Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- 1. Zip Line at the Alligator Farm
- 2. Climb the St. Augustine Lighthouse
- 3 . Discover Haunts on a St. Augustine Ghost Tour
- 4. Check Out a Fort
- 5. Visit the Pirate Museum
- 6. Dine in St. Augustine’s Historic District
- 7. See the Sights on the Old Town Trolley Tour
- 8. Soak Up St. Augustine’s History
- 9. Enjoy Some Beach Time
- Where to Stay
Known as America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Florida, has an unparalleled history and all the museums, historic buildings and points of interest to go along with it! But there’s so much more to this town than educational spots. You’ll find plenty of unique, fun and downright thrilling things to do in St. Augustine to entertain even the most hard-to-please members of your family – teens and tweens.
Teens and tweens are a picky bunch. How do you find the right balance between fun, education and a little R&R when visiting St. Augustine with teens?
There’s no need to worry! In St. Augustine, you really can have it all. Beaches, history, unique dining experiences, plenty of thrills and even some chills are all fun things to do in St. Augustine with teens.
On your family beach vacation to St. Augustine, check out these things to do with teens and ensure you never hear the words “I’m bored.”
1. Zip Line at the Alligator Farm
A visit to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is the must-do in St. Augustine with teens. See dozens of crocs and alligators, plus exotic birds, turtles, reptiles and monkeys, in a lush tropical setting.
There also are daily wildlife shows and alligator feedings.
But the real thrill here is the Crocodile Crossing Zip Line!
Teens will love this zip line, a high ropes course and zip line tour that goes right over the alligators and crocodiles! There are two different courses to choose from: a short route, the Sepik course, goes a maximum of 20 feet high and takes about 45 minutes. The second route, the Nile, is for the more adventurous! It goes a maximum of 60 feet high and takes about 90 minutes.
Both ziplining courses take you through the treetops and over exhibits, including the Land of Crocodiles. But don’t be too scared; everyone wears a harness and is connected to a safety line.
2. Climb the St. Augustine Lighthouse
Located at the oldest maritime port, the St. Augustine Lighthouse features a climb of 219 steps to the top for fantastic views of the beach and city.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum also features a lighthouse keeper’s house from 1876. It has been transformed into a great museum covering centuries of maritime history from in and around St. Augustine.
3 . Discover Haunts on a St. Augustine Ghost Tour
Explore the darker side of St. Augustine with a nighttime ghost tour. Several companies offer ghost tours, including the Ghosts & Gravestones Tour, which will take you on a trolley ride and into some of St. Augustine’s most notoriously haunted sites, including the Lighthouse, Old Jail and Wax Museum.
We did the Ghost Tours of St. Augustine tour, which is a walking tour of the downtown historic district. For older teens and the truly daring, try one of St. Augustine’s ghost tours where participants are given electromagnetic meters to detect the presence of ghosts.
SheBuysTravel Tip: One of our favorite things to do when taking a beach vacation is to hire a photographer for family photos. This is a special gift and souvenir that we cherish. We use Flytographer to book a local photographer located in the area that we're traveling to. Use this link and you will get $25 off your photo session.
SheBuysTravel Tip: A ghost tour is perfect for teens, but not recommended for young kids! This old town has some legit scary history and it’s even creepier in the dark.
4. Check Out a Fort
Castillo de San Marcos sits along the coastline of the Old City and is within walking distance of the downtown area.
Built by the Spanish in 1695 to protect their treasure fleets from the British and from pirates, this national monument is the oldest masonry fort in the country.
Teens and tweens will enjoy exploring the fort, checking out the cannons and learning about how the military lived and worked.
5. Visit the Pirate Museum
If there’s one museum I highly recommend for tweens especially, it is this one! The St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum has nearly 50 displays and exhibits detailing the fascinating – sometimes scary – history of pirates going back more than 300 years.
The museum contains authentic pirate artifacts, cannons, and even interactive experiences for kids, teens and adults of all ages to enjoy.
My son loved the interactive activities and exhibit featuring artifacts of the Red Sea Pirates.
Upon paying admission, museum staff will give you a treasure map. You can hunt for treasures hidden around the museum in spots marked with a skull and crossbones (as in X Marks the Spot!). This makes for a truly fun and interactive learning experience. At the end, kids who complete the activity get a prize.
SheBuysTravel Tip: This is a great place to visit on a rainy day. With mainly indoor exhibits, you can easily kill a few hours here while waiting for the sun to come out to enjoy other things to do in St. Augustine with teens.
6. Dine in St. Augustine’s Historic District
Enjoy a great meal at one of the many family-friendly St. Augustine restaurants in Old Town.
Located on St. George Street in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic district, Columbia Restaurant is a great choice for lunch or dinner. The Columbia chain of restaurants has been in business since 1905.
The atmosphere is upscale without being stuffy, and the restaurant’s decor is bright and unique – filled with old-world charm. The menu at Columbia Restaurant is a mix of traditional favorites teens will love, and Spanish tapas and entrees for more adventurous eaters. We tried the black bean cakes and scallops as an appetizer, which were tasty and perfect for sharing!
Their Original “1905” Salad – one of Columbia Restaurant’s signature dishes – is tossed tableside. Featuring lettuce, ham, Swiss cheese, tomato, olives, and their famous garlic dressing, this salad is delicious!
We also had lunch one day at the Taberna del Caballo, an authentic Spanish tavern just steps from the Pirate Museum and in the center of the Colonial Quarter. It was the perfect place to take a break midway through our visit and regroup to plan the rest of our day.
7. See the Sights on the Old Town Trolley Tour
From Downtown St. Augustine to the Fountain of Youth to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, there is a lot to see in America’s oldest city! How to make sure you don’t miss anything? Hop aboard the Old Town Trolley and hop off at various stops to check out all the cool things to do in St. Augustine.
Old Town Trolley’s Hop On Hop Off St. Augustine Tour is the perfect way to maximize your time and get around, all while learning about this historical destination. Narrated by the driver/tour guide, the trolley stops at 22 locations around the city of St. Augustine. You can easily explore St. Augustine attractions, museums, beaches, historic sites, shops and restaurants.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Stop #1 for the Old Town Trolley offers free parking – something you won’t find much of anywhere else in St. Augustine. This makes it the perfect place to start your day!
Stop #1 is also where you will find the St. Augustine History Museum, Oldest Store Museum and the Old Jail.
Admission to the St. Augustine History Museum is included with your Old Town Trolley’s Hop On Hop Off Tour. We enjoyed this museum very much! It showcases the area’s origins and was a great introduction to our St. Augustine vacation.
8. Soak Up St. Augustine’s History
Spend some time in the Colonial Quarter, a family-friendly area in the center of downtown St. Augustine. Here you can stroll along the city’s brick-lined streets, explore some neat shops and restaurants, and soak up the 500-year old heritage of Florida’s most historic city.
The Colonial Quarter is a living history museum. Costumed actors describe the meals they are cooking or show other day-to-day activities from that era in history. There is a watchtower you can climb to look over the water and the Castillo de San Marcos.
Another great spot to check out in Old Town is the oldest schoolhouse. Nothing will make your kids and teens appreciate going to school in this day and age more than a visit to the Oldest Wooden School House!
Located in the Colonial Quarter, this small museum depicts what life was like for teachers and students in the 1700s and 1800s. My favorite was the list of Rules for Teachers from 1872 including this gem: “Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.”
9. Enjoy Some Beach Time
Having time to play at the beach is a must when you’re visiting the Florida coast! St. Augustine consists of more than 40 miles of beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, where Spanish explorers first set foot hundreds of years ago. The beaches are free to enjoy and parking is easy to find, making beach time hassle-free.
Where to Stay
During our visit to St. Augustine, we stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites St. Augustine – Vilano Beach and it was a great hotel for us! The hotel is located right across the street from a beautiful beach, and yet just a short drive away from Old Town and all the great things to do in St. Augustine.
It was so nice being able to explore the city during the day and then return to our hotel to enjoy time at the beach before dinner. This is the ideal set-up if you are visiting St. Augustine with kids!
The hotel also features a nice pool and hot tub with an expansive deck and plenty of lounge chairs. Best of all, there’s a free breakfast every day! This is key if you are looking to save a little money on food during your vacation. And the way teens eat – this can really add up!
Looking for more ideas for visiting St. Augustine with teens? Don’t miss these free things to do in St. Augustine.