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Budget-Friendly St. Augustine Vacation

Budget Friendly St. Augustine Vacation

We all know that a vacation can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! St. Augustine is a popular tourist destination for its Spanish Colonial architecture and nearby beaches. However, many visitors don’t realize that it’s also a great place for a budget-friendly vacation. There are plenty of free or cheap activities to keep the whole family entertained, from exploring the city’s historic landmarks to spending a day at the beach. With a little planning, you can take an enjoyable and affordable trip to St. Augustine.

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  • Dining Dining
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So, you want to visit St. Augustine on a budget? This historic city is full of fun things to do, and with a little careful planning, you can definitely enjoy your vacation without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip without spending too much money.

Free Things to Do in St. Augustine

Free Things to do in St AugustineSt. George Street

St. George Street in St. Augustine is an absolute must for tourists looking for free things to do. With Spanish-influenced architecture, there’s a unique atmosphere along this street that few other places in the world can offer. Take a free stroll along the street and you’ll find local artisan shops and a profusion of galleries filled with crafts from local artists. With free live entertainment, there’s something here for everyone who wishes to enjoy St. Augustine at no cost!

Walkway leading to the oceanBeaches

St. Augustine has some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States and an array of free things to do. From charming stretches of white sand to surfers’ paradises, St. Augustine is sure to have something for everyone. A visit to Anastasia State Park’s beach is especially worthwhile — with free admission, it boasts sheltered coves and 7 miles of coastline ideal for kayaking or sunbathing. What’s more, there are free ranger-led nature tours throughout the year — perfect for learning about the local wildlife and plant life. But, if seeing wildlife up close is on your agenda, you should also check out one of the free guided boat tours around St. Augustine Harbor; you’re guaranteed some special sightings! Whether you’re looking for free recreational activities or simply a breathtaking sunset over the horizon, St. Augustine beaches will not disappoint!

See our lady of la leche shrineShrine of Our Lady of La Leche

The Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in St. Augustine is a free and interesting thing to do while visiting the area! Located just five minutes from the downtown district, this historical sanctuary has been an inspiring Catholic landmark since 1565. Part of the former settlement of Spanish Franciscan friars, the shrine serves to commemorate the role that the Blessed Mother has played throughout history in providing spiritual nourishment to countless believers around the world. Visitors are sure to be moved as they experience this free and meaningful attraction, which offers a mix of Catholicism, history and devotion that can’t be found anywhere else. If you’re looking for free things to do or free St. Augustine attractions, make sure the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche is at the top of your list!

st augustine government houseGovernor’s House Cultural Center and Museum

The Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum is a great museum option that offers an unparalleled educational experience showcasing the over 450-year history of St. Augustine, including art, culture and architecture from the Spanish colonial period to present day. The interactive museum exhibits have something for everyone, from artifacts highlighting St. Augustine’s civil rights history to presentations about Mediterranean seamen and their adventures in the 16th century. The variety of exhibitions provides many chances to learn something new and interactive activities that give visitors a chance to explore at their own pace. Whether you’re looking for free things to do in St. Augustine for families or for yourself, visiting this amazing museum should be at the top of your list.

st augustine city gatesCity Gates

The city gates of St. Augustine are a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the area. They are free to visit and offer a unique glimpse into the city’s rich history. Visitors can take a guided tour of the gates, which includes interesting facts and stories about the gate’s construction and use throughout history. The view from the top of the gate is also breathtaking, and visitors can see for miles around. Exploring the city gates truly creates an unforgettable experience and offers a valuable opportunity to learn about Florida’s past.

st augustine tolomato cemeteryTolomato Cemetery

The Tolomato Cemetery in St. Augustine is one of the free things to do for history buffs and lovers of the Oldest City. As Florida’s oldest cemetery, this site houses graves from European settlers dating back to the 1500s! It’s been nearly 450 years since it first opened its gates, and today visitors still come to wander among the ancient graves and read the stories engraved on their stones. Many stories of free Black families who were free before Emancipation call this place home too, making it an essential destination for anyone’s visit to St. Augustine. Next time you’re in town, don’t pass up this free opportunity to explore a piece of local history and connect with our past.

st augustine flagler memorial presbyterian churchHistorical Churches

If you’re looking for one of the must-see spots when visiting St. Augustine, go and check out their historical churches! There are a few beautiful old churches that offer free tours that cannot be missed. Many of them still bear their original architecture, while others boast remodeled works of art in both design and structure. Among the most well-known churches in St. Augustine are the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, Memorial Presbyterian Church and Nombre de Dios Mission. No trip to St. Augustine is complete without a visit to one (or all) of these churches!

Fort Matanzas

Fort Matanzas, located in St. Augustine, Florida, is a great activity to add to your list of things to do while visiting the city. A part of a National Heritage Area, this Spanish fort offers a fascinating look into the history and free admission! Constructed during 1740-1742, the fort served as a primary defense against enemy ships entering the Matanzas Bay. Today, Fort Matanzas stands tall with its impressive limestone towers that are preserved for the enjoyment of visitors all around. Take a trip back in time and explore a piece of global military history by visiting Fort Matanzas — it’s definitely one of the must-see St. Augustine things to do free of charge.

The Peña-Peck House

The Peña-Peck House is one of the oldest residences in St. Augustine, providing visitors with an intriguing glimpse into the city’s multicultural history. Located in downtown St. Augustine, this building has stood since the late 1600s and contains exhibits on the original owner, Don Andres Papy, and other historical subjects. Free to explore, a visit to the Peña-Peck House makes for an interesting addition on any list of things to do in St. Augustine, especially for those fascinated by colonial American history and heritage. With fascinating artifacts from Spanish colonial times, visitors can get an up close look at some of St. Augustine’s storied past — free of charge!

Things to Do in St. Augustine on a Small Budget

Things to Do in St. Augustine on a Small BudgetCastillo de San Marcos

A list of things to do in St. Augustine on a small budget wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Castillo de San Marcos. This fortress is part of the city’s national park and holds great historical significance for the area. The would-be tourist can explore this fortification, from its onset as an outpost of Spain to today, where it has been transformed into a magnificent museum allowing visitors to learn about the area’s past. With various informative plaques adorning its walls, interactive displays and rock-cut tunnels with tips from experienced guides, there’s much to uncover at Castillo de San Marcos — all without breaking your budget!

st augustine flagler collegeFlagler College

Founded in 1968, Flagler College is the only college located within St. Augustine’s historic district and boasts a beautiful Spanish Renaissance-style campus with lush courtyards, stained-glass ceiling domes and majestic Mediterranean arches. It is now listed as a national historic landmark. Flagler college offers historic tours as well. Through the tours, you will get to know about the vision of Henry Flagler, the Flagler Room, the beautiful painted walls & ceilings and photos and mementos from Henry Flagler and family. You have an affordable option for getting one iconic glimpse of Flagler College’s impressively designed buildings from fun and scenic vantage points!

st augustine lightner museumLightner Museum and Alcazar Hotel

If you are looking for things to do in St. Augustine on a small budget, then look no further than the Lightner Museum and Alcazar Hotel. This iconic building was once a grandiose hotel with the first indoor swimming pool in Florida. Now, it has been converted into a museum filled with 19th-century antiques and artwork from around the world. Next door, you’ll find the 19th-century Alcazar Hotel which has also been restored to its former glory and is now a public library. Inside this historic landmark, visitors can explore rare books, photographs, maps and more. Savvy travelers appreciate that these unique experiences are available and don’t break their budget!

World Golf Hall of Fame

The World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida, is a must-visit destination for any golf enthusiast. It’s a place where visitors can learn about some of the most celebrated names to ever grace the sport and honor them as they explore the interactive displays and exhibits. Home to more than 200 stories, artifacts and golf memorabilia, the Hall offers an inside look at the history and development of the game. Moreover, with free admission on Wednesdays and many discount packages available, it’s easy to experience all that this 32-acre site has to offer on a small budget. So, if you’re ever in St. Augustine, don’t forget to stop by for a visit — as you may just find yourself revisiting some of your favorite moments from past golden eras at the World Golf Hall of Fame!

st augustine ximenez fatio houseXimenez-Fatio House Museum

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly St. Augustine vacation, the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is an ideal stop on your itinerary! Built in 1798, this two-story Spanish Colonial townhouse sits among some of the city’s oldest and most iconic attractions. After exploring the period rooms, furnished with artifacts and antiques from the early 1800s, take a stroll through the lush historic gardens and courtyards. Not only will you get to enjoy a step back in time to St. Augustine’s earliest days but you will also do it affordably — making it the perfect budget-friendly St. Augustine vacation.

st augustine oldest wooden school houseThe Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse

Budget-friendly getaways don’t have to be boring! Taking a trip to St. Augustine, Florida, provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in rich history. The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the country can be found here — built in 1716 as part of a Spanish mission, it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1970 and underwent a thorough restoration in 1997. Now open for public viewing, this schoolhouse not only showcases some of the oldest building techniques used in North America but also serves as an important reminder of the past — lighting up our imaginations while helping us understand and appreciate the original character of St. Augustine.

flags hanging at colonial quarter st augustineColonial Quarter

Experience St. Augustine on a small budget by visiting the Colonial Quarter. Located in the historic city center, this living history museum allows visitors to return to colonial times with everyday reenactments and interactive displays. Immerse yourself in the culture and learn firsthand why St. Augustine is an ideal representation of Spanish-American culture. As you explore the neighborhoods representing different eras — from 1565 to present day — take a ride through animal-drawn carriages or discover weapons used during the sieges of Fort Mose. At night, make sure to check out live performances that paint a portrait of life during the colonial period. Add the Colonial Quarter to your list of must-see destinations for an educational and entertaining experience on a small budget!

st augustine lighthouseSt. Augustine Lighthouse

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is an iconic symbol of the city of St. Augustine and its long history, but if you’re on a tight budget, it may seem impossible to explore. With a little creative thinking, though, you can soak up all that the lighthouse has to offer without breaking the bank! One great way is by attending one of their free events, such as the monthly Full Moon Climbs, where visitors get the rare opportunity to climb up the lighthouse and witness an awe-inspiring view of the moonlit coast with no admission fee. Or, opt for a guided tour, which is more affordable than you may expect. Tickets include exclusive access to as many as five museum exhibit areas! So, when you plan your trip to St. Augustine on a budget, don’t forget about visiting the lighthouse — there are plenty of ways for everyone in your party to experience its historic charm!

Affordable Places to Stay in St. Augustine

Affordable Places To Stay In St. AugustineWhen visiting St. Augustine, Florida, there are many affordable places to stay. Whether you are looking for a hotel, vacation rental, or bed and breakfast, there are plenty of options that won’t break the bank. From budget hotels to budget inns, there’s something for every traveler — no matter what budget they have in mind!

These are our top picks for affordable places to stay in St. Augustine:

  • Southern Oaks Inn
  • The Ponce St. Augustine Hotel
  • Hampton Inn St. Augustine Beach
  • The Flagler Inn
  • La Fiesta Ocean Inn & Suites
  • Budget Inn St. Augustine
  • Americas Best Value Inn Ocean Inn
  • Bayfront Inn
  • Villa 1565 Hotel
  • The Cozy Inn
  • Bayfront Marin House

Best Cheap Eats in St. Augustine

Best cheap Eats in St. AugustineWhen you’re on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is spending a lot of money on food. But, eating out every meal can add up quickly. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best cheap eats in St. Augustine, so you can enjoy the city without breaking the bank. From breakfast joints to lunch spots, we’ve got you covered. So, whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, be sure to check out our list of the best cheap eats in St. Augustine. Bon appétit!

  • The Hyppo
  • The Kookaburra
  • Back 40 Urban Cafe
  • Crave
  • Drake’s Deli
  • Burrito Works Taco Shop
  • Carmelo’s Marketplace
  • Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar
  • Cone Heads Ice Cream
  • The Spanish Bakery & Cafe
  • Mary’s Harborview Cafe
  • Osprey Tacos
  • A1A Burrito Works Taco Shop
  • Kernel Poppers
  • Borrillo’s Pizzeria and Beer & Wine Garden


What can you do in St. Augustine for free?

There are a lot of things to do in St. Augustine, Florida that won’t cost you a dime: from exploring the Castillo de San Marcos to visiting the Fort Matanzas National Monument and from exploring the historic downtown area to soaking up the sun in one of the many beaches.

What’s the best accommodation for a budget-friendly stay in St. Augustine?

There are plenty of great accommodation choices in St. Augustine, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are our top picks for the best places to stay in St. Augustine on a budget:

  • Southern Oaks Inn
  • The Ponce St. Augustine Hotel
  • Hampton Inn St. Augustine Beach
  • The Flagler Inn
  • La Fiesta Ocean Inn & Suites

Are there cheap things to do in St. Augustine?

Yes, there are definitely some cheap things to do in St. Augustine! Whether you’re looking for something to do with the family or just want to explore on your own, there are plenty of options that won’t break the bank. Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • Historical churches
  • St. Augustine Lighthouse
  • Tolomato Cemetery
  • Colonial Quarter
  • Lightner Museum and Alcazar Hotel
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