Florida’s Family-Friendly Coast
St. Augustine is one of the most family-friendly vacation spots in the U.S. It’s a fantastic destination for toddlers, tweens, teens ... everyone.
The area offers a variety of family-friendly accommodations — including nearby Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, which was named by Florida Leisure magazine as the No. 1 Family Hotel in America. So if you’re looking for the best family-friendly vacation to please family members of all ages, you’ve come to the right place.
St. Augustine is full of historic attractions with interactive exhibits that keep little kids busy and active. The Pirate & Treasure Museum has a great scavenger hunt, interactive pirate book, cannon firing, knot-tying and an immersive, surround-sound pirate ship experience. At the Fountain of Youth, taste the water, feed a peacock, explore a Timucuan Indian village, and sift for artifacts in an archaeological dig. Or check out the view from the 35-foot watchtower, fire a musket in a Colonial military drill and feel the heat as the resident blacksmith works his metal at the Colonial Quarter. You’re family will also want to explore the world’s oddities at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum.
Activities for Teens, Tweens and Adults
Teens and tweens will enjoy the many water sports on Florida’s Historic Coast. Paddle the waterways in your choice of a kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP), or brave the waves with a surfing lesson. Feed the alligators at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park and while you’re there, challenge yourself with a zip line over crocodiles at Crocodile Crossing. You’ll be zipping above it all with crocodiles below your toes and all sorts of exotic birds at eye level. As long as you enjoy the thrill of soaring in the sky, try a thrilling ride over the ocean with St. Augustine Parasail. There’s no better way to see the landmarks and the skyline of the Nation’s Oldest City. Like hunting? The hunt for shark’s teeth is very popular with residents and visitors alike at Mickler’s Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach. Take the 3D movie experience to the extreme at the World Golf Village IMAX Theater. After dark, check out all of St. Augustine’s haunted spots on a ghost tour adventure. Adult members of the family will love getting the family active with a hike at Anastasia State Park or the Guana Tolomato Matanzas Research Reserve, where you’ll see plenty of Florida wildlife. And speaking of wildlife, you can’t get much more in tune with nature than by swimming with the dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure. St. Augustine Transfer Company offers everything from historic walking tours and pedicab tours to tasting tours, ghost tours and pirate boat tours for kids of all ages.
A Treat for Moms and Dads
The best family-friendly vacation destinations have plenty of activities and attractions for all ages — and St. Augustine doesn’t disappoint. Dads will want to schedule time on the links at one of the golf courses at World Golf Village. Then tour the World Golf Hall of Fame to see surprising artifacts from the hall’s members and golf’s biggest names. Moms will love to shop ’til they drop at St. Augustine’s two outlet malls or at any of the boutiques, vintage stores or antiques shops in St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach. For something completely different, hop onboard a floating oasis as you cruise along the Matanzas while listening to music. Bring your favorite food and drink and Cruisin' Tikis will take care of the spectacular views.
Dining is plentiful and varied in St. Augustine. There are plenty of casual options for families and restaurants that serve up fresh local produce and seafood. Chefs create dishes inspired by the area’s diverse culture — Spanish, French, British, Greek and even Minorcan — and menus satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Marina Munch is one of the newest waterside food truck parks located at the English Landing Marina. Enjoy some of the area’s best-loved food trucks which rotate on a weekly basis. If you’re headed to St. Augustine Beach, stop by the popular Village Garden Food Truck Park and enjoy everything from Hawaiian poke bowls to BBQ and Mexican fare, not to mention, a game or two of corn hole while you dine al fresco. There’s something for everyone at Witty Whisker Cat Cafe. Coffee lovers can enjoy a steaming cup o’ joe while the kids can have some light fare and enjoy the company of cuddly, friendly felines just being cats while they await adoption in the nearby lounge.