In the summer, this city comes alive, and St. Augustine has a vivacity like no other. But as you’re staring down the next few months, it can be hard to figure out where to begin activities-wise and it’s really easy to default to Netflix on the couch. But that just won’t do! We live in a beautiful coastal city and there are plenty of ways to fill up the dog days of summer. So let us help. We’ve compiled a St. Augustine Summer Bucket List – everything from taking a new lesson to exploring the natural world to getting involved in the community. It’s time to get out and have some fun this summer.
Take a Surfing Lesson
We’re all for quiet beach days, but sometimes you want something just a little more active. And because practically everybody in St. Augustine surfs – because it’s fun, exciting, and you look cool while you do it – you might as well join the crowd. There are a ton of places to take lessons – private, group, and all summer long. Check out St. Augustine Surf School, Pit Surf Shop, Surf Station, Endless Summer Surf School, and more.
Find Your Zen on a Paddleboard
If you’re already a fan of yoga but trying to find a way to take it to the next level, hop on a paddleboard and head out to the water. We got to try it ourselves last summer and let me tell you, standup paddleboard yoga is a whole different world of zen. You test the limits of your balance and feel close to nature, surrounded by water. Strike a pose with SUP Yoga Center or Ocean Extreme Sports.
Watch the Sunset from the Deck of a Boat
We believe that there’s nothing quite like a summer sunset, and a summer sunset always looks better from the water. Luckily, we have an abundance of that. And if you don’t have your own boat, we also have an abundance of tours that you can take at sunset. So settle into a seat on the deck of the Schooner Freedom, Florida Water Tours, Native Sun Tours, and plenty more and float into the St. Augustine sunset.
Listen to Some Live Music on St. George Street
Not just in the summer, but all throughout the year, St. Augustine is alive with music. Though you can find it all over the city, we’re partial to walking down St. George Street and seeing where the music takes us. Usually, that’s to a glass of wine at Mi Casa Cafe, a swanky cocktail at Prohibition Kitchen, or a seat under the sprawling oak at Colonial Oak Music Park.
Watch a Meteor Shower from the Beach
When you need a peaceful moment and some time to get in touch with nature, there’s no better way than a summer meteor shower. Let the little ones stay up late while you grab a blanket and lie out under the stars. There are meteor showers happening in July and in August, so keep an eye out. You can find the dates here.
Learn to Cook from the Experts
Summer is no excuse to stop learning, but it is the perfect time to make learning a little more hands-on! If you’re hopeless in the kitchen or just looking to expand your skills, a few local experts are willing to pull on an apron and teach you something new. You can perfect your baking skills at Creme de la Cocoa or learn a little bit of everything at A. Chef’s Cooking Studio.
Join a Library Book Club
Reading is always more fun when you do it with friends! If you don’t want to organize a book club of your own, head to your local library and join in the discussion. They have book clubs for all different ages, all different interests, and all throughout the week. Dive into a book this summer and make some new friends.
Get Fit with a High-Energy Workout
Mix up your workout routine with something a little off the wall! You can work up a sweat at Zumba or a spin class at Anastasia Fitness, get your heart rate up at Orange Theory, work out your full body with TRX at St. Augustine Fitness, groove to some music at Funkytown Fitness, or even shake your hips at Blue Lotus Bellydance. Inject some life into your exercise!
Hear Some Sweet Sounds at a Weekly Music Series
Summer is music series time in St. Augustine. Drop by the beach and spread out a blanket for Music in the Park or Music by the Sea, or set up a lawn chair in the Plaza for Concerts in the Plaza. If you’d rather get out of the heat, take a seat in the Cathedral Basilica for the St. Augustine Music Festival. There are endless ways to take in the music of St. Augustine.
See Oasis on the Nile at the Alligator Farm
In celebration of their 125th Anniversary, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm recently opened a new exhibit – Oasis on the Nile. Take an afternoon this summer to check out the Egyptian artifacts, replicas of famous antiquities, and (of course) the infamous Nile crocodile.
Watch the Fireworks from the Bay
It’s practically St. Augustine tradition now to find a spot by the Bay on the Fourth of July to watch the fireworks and celebrate. And the downtown location means easy access to delicious food and plenty of ways to keep the Independence Day party going.
Get in Touch with Nature During a Park Tour
St. Johns County is rich with fascinating wildlife and varied ecosystems, so get outside and do a little exploring. And the local parks are here to help you do it. Join the County Parks & Recreation Department for everything from Dolphin Sunset Walks and Kayak Trips, or head to Anastasia State Park to learn more about the local wildlife and environment.
Hit a Hole-in-One at Mini Golf
We’re all about getting outside for some more leisurely activities when the summer heat hits hard. So it’s the perfect time to work on your swing in a whimsical way at one of the city’s multiple mini golf courses. Hit a hole-in-one with a few of the bay or head down Anastasia or to the beach.
Explore Some Off-the-Beaten-Path History
We all have come to know the history of St. Augustine and have all probably been to the main historic buildings and museums in the city, but with a little research, you can explore some sites that you may not be familiar with. Literature buffs can see the former home of author Zora Neale Hurston at 791 King Street, and lovers of beautiful art can visit the St. Photios Shrine (where a reliquary houses bone fragments of 18 saints). In a city like ours, there’s always something interesting just around the corner.
Find and Flaunt Your New Favorite Swimsuit
As much as we love diving into the waves or taking a lap in the pool, the necessary swimsuit shopping before these activities can be less than exhilarating. Take away some of that stress by creating your own custom swimsuit. A few local shops – like Savage Swim and Whiskini Bikinis – let you choose your favorite patterns and cuts to find a swimsuit that you’ll never want to take off.
Take in a Stage Show
Whether you’re a lover of musicals, of drama, or history come to life, St. Augustine will satisfy all your theatrical needs. This summer, Limelight Theatre is showing both Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean and Heathers the Musical. Summer Musical Theatre Camp will perform Les Miserables, Pinnochio, and Seussical. You’ll also be able to see improv shows and works from A Classic Theatre, if you keep your eye out.
Go Glamping and Camp in Luxury
Ever since we featured Fancy Camps in our April/May 2017 issue, we’ve had a serious desire to go glamping. And this may just be the summer we do it. Services like Fancy Camps will set you up in style at a local campsite, but if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort (and don’t mind lugging a bunch of stuff with you), you can create a glampsite all your own.
Get Your Summer Fun Delivered
As much as we love the beach, one of our least favorite parts of the beach trip is packing up all your necessary items and dragging them across the sand. Luckily, there are a few services around town that are willing to take on that task for you. Drifters and Barney’s Beach Service will not only let you rent chairs, umbrellas, even bikes, but they’ll deliver them right to you. It’s the perfect way to make summer a little more relaxing.
Cannonball at the Community Pool
If you don’t have your own summer oasis in your backyard or if you just feel like getting out and about, take advantage of some of the fantastic local facilities. Willie Galimore Recreation Center and Solomon Calhoun Community Center both have community pools that are open to the public (you can check their hours on the websites). Take a dive and meet your community neighbors.
Do Your Weekly Shopping at the Farmers Market
There’s hardly anything more delicious than fresh produce in the summer, but the local farmers markets are also great places to find local seafood, artists selling wares, baked goods, cheeses, and plenty more. On Saturday, you’ll find a market at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, on Wednesdays at the St. Johns County Pier, and a market at Nocatee every third Saturday. Grab your shopping list and fill your bag.
Throw a Vase on the Wheel at a Pottery Class
There’s just something extra special about a piece of art that also has a practical purpose. And though your first tries at making pottery might be a little lumpy and misshapen, we’re pretty sure they’ll still work just fine. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, summer is the perfect time to take a pottery class a local studio like Dixie Pottery or Puddy Mud.
Take Some Takeout to the Beach
If you’re just not feeling like taking the time to pack up a picnic, but you still want to enjoy a meal on the sand, turn to one of your favorite beachside dining spots and get their delicious dishes to go. It’s much easier than making it yourself and only a short walk to the beach. Creating your own oceanfront dining – check!
Start a Sandcastle Building Competition and Win It
We’re not aware of any officially-sanctioned sandcastle competitions on the area beaches (feel free to correct us if we’re wrong), but there’s nothing stopping you from challenging your fellow beachgoers to test their architecture and design skills down in the sand. Grab a shovel and some seashells for color and get ready to compete.
Breakfast for Dinner at Cousteau’s
Even if you’ve long since passed the days of summer vacation, there’s something a little freeing about those few months. One of the ways to enjoy that freedom is having breakfast for dinner. And though most places stop serving those dishes after 11am, Cousteau’s Waffle & Milkshake Bar will serve up something sweet any time of day. So maybe milkshakes aren’t traditionally-accepted breakfast foods, but like we said, it’s summer. The rules don’t apply.
Get a Strike at the Bowling Alley
Escape the heat, but still stay on your feet by visiting Anastasia Bowling Lanes this summer. And though people of all ages can try their hand at getting a strike, make sure you sign your little ones up for the Kids Bowl Free program. They’ll get two free games every day, all summer. They’ll be bowling like the pros in no time.
Paint a Masterpiece at a Paint & Sip Studio
We’re of the opinion that wine enhances artistic skills, and we’re not alone in that thought. Get your friends together this summer to attend a paint and sip class and test your artistic acumen. A glass of wine in your hand, instructors from studios like Painting with a Twist and Creative Me will guide you through the steps and you’ll walk out with a masterpiece of your own.
Take the Ferry Out to Fort Matanzas
Take a leisurely ride out to explore some local history. The Visitors Center at Fort Matanzas offers free ferry passes for all its visitors throughout the park’s operating hours. Since the summer weather can get pretty hot, make sure you bring sunscreen and a water bottle.
Get the Highscore on Every Game at Sarbez
Whether you’re being compelled by nostalgia or an intense competitive streak, the arcade at Sarbez is a great way to cool off this summer while you have a little fun. Start off with the classics – Pacman, skeeball, pool, and air hockey – then try your hand at something a little off-the-wall – Ataxx, Gyruss, Ghosts and Goblins – then stick some money in the jukebox and step into the photo booth.
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What’s on your St. Augustine bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!