Adventures in St. Augustine

Adventure seekers will have plenty of stories to tell after a visit to St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach. Put these activities on your “must conquer” list.

October 3, 2013
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Adventure seekers will have plenty of stories to tell after a visit to Florida’s Historic Coast. Zip lining at an alligator farm, dolphin encounters, kayaking, birding, fishing and traveling through history are some of the activities that make St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach memorable.

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Zip Line Adventures and Wildlife

Get a bird’s-eye view (literally) of alligators, crocodiles, birds and lemurs as you zip line and cross obstacles from 20 feet high on the Crocodile Crossing zip line adventure at St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park. If you’re faint of heart or new to zip lining, stick to the shorter Sepik River Course. More daring folks will like the Nile River Course, a higher and more challenging trek with a tree-top surfboard, wobbly suspension bridges and a tightrope. Truly ambitious souls may want to do both. Reservations are required.

Enjoy an up-close and personal encounter with dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure. Founded as an underwater filming studio, Marineland now offers a variety of interactive and in-water programs. Experience first-hand a dolphin’s habitat in shallow water, take a swim and become one with your inner dolphin, or simply observe on dry land through the viewing windows.

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Kayaking, Birding and Adventures in Nature

Paddle along the many waterways of Florida’s Historic Coast by kayak, and relish some time communing with Florida’s unspoiled beauty. Ripple Effect EcoTours offers co-ed kayak outings along the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Natural Estuarine Research Reserve. St. Augustine EcoTours’ excursions launch from downtown St. Augustine and provide kayakers with history and nature lessons.

Birders can spot avian species at one of many nature preserves and coastal parks. Florida’s Historic Coast has several sites listed on the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail including the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Natural Estuarine Research Reserve, Fort Mose Historic State Park, Anastasia State Park and Faver-Dykes State Park for bird enthusiasts to spot any of the more than 500 species in Florida.

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Forays into Florida History

Lock, load and fire a 17th-century musket at The Colonial Quarter, a charming two-acre attraction in St. Augustine’s historic district that gives visitors an interactive journey through the 16th-century First City, the 17th-century Spanish Fortified Town, the 18th-century British colony and the 18th-century Spanish Garrison Town.

Take a sip from the legendary Fountain of Youth while you learn about explorer Ponce de Leon and how he claimed “La Florida” for Spain in 1513. The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park tells the story of St. Augustine’s birth and the Timucuan people who preceded the Spanish by a few thousand years.

If you have renewed vigor from the Fountain of Youth, climb 219 stairs to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum and take in the magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean. Sign up for a Behind the Scenes or a Private Lens Room tour to view shipwreck artifacts and the Fresnel lens that allows light to be seen from great distances.

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Charter Fishing Expeditions

Reel in the big one on a charter fishing trip. Sea Love Charters and Drum Man Charters offer full- and half-day fishing excursions and private trips. Rates include fishing license, bait and tackle.

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St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches