St. Augustine & Ponte Vedra
The nation's oldest city is full of history and fun!
Just south of the Jacksonville beaches on A1A is Ponte Vedra, a luxurious community with incredible golf courses and pristine beaches. It is the headquarters of the PGA Tour and the home of THE PLAYERS Championship. A1A also leads to St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city. Founded by the Spanish in 1565, it is filled with historical landmarks like the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, and Fort Matanzas National Monument. Guided tours on buses and trams are a great way to appreciate the city's splendor and stop at all the major points of interest. You'll also want to consider a scenic boat ride or helicopter tour.
And it is not all history, the city is known for its outstanding dining, art galleries, festivals, and nightly ghost tours. The oceanfront Anastasia State Park is one of Florida’s most popular. St. Augustine Beach is a fun and eclectic coastal community -- cars are permitted on more than five miles of wide, sandy beaches south of the town.
Getting Here from Downtown: Take I-95 south then head east on State Road
5 Must-See Attractions in St. Augustine & Ponte Vedra
1. World Golf Hall of Fame and IMAX Theater
Combining historic artifacts, interactive exhibits and personal players’ memorabilia, the Hall of Fame celebrates the history, players, and sport of golf. Held in May, to coincide with THE PLAYERS Championship, the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony commemorates players and contributors to the sport. The Hall of Fame’s 3D IMAX Theater is the largest in the Southeast and features both Hollywood blockbusters and independent documentaries.
2. St. Augustine and Premium Outlets
Just off I-95, these two outlet malls are a bargain shopper’s paradise. With stores like Gucci, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Gap Outlet, Anne Taylor, Saks, Banana Republic, Tommy Bahama, Adidas, Nike, and many more, shoppers will find great deals on dozens of designer labels.
3. St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum
Open daily, the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum houses over 800 authentic pirate artifacts as well as treasures collected from shipwrecks across the world. Its emphasis on engaging, interactive exhibits makes it popular with both kids and adults. The Museum features artifacts collected from Jamaica some 300 years ago, journals and original artifacts from real pirates, one of only two authentic pirate flags in existence, and memorabilia from Hollywood blockbusters like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Treasure Island.”
4. San Sebastian Winery
Complimentary tours of the winery and tastings of San Sebastian's specialty premium table, sparkling and dessert wines from hybrid and muscadine grapes. End the night right at The Cellar Upstairs, located on the rooftop of the winery. Enjoy the views of historic St. Augustine while sipping fruity sangria or a glass of house wine. Jazz performers scheduled daily.
5. St. Augustine Alligator Farm
Established in 1894, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm is the only facility in the world that exhibits at least one living specimen of all 23 crocodile species. Modern facilities and hourly demonstrations make this the ideal place to experience Florida’s most famous predator, the alligator, in its natural habitat. A new attraction at the Farm is the “Crocodile Crossing” zip line, taking visitors across above hundreds of alligators for a thrilling experience. From April through June, the Farm is also features one of the world’s most spectacular wild bird rookeries.