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Top 10 Free Things To Do in St. Augustine
Whether you are a first time visitor or even a long time resident of St. Augustine, there is so much to do in this historic city. Originally founded in 1565, St. Augustine is considered to be the oldest city in the United States. St. Augustine is a very affordable city with much to do... but nothing is sweeter than getting something for free! St. Augustine has some fantastic things to do, and they won't cost you a dime! The top 10 free things to do in St. Augustine are:
- St. Augustine Beach - Just over the Bridge of Lions you will find Anastasia Island and the City of St. Augustine Beach. The beach is beautiful. Very little development and virtually no high rise condominiums so familiar to the beachs of southern Florida. Anastasia State Park is beautiful as well but there is a small entrance fee.
- Fort Matanzas National Monument - Albeit not in St. Augustine proper, it's connection to St. Augustine was very important. Located at the southern tip of Anastasia (about a 15 minute drive from downtown St. Augustine), Fort Matanzas was constructed in 1740 to guard the southern entrance (Matanzas Inlet) to the Matanzas River. The Matanzas River was a "back door" entrance to St. Augustine. Very interesting for history buffs or not. Getting to the Fort is fun too as you need to take a short Ferry ride across the river to the remote island. http://www.nps.gov/foma/
- St. Augustine Walking Tour - Tour St. Augustine at your own pace with this free St. Augustine walking tour and guide. A nicely planned route through old town that highlights the main areas and points of interest. http://citywalkingguide.com/staugustine
- Vilano Beach Fishing Pier - Just over the Vilano Beach causeway is the small town of Vilano Beach. Junting out into the Matanzas Bay is the Vilano Beach Fishing Pier. Whether you plan on fishing or not, an hour or two on the pier is relaxing. The views are spectacular of St. Augustine and the waterways surrounding it. Go towards late afternoon for a wonderful sunset view over the city.
- SWING Playground - On the edge of old town and directly next to the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center is the SWING Playground (SWING is an acronym for St. Augustine's Wish for Its Next Generation). This playground is awesome!! The kids will love it. Want to throw the ball around? There is a huge common area directly by the playground as well as tennis courts.
- Farmer's Market - Every saturday morning on Anastasia Island at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre is the Farmer's Market. Though goods sold aren't free (albeit they aren't very expensive) the experience is.
- Tour the San Sebastian Winery - The San Sebastian Winery offers daily tours of there facility with complimentary wine tasting. http://www.sansebastianwinery.com/information.php
- Mission of Nombre de Dios - This is where it all started. St. Augustine is home to the oldest Catholic Parish in the United States. The first mass was said to have taken place at the Mission of Nombre de Dios in 1565. The grounds are beautiful. It is a wonderful place to have a picnic and just unwind. The Mission of Nombre de Dios is located just north of old town... it's hard to miss, just look for the giant cross. The cross at the Mission of Nombre de Dios is over 208 feet tall!
- Memorial Presbyterian Church - The Memorial Presbyterian Church was constructed by Henry Flagler (he's even intered here) in memory of his daughter. The church is beautiful. Visitor's are welcome to visit the church during the day (donatio's are welcome but not required)
- Flagler College - Original constructed as the Ponce De Leon Hotel by Henry Flagler for wealthy visitors to St. Augustine on his railroad, the grounds and buildings are now home to Flagler College. There is a tour of the College but you are welcome to visit the lobby of the main building and meander through the grounds at no charge. When you visit the lobby of the main building, look up. The ceilings are guilded in golded and adorned with beautiful murals. Please be aware that this is an active college and not considered a tourist attraction.
Start your visit to St. Augustine at the historic Old Jail. Plenty of free parking. This is also the main start for the Old Town Trolley - St. Augustine's most popular tour. You can also buy discount tickets for many of the other St. Augustine attractions.