Why St. Augustine Is the Perfect Family Destination
There’s not much that’s more enjoyable than a good old-fashioned family escape. And with the winter months upon us, many vacationers are heading to the Sunshine State to beat those cold-weather blahs. If you’re planning a getaway for the whole crew, it’s hard to beat the St Augustine family activities. Thanks to our gorgeous weather, endless beaches, and wide variety of family activities, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to planning your itinerary.
Here are some of the best St. Augustine family activities you’ll want to check out during your visit.
Florida is famous for our ‘gators, and this fascinating park is one of Florida’s longest-running attractions. The park incorporates a wide range of exhibits featuring exotic fauna such as sloths, lemurs, african birds, massive Galapagos tortoises, and — of course — the eponymous big lizards. The park also offers conservation education, a fantastic gift shop, a fossil exhibit, and a zip line. Kids of all ages will love checking out the reptiles that Florida made famous.
The playful dolphin is one of the sea’s most fascinating creatures. At Marineland, budding marine biologists will find themselves in the best place possible to learn about everyone’s favorite sea mammal. Kids and their big companions will be able to check out informative exhibits and shows featuring these fiercely intelligent animals. And that’s not all — Marineland houses an interactive habitat where guests can actually enjoy an up-close experience with these gentle and intelligent animals. It’s an experience not to be missed.
This stunning area is a de-facto combination of public park space and wildlife preserve. Avian enthusiasts will want to bring their binoculars, as Anastasia is a longtime pink spoonbill habitat, as well as being home to herons, gulls, bald eagles, and more. The park is also notable for being the location where a large amount of the coquina rock was mined for the construction of the famed Castillo de San Marcos fortress. If you’re feeling adventurous, Anastasia is also a great spot to camp, boat, and hike.
Ahoy, mateys! This unique hands-on museum is the perfect day of fun for would-be pirates of all ages. As “America’s Oldest City,” our coastal town has a rich and intriguing history of privateer activity — so budding buccaneers will enjoy being transported back in time to the age when swashbuckling salty dogs ruled the high seas. Hoist the Jolly Roger, check out some real pirate gold, learn about buried treasure, and even take the wheel on a replica of a pirate ship’s deck.
Potters holds the distinction of being the earliest-established wax museum in the country. Inside you’ll find more than 150 detailed wax figures from history, entertainment, politics, and pop culture. Kids will enjoy taking photos with “celebrities” like Captain Jack Sparrow, Michael Jordan, Britney Spears, and Darth Vader. Even the building Potter’s is housed in is of note — it was once the first pharmacy in the United States.
Colonial Quarter is an interactive outdoor complex that offers a living history of the Spanish and English settlers that helped establish St. Augustine more than 450 years ago. Historical re-enactors are on hand to provide up-close demonstrations of early American skills like blacksmithing and ship construction. Climbing the watchtower affords a panoramic view of not just the quarter itself, but also nearby Castillo de San Marcos. A fantastic restaurant, pub, live concert space, and gift shop are also on site for refreshments, entertainment, and souvenirs.
St. Augustine is home to the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! — the famous home of the inexplicable, unexplainable, and just plain weird. Here at the Ripley’s flagship location (built inside a beautiful historic mansion), families are free to gawk at more than 800 interactive exhibits featuring extremes, world records, illusions, bizarre mysteries, and off-the-wall oddities. It’s a great way to make memories you’ll all treasure for a lifetime.
When speaking of family vacations, we’d be remiss to not mention St. Augustine’s stunning beaches. Sometimes, just kicking back, soaking up some sunshine, and splashing in the surf is just what any family needs to recharge. Thankfully, St. George Inn is just minutes from some of the most picturesque stretches of beach in Florida. Whether you opt for the serenity and soft waves of Crescent Beach, the convenience of North Beach, or the well-kept secret sands of Vilano Beach, you simply can’t go wrong bringing the whole crew to the shore for a relaxing day out.
Plan Your Visit
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