Welcome to St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city and the destination to break those mindsets.
While there is always more work to be done, Florida’s Historic Coast has made inclusion a priority. St. Augustine is broadly accessible and efforts have even brought access to the area’s beaches a long way. The family is also a clear priority throughout St. Augustine, with loads of kid-focused tours and activities. We spent four days on Florida’s Historic Coast, but didn’t get to do all that we wanted and are already planning our return. The following is an ideal weekend itinerary for families with wheels. If you can, make it a long weekend - it’s worth it!
Day 1: Overview
Breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company will give you the energy for a day of St. Augustine. Right out of the oven biscuits, accompanied by house made jams and jellies, and farm fresh eggs and great coffee.
After breakfast, head straight to Castillo de San Marcos. The nation’s first fort is not only an impressive feat of Spanish architecture, but also a good introduction to the multicultural history of St. Augustine. The admission lines get long as the day goes on, so get here early. They open at nine, but people will begin lining up before that. Parking and admission are free with your National Parks disability ACCESS Pass. Spend the rest of your morning exploring the old fort and taking in the waterfront views. When you’re done, walk across the bridge and grab a delicious lunch at Gas Full Service Restaurant.
After lunch, hop on the Old Town Trolley tour for an overview of the city. The closest accessible stop from lunch is at Plaza de la Constitucion. If you are parked downtown, you can hop on at Potter’s Wax Museum and complete the loop from there. If not, you can also start at the beginning, at the Old Jail. It is recommended you use this tour as your opportunity to take in the city and decide which parts you’re most interested in. If something catches your eye, you can hop off and hop back on later, just keep in mind that there is only one wheelchair row on a trolley, and it may take a little longer to get a ride back (always let the trolley stop attendant know if you need the wheelchair ramp). Not all stops are wheelchair accessible, but they are close enough together that you can typically head over to the next stop for pick-up. Make sure you ask for the list of accessible stops when you board, so you do not end up waiting at a stop where they can’t pick you up!
Another perk of doing this tour early on is they offer discounted admission to many of the attractions in town.
Be sure to visit Potter’s Wax Museum (naturally, the nation’s oldest wax museum), this would be a great place to check out before dinner! The figures are impressive, and you can learn all about how they’re made. Pop your head in the front door to let them know you need the accessible entrance, and they’ll let you in around back, near the trolley stop.
If your kids are like mine, by this time in the day you have just enough energy left for an ice cream. Kilwin’s is just a block away from the wax museum. The accessible entrance is around back, in a shared courtyard with cute shops, charming decor, and outdoor seating.
Because ice cream probably isn’t enough for dinner, you can mosey down the street for dinner at Meehan’s Irish Pub and Seafood House that overlooks the beautiful bayfront.