County Fishing Pier, the Embassy Suites is ideally located to ensure your holiday fun. This beachfront hotel is within walking distance of several restaurants. It’s just three miles from the Historic Downtown. Balconied bedrooms overlook the enormous outdoor pool. A hot buffet breakfast is served daily.
West Saint Augustine
✓ Top area in St. Augustine for a quieter more local experience
Want to escape the tourist bubble? Cross the San Sebastian River to West Saint Augustine. Much quieter than the downtown or beach districts, this neighborhood is perfect for guests who prefer to live like a local. West Saint Augustine is also within walking distance of the historic village. If you choose to stay here, you won’t have to miss out on the action.
While in the area, make sure to try out the award-winning wines at the San Sebastian Winery. The winery occupies the old East Coast Railway buildings, once belonging to Henry Flagler. Take a tour of the winery or enjoy live music in the bar. If beer is more to your taste, grab a chilled craft beer at the Bog Brewing Company instead.
The Freedom Trail is also worth a visit while in West St. Augustine. The trail spotlights critical historical sites related to the history of African Americans in Florida.
Recommended hotels in West Saint Augustine
Tastefully furnished and comfortably large, this holiday home is perfect for a family stay in St. Augustine. The open plan kitchen is fully equipped with dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator. The cottage is in a prime location. Castillo de San Marcos and the Freedom Trail are just over a mile away.
Just 700 meters from the Freedom Trail, the Homewood Suites provides a home away from home. These large, modern apartments offer a fully equipped kitchen. It’s the perfect self-catering accomodation choice in the area. Shared amenities include an outdoor pool, enclosed garden, firepit, barbecue facilities, fitness center and laundry. Enjoy a delicious breakfast at the start of each day.
Less than a mile from St. Augustine Village, the Sebastian Hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service into town. The large, modern rooms, some with balconies and superb views of the Sebastian River, can accommodate families. They also come equipped with a fridge and microwave. Enjoy a splash in the outdoor swimming pool, sip craft beers around the fire pit, or work up a sweat in the modern fitness center. Enjoy a hearty breakfast before you head out for the day.