5 Fun Activities to Enjoy in St. Augustine
Your family will love exploring the beach and historical wonders of St. Augustine. It’s the kind of place that creates family memories that last a lifetime. Don’t miss these kid-friendly spots next time you’re in town!
Although St. Augustine is the oldest city in America, there are still so many new adventures waiting to be discovered. Here are 5 fun places for families to check out on their next visit.
1. Hammock Beach Resort
Just 30 minutes south of downtown St. Augustine, nestled in a quiet reserve, is a AAA four-diamond-rated resort that offers everything you’d expect from a family getaway in Florida. With 320 accommodations to choose from, there’s something to suit every parent’s budget without sacrificing on fun or comfort. Feel at home in the cozy oceanfront lodge, sprawl out in one of the many spacious villas, or hang out in the 12-story tower of one- to three-bedroom suites that overlook the ocean. The 91,000-square-foot Fantasy Waterpark—complete with a water slide, lazy river and variety of pools—will keep the kids busy while the adults tee off on the resort’s two Nicklaus- and Watson-designed golf courses. When you’re done, meet up to set out on a kayaking tour, take surfing lessons, or simply soak in the sun on the 2.4-mile stretch of beach. Once you’ve all rustled up an appetite, have a casual snack at the poolside café or savor a gourmet family-style meal at the on-site Italian restaurant. You can even ask the concierge to set up a private picnic on the beach for some quality together-time with the whole gang.
2. Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Throw on your swimmies and dive right into the deep blue world of dolphins! At the world’s first oceanarium — which has a 1.3-million-gallon collection of habitats — you and your kiddos can come nose-to-nose with the most magnificent mammals of the sea. No matter which of the many offered interactive programs you go for, this family vacation is sure to be one for the history books. Land-lovers can pet and play with the friendly dolphins from a nice dry perch, while the more adventurous can plunge into the water and swim right by their side. For an even more unique experience, take a guided kayaking tour as the dolphins frolic beside you during the Eco-Excursion, or find out firsthand what it’s like to have the coolest job in the world with the Trainer for a Day program. Are your little ones too tiny to get up close and personal with these beautiful marine creatures? You can admire them from afar as they whirl around in the water. For more information, visit marineland.net.
3. Cousteau's Waffle and Milkshake Bar
Can’t come to a unanimous decision between salty or sweet? This sensational eatery in historic downtown St. Augustine has all the necessary fixin’s to settle this age-old family dispute. These delectable handmade waffles, crafted out of Belgian pearl sugar-filled dough then cooked to a perfect caramel color, lay the foundation to pile up any number of toppings your hearts desire. All of the menu items are so tempting that you just might devour every last bite before your kids can get their hands on them. For more information, visit wafflemilk.com.
4. Colonial Corner
Take your kids back in time at St. Augustine’s only living history museum, Colonial Quarter. Here you’ll visit with the blacksmith, watch a carpenter in action or hear the daily strifes of a soldier’s wife. For the adventurers in your crew, take part in a musket drill! You’ll learn to lock, load and fire a 17th century replica musket. This hands-on history experience will be one your family will never forget.
After a day of historic adventures you’ll want to take a breather and enjoy tasty grub and a cold beverage or two. In the heart of the Colonial Corner is the Bull & Crown Publick House, which will be sure to satisfy the whole family. Modeled after historic English public houses that dotted the colonial cities of the Americas, the Bull & Crown has a slew of traditional and American pub favorites. Order a round of Loaded Cannon Fries for the table to enjoy, while the over 21 crew can sip on sweet sangria or a Guinness draft. For the main course, we recommend the Lobster Mac & Cheddar, for obvious reasons. The kiddos will enjoy the junior fish and chips followed by some sea salt brownies for dessert. Show your Colonial Quarter museum ticket and get 10 percent off your entire check! For menus and more information, visit colonialquarter.com.
5. Castillo De San Marcos
Explore over 340 years of history at the Castillo de San Marcos National Park. Here, your little soldiers can learn cannon drills, hear stories of the Spanish conquistadors and learn about defending the coast from pirates. You’ll hear period reenactors tell stories of daily life in the early days of America and see where and how people lived. If your little tykes are between the ages of 6 and 12, enroll them in the Junior Ranger Program. They’ll receive an activity guide to explore the fort. Upon completion they’ll even get an official Junior Ranger Badge! For more information, visit nps.gov/casa.
To read more about family-fun activities in St. Augustine, check out the June/July issue of South magazine.