Our last camping trip of 2022 was the week before Christmas to St. Augustine, Florida. We had never been but everyone we told that we were going there, only had good things to say about it. It has way more historical importance than we realized too!
St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the continental United States. I don’t remember learning about this growing up honestly. It was founded by the Spanish in 1565. The city has a fascinating history.
We took the camper and stayed at St. Augustine Beach KOA Holiday. It’s located on the barrier island of Anastasia and conveniently located to the beach, restaurants and the main downtown. We were within walking distance to the playground so that helped to occupy the kids while Marvin worked. The weather was a little chillier than what was normal for Florida but it was still mild and comfortable for December.
Below is a kid-friendly 3 days in St. Augustine. We had 4 total days but one of the days was rainy and we took the time and stayed around the campground.
We started our day at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. This was so much fun for the whole family. We had never seen so many alligators in one location, but there were so many different types of other animals too which kept it interesting.
We grabbed lunch at Mojo’s Tacos that was right down the road from the Alligator Farm before heading to the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
St. Augustine Lighthouse
The St. Augustine Lighthouse is 165-foot tall and the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in Florida. It’s 219 steps to the top which I did solo while the kids, Marvin and Justin hung out on a grassy area at the bottom. Kids must be 44 inches tall to climb so they get in free and the tickets are half off for an accompanying adult with the child. The panoramic view is beautiful. In addition, there is a playground area, a Maritime Education center, nature trails and more.
In the afternoon we tried a coffee from Kookaburra Coffee, sooo good! This is a Aussie-American espresso bar started right in St. Augustine.
Trolley Ride Through the City
We opted to do the 1-day hop on and off Trolley Ride which included admission to the St. Augustine History Museum. It was fun to park in one location and use the trolley to get us around the main part of the city but by the afternoon we had to wait too long to catch a trolley because they were too full and it stops running kind of early. Because of this I’m not sure if we would plan to do it this way again, unless we got started much earlier in the day.
We started in Historic St. Augustine by purchasing our tickets for the trolley and went inside the free museum before taking the ride. The museum was inside Gator Bob’s Trading Post. The Old Jail is also located in this area.
We got off near the Old City Gates which are an iconic landmark in St. Augustine and had lunch at Mojo Old City BBQ. We strolled down St. George Street which is pedestrian only with cobblestone streets filled with shops, restaurants and galleries. The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse is on this street. We also stopped at The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops for some popsicles! There are a crazy amount of flavors.
After waiting awhile to catch the trolley again from St. George street, we ended up just riding through the rest of the stops such as Flager College and Lightner Museum and back to the start where our vehicle was parked. I’d recommend getting an earlier start than what we did. We would have liked to have gone to the Castillo de San Marcos if time allowed.
The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
We got to meet up with some sweet friends on our last day in St. Augustine! The weather was drizzling and chilly unfortunately but we still enjoyed part of the day at the Fountain of Youth! This is where the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon is believed to have landed in 1513. You can get a drink from the spring where Ponce de Leon believed was the Fountain of Youth. We tasted it, and it smelled like eggs. The park has plenty of places to roam around with indoor and outdoor exhibits, and some wild peacocks everywhere!
In the parking lot before entering the park is the Smoked Southern Barbecue restaurant with some good food!
Going south for a winter camping break was the best idea. Even though it was chilly, it was still much warmer than what it was at home in North Carolina.
St. Augustine has plenty of beaches too which would have been perfect to spend part of our day if the weather allowed it.
Give us your favorite things about St. Augustine and what to do for our next visit there for the future!