GEOCACHING: Find Hidden History and Fun
Treasure hunting. In the Nation’s oldest city. Sound exciting? Well, it happens daily (and nightly) for geocaching enthusiasts visiting Florida’s Historic Coast.
What Is Geocaching?
Geocaching is one of the world’s fastest growing activities.
Basically, it involves the use of a cell phone or GPS to track down hidden “caches” tucked away in a wide range of locations. Each cache is identified by name and GPS coordinates.
Finding them reveals a variety of items along with a logbook where those who find the hidden treasure can record their discovery. The information, along with hints about finding the cache and its surroundings, can easily be shared online with other enthusiasts worldwide.
The most popular geocaching app lists 148 hidden caches in St. Augustine.
Geocaching in St. Augustine
Their general locations pop up on the app’s map and it’s simple to then get details on each cache - and how best to find it. Plus, there are special geocaching “events,” such as the 200th Anniversary Geocaching Tour set up by St. Johns County Parks and Recreation in 2021 to commemorate the transfer of Florida from Spain to the United States.
Although there are far too many St. Augustine geocaches to list, a little research will find something for everyone to enjoy. For example, here are some suggestions (for details on these and many more, go to geocaching.com and search “St. Augustine, FL”):
Really into History?
Locate the following:
- “Hot Shots"
- “TR at the Fountain of Youth”
- “Cathedral Basilica”
Kid-friendly Geocaching in St. Augustine
Locate the following:
- Downtown, seek out “Dr. Westcott I Presume”
- Over on Anastasia Island, young cachers will be excited to locate “This Cache Is For the Birds” and “Nature Sings on Butterfly Wings”.
- Also on the island and fun for the entire family is “Coquina!”
African-American history is everywhere in St. Augustine and one of the best way to explore it is by locating educational geocaches, most located in picturesque settings. Check out the “ORGT-FT. Mose” geocache and learn about the nation’s first community for free people of color.
You can even make your own music at the “Let Freedom Ring” cache (and don’t miss the nearby “Freedom in New Directions” cache). There’s also a “Lincolnville History” geocache tour and a touching geocache dedicated to “Mr. and Mrs. Twine.”
Want some beachfront African-American history? Use your geocaching skills to locate “Let’s Be Civil and Just.”
Looking for fun stuff?
Let’s say it’s nighttime and you’ve visited a fine St. Augustine restaurant, a couple of bars and you and your friends are feeling just a little….silly. For added giggles, pull out your phone, log into you geocache app and go “See da Cache.”
Something quick and easy?
Try this stay-in-the-car drive-by in downtown St. Augustine - “Wow That’s a Big____ “ cache (also perfect for a rainy day). And if you want to see something even locals don’t seem to know much about, check out “What Is That?”
Want to Add Some Waymarking?
Many people who participate in geocaching also have an interest in “waymarking” which involves using GPS to find waymarkers authorized by the National Geodetic Survey. There are nearly one million markers worldwide designating specific points where interesting or important events occurred – including more than 100 in downtown St. Augustine.
The Survey also has established a single marker for each of the 50 states. Where is Florida’s marker? Of course, it’s right here in St. Augustine. Check it out at N 29° 53.892 W 081° 18.886
Other Self-Guided Tours in St. Augustine
Would you like more creative ideas about what to see in St. Augustine and how to see it? Check out this blog that's jam-packed with information. If you prefer information specifically on walking tours, click here.