Budget Friendly Travel
Families and Couples Alike Will Find There’s a Thrifty Way to Explore Florida’s Historic Coast
St. Augustine, Fla -- Florida’s Historic Coast offers accommodations, attractions and tours, dining options and entertainment to suit every taste and budget. It doesn’t have to take a fortune to experience the centuries-old city of St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra, and the area’s 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. Before diving in, check out our suggestions for a budget-friendly visit.
For the budget conscious traveler there’s fun to be had for free or for just $10 or less per person.
See for Free:
42 miles of unobstructed beaches
Daily tours and tastings at the San Sebastian Winery
Fort Matanzas, including the ferry boat
Tours of Historic Churches including the Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church, the Mission Nombre de Dios and the St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica
St. Augustine Distillery and Museum
Tour the Club House and visit the famous 17th island hole on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass
There’s also fun to be had for free or for just $10 or less per person.
Anastasia State Park
Bayfront Miniature Golf
Castillo de San Marcos
Fiesta Falls Miniature Golf
Flagler College Legacy Tour
Fort Mose State Park and Museum
GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve and Environmental Education Center
Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Oldest Wooden House Museum
Villa Zorayda Museum
Corazon Cinema & Cafe
World Golf IMAX Theater
Spanish Military History Museum
The Old Jail
St. Augustine History Museum
Oldest Store Museum
Savvy shoppers can purchase combination tickets for discounts to attractions and tours through St. Augustine’s Old Town Trolley Tours and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! St. Augustine. Many attractions and tours offer discounts on tickets if purchased online in advance.
Here are more details about a few of the tours and attractions on the lists above.
Meet 18th century re-enactors at the Castillo de San Marcos. Park Rangers and re-enactors share stories about what it was like to serve in the Spanish colonial military. Demonstrations of cannon firings take place Thursdays through Saturdays.
Just south of St. Augustine, take a free ferry ride to Fort Matanzas National Monument and tour the almost 300-year-old outpost. See the fort’s sleeping quarters, gun deck and observation deck, and explore the uninhabited barrier island it rests on. Admission is free.
Admire the divine side of St. Augustine with visits to historic churches including the Memorial Presbyterian Church (where famous Floridian Henry Flagler is entombed), the Mission Nombre de Dios and the St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica.
Welcome to the Gilded Age and keep your camera ready for the Flagler College Legacy Tour, a stroll through Flagler’s opulent former resort (now a college). Then cross the street to view an extensive collection of antiquities in the Lightner Museum. Stop next door to see the Villa Zorayda built in 1883 as a replica of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.
Venture off the beaten path down historic brick lined streets and see eye-opening exhibits at the Spanish Military Hospital Museum. Watch as an Apothecary creates medicines and discover how colonial herbs were the origins of some of the most popular medicines today. Or get a historical perspective at the Oldest House Museum. Owned and operated by the St. Augustine Historical Society, take a guided tour of Florida's Oldest House, a museum, a changing exhibit gallery, an ornamental garden, and a museum store.
For some of the most spectacular views of nature, head for the windswept Anastasia State Park with nature trails, campsites and pristine sandy beaches. The GTM Research Reserve beginning in Ponte Vedra to the north and continuing to Marineland to the south, is and estuary with extensive salt marshes and a maritime hammock perfect for exploring, launching boats and kayaks. The St. Johns County Pier Park offers amazing views of the beach and the Atlantic Ocean and you might see an angler make a catch right before your eyes.
Continue exploring nature at the Marineland Dolphin Adventure. Enjoy these amazing animals through hands on interactions and learn about dolphin anatomy, behavior and the challenges they face in the wild.
You’ll find several attractions in one place at the Old Town Trolley complex. The Old Jail was built by Henry Flagler in 1891 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It was operational for more than 60 years and housed 72 prisoners at a time.
The Oldest Store Museum storytellers make this tour with more than 100,000 essential items and inventions from the turn-of-the-century come to life!
Whether or not you were a stellar student, you’ll enjoy a visit to the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse Historic Museum and Gardens. Compare your school days to those in the 1700s. This original building is more than 200 years old and made of red cedar and cypress.
Enjoy a viewing classic films and broadcasts at the historic Corazon Cinema and Café while enjoying a full menu of eats.
Enjoy free samples at the San Sebastian Winery located in the historic East Coast Railway building, The winery as one of Florida's premium wineries, and remains a pioneer in the development of table, sparkling and dessert wines from hybrid and muscadine grapes.
Tour the St. Augustine Distillery housed in a historic, 1920s, ice-manufacturing plant. Known for producing the country's best farm-to-bottle spirits, sample whisky, gin, vodka, rum and bourbon.
Immerse yourself in the most entertaining and educational documentaries as well as Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters at the World Golf IMAX. North Florida’s largest screen (70 feet wide and five stories high), the World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theater is the most unique movie-going experience
The Mediterranean-style Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass is a majestic centerpiece for the club, providing PGA Tour standard hospitality to members and visitors alike. Free daily tours are open to visitors.
Affordable Vacation Stays
Lodging offers in the old city and at area seaside resorts offer great deals to guarantee your family vacation is memorable. Here are just a few of the great deals to be found:
Get great mid-week rates at the Pirate Haus Inn. This European–style lodging in the heart of St. Augustine’s Historic caters to families and couples in the private rooms, which have queen beds and one or two sets of bunk beds. Rates from $90/nt include an all-you-can-eat pirate pancake breakfast, private room parking, and WiFi.
Enjoy a beachy-keen getaway at the Magic Beach Motel on Vilano Beach. Mid-week deals start at $119 a night at this eclectic seaside motel located just steps away from Vilano Beach.
Enjoy watching the waves from your private oceanfront balcony, soak up some sun, surf, swim, and then visit a nearby restaurant for cold drinks and great food. The Beach House offers an ideal location overlooking Vilano Beach, yet just minutes from historic downtown St. Augustine. Spacious, pet friendly guestrooms offer comfortable king beds and queen sofa-sleepers, kitchenettes, and complimentary continental breakfast daily. Mid-week rates starting at $229 a night.
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is a spectacular getaway for families. The resort’s One Suit Vacation Package provides a family suite at the Resort’s Villas and access to all resort amenities, including the Cabana Beach Club. Here you will discover a casual family atmosphere where kayaks, boogie boards, surf lessons, and sail craft are available. Restaurants, lounges, public areas and meeting space have recently received the redo treatment. Renovations include a pool resurfacing, lighting, built-in fire pits for s’mores at the main resort; and the addition of The American Gator Club restaurant offering enhanced views of the 13th hole of the TPC® Sawgrass’ legendary golf course - The Stadium Course.
For a complete list of family getaway offers visit www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com/family.
Located midway between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, Florida's Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra, and 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. For more information on events, activities, holiday getaway and vacation opportunities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at www.FloridasHistoricCoast.com, become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/OfficialStAugustine) or call 1.800.653.2489.