If you are like us, we love finding something to do that is free of charge. Free in Florida, America’s hottest vacation destination, is even better. I am all for it and we found some noteworthy things on one of our road trips. I give you 8 free things in St. Augustine, Florida.
1. Check Out the Historic Plazas
In 1594, the King of Spain declared every colonial city must have a centralized plaza. Each plaza is adorned with gorgeous monuments and some with cannons. Plaza de la Constitution is a popular one.
2. Be a TreeHugger
St. Augustine has 2 special trees that are an interesting visit. The Love Tree is actually an oak tree wrapped around a palm tree located south of the Visitor’s Center on Cordova Street and on San Marco Avenue is Old Senator, verified to be over 500 years old. They refer to Old Senator as the oldest resident in St. Augustine.
3. Stroll A Magnificent Street
Magnolia Avenue has been labeled “one of the most beautiful streets in America” by National Geographic. With live oaks creating a graceful canopy over the street, it is a lovely sight. For the best view, turn right on Myrtle Avenue just north of Mission Nombre de Dios, go to the end and turn left. Cameras are necessary.
4. Have a Picnic on the Bank of the Matanzas River
The Matanzas River runs 20 miles south of the Atlantic Ocean and is on the SW border of Anastasia Island. The views are great for Fort Matanzas and Castillo de San Marcos, two of Florida’s national historic sites. Bring a picnic lunch and stay awhile.
5. Explore St. George’s Pedestrian Only Street
St. George is a pedestrian-only street that features unique stores, historic sites, and a wide array of restaurants. Many of the shops are in restored old houses and there are some beautiful ones. Located on this street are the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, the Saint Photios Greek Shrine, and the Colonial Spanish Quarter. Stop in some of the sweet shops; many offer free samples.
6. See the Famous Bridge of Lions
This stately drawbridge links the mainland of Anastasia Island to the heart of downtown St. Augustine, spanning the Intracoastal Waterway. The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes stately arches, towers, and Medici marble lion statues. The lion’s names are “Firm” and “Faithful”. Impress your friends with that bit of trivia.
7. Pay Respects at the Cemeteries
I love visiting cemeteries. Many find that creepy but they hold some of the best histories of all. At the Huguenot Cemetery, you are visiting a cemetery established in 1821 used as a burial ground for the victims of the yellow fever epidemic. The Florida National is the resting place designated in 1881 for the soldiers that perished during the Indian Wars. Beneath the three pyramids are the remains of 1,400 soldiers, stacked some 25 people deep, who died between the years of 1835 and 1842.
8. See a Piece of the Freedom Trail in Lincolnville
Lincolnville was one of the first free black communities in America, established shortly after the Civil War. There are lovely Victorian homes and several churches to visit, one being the gathering place for civil rights activists, including Dr. Martin Luther King in the early 1960’s. One of the houses is marked with a sign stating that MLK visited there, and many others have historical markers explaining their historical significance.
Visit One of Florida’s Most Popular Destinations
St. Augustine is a treasure trove of old and new. Anyone can have a great weekend trip or family vacation featuring great eats, history, culture, and a variety of attractions. Enjoy discovering Florida’s historic coast as well as these 8 free things to do in St. Augustine.