May 24, 2017

Five Fabulously Fun Things to Do in St. Augustine, Florida That Are Surprisingly $10 or Less


Last week, I spent four days in St. Augustine, Florida and needless to say, I didn't want to come home.  St. Augustine, also known as the Nation's Oldest City, has been on my list of places to visit for the past few years.  Between the history, gorgeous architecture and beautiful beaches, I felt it was a place that had everything my husband and I love.  So, after deciding St. Augustine would be the perfect place for our third wedding anniversary vacation, I asked myself, "Is St. Augustine a place we could visit even on a budget?" The answer is yes!  Whether you are visiting St. Augustine, Florida with your family, your girls or even alone, there are so many things to do that are $10 or less and some are even free!

I worked with the wonderful ladies of Florida's Historic Coast to plan the perfect budget-friendly trip even down to the hotel.  So, how did we make this visit as budget-friendly as possible?  First, we drove to St. Augustine.  St. Augustine, Florida is just over seven hours from North Carolina.  Round-trip, we only stopped for gas twice so we spent under $100.  This is why Toyotas are the bomb!  We stayed at the historic Jaybird's Inn, which is only a five minute drive to Downtown Historic St. Augustine.

The Jaybird's Inn has complimentary, continental breakfast each morning or the option to receive $5 off a breakfast entree at their restaurant next door.  Plus, when you get to St. Augustine, you don't have to worry about driving!  We took The Hopper, which gave us a round-trip ride to and from the widely popular Saint George Street for only $6 per person.  We also rode the Old Town Trolley, which I will talk more about below, that offers stops at over 20 locations.  In two days, we visited almost 10 attractions in St. Augustine.  I want to highlight five that are must sees if you travel to the area.

Five Fabulously Fun Things to Do in St. Augustine, Florida That Are Surprisingly $10 or Less

1.  Take a tour of the St. Augustine Old Jail.

To start our first full day in St. Augustine, we rode a shuttle provided by the Old Town Trolley Tours over to the St. Augustine Old Jail.  The jail is the first stop for the Old Town Trolley Tours and honestly, it started our day on a great note.  There was a sign outside of the jail to let you know you're in the right spot, but standing in front of a gorgeous, pink building, you would have no idea the history inside.  We got there a few minutes early and it wasn't long before our tour guide or should we say prisoner, Ungrie, came to get the tour started.

He quickly let me know that back during the days the jail was open, I would have gone to jail for showing my collar bone and legs.  We loved learning the history of the Old Jail, including that the male prisoners were never allowed to see the female prisoners.  Plus, female prisoners were expected to cook each and every meal the male prisoners ate.  We suggest allotting 45 minutes to an hour for the tour.

Cost:  $9 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under.  Learn more here.

2.  Hop on and off the Old Town Trolley.

The Old Town Trolley Tour is the perfect way to learn the history of St. Augustine as well as tour the city for up to three consecutive days.  With 23 stops, we were literally able to hop off and on at any stop we desired.  With trolleys coming every 15 minutes to each stop, it took no time to get back on after exploring our desired stop, including two mentioned below, St. Augustine Distillery and Castillo de San Marcos.  I loved the convenience of the trolleys.  It made it easy to get around the city.  Plus, there was plenty of room with each trolley having three cars attached.  We never had to wait for the next one.

Cost:  $23.17 for adults, $9.27 for children 6-12 and free for children 5 and under.  Tickets are able to be used for three consecutive days, which breaks it down to under $10 for each attendee per day.  Learn more here.

3.  Taste local spirits during the tour of St. Augustine Distillery.

One of the things I love about the Old Town Trolley Tours is that they tell you about the upcoming tour times as you approach each stop.  As we approached the St. Augustine Distillery, they said a tour would be available in 30 minutes so of course, we hopped off and waited for the tour.  The tour is surprisingly free and in one of the coolest places I've seen in a long time.  The distillery is housed in St. Augustine's historic ice plant.  You arrive and punch in like an employee.  You're able to learn the history of the ice plant and distillery before beginning the tour.

As the tour began, we were able to walk through the area where the spirits are made.  It's warm inside, but so cool to see and learn the process.  They also create cocktails right in front of your eyes using small batch whiskey, rum, gin and vodka.  You can sample the cocktails and even take a few shots if you'd like.  Now you can see how shocked we were that this awesome tour was free!  Allot 30 minutes for the tour.

Cost:  FREE (for adults 21 and up, of course)!  Learn more here.

4.  See the beautiful views and architecture of Castillo de San Marcos.

When I was researching St. Augustine, one of the first attractions I was drawn to was Castillo de San Marcos, which is the oldest stone fortress in the United States.  The historic fort and beautiful water views drew my attention.  In person, it did not disappoint.  It held so much history and standing at the top of the fort had stunning views of the water.  One of the highlights of touring Castillo de San Marcos was seeing writings on the walls by soldiers, including a soldier who shares our last name, Carter.  Allot at least one to see the full history of Castillo de San Marcos.  We suggest allotting one to two hours to tour the fort and enjoy the views.

Cost:  $10 for adults age 16 and older.  Free for children age 15 and under.  Learn more here.

5.  Walk on St. Augustine Beach.

I grew up going to the beach every year as a child so of course, I could not visit St. Augustine without checking out the beach.  St. Augustine Beach was only a 15 minute drive from Jaybird's Inn and so easy to find.  The shocking part?  Parking is free!  Yes, public parking for the beach is free.  There was ample parking so we parked, hopped out of the car and walked directly onto the beach.  The sand was incredibly soft and the water was beautiful.  We enjoyed walking along the beach and sitting and enjoying the view.  I truly wish I could have stayed on the beach longer.  See a short clip from St. Augustine Beach here.

Cost:  FREE!


If you want to splurge while visiting St. Augustine, I highly recommend visiting the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

It was my first time seeing alligators and crocodiles in real life.  Many are so big that you would not believe they are real!  They not only have alligators and crocodiles, but beautiful birds, turtles and more.  You can also feed the crocodiles with small pellets that you can get a handful of for only 25 cents.  This was so much fun!  As you can see, my husband and I also had way too much fun holding the alligator!  I think the alligator enjoyed the picture too.  Allot two hours to view the entire alligator farm.

Cost:  $23.99 for adults, $12.99 for children and free for children 3 and under.  Learn more here.

Have you ever visited St. Augustine, Florida?  Which attraction would you visit first?

God bless & stay fab,

I received complimentary tickets to attractions in exchange for this post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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