45+ Free & Cheap Things to do in St Augustine FL

Ultimate Mom’s Guide to Moving to St Augustine

Are you considering a new home in the Sunshine State? I was born and raised in St Augustine, FL and love raising my family here. Let me guide you through the cobblestone streets of St. Augustine, where the past meets the present, creating a great place to call home. From the tranquil waters of the St. Johns River to the beautiful beaches of Anastasia Island, St. Augustine is not just the oldest city in the United States but also a perfect place to start fresh.

Why move to St Augustine?

St Johns County beckons with open arms, offering sunny days and a welcoming small-town vibe amidst its historic walking tours and water sports. The surrounding areas, including the serene Ponte Vedra Beach and the lush state parks, add to the allure, making it an ideal locale for your next move.

Housing in St. Augustine, with a median home price above the national average, promises a blend of old-world charm and modern amenities. With St. Augustine’s relatively low unemployment rate and a median income that keeps the cost of living within reach, your transition to this ancient city promises to be as smooth as the breeze off the Atlantic Ocean.

The public schools here are some of the best, reflecting St. Johns County’s school districts commitment to excellence. And when it’s time to relax, enjoy live music at one of the many festivals, or enjoy the beautiful St Augustine Beaches. 

I regularly see moms in neighborhood Facebook groups asking the same questions about moving to St Augustine. I’ve written this guide to help answer some of those FAQs and provide insight from a mom’s perspective. One of the biggest questions is what neighborhood to live in, so I am sharing all about the different neighborhoods in st. johns county along with what to do, where to eat and which areas to check out!

Fun Facts About St. Augustine, FL

  • St. Augustine, known as the Oldest City, was founded in September 1565 by the Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles, making it the earliest city in the nation with European origins.
  • The climate in St. Augustine is mostly sunny and warm. The period from May to September brings heat and moisture, while the span from June to November marks the time for hurricanes. The winter season, from December to February, offers warmth with less humidity.
  • As a significant part of ‘The Historic Coast,’ Saint Augustine’s rich past attracts numerous visitors and educational tours from various places, all coming to experience this stunning location.

Areas & Neighborhoods of St Augustine

“Downtown” or the historic district of St. Augustine is ideal for walking or cycling and is dotted with many notable landmarks. The heart of St. Augustine, along with the Uptown San Marco region, features an array of unique shops, a variety of tasty eateries, museums, entertainment options, and stunning views of the waterfront. While Downtown St Augustine is a favorite among visitors, it’s always lively with festivals, special events, and the renowned Nights of Lights holiday display. This area definitely captures a small town feel. 

ACTIVITIES IN DOWNTOWN ST. AUGUSTINE

  • Visit Castillo de San Marcos
  • Admire the Bridge of Lions
  • Discover the Lightner Museum
  • Explore Flagler College
  • Enjoy a Trolley or Ghost Tour
  • Support local retailers in Uptown San Marco
  • Wander along St George Street
  • Sip water from the renowned Fountain of Youth
  • Ride Horse-Drawn Carriages around the Historic City
  • Experience the Pirate Museum, Colonial Quarter, and Ripley’s Museum

DINING OPTIONS IN DOWNTOWN ST. AUGUSTINE

  • The Hyppo
  • Schooner’s Seafood
  • Barley Republic
  • Crave Food Truck
  • Ice Plant Bar
  • Blue Hen
  • Preserved
  • A1A Aleworks
  • Columbia Restaurant
  • Raintree Restaurant
  • Catch 27
  • Kookaburra (coffee)
  • Cousteau Waffles
  • Carmelo’s Pizza

World Golf Village

World Golf Village has seen significant development over time, positioning itself as a pivotal locale bridging Jacksonville and St. Augustine. It’s renowned for the World Golf Village complex, home to a golf museum and the largest IMAX 3D screen in the Southeast, although these attractions are transitioning to North Carolina.

The region is also experiencing rapid expansion and is home to the main Costco and Bucee’s, both of which attract a lot of visitors. World Golf Village is particularly attractive to those who commute to Jacksonville for work but prefer living nearer to St. Augustine. Prominent communities in this vicinity include Murabella, Samara Lakes, Heritage Landing, TrailMark, and Palencia, which is situated east of US 1.

ACTIVITIES IN WORLD GOLF VILLAGE

  • Experience the St Augustine Aquarium’s Zip-line
  • Enjoy Mini Golf, Go Karts, and Arcade games at Adventure Landing St Augustine
  • Discover the World Golf Hall of Fame
  • Catch a film at the IMAX theater
  • Indulge in retail therapy at the St Augustine Outlets

DINING OPTIONS IN WORLD GOLF VILLAGE

  • Savor a meal at Murray Bro. Caddyshack
  • Enjoy the flavors at Champions Grille
  • Treat yourself to St Marys Seafood & More
  • Relish the cuisine at Cinco de Mayo
  • Dine at 2 Creeks Bar & Grill
  • Grab a bite at The Spot Cafe
  • Stop by the Bagel Joint on US1 in Palencia

Nocatee & Ponte Vedra

The northeastern part of the county is home to Nocatee and Ponte Vedra, making it a perfect spot for families considering a move to St. Augustine. Nocatee presents a suburban lifestyle enriched with numerous amenities, including two resident water parks and a calendar full of community events. Nocatee has been voted one of the best places to live in the nation and the community is indeed impressive.

Ponte Vedra, nestled along the shore, serves as a scenic coastal gateway between Jacksonville and St. Augustine, offering its inhabitants a luxurious beachside way of life. It’s famously recognized for hosting THE PLAYERS Championship at Sawgrass every spring.

ACTIVITIES IN PONTE VEDRA & NOCATEE

  • Visit Mickler’s Landing at Ponte Vedra Beach
  • Golf at THE PLAYERS Championship course
  • Wander through Nocatee Parks and Trails
  • See Castle Ottis on Vilano Beach
  • Browse the Nocatee Farmer’s Market

DINING OPTIONS IN PONTE VEDRA & NOCATEE

  • Enjoy a meal at Cap’s on the Water
  • Dine at The Reef
  • Savor seafood at Timoti’s Seafood Shak
  • Visit Palm Valley Fish Camp
  • Experience Pusser’s Bar & Grille Ponte Vedra Beach Restaurant
  • Eat at Trasca & Co Eatery

St Augustine Beach / Anastasia Island

If you’re considering a move to St. Augustine and have a fondness for seaside living, this region might be your ideal spot. Anastasia Island, a barrier island along St. Augustine’s coastline, offers easy access to the mainland via three primary bridges: the iconic Bridge of Lions downtown, as well as the 312 and 206 bridges near Crescent Beach.

The area (also know as “the island”) around St. Augustine Beach boasts extensive stretches of untouched beaches and numerous neighborhoods embodying the coastal way of life. You’ll find public access to the beach, a variety of great places to eat, shopping opportunities, and a pier featuring a playground and a splash park for the little ones.

ACTIVITIES IN ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH

  • Browse the St. Augustine Farmer’s Market
  • Ascend the St Augustine Lighthouse
  • Visit Anastasia State Park
  • Discover the St. Augustine Alligator Farm
  • Enjoy live music and events at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre
  • Have fun at the St. Augustine Beach Pier & Splash Park

DINING OPTIONS IN ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH

  • Dine at Gypsy Cab Co
  • Relax at Sunset Grille
  • Grab a bite at Cafe Eleven
  • Savor the flavors at Harvest & Reel
  • Experience the World Famous Oasis

​Southern St Augustine

The southern part of St. Augustine boasts the expansive and original neighborhood of St. Augustine Shores, known for its blend of new developments and classic Florida homes. This district is conveniently located near shopping centers and is just a brief journey away from Crescent Beach.

St. Augustine South offers a charming cluster of older residences without HOA restrictions, making it common for residents to park boats or RVs at their homes. Family-friendly communities in this vicinity, such as Treaty Oaks and Entrada, are also worth considering. For those relocating to St. Augustine in search of an affordable and welcoming area for families, the southern region is definitely worth exploring for potential homes.

ACTIVITIES IN SOUTHERN ST. AUGUSTINE

  • Visit Butler Beach for a day in the sun and surf
  • Take a boat ride to Fort Matanzas
  • Wander through Washington Oaks
  • Watch dolphins at Marineland
  • Have fun at Treaty Park, featuring a skate park and nature trails

DINING OPTIONS IN SOUTHERN ST. AUGUSTINE

  • Enjoy a meal at Southbeach Grill
  • Taste the flavors at Smokin’ D’s BBQ
  • Dine at Salt Water Cowboys
  • Try the dishes at Ned’s Southside Kitchen
  • Grab a sandwich at Old City Subs

Southwest St Augustine (Elkton & Hastings Area)

In the southwestern part of St. Johns County, Elkton and Hastings offer some of the most budget-friendly options for those looking to maximize their investment. Known for their agricultural richness, Elkton and Hastings cater to families desiring a more relaxed pace of life.

ACTIVITIES IN SOUTHWEST ST. JOHNS COUNTY

  • Explore the St. Augustine Rail Trail by bike
  • Kayak along Deep Creek
  • Attend local festivals at the St. Johns County Fairgrounds
  • Visit Ravine Gardens in Palatka
  • Purchase local produce from area vendors

DINING OPTIONS IN SOUTHWEST ST. JOHNS COUNTY

  • Enjoy a meal at Jim’s Place
  • Treat yourself at Annie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor
  • Stop by Hastings Cafe for a bite
  • Eat at Snowy Mountain Cafe

Saint Johns 

Considering a move to St. Augustine? Don’t miss exploring this rapidly expanding part of St. Johns County. Home to numerous family-oriented communities, the “St. Johns” area, especially around Bartram and the 210 corridor, is an excellent choice for families making the move. The recent addition of a new interstate extension has simplified the commute to Jacksonville (Duval County) for work, enhancing the area’s convenience.

ACTIVITIES IN ST JOHNS

  • Explore the trails of Gourd Island
  • Enjoy fishing at Durbin Crossing Fish Pond
  • Experience convenient shopping trips to St Johns Town Center or Avenues Mall

DINING IN ST JOHNS

  • Savor Italian dishes at Benito’s Italian Cafe
  • Enjoy the flavors of Beijing Cafe
  • Relax at Taps Bar & Grill
  • Discover Cafe Genovese
  • Indulge in a bite at Bite a Bagel

Julington Creek & Fruit Cove

Nestled along the St Johns River, on St. Johns County’s northwest side are the Julington Creek and Fruit Cove regions. Julington Creek is renowned for its beautiful communities and array of amenities suitable for families.

In Fruit Cove, many neighborhoods boast easy access to the St. Johns River, offering residents a lifestyle rich in nature and outdoor activities. Its proximity to Jacksonville’s Mandarin area makes it an ideal spot for families considering a move to St. Augustine.

ACTIVITIES IN JULINGTON CREEK

  • Spend time at Veterans Park
  • Get creative at Board and Brush
  • Wander through the paths at Alpine Groves Park
  • Delve into nature at the Julington Durbin Creek Nature Preserve
  • Enjoy a Family Fun Night at Bravoz Entertainment Center

DINING IN JULINGTON CREEK

  • Dine at Julington Creek Fish Camp
  • Try the offerings at Blackstone Grille
  • Sample the fare at Moon Dog Pie House
  • Visit Maple Street Biscuit Company in Julington Creek
  • Relish the flavors at Saucy Taco
  • Unwind at Iggy’s Grill and Bar

​Moving to St Augustine

In addition to the diverse communities within and surrounding St. Augustine, it’s essential to have some foundational details sorted before your move to St. Augustine. Don’t worry, this guide will help! This section provides information on ways to get plugged in, educational opportunities, utility setup, government resources, extracurricular activities for kids, and various clubs and programs.

Get Plugged In: Meet Other Moms in St Augustine

In our beautiful, historic city, where the charm of the past meets the warmth of our community, it’s essential to find your tribe—a group of fellow moms who understand the joys and challenges of motherhood. Whether you’re looking for playdate pals for your little ones, seeking advice on the best parks and activities, or simply need to share a mom moment with someone who gets it, Facebook groups dedicated to St. Augustine moms are a fantastic resource. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the most vibrant, supportive, and informative mom groups on Facebook, where you can connect, share, and find a little bit of sisterhood in our sunny corner of Florida. 

St Augustine Moms
The North Florida motherHOOD
St Augustine Moms Group
St Johns Moms/Women
The Real Housemoms of Nocatee

St Johns County Schools

St. Johns County Schools are renowned for their commitment to excellence in education, consistently ranking among the top in the state of Florida for their academic achievements. With a diverse array of programs catering to a wide range of interests and abilities, the district prides itself on providing a high-quality, comprehensive education that prepares students for future success.

From innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) initiatives to extensive arts and athletics programs, St. Johns County Schools offer a nurturing environment where students can thrive and discover their passions. The dedication of the teachers and staff, coupled with strong community support, ensures that students in St. Johns County have access to an enriching educational experience.

See a list of Public Schools here. Check out private school options here.

Utilities in St Augustine & St Johns County

Within the city limits of St Augustine, water service is provided by the city of St. Augustine. Visit the utility department at 50 Bridge Street downtown or visit their website to set up service. A deposit and activation fee are both required.

Power is serviced by Florida Power and Light (FPL) and a deposit is required to turn power on. For residences that have previously had power, it will take approximately 24 hours to turn on and for new residences it could take up to 3 days after inspection.

St. Augustine has two primary Internet and cable providers, AT&T U-Verse and Comcast Xfinity. Some services are not provided in every part of the county, so be sure to check which are offered in your area.

All new residents are required to obtain a Florida driver license within 30 days of becoming a resident. The driver examination station is located at the St. Johns County Tax Collector’s Office at 4030 Lewis Speedway. Call 209-2250 for information. There is a second location in Julington Creek at 725 Flora Branch Rd., St. Johns. Road tests at this location are only scheduled on Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment. Learn more about licenses here.

What You Need to Know About Resident Beach Access

Motor Vehicles are permitted to access several stretches of St. Johns County Beaches. From March 1 through September 30, vehicles are required to pay a vehicle access toll and obtain a beach pass. Daily and annual beach passes may be purchased at access ramps.

  • Traffic is regulated and the ten-mile per hour speed limit is strictly enforced.
  • Pedestrians are urged to stay alert and use caution.
  • Soft sand and high tides may prevent beach driving, or limit it to 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Vehicle access ramps are at: Vilano, Porpoise Point, A Street, Ocean Trace, Dondanville Rd, Matanzas Ave, Mary St., and Crescent Beach (Cubbedge Rd).

Access is dependent on beach conditions — weather, sand, or tides may cause ramps to temporarily close or limit access to 4 Wheel Drive vehicles. Daily driving conditions are posted to Facebook (follow SJC Beaches), and in the Reach the Beach Mobile App. For more information, call (904) 209-0341. Check out my Guide to the Best Beaches in St Augustine.

Annual Pass Fees Valid March 1 through September 30:

  • Sold at beach toll booths
  • County Resident – $50.00
  • Non-Resident – $100.00
  • Handicapped – $40.00
  • Disabled Vets – Free with identification

Daily Fees March 1 through September 30:

  • Sold at beach toll booths
  • County Resident – $10.00
  • Non-Resident – $10.00
  • Handicapped – $5.00
  • Active Military (with ID) – $5.00

Government & City Contacts

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Mail: P. O. Box 210 St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210
  • Visit: 75 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
  • For a full list of phone numbers, browse the city directory at staugustinegovernment.com.

Sports Programs & Local Clubs for Kids in St Augustine

St. Johns Middle School Athletic Association
i9 Sports {Flag Football, Soccer, Cheer}
Villages Athletic Association
Creeks Athletic Association {Baseball, softball, soccer, flag and tackle football, basketball, lacrosse}
The First Tee of St. Johns County
St. Augustine Little League
Julington Creek Baseball Association
Ponte Vedra Athletic Association {baseball, softball, soccer and football}
Villages Baseball Association
Ancient City Soccer Association
Police Athletic League
West Augustine Athletic Association
St. Augustine Saints Pop Warner
St. Johns County Parks & Recreation Department (Basketball)
Girl Scouts of America 
American Heritage Girls
Boy Scouts of America
Boys and Girls Club
First Coast YMCA 

Additional Helpful Resources for Moving to St Augustine

Moving to St. Augustine, with its blend of historical charm and family-friendly atmosphere, can be an exciting new chapter for you and your family. To help make your transition as smooth as possible, here are some additional resources tailored for moms:

STA Mom & St Johns Moms

Both are invaluable online resources where local moms share their experiences, tips on kid-friendly activities, and advice on navigating motherhood in St. Augustine.

Library Story Times & Classes

The St. Johns County Public Library System offers regular story times and children’s events, which can be a great way to introduce your little ones to the joy of reading and meet other families.

Community Centers and YMCA

These centers often offer a variety of activities for children and families, from swim lessons and sports leagues to family nights and summer camps. This is a great childcare option too since they offer 2 hour sessions for parents when working out.

Local Parks and Recreation

Get familiar with St. Augustine’s beautiful parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities, where your family can enjoy outdoor activities and you can connect with other moms. We love their hosted events, Parent’s Night Out and Crafty Tots class for toddlers.

School Tours and PTA Meeting

If your children are school-aged, arranging a tour of their new school and attending PTA meetings can be a great way to get involved and meet other parents.

Childcare and Babysitting Services

Research reputable childcare, preschools, and babysitting services in the area to find the best fit for your family’s needs. World Golf Village and Ancient City Gymnastics both host monthly Parents Night Out events. And the Babysitting for Saint Augustine group is a great resource for finding caretakers.

By tapping into these resources, you’ll find support, make connections, and quickly feel at home in the beautiful and historic city of St. Augustine. Welcome to your new community!

Author

  • Kayla Peloquin

    Kayla Peloquin is the creator and writer of Mommyofaprincess.com, a blog dedicated to making childhood magical with creative ideas, printables, and practical advice. As a busy mom of four girls, Kayla shares her love for party planning, Disney, and all things sparkly. Her blog offers inspiration and tips to help families celebrate everyday moments and special occasions with a touch of magic.

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