St. Augustine Historic Sites

Immerse Yourself in St. Augustine's Vibrant History

Before the English colonized Jamestown and before the Pilgrims landed at Plymoth Rock, Spanish colonizers founded St. Augustine all the way back in 1565. This makes St. Augustine the United States' oldest continuously occupied settlement of European and African-American origin. Quite a lot has happened since the city's founding over 450 years ago, including the construction of several fabulous historic sites.


There are a ton captivating historic buildings, monuments and other sites scattered across the city of St. Augustine. Of those many historic sites, these are the ones you need to check out during your stay.

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum on a Clear Summer Day

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is a must-visit site with it’s history dating back as far as the late 1600s. The current lighthouse stands at 165 feet tall, and it will turn 150 years old in October 2024. Ascending the 219 steps to the observation deck is a thrill, and the view from the top offers one of the best views in all of St. Agustine!


Along with the Keeper’s House and 165-ft lighthouse, you can explore the historic site and grounds, learn about local maritime archaeology, and see fascinating WWII-era structures at the mus. All that, plus there are several specialty tour options, including a spooky ghost tour, that bring a whole new level of excitement to the experience.


Aerial view of Castillo de San Marcos National Monument near St. Augustine

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is another fascinating landmark in St. Augustine with centuries of history housed within its walls. Constructed by the Spanish in the late 17th century, Castillo de San Marcos was a fort designed to protect their trade interests in Florida. The fort was built using Coquina, a natural concrete-like material composed of broken shells and sand cemented together using calcium carbonate.


That's just the beginning of all there is to discover at Castillo de San Marcos. As you explore the grounds of this this 330+ year old fortress you'll feel transported back in time, fully immersed in the castillo's legacy. In addition to the self-guided tours, you can also catch any one of the historic weapons demonstrations that take place over the weekends. It's a true thrill to hear the cracks of musket fire or the boom of a cannon atop this mighty fort.


Ornate Courtyard at Flagler College in St. Augustine with Golden Hour Light

Flagler College

Once known as the Ponce de Leon Hotel, Flagler College is a college campus and nationally designated historic landmark building. The building was constructed back in 1888 by the industrialist and railroad magnate, Henry Flagler, and it is considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture. After 78 years in operation as St. Augustine's most lavish hotel, the Ponce closed it's doors to guests in 1966 before being reestablished as Flagler College in 1968.


Today visitors can tour the beautiful historic grounds, soaking in the glorious architecture and ornate courtyards while delving deeper into the building's history. Find more information about Flagler College, and book your tour today by clicking the link below.


Inside the Coquina Watchtower at Fort Matanzas National Monument in St. Augustine

Fort Matanzas National Monument

Completed in 1742 during the First Spanish Period, Fort Matanzas was built to protect St. Augustine from attacks by the British. The fort's original 30-foot coquina watchtower still stands tall today, and there are two authentic cannons and two replica cannons stationed atop the fort.


Those looking to visit Fort Matanzas may do so by taking any one of the free passenger ferries throughout the day on Wednesdays through Sundays. You can pick up your free boarding pass at the Fort Matanzas Visitor Center, and then the ferry will depart from and arrive back at the visitor center dock. For more information on the ferry schedule and seasonal hours, head over to the Fort Matanzas Operating Hours page.