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10 Best Outdoor Activities in St. Augustine

Taking Advantage of the Great Outdoors

There are countless reasons to move to Florida, but the one reason we hear at the top of everyone’s list? 237 DAYS OF SUNSHINE EVERY YEAR!

With gorgeous weather year-round, people flock to the Sunshine State to explore, exercise, and relax. From world-class music acts and golf courses to discovering America’s Oldest City on foot and by boat, there’s always something new to see and do in St. Johns County. 

Slap on some sunscreen, refill your water bottle, and let’s head out!

People take in a concert at The Amp
Image courtesy of Florida Times Union

Catch a Concert at The Amp

St. Johns County is a music lover’s heaven. There are dozens of local spots for up-and-coming singer/songwriters and cover bands that can seriously shred. The true gem of the live music scene is the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, affectionately known to locals as The Amp. 

This outdoor, open-air venue hosts chart-topping and award-winning artists year-round, rain or shine. Want to see Ringo Starr one weekend and Kacey Musgraves the next? Why not? They’ve both played this 4,000-capacity venue!

The Amp is also where you’ll find the St. Augustine Farmers Market every Saturday morning. It’s the best place to find fresh, local produce and run into friends and neighbors.

Explore Anastasia State Park

Conveniently located next to The Amp and less than five minutes from downtown St. Augustine is Anastasia State Park. Just eight bucks covers your vehicle admission (and everyone riding in it). That’s already one of the best parking deals in town, not to mention you’ll be rewarded with over 1,600 acres of “unspoiled beaches, tidal marshes, maritime hammocks and ancient sand dunes.” 

Want to stay longer than just a few hours? The park is home to more than 100 campsites, so pitch your tent, park your airstream, or sleep under the stars. It’s worth noting that the campsites do book out, especially when there are big acts at The Amp, so plan accordingly!

Kayaking in Salt Run

Salt Run is a 3-mile-long lagoon that runs alongside Anastasia State Park. It is a peaceful and serene space, with plenty of launches where you can set your kayak, canoe, or other boat into the water and paddle your way around. Salt Run is protected from the strong winds and waves of the Atlantic Ocean, so it’s perfect for more laidback water activities. 

Everyone has their own favorite spot, but ours are the nooks with a view of the impressive St. Augustine Lighthouse.

The famous island green at TPC Sawgrass
Image courtesy of Golf.com

Play World-Class Golf Courses

If you thought 237 days of sunshine was an impressive stat, just hold onto your shoes–er, golf shoes. There are more than 1,250 golf courses in the state of Florida. Even better, some of the best, not only in the state but in the whole world, are right here in our backyard.

Just up the road you’ll find The King & Bear Golf Course and the Slammer & Squire at World Golf Village. A little tip from us to you, beginners and intermediate golfers will have an enjoyable afternoon at the Slammer & Squire, lower handicaps should try their hand at the King & Bear, designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Now, don’t think we forgot the big one. TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach is golfing nirvana. This storied course plays host to the PLAYERS Championship every spring and is open to the public the rest of the year. Ranked #50 in the Top 100 Golf Courses in the United States, this is one track that is on almost every golfer’s bucket list.

Go Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking…in Florida!? For a state basically flatter than Kansas, this might seem like an impossibility, or at least a typo. Fear not, because there are actually miles of mountain biking trails scattered throughout St. Johns County.

Our top spot to rip up some dirt is Guana River State Park. Home to three beginner-to-intermediate trails totaling over 10 miles, this is a great place to get in a quick workout. If you’re still itching for some more action, make a pit stop at Moses Creek for a calm, four-and-a-half loop.

Have a Picnic in Fort Mose Historic State Park

On the northside of downtown St. Augustine, tucked down a side street, you’ll find Fort Mose. Often overlooked for its splashier brother, the Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Mose is a green space not to be missed.

The fort was originally established as a colony for freed slaves in 1738. While the actual fort no longer exists, there is a full museum describing the history of the settlement. There are even plans to rebuild the fort as it once stood. For now, we’re all lucky enough to enjoy the surprising solitude of the 40 waterfront acres.

Pick Up Pickleball in Treaty Park

It’s the craze that’s sweeping the nation. Everyone from age ten to one hundred and ten has fallen in love with pickleball, and there are few places that have fallen harder for this abbreviated form of tennis than Florida.

Conveniently located a few minutes off I-95—not so close that you’ll hear trucks and cars, but close enough you’ll convince your Jacksonville friends to join you for a game—Treaty Park has become the pickleball hotspot. There are eight outdoor hard courts open to the public. The best part? They’re free! Just remember to make a reservation.

Flagler College in historic downtown St. Augustine
Image courtesy of Old Town Trolley Tours

Take a Historic Walking Tour of St. Augustine 

It’s often said that there is history in every step of St. Augustine. Founded in 1565, honestly, this cliche is probably true. Just a stroll down Cathedral Place and you’re walking the same roads as Ponce de Leon, Gilded Age tycoon Henry Flager, King Felipe VI of Spain, and more. 

There are numerous guided and self-guided walking tours year-round, but our favorites are in the fall when they take on a decidedly ‘haunted’ vibe. You never know what spirits you might find in the shadows of the grand Casa Monica Hotel, Flagler College, or even that cute cottage on the corner…

Ride an Airboat Down the St. Johns River

You may have not been aware that there was an airboat in St. Johns County, but we’re here to make sure it’s at the top of your to-do list.

Launching from Trout Creek on the west side of St. Johns County is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with Florida’s favorite critters—without the six-plus hour drive to the Everglades.

Locals and tourists enjoying Vilano Beach
Image courtesy of Florida’s Historic Coast

Soak Up the Sun at Vilano Beach

Of course, we couldn’t leave you without including a good ol’ fashioned beach day. 

Everyone has their ‘spot’, so we won’t try to step on any toes, but for our money (which is free, because most beaches in St. Johns County are free!), we’re heading to Vilano Beach. Not only can you drive your vehicle on the sand, you’ll get unparalleled views of downtown St. Augustine, the Lighthouse and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

Welcome Home to St. Augustine

Whether you’ve just started thinking about life in St. Augustine, or if you’ve lived in the Ancient City your entire life, there is always something more to discover. Feel free to check out our newest real estate listings or give us a call at (904) 599-5633 to discuss listing your current home with The Newcomer Group.

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