Saint Augustine: Best Hotels & Top Things to Do on a Weekend Getaway

by | Apr 19, 2024 | 0 comments

Saint Augustine, Florida is the perfect destination for history buffs, foodies, families and lovers alike. This historic, walkable town is ideal for a stress-free weekend getaway with zero hassle. In this guide, I include St. Augustine’s best hotels, top things to do and best restaurants, so you know exactly what you must-see on your trip to this historic Florida gem.

saint augustine best hotels

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Getting to St. Augustine, Florida

The closest airport in St. Augustine, Florida is Jacksonville International Airport (45-minute drive) or Orlando International Airport (2-hour drive) if you’re coming from out of state. For Florida residents, St. Augustine is totally worth the drive for a fun weekend trip, bachelorette or birthday celebration.

My husband and I did the 4-hour drive from Sarasota to celebrate my birthday and we were so impressed with how easy and stress-free a trip to St. Augustine is!

st. augustine florida pirate ship
Pirate ship in the marina next to the Bridge of Lions.

A Brief Saint Augustine History Lesson

St. Augustine, Florida is the nation’s oldest city. It started as a Spanish colony in 1565 and went on to see it all—pirate raids, colonial battles, and even a stint as a winter resort for the rich and famous.

The city’s cobblestone streets and Spanish architecture give it a charming, old-world vibe that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a spooky ghost tour. Plus, with beautiful beaches, nightlife and amazing food, St. Augustine is the kind of place that has fun for everyone!

RELATED POST: 3 Best Jupiter Florida Restaurants for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

st. george street st. augustine fl

Best Places to Stay in St. Augustine

The historic/downtown area of St. Augustine is pretty small, so if you stay anywhere in that vicinity, you’ll be walking distance to everything. Alternatively, you could stay in hotels in St. Augustine beachfront then Uber or drive downtown.

casa de suenos bed and breakfast

Best Saint Augustine Hotels in the Historic District & Downtown

Casa de Suenos Bed and Breakfast

Built in the early 1900s, this award-winning B&B in St Augustine, Florida is a historic gem right on the edge of the historic district.

With overwhelming five-star reviews that rave about the outstanding breakfasts, desserts and social hour, you can choose this modern-yet-traditional St. Augustine bed and breakfast with confidence. When you’re not being wined and dined by the gracious staff, Casa de Suenos’ prime location allows easy access to the best St. Augustine attractions, restaurants and bars.

  • Gourmet breakfast
  • Evening desserts & inn-baked cookies
  • Daily complimentary social hour with local wines
  • On-side parking
  • Beach towels and chairs
  • Complimentary admission to the St. Augustine Lighthouse
  • Unique packages for special occasions like babymoons, romance, girls getaway and haunted options

Book a room at Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast here.

bed and breakfast in st augustine florida

Old Powder House Inn Bed and Breakfast

This Saint Augustine bed and breakfast does it big with a three-course gourmet breakfast, cozy rooms with traditional decor and an amazing location right in old downtown St. Augustine. The building is 200-years old giving you historic allure within modern comfort.

  • Out-of-this-world breakfast
  • Special romance and elopement packages
  • Traditional decor
  • Parking
  • Pleasant patio seating areas

Book your room at Old Powder House Inn here.

st augustine bed and breakfast

Agustin Inn Bed & Breakfast

With countless five-star reviews and one of the most central locations in all of the historic district, Agustin Inn is one of the best places to stay in St. Augustine.

Built between 1899-1904, this St. Augustine inn has been fully remodeled without losing its historic charm. With a jacuzzi tub in almost every room, luxury bedding and modern decor, it’s an easy choice when you’re looking for a little slice of luxury in St. Augustine.

  • Adults only
  • Outstanding homemade breakfast
  • Daily happy hour
  • Jacuzzi tubs
  • Parking
  • 24-hour coffee station
  • Garden seating area
  • Central location means it can be noisy late into the night

Book your room at Agustin Inn here.

boutique hotel in st augustine historic district
lions and lanterns boutique hotel in st augustine

Lions And Lanterns

I’m convinced this is the cutest place to stay in St. Augustine! Lions And Lanterns is a historic home converted into a boutique hotel with four units. It’s been recently redone and you can tell they paid attention to the tiniest details when designing and decorating.

It’s tucked away in a quiet neighborhood right next to the historic district so you’re walking distance to everything!

  • Amazing hosts
  • Beautiful decor
  • In-unit kitchen
  • Cozy outdoor seating areas

Book a room at Lions And Lanterns here.

casa monica hotel in st augustine fl

Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida

Built in 1888, this Autograph Collection Hotel is located in the heart of historic St. Augustine. You’ll get an old Spanish Renaissance feel here with red velvet laden furnishings, top-notch service and convenience to everything St. Augustine has to offer, including Flagler College, St. George Street, Bridge of Lions and more.

  • Spa
  • On-site restaurant and Starbucks
  • Fitness center
  • Pool
  • Complimentary champagne on arrival
  • Stunning artwork throughout the hotel

Book a room at Casa Monica here.

Saint Augustine Florida Beachfront Hotels

st augustine hotel on the beach
Image via

Ocean Sands Beach Boutique Inn

Just north of downtown, this Saint Augustine hotel on the beach will give you the ultimate peaceful retreat by the sea. It sits directly across the street from a quiet stretch of sand and many of the rooms give you breathtaking ocean views from a balcony. With modern-coastal decor and newly-updated bathrooms, you’ll be 100% comfortable staying here.

In fact, you may love it so much you come back every year!

  • Amazing customer service
  • Delicious breakfast included
  • Heated salt water pool
  • Fresh-baked cookies every day
  • Board games and vending machines
  • Pet-friendly
  • Free Old Town Trolley pickup

Book a room at Ocean Sands Beach Boutique Inn here.

local motel st augustine motels

The Local Motel

This motel isn’t like other St. Augustine motels—it was voted the #1 motel in the US by USA Today! It’s not on the beach, but it’s in a great location that’s just a bike ride away.

The Local is completely redone with tropical vibes while keeping the retro motel feel intact. You’ll love how Instagrammable every single part of this motel is. From the tropical wallpaper to the poolside murals, you’re sure to get a solid aesthetic here. And at just a mile from historic downtown St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach, you’re perfectly positioned to make the most of your trip! It’s also right around the corner from the St Augustine Amphitheater.

  • Bike rentals
  • Free parking
  • Pool
  • Contactless check-in
  • Safe, refrigerator, microwave, cable TV

Book a room at The Local Motel here.

Cool Restaurants in St. Augustine Florida

roosevelt room restaurant st augustine
Bar area at Roosevelt Room.
chicken and waffles at roosevelt room st augustine florida
Roosevelt Room chicken and waffles special with berries and whipped cream.

Roosevelt Room (Breakfast)

Of all the St. Augustine St. George Street restaurants, the Roosevelt Room is one you cannot miss for brunch. My husband and I agreed that this was the best breakfast we’ve had in years! We split the sausage omelette and chicken & waffles special and damn was it worth the wait. Plus, they have tons of mimosa variations! Need I say more?

This spot gets really busy so plan to put your name in and wait awhile.

best bars in st augustine florida
ice plant bar st augustine

Ice Plant Bar (Lunch, Dinner or Brunch Sat/Sun)

Located in the original building of a 1927 retired ice plant, Ice Plant Bar is a must-visit restaurant while in St. Augustine. With craft cocktails and bites that taste as good as they look, this is an aesthetic spot to share with your Instagram following or simply enjoy in real time.

I had the Chaka Khan mocktail, which was delicious, but I can’t WAIT to go back and try their other cocktails when I’m not pregnant. I was seriously envious of all the drinks Ryan and other guests were trying!

fine dining restaurants in st augustine florida
Shaved Pear & Blue Cheese Salad with shrimp at Catch 27.

Catch 27 (Dinner)

If you’re looking at the fine dining restaurants in St. Augustine, FL, be sure to check out Catch 27. Serving up locally-caught seafood, this busy restaurant is the perfect spot for a nice dinner or special occasion. There’s indoor seating and a beautiful outdoor area with string lights.

I had the amazing Shaved Pear & Blue Cheese Salad with shrimp and Ryan loved his Mahi dinner as well.

meehans irish pub in st augustine

Meehan’s Irish Pub & Seafood House

If you love a good Irish pub, don’t miss Meehan’s off Avenida Menendez. There’s a full restaurant inside or outdoor bar area with live music. We just stopped by for beers and live music and I was delighted that they had the non-alcoholic Guinness. I’m happy to report it tastes exactly like the real thing!

Top Things to Do in St. Augustine, Florida

Castillo de San Marco St. Augustine

Castillo de San Marco St. Augustine

Castillo de San Marco is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Construction began way back in 1672 when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire. It’s been attacked several times and changed ownership five times! This fort was used for military purposes for 251 years until it was deactivated for good in 1923.

The fort is located right on the water of Matanzas Bay, making it a beautiful, scenic activity while you’re in St. Augustine. You can walk around the fort and and take in the views for free, or pay the $15 admission fee to go inside and learn more about the fort history.

If you’re visiting on a weekend, try to catch the cannon firing on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm!

historic lighthouse in st augustine

Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida

The historic lighthouse in St. Augustine Florida isn’t walking distance from downtown but it’s definitely worth a visit! Admission is $15 and you get access to the lighthouse, a small nature preserve, the lightkeeper’s house and a few WWII history exhibits.

Climbing the 219 stairs to the top of the lighthouse is a great way to start your day!

bridge of lions st augustine

Bridge of Lions

Built in 1927 this iconic draw bridge gets it’s name from the two marble lions stationed on either side. The four lions are named Fiel, Firme, Pax and Peli. Walking the Bridge of Lions fits in perfectly before or after you visit Castillo de San Marco because they are a short walk from each other.

pirate museum st augustine

Pirate & Treasure Museum

The St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum does not disappoint! For $15 per person, you can learn all about the most famous pirates and St. Augustine pirate history, AND see real pirate artifacts and treasure. It was so interesting learning about pirates’ code of ethics, the different pirate flags and how they lived overall.

Also, I strongly recommend watching Pirates of the Caribbean before your trip to get you excited. Ryan and I just happened to watch it the week before our visit and it’s amazing how relevant that movie is to real pirate history!

live music in historic st augustine

Live Music at the Colonial Oak Music Park

Stop by the Colonial Oak Music Park on St. George Street for drinks and live music. This community music park has a bar and plenty of picnic tables to relax at when you’re not dancing!

st augustine beach florida

Saint Augustine Beach, FL

Make the most of land and sea on your weekend trip to St. Augustine with a visit to Anastasia Beach, St. Augustine Beach or Crescent Beach on Anastasia Island. There are plenty of restaurants by the beach and rental companies for beach gear.

If you’re looking for surf, head to Matanzas Inlet on the south end of the island. This popular St. Augustine surf spot is friendly for all levels in most conditions!

st augustine church gardens
st augustine catholic church

Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church

This stunning St. Augustine church was constructed by Henry Flagler himself in 1889 as a memorial to his daughter, Jenny. You’ll likely spot its beautiful turquoise dome as you wander through St. Augustine and find it without issue. You can tour the inside at certain times on Fridays and Sundays, but I assure you the outside is interesting enough.

As you walk around the church, be sure to go into the back to view the simple gardens. It’s a quiet, peaceful area that’s great for photos!

st augustine haunted

Is St. Augustine Haunted? Find Out for Yourself on a Ghost Tour!

St. Augustine’s ancient streets and centuries-old buildings provide the perfect backdrop for ghostly encounters. With a turbulent past of battles, pirate raids, and epidemics, many believe there’s a lingering energy that manifests in the form of hauntings and restless spirits. A ghost tour offers a unique opportunity to delve into the city’s haunted past, providing a spine-tingling experience that combines history, folklore and the thrill of encountering the unknown!

Book your St. Augustine Ghost tour here.

If spooky isn’t your thing but you want to see the town by tour, there are old town tours of St. Augustine on hop-on-hop-off trolleys.

best shark tooth beach in florida

Collect Shark Teeth in Anastasia State Park

On the north end of Anastasia Island, Anastasia State Park is a peaceful beach park with white sand and plenty of activities. You can swim, fish, rent a kayak or even camp overnight here! If you’re into hunting for shark teeth, the quiet sand shores are perfect for building your collection.

RELATED POST: How to Find TONS of Teeth at Venice Florida Shark Tooth Beach

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I’m Tara Weber, a Sarasota, Florida based travel blogger and copywriter. On She Needs Less, I share my adventures across our beautiful planet and inspire women to build self confidence and independence so they can live the life they dream of. No matter how unconventional!

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