A wide selection of kid-friendly establishments and relaxing coastal spots make Vilano Beach, Florida an excellent family vacation destination. The community sits just north of St. Augustine’s historic district, so regardless of where your Vilano Beach vacation rental is located, you’ll be close enough to enjoy the beach and an abundance of family-oriented activities. Check out the most popular activities in Vilano Beach.

1. Surf or Sunbathe at Vilano Beach

Vilano Beach is often considered one of St. Augustine’s best-kept secrets – it’s not usually as busy as the other public beaches. Its proximity to the inlet means it’s prone to heavier surf and strong currents, so it’s not an ideal place to swim, especially if you have younger children. However, it’s a great spot for water sports and relaxation. Enjoy surfing and wave boarding with the tide is in, and when the tide goes out, let your kids wade into the water to hop over the waves. When you aren’t in the water, spend time building sand castles, sunbathing, and fishing.

2. Spend the Day at St. Augustine Beach

Spend the day at the family-oriented St. Augustine Beach. The water at St. Augustine Beach is milder, making it ideal for swimming, and, there’s a lifeguard staffed during peak season to help keep beach-goers safe. Take a picnic lunch to eat in one of the beach‘s covered picnic areas, and bring your fishing gear if you want to fish off the pier. The beach also has volleyball areas and a splash park to keep the youngest members of your family entertained.

3. Visit the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum

Take your little buccaneers to the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum for a swashbuckling good time. The museum takes your family on a journey through pirate history. Explore exhibits that feature real pirate artifacts, including the world’s only pirate’s chest, Captain Kidd’s family bible, and the Red Sea Pirates’ swords. Interactive displays let children try their hand at knot tying, raise the Jolly Roger flag, and find hidden treasure in the Discovery Drawers.

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4. Check Out the Gators at the Alligator Farm Zoological Park

The Alligator Farm Zoological Park is home to every living crocodilian species, exotic animals, and African birds. Get an up-close look at a 1250-pound saltwater crocodile in the park’s underwater viewing area, and enjoy an intimate view of herons, storks, and egrets while crossing the wooden walkway through the Alligator Swamp. Take reptile-loving kids to the Python Cave to see a massive constricting python, and let your youngsters explore the Lemurs of Madagascar exhibit. The park also houses albino alligators from the Louisiana bayous, mouse-sized pygmy marmosets, and several bird species from Africa. Before heading back to your vacation rental, check out the Realm of the Alligator show or zipline through the park at Crocodile Crossing.

5. Explore Historic St. Augustine in an Old-Time Trolley

Old Time Trolley Tours of St. Augustine operates hop-on, hop-off old-time trolley tours throughout St. Augustine – so leave your car at your vacation home to avoid paying parking fees. The trolley stops give you access to more than 100 points of interest in the city, including the St. Augustine History Museum, the City Gates, and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and guides regale you with stories and facts about the city during the ride.

6. Look Around The Old Jail

Take your family on a guided tour of The Old Jail to learn about the prisoners and 19th-century jail practices. The small museum displays an array of weapons and artifacts from the era, and guests spend time exploring prisoners cells and the execution area. While you‘re there, get a picture of your family “behind bars” and have the kids pose for pictures in the prison stocks.

7. Tour Potter’s Wax Museum

Brush shoulders with your favorite celebrities, fictional characters, and historic figures at Potter’s Wax Museum. Exhibits display replicas of Harry Potter, as well as Ron, Hermione, and Lord Voldemort. You can also see individuals such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin and celebrities such as Elvis, Brittany Spears, and Johnny Depp. The museum encourages photo taking, making it ideal for selfie-loving kids and teens.

8. Discover St. Augustine’s Darker Side

Old Town Trolley Tours and Ripley’s offer nighttime ghost-themed tours for families, but if you have young children, take Old Town Trolley’s tour – it isn’t as scary. Old Town Trolley’s Ghost & Gravestones Tour takes you on a narrated ride past historic sites and graveyards before allowing you to explore The Old Jail and Potter’s Wax Museum’s Chamber of Horrors. Ripley’s Ghost Train shuttles passengers to two of St. Augustine’s haunted sites for a hands-on exploration using EMT meters and laser grids.

9. Take a Guided Boat Tour

St. Augustine Eco Tours offers boating expeditions that give your family a chance to explore the area’s fascinating ecosystem. The tour takes you to little-visited areas of the salt marsh and marsh island hammocks where you’ll see plants, birds, shells, crabs, and oysters. During the ride keep your eyes peeled. If you’re lucky, you’ll see dolphins or manatees.

10. Learn About Farm Life at the Florida Agricultural Museum

Give your family a glimpse of Florida farm life in the 1800s at the Florida Agricultural Museum. The 460-acre living history exhibit boasts a dairy barn and citrus complex. Walk through Cracker-style log home homes, see Cracker cows that descended from the original Spanish free-range herds, and pick vegetables during your visit. Families with children ages eight and older can also take a guided horseback ride through the museum‘s wooded trails.

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