St. Augustine, Florida is a wonderful city that is full of history.
Just because it's a popular vacation destination, doesn't mean it has to cost you a fortune.
There are plenty of budget-friendly restaurants and things to do in St. Augustine.
However, there are also some activities and restaurants that might be worth the splurge!
Without further ado, here are budget-friendly things to do in St. Augustine!
Free Things to Do in St. Augustine
Walk Around St. George Street
St. George Street is likely the most popular street in St. Augustine.
With tons of cute shops, great restaurants, and delectable deserts, what’s not to love?
I enjoy walking down St. George Street and grabbing a frozen lemonade or ice cream cone and window shopping! Sometimes something sparkly will catch my eye, so I peruse the merchandise in the small, busy shop.
Although, my favorite part of this street might be the surprising number of dogs I get to see!
It seems as though everyone loves to walk their dog down St. George Street, and I’m not complaining! I love seeing all of the cute puppies! 😍
Explore the Memorial Presbyterian Church
This church isn’t the oldest in St. Augustine by any means; however, it is one of the flashier looking churches in St. Augustine.
Inside, there is beautiful stained glass and creepy crypts…
It’s definitely worth a look, and they offer free tours! Or, you can just walk around while it’s open. Although, the tour will give you a lot of information you otherwise won’t find.
See the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
Well, you’re in St. Augustine, which is the oldest city in the US, so you should obviously go to the oldest Parish in the US while you’re there!
This church doesn’t look quite as grand as the Memorial Presbyterian on the outside, but it’s just as stunning on the inside!
Take a Walk Along the Inlet
St. Augustine is right on a beautiful inlet, and you absolutely must take a stroll along it!
I recommend starting at the Bridge of Lions and making your way towards the Castillo de San Marco. The walk is beautiful and the breeze is a relief from the summer heat.
Once you reach the end (Castillo de San Marco), take a walk along the slanted walkway.
It will take you around part of the Castillo de San Marco. Just make sure you wear sensible shoes and watch your footing!
Explore the Little Streets
St. George Street might be the most popular street in St. Augustine, but it’s definitely not the only one to explore!
There are tons of narrow, cobble stone roads just waiting for you to discover them.
When walking down King Street (towards the water), just make a right down any one of those street, and you’ll find yourself on an adventure!
You never know what you’ll find, so make sure you bring your camera!
View Some Fine Art
There are plenty of Art Galleries along King Street.
Just pop into any one that catches your eye. You’re sure to find something interesting!
Enjoy the Nights of Lights (November – January only)
November through January might be the best, most magical time to visit St. Augustine because that’s when the city has the Nights of Lights.
Although, be warned, this brings in a ton of tourists!
Still, it’s worth it to see the city lit up with Christmas lights.
Just, do yourself a favor, don’t spend your money on the Trolley’s that will take you around to look at the lights. It’s much better to walk, if you can!
Tour San Sebastian Winery
You must stop at San Sebastian Winery for one of their FREE tours and tastings if you love wine!
Even though it’s free, you’ll likely end up leaving with at least one bottle of wine.
Budget-Friendly Things to Do in St. Augustine
Tour the Castillo de San Marco
Cost: $10 per Adult (16+) & Children are free
The Castillo de San Marco is an important piece of St. Augustine's history.
The fort is in amazing shape considering its age. Despite a few cracks and some dents, you'll be impressed at how well it has been preserved.
Despite its great condition, you can definitely see the fort's history just by looking at the outer walls facing the bay.
There are actually dents were cannonballs struck it!
The fort also offers weapon demonstrations on the weekends. To get more information on times, check out the link below.
Get more information about hours and tickets at Visit St. Augustine's website.
Tour Flagler College
Cost: $10 per adult & $1 for children under 12
Flagler College is named after Henry Flagler, who is in many ways responsible for making St. Augustine the thriving city it is today.
Flagler College owns many of the buildings that Henry Flagler built in the early 1900s, including his Ponce de Leon Hotel.
Students of Flagler College get to experience the rich architecture and history every day, but if you want to see most of it; you’ll have to take the tour.
If you’d rather not spend money on the tour, you can still visit the foyer of Ponce Hall, which was once the Ponce de Leon Hotel.
Self-Guided Walking Tour
If you’re reading this guide, I can guess that you love saving money and traveling on a budget.
But, at the same time, you don’t want to sacrifice great experiences and learning the history of your destination.
Which is why I recommend that you skip the trolley tours and take a self-guided walking tour instead!
St. Augustine Lighthouse
Cost: 12.95 per adult & $10.95 for children under 13
While the St. Augustine Lighthouse is much newer than the rest of St. Augustine, it still has an impressive amount of history to go with it.
It is located on Anastasia Island, which is just across the Bridge of Lions.
It isn’t the tallest lighthouse in the world, but it’s rumored to be haunted.
Cost: $10.64 per adult, 6.38 per child 6-12, & children under 6 are free
The Old Jail is neat because they have old jail cells and gallows.
It’s honestly a little pricey for what it is. Sure, you learn some neat history, but I’m not totally convinced it’s worth the money.
Alternatively, if you’re into ghosts, there is an epic ghost tour where you get to investigate the jail. The ghost tour is a bit more expensive than the regular entrance fee.
Splurge-Worthy Things to Do in St. Augustine
Cost: $20+ per adult
As I just mentioned above, there is a pretty pricey ghost tour of the Old Jail. This tour is unique because it gives you tools to use during an investigation.
This is definitely an intense experience, and I do not recommend it for the faint of heart!
If that sounds a bit crazy for you, don’t worry; there are plenty of other less intense ghost tours.
You can take a trolley ghost tour or a walking ghost tour.
Personally, I enjoy walking ghost tours.
Ghost tours are typically pretty expensive; however, if you’re visiting during the week, you should check Groupon and see if Ghost Tours of St. Augustine has any deals! I took went on one of their walking tours, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!
Pizza Time serves delicious, authentic New York style pizza! The line can be long, but don't let that deter you!
Seriously, you need to stop by for a slice.
Just remember to bring cash, since it is a cash only establishment.
Want a menu? Well, too bad! There isn't one available online. But you can find out more information and see pictures on Pizza Time's website.
Burrito Works Taco Shop
While there isn't much seating, this taco shop serves delicious tacos and burritos. If you can't find a seat, take it to go! Grab a bench on St. George Street and people watch.
With most everything under $10, you are sure to save some money even on the most popular street (St. George Street) in St. Augustine!
If you want to look it over, here is the taco shop's menu!
One Twenty-Three Burger House
One Twenty-Three Burger House serves amazing burgers and wood-fired pizza. You wouldn't think that a restaurant could make great burgers and pizza, but this place can!
Plus, their french fries are incredible! I could honestly just order a bunch of their fries and be content...but I would never do that. Like, ever. 😉
If you want to see their menu, you're out of luck. For whatever reason, their menu page isn't working. But, if you'd like, you can read more about One Twenty-Three Burger House.
Mary’s Harbor View Café
This is a tiny café with a great view of the inlet.
The food is simple, good, and decently priced.
If you’re in the mood for a tuna sandwich or a burger, definitely stop by!
Just make sure you mind the hours; they close pretty early during the week.
Carmelo’s Market Place
Okay, so I’m not talking about the gas station; I’m talking about the pizza place that’s connected to the gas station.
Yeah, I know what it sounds like, but trust me; you need to go. The pizza is delicious and so is the chicken parmesan.
The Columbia offers traditional Spanish dishes with flair.
Everything on the menu is fantastic, and the service is superb.
Most recently, I ordered the Shrimp and Yellow Rice, which sounds like a super simple dish that couldn't possibly be that great, but it was incredibly delicious.
Literally, it is the best yellow rice dish I have ever tasted!
Also, you should really enjoy some of their red sangria if you are of age.
You’ll need it after a long day in the summer heat! Heck, you’ll even need it after a day in the cold!
It’s a perfect end to any day!
Go ahead, take a look at the menu, I know you want to! Also, if you do decide to go, you should make a reservation! The Columbia is incredibly busy on the weekends!
Nearby the Columbia, there is a quaint, but impressive, restaurant called The Floridian.
They take pride in offering culinary twists on classic dishes.
I have heard great things about their Meatloaf Sandwich, South-East Fried Chicken Sandwich, and Shrimp and Grits.
Personally, I have tried and loved the Shrimp and Sausage Maque Choux.
Oh, and whatever you do, Do. Not. Skip. Dessert. Seriously!
I'm sure that all of their desserts are lovely, but you definitely need to try their Kentucky Derby Pie!
They describe it as a cross between a chocolate cookie and a pecan pie.
It is amazing! I don't even generally like pecan pie, but I loved this!
Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille
Right across from the bay, Harry's serves food inspired by traditional New Orleans dishes.
That means that their food is packed with exciting flavors!
I enjoyed their French Market Pasta on my last visit!
The atmosphere is cozy. There is spacious outdoor seating available, which is beautifully lit up at night.
Menu? You got it!
The nightlife in St. Augustine is poppin'!
That could be due the crazy number of tourists the city sees each year, or it could be due to the college located at the heart of the historic district...
Either way, there a tons of awesome places to check out.
Here are my tried and true favorites!
This bar offers happy hour all day everyday! There are a list of bears that cost $2-3 a pop.
If you are a Sangria connoisseur, you probably won't like theirs, but it's only $3. If you casually drink Sangria like I do though, you might not mind it.
There are also a number of liquors on special.
Even if you order a drink that isn’t a part of happy hour, it’s reasonably priced. When I order a tequila sunrise with well-tequila, I am only charged $4!
On Mondays, they have Karaoke. So if you're into singing, you should definitely stop by! You get a free shot (of whatever alcohol they are giving out that night) with every song you sing!
Learn more about Scarlett's here!
The Bar with No Name
Locally known as No Name Bar, this establishment offers some outdoor seating with a lot of indoor and outdoor standing room.
The atmosphere is totally casual.
On the weekends, they have live music or a DJ, so it's a great place to hang out!
Plus, it has a great view of the Castillo de San Marcos!
If you enjoy dancing, darts, or pool, check out this bar!
There is a huge dance floor and a stage where they either have live music or a DJ.
Upstairs, there are some dart boards and a pool table. In order to get darts, you should ask your bartender for them. You'll have to surrender your drivers license to the bar tender while you use the darts, but you'll get it back as soon as you turn in the darts!
The drinks here are pretty good and affordable. I’m pretty sure that they pour on the heavy side.
This is a slightly classier establishment. There is a dress code to get in; however, I don't think it is strict. You just need to look presentable.
This bar is loud! On the weekends, there is a DJ, which means dancing!
However, there is a lounge and bar upstairs, so you can escape the dancing if you so choose.
The drinks here run about $10. Definitely try something on their cocktail menu.
They have a lot of interesting drinks that you probably haven't tried before. Here are some of the awesome cocktails Dos Gatos offers.
If you like beer, cigars, and a laid-back atmosphere, you will adore Stogies!
They are always changing out their taps, so there is always something new to try. Plus, a house cigar comes with each beer!
You can sit inside and listen to live music or play a board game. Or, if you'd rather, you can sit outside, where there is a fire pit for the colder months.
If you prefer drinking liquor, you can skip this bar as they don’t serve any.
Walk around St. George Street, explore the Memorial Presbyterian Church, see the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, take a walk along the inlet, explore the little streets, view some fine art, and tour San Sebastian Winery.
Tour the Castillo de San Marco, tour Flagler College, Self-Guided Walking Tour, climb the St. Augustine Lighthouse, and see the Old Jail.
Take a Ghost Tour!
Pizza Time, Burrito Works Taco Shop, One Twenty-Three Burger House, and Mary’s Harbor View Cafe.
Columbia, The Floridian, and Harry’s Seafood, Bar, and Grille.
Scarlett O’Hara’s, The Bar with No Name, and White Lion.
Dos Gatos and Stogies.
I hope you guys enjoyed this budget-friendly guide to St. Augustine. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.
Why do you want to visit St. Augustine? For the history, food, activities, or something else?
Let me know in the comments below!
Go ahead, you know you want to learn more about other awesome Florida Vacation Destinations. Indulge yourself!
Until next time,