Located along the northeastern coast of Florida, St. Augustine is best known for its old Spanish architecture, white sandy beaches, and must-see attractions including the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, as well as the Pirate and Treasure Museum. Ranging from spacious, beautifully furnished homes to luxury apartments and condos nestled directly on the water’s edge, cozy St. Augustine vacation rentals are just a stroll away from exciting activities and points of interest—book your stay today. Moreover, take a morning jog on the beach, find a new favorite eatery, explore the nearby parks, or immerse yourself in the area’s rich history. That said, here are a few of the most noteworthy places in and around St. Augustine to check out.

1. St. Augustine Beach, Florida

Source: Pixabay/BlackSquirrelArt

St. Augustine Beach is the perfect place to learn a new sport. Rent a surfboard and ride the waves on the Atlantic, or spend time on the beach working on your tan. Play Tennis at Treaty Park, or spend an afternoon learning how to kite surf. The Farmers Market on the St. Augustine pier provides fresh fruits and vegetables to take back to your vacation rental, and there are plenty of gift and specialty shops for souvenirs.

2. Historic District, St. Augustine

old city gates
Source: Flickr/Matt Kieffer

View the architecture from the late 1800s in the St. Augustine historic district. Sign up for a ghost tour and go inside haunted buildings, or take photographs at the Castillo de San Marcos, which once served as the defense system to the city’s outer structure. A pair of large stone gates marks the entrance to the Old City as a reminder of the surrounding wall that served as a fortress. The Lighter Museum has a collection of shrunken heads, mummies, and stained glass on display, or you can walk the exterior grounds and view the flowers and fountains. The historic district has many shops, restaurants, and golf courses to suit everyone’s needs.

3. Anastasia Island, Florida

st. augustine light
Source: Flickr/Rachel Kramer

Travel just a few minutes south of St. Augustine past the Bridge of Lions to Anastasia Island. Here you’ll find Anastasia State Park, where you can relax in a hammock and watch the various birds from the region or go windsurfing. You can also rent bikes and follow the paths that meander alongside the Atlantic or rent a sailboat and take the family out on the water. Anastasia Island is home to the St. Augustine Lighthouse, which provides a different vantage point of the island, so bring your camera to snap some photos as a beautiful reminder of your trip.

4. Vilano Beach, Florida

vilano beach
Source: Flickr/David Ellis

Escape the stress of daily life when you choose a vacation rental near Vilano Beach. Considered the best beach in the area for beachcombing, Vilano provides several access points to the ocean including North Beach and Usina, a fishing pier, several waterfront restaurants, and a boardwalk loaded with quaint shops. Take a picnic lunch to Surfside Park and let the kids play on the playground, or travel to Porpoise Point for kayaking or canoeing. The Vilano Beach Bridge provides easy access from St. Augustine.

5. Crescent Beach, Florida

crescent beach
Source: Flickr/William McKeehan

Take a slight jaunt down south to Crescent Beach to explore this beautiful wildlife refuge. Comb the beach for seashells, or rent a boat and take the kids fishing and watch their faces brighten up after catching their first fish. You can sign up for a turtle walk to view sea turtles as they make their yearly trek back to the area for mating between May and October, or simply enjoy the watersports, such as surfing and boogie boarding.

6. Palm Coast, Florida

palm coast
Source: Flickr/Camron Flanders

Get some fresh air when you book a vacation rental in Palm Coast. Large open green spaces and nearby marshlands provide plenty of options for outdoor activities for you and the children. Play 18 holes of golf at a Jack Nicklaus-designed course, or visit the Palm Coast harbor for bird watching. Eco tours of the water introduce you to the native wildlife of the region, or you can get your blood pumping by hiking along the Great Florida Birding Trail.

7. Jacksonville Beach, Florida

jacksonville beach
Source: Flickr/Callie Reed

Take your time and enjoy all that Jacksonville Beach has to offer during your visit to St. Augustine. The Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier is conveniently located to a lengthy boardwalk with plenty of shops and restaurants, so you can buy some souvenirs or enjoy a tasty family meal. Cool off at the Adventure Landing water park, or go hiking in the Cradle Creek Preserve. To escape the heat of the day, head indoors at the Players by the Sea Theater, which hosts films all year round. Or, use your family’s collective brain power to solve puzzles and make your way through an escape room at Mind Bender Escape Rooms.

8. Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

ponte vedra beach
Source: Flickr/Mirella Matthiesen

One of the area’s most serene beaches, Ponte Vedra is a secluded haven from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take a long walk along the beach and look for shells, or visit the Guana Tolomato Research Reserve to view an abundance of animals in their natural habitats. Learn how to paddleboard standing up, spend the day parasailing, or go canoeing and kayaking in the Intracostal Waterway.

9. Palatka, Florida

palatka
Source: Flickr/Rob Bixby

Pack your bags and unwind in Palatka. Sign up to go skydiving over the Atlantic Ocean, or go mud-bogging at the off-road and ATV trails. If you like playing games, you can sign up for a game of bingo at the Bingo Palace, or grab a drink at one of the local bars. The Rice Creek Conservatory Area offers a three-mile trek alongside the marshlands for hiking and biking. If you enjoy photography, visit the Raven Gardens State Park, which features a formal garden and fountains that are ideal for photo opportunities.

10. St. Johns River, Florida

jacksonville skyline
Source: Flickr/Steven Martin

St. Johns River is the longest river in the state of Florida, and it provides the perfect backdrop for vacation rentals. Rent a stand up paddle board and cruise down the calm waters, or take a cruise through the lush canopy of trees. Tour the Stetson Mansion in downtown, or take a Blue Heron river tour to learn about various points of interest. If you love animals, visit the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens, which is home to over 400 different animals. Enjoy the giant pool bubbles, the sky walk, or take the train around the park to rest your legs.

11. Sawgrass, Florida

sawgrass
Source: Flickr/mookiefl

Home to one of the most popular golf courses in the state – TPC Sawgrass, Sawgrass is a small city just to the north of St. Augustine. Visit the course to watch one leg of the PGA Tour, or head to Mickler’s Beach to view some of the nicest homes in the region. Rent some paddle boards or flotation devices and hit the water, or take the kids to the South Beach Park and Sunshine Playground and enjoy a picnic lunch.

12. Neptune Beach, Florida

neptune beach
Source: Flickr/gordonplant

Stay just north of St. Augustine at Neptune Beach. Beautiful vacation rental homes nestled directly on the coast offer the perfect place for a getaway. Rent a surfboard and catch some waves, or spend the day at the Beaches Green Market where you’ll find gifts and crafts that everyone will love.