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Free & Budget-Friendly

Free and Inexpensive Fun on Florida’s Historic Coast

It would take several days to experience all the free attractions here. Plus, there’s a ton of fun to be enjoyed for just $10 or less per person. Here are the best free activities, attractions, and tours on Florida’s Historic Coast:

Free Attractions & Things To Do

St. George Street

St. George Street is the heart of St. Augustine, lined with quaint shops, cozy bistros, art galleries, and gift shops. This pedestrians-only street gives you a feel for what life was like when the Old City was first settled, but it’s only the beginning. Explore what’s off the main drag of St. George Street when visiting St. Augustine.

Beaches

More than 42 miles of white sandy shores line St. Augustine and its surrounding areas. A favorite is St. Augustine Beach, thanks to its laid-back feel, impressive fishing pier, and nearby beachside restaurants.

Fort Matanzas

Take the free ferry to Rattlesnake Island and explore Fort Matanzas, a fortified watchtower built by the Spanish in 1740 to guard the southern entrance to St. Augustine. Admission to the park at Fort Matanazas National Monument and the ferry ride are free.

Fort Mose Historic State Park

Fort Mose Historic State Park is the first free African settlement in North America. The original fort is no longer there, but the site and visitor center memorialize slaves who fled the American colonies. Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, park admission is free and museum admission is only $2.

Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum

As the residence of Florida’s Spanish and English colonial governors, the Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum has hosted many visitors, including two Kings of Spain. A lobby exhibit explains the rich history of St. Augustine –the oldest, continuously-occupied European settlement in the United States. This free attraction is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Church Tours

Tour the many impressive and historical churches throughout the area including Memorial Presbyterian Church, built by Henry Flagler as a memorial to his daughter, Mission Nombre de Dios, and St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica. Check church schedules for tour days and times.

St. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine

This shrine honors the 1768 arrival of the first Greek settlers in America. Admission to the shrine is free and includes tours of the museum and the beautiful chapel filled with Byzantine-style icons and frescoes. Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday and noon – 6 p.m. Sunday.

Mission Nombre de Dios Museum

Mission Nombre de Dios Museum is located on the mission grounds and tells the story of the early days of Catholicism in what would become the United States. Admission is free. Nearby, the Great Cross (the tallest free-standing cross in the Western Hemisphere) marks both the landing point of the Spanish colonists in 1565 and the site of the first Catholic mass in the United States. The impressive La Leche Chapel is a short walk away. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday and Sunday noon – 4 p.m.

Project SWING Playground

Project SWING Playground features wooden towers, a lighthouse, space shuttle, and picnic area. The park is open daily until 7 p.m. and conveniently located behind the Historic Downtown Parking facility.

Splash Park

The Splash Park at the County Ocean Pier offers a delightful diversion for small children to stay cool and active! The park is open daily until dusk and occasionally closes on cooler days when the temperature dips below 70 degrees. Be sure to check out the St. Johns County Ocean Pier nearby, admission is $4 per person. Splash Park and beach access are free.

San Sebastian Winery

San Sebastian Winery offers free tours and daily tastings of their superb wines. Open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday - Saturday and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday.

The St. Augustine Distillery

The St. Augustine Distillery offers free tours and daily tastings of their award-winning vodka, gin, rum, and whiskey. Open daily from 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Coquina Quarry

Many of St. Augustine’s oldest structures are built with coquina blocks. Visit the namesake quarry for this special building material and explore Coquina Quarry on a self-guided tour.

The Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass

The TPC Clubhouse is the Mediterranean-style centerpiece of TPC Sawgrass, providing PGA Tour-standard hospitality to members and visitors alike, with free daily tours available to the public.

GTM Research Reserve

One of the nation’s 29 special estuarine research areas, the GTM Research Reserve begins in the north at Ponte Vedra and continues south for 40 miles to Marineland. The reserve’s 74,000 acres include salt marshes and a maritime hammock perfect for exploring, hiking, or launching boats and kayaks. The impressive Visitor Center offers life-size replicas of key fish and wildlife living in the estuary. Admission is free. Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Free Events

Music by the Sea

This free weekly concert series at St. Johns County Ocean Pier Park features a variety of musical genres from 7 - 9 p.m. on Wednesdays May through September. Bring a beach chair or blanket and, starting at 6 p.m., dinner is offered to all concert-goers for $10 or less. Concert-goers are encouraged to carpool or ride the shuttle from St. Augustine Beach City Hall.

Concerts in the Plaza

From 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday nights from May through August, Concerts in the Plaza offer free live music under the oak trees in St. Augustine’s Plaza de la Constitución. Bring a chair or blanket for seating and check the event website for the entertainment schedule.

First Friday Art Walks

On the first Friday of each month from 5 to 9 p.m. The Art Galleries of St. Augustine feature new exhibits, refreshments, and live music at more than 20 locations. The event is held rain or shine inside member galleries and is a free, self-guided walking tour with maps available at participating galleries.

Militia Muster and Training at Fort Mose

On the first Saturday of each month from 9 to 11:30 a.m. visit Fort Mose to be transported back to the 18th century as members of the Fort Mose Militia practice firing drills and demonstrate how to use historic weapons. The park is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission to the park is free and admission to the Visitor Center is $2 per person.

Pet Walk Pup Crawl

On the second Saturday of the month, explore the timeless streets of St. Augustine with your pets during the Pet Walk Pup Crawl. This one-hour guided walking tour covers several square blocks of the downtown plaza area. All pets must be leashed and all city pet ordinances followed. The tour departs from the Tour Saint Augustine office and reservations are required.

Tolomato Cemetery Guided Tours

On the third Saturday of the month, Tolomato Cemetery Guided Tours will take you through the oldest extant planned cemetery in Florida, with burials from the First Spanish Period (1565-1763). Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.

Black Heritage & Civil Rights Walking Tour

On the third Saturday of the month, join a St. Augustine Black Heritage & Civil Rights Walking Tour to see historical sites in St. Augustine, where more than 400 years of African American history live. You will also visit Lincolnville, established by freedmen following the American Civil War and now on the National Register of Historic Places. This free 1.5-hour tour departs from Tour Saint Augustine and advanced reservations required; individual bookings only.

Uptown Saturday Night

On the last Saturday of the month from 5 - 8 p.m. Uptown Saturday Night attracts fashionistas, art lovers, and antique shoppers, combining a festive party atmosphere with special deals in the shops along St. Augustine’s San Marco Avenue. Many participating shops also serve refreshments. Mission Nombre de Dios provides free parking most months.

Historic Walking Tour

On the last Saturday of the month, get a personal view of the Old City’s narrow brick streets on a Historic Walking Tour. A licensed, professional guide will share more than 400 years of St. Augustine’s past during this 1.5-hour free history exploration. The tour departs from Tour Saint Augustine and advanced reservations are required.

Low Cost Things To Do ($10 or less per person)

Anastasia State Park

For some of the most spectacular views of nature, head for windswept Anastasia State Park and its nature trails, campsites, and pristine sandy beaches. Located 1.5 miles from downtown St. Augustine, the park is open daily 8 a.m. until sundown. Admission is $8 per vehicle (2-8 occupants) and $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists, and extra passengers.

Miniature Golf

Miniature golf is a popular pastime in St. Augustine and visitors can choose from three courses.

  • The newly-renovated Bayfront Mini Golf is located beside the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine’s downtown historic district. $6 adults; $4 children; and $1 for Red Train ticket holders.
  • Anastasia Miniature Golf features a pirate ship, tunnel, interconnected waterways and a koi pond. $9 adults; $8 children and seniors; second round $3.50.
  • Eight waterfalls and a 65-foot Spanish galleon are among the attractions at Fiesta Falls Miniature Golf. $10 adults; $8 children.

The Oldest Store Museum

The Oldest Store Museum contains more than 100,000 essential items and inventions from the early 1900s. Oldest Store admission is $10 adults; $6 children.

St. Augustine History Museum

The St. Augustine History Museum features unique artifacts that tell the story of the nation’s oldest city. The museum is $6 adults; $5 children.

The St. Augustine Aquarium

The St. Augustine Aquarium features an 80,000-gallon enclosure with shark and ray feedings every 30 minutes and educational presentations throughout the day. Touch horseshoe crabs, urchins, and starfish. Basic admission is $10 adults; $6 children.

Spanish Military Hospital Museum

Stroll down Aviles Street, the oldest street in the U.S, and stop at the Spanish Military Hospital Museum. Guided tours conducted by re-enactors feature a visit to the patients’ ward and a meeting with the Apothecary who creates medicines and explains how colonial herbs were the origin of some of the most popular medicines today. Tours conducted daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10.50 adults; $8.50 seniors; and $5.50 children.

Ximenez-Fatio House Museum

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum is a remarkably preserved Spanish home. Built in 1798, the large home served as a boarding house during the Florida Territorial Period (1821-1845). Guided tours provide fascinating information on everyday life during this period. Open Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 adults; $8 seniors, students, and military.

Villa Zorayda

Built in 1883, Villa Zorayda’s poured-concrete construction and Moorish architecture make it one of St. Augustine’s most distinctive buildings. A scaled-down model of a part of Spain’s legendary Alhambra Palace, the museum houses an impressive collection of Middle Eastern furnishings – including the world’s oldest carpet. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 adults; $9 seniors and military; $8 students age 13 and up; $5 children ages 7-12; under 6 free.

Gonzalez-Alvarez House

The oldest surviving Spanish residence in Florida offers guided tours every 30 minutes and tells the story of the area’s history through the eyes of past residents of the home. Tours include the house, two museums, exhibit gallery, and ornamental garden. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $8 adults; $7 seniors and military; $4 students; under 6 free.

The Oldest Wooden School House Museum and Garden

Built in the late 1700s as the home of Minorcan settler Juan Genopoly and thought to be the oldest surviving wooden schoolhouse in North America, visitors will get a glimpse of education during the 1800s. Open Sunday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is: $5 adults; $4 ages 6-12; and free for ages 5 and under.

Corazon Cinema and Café

See classic films and first-run movies at the historic Corazon Cinema and Café while enjoying a full menu of food, beer, and wine. Lots of special showings and events throughout the year. Open Wednesday through Sunday at 11 a.m. – movies and food late into the evening, Closed Monday and Tuesday. Movie tickets are $9; $7 for seniors and military; $6 for matinees.

Whetstone Chocolates Tasting Tour

Whetstone Chocolates Tasting Tour offers free samples and a behind-the-scenes look at the factory and how a variety of chocolate confections are crafted. Open daily with numerous tour times from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $8 adults (includes $2 Whetstone discount); $5.50 ages 5-17; free for 4 and younger.

You can save on many of the top activities and attractions with combination tickets available through St. Augustine’s Old Town Trolley Tours and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! St. Augustine. Advance online ticket sales will sometimes offer discounts as well.