13 Best Day Trips From St. Augustine, Florida

Looking for some fun and exciting ideas for day trips from St. Augustine, Florida? Look no further!

Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, more historic landmarks and sites, or beach days there is something for everyone in and around the area. From bike trails to wildlife refuges to lighthouses and more, the St. Augustine area has plenty of great day trips that are sure to be unforgettable experiences.

Exterior view of Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida.

St. Augustine is a great historic town to visit, but with a day trip outside the main tourist area, you can see more of Florida and its amazing landscape and cities.

For more help planning your trip, see my recommended St. Augustine itinerary.

The day trip ideas in this article are arranged in order of distance from St. Augustine (from the closest to the farthest). All are about 2 hours away or less and many are quite a bit less. And distances are calculated from downtown St. Augustine.

Listed drive times are approximations. The time it takes you to drive to the suggested day trip destination will depend upon several factors including your exact starting point, the time of day, weather, etc.

Plan the perfect trip to St. Augustine, Florida, with this free printable travel planner.

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Anastasia Island

Distance from St. Augustine: 2 miles
Approximate drive time: 5 minutes

Located only a few miles outside St. Augustine (just over the Bridge of Lions), Anastasia Island is easy to access and full of exciting sights and activities.

You can explore the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, get up close with wildlife at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, or simply enjoy a leisurely day at Anastasia State Park, all in one day.

The Alligator Farm is especially popular with families. End your day with a show at The Amp (St. Augustine Amphitheater).

And we haven’t even talked about all of the beautiful beaches you can explore on Anastasia Island. Don’t forget to pack all of your beach essentials.

TIP: Keep track of all of your important travel details with a digital travel planner like this.

Ravine Gardens State Park

Distance from St. Augustine: 31 miles
Approximate drive time: 40 minutes

A day trip to Ravine Gardens State Park is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the historic center of St. Augustine, Florida.

Located just over 30 miles outside the city, Ravine Gardens State Park offers visitors an array of scenery that is sure to make for an unforgettable experience.

Ravine Gardens State Park is an iconic New Deal-era state park located in Florida (one of nine). It features two 120-foot ravines.

In 1933, the Works Progress Administration was tasked with transforming these 45-degree ravines into a picturesque garden that could be enjoyed for generations. Some of their designs have been retained as formal gardens and unique trails.


The Historic Friendship Fountain on the St. Johns River against the Jacksonville, Florida skyline

Distance from St. Augustine: 41 miles
Approximate drive time: 45 minutes

At only about a 45-minute drive from St. Augustine, Jacksonville makes a great option for a city break day trip.  Jacksonville, Florida, is the largest city by landmass in the United States. It also claims to have the largest urban park system and the most shoreline of any city in Florida.

Popular sites and attractions in “Jax” include the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Friendship Fountain, the Museum of Science and History, Riverside Arts Market, and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

Enjoy a picturesque River Walk stroll along the St. Johns River, try the St. Johns River Taxi, or check out some of their 22 miles of beaches.

Daytona Beach

many people on a white sandy beach in Florida

Distance from St. Augustine: 55 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour+

Iconic Daytona Beach is a day trip from St. Augustine destination that offers visitors plenty of activities and attractions. You’ll definitely see why it’s one of Florida’s top tourist destinations…and only a little over an hour’s drive from St. Augustine.

Dubbed “the most famous beach in the world,” Daytona is known for its hard-packed sand. Explore the 750-foot Main Street pier and boardwalk or get out on the water for some boating or parasailing.

Try this dolphin and manatee paddle board tour so you can see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.

For those looking for some motorsports excitement, be sure to check out the world-famous Daytona International Speedway where you can watch world-class races, take a tour, or visit the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Amelia Island

Beach on Amelia Island in Northern Florida along the Atlantic Ocean

Distance from St. Augustine: 70 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

A popular beach vacation destination in Florida, Amelia Island boasts 13 miles of beaches. You’ll find Amelia Island in North Florida and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, Nassau Sound, and Cumberland Sound. 

In 2020, Travel + Leisure put Amelia Island at number 6 on its list of the top 15 islands in the United States. Conde Nast named Amelia Island one of the best islands in the U.S. in its Reader’s Choice awards. Southern Living also named it one of the 10 most romantic destinations in Florida.

Explore Fernandina Beach (and more!) on this CraigCat boat tour.

Or enjoy touring Amelia Island (and beyond) by electric bike.

Ocala National Forest

Distance from St. Augustine: 70 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ocala National Forest is a great day trip destination for anyone looking to escape the city. This picturesque natural area provides a chance to take in the beautiful forests and pristine lakes while engaging in numerous outdoor activities.

From swimming to fishing and from snorkeling to canoeing or boating, this paradise has it all. Explore an impressive 600 lakes and rivers in one mesmerizing location.

New Smyrna Beach

Distance from St. Augustine: 72 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

New Smyrna Beach is a great destination for those looking for some fun in the sun. The beach is one of the top draws on the entire east coast for surfers. From its mesmerizing beaches to the abundance of water sports activities, this place is sure to have something that piques everyone’s interest.

Try this dolphin and manatee adventure tour to get up close and personal with local wildlife.

New Smyrna Beach is renowned for more than just its aquatic activities, it also offers a superb food scene and is known for its arts offerings as well. And don’t miss your chance to see the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse. It’s the tallest lighthouse in Florida.

Blue Spring State Park

manatees in a clear spring in Blue Springs State Park near Orlando Florida

Distance from St. Augustine: 80 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Spending a day at Blue Spring State Park is a great way to escape the busyness of the tourists bustling about St. Augustine.

Visitors to the park can take advantage of recreational activities such as manatee encounter kayak tours, canoeing, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and hiking trails.

One of the best things about this park is that it is home to a large number of manatees. Please note that manatee conservation initiatives may necessitate closure to water activities during particular times of the year.

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Distance from St. Augustine: 80 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 20 minutes (plus ferry ride)

Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for some amazing sandy beaches. The island has a rich history and is perfect for a day trip or even an overnight camping excursion.

Access to the Seashore is by ferry or private boat. Plan to make your ferry reservations in advance.

With over 50 miles of nature trails and roads as well as 18 miles of beaches available to explore, there are plenty of things to do.

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Canaveral National Seashore

Distance from St. Augustine: 80 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

For a day of relaxation and exploration with a touch of rocket science, head to Canaveral National Seashore. Perched along the eastern shore of Florida, this beautiful seashore boasts awe-inspiring vistas of the Atlantic and its incessant waves.

It’s an ideal day trip destination for nature lovers. Guests can enjoy horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, surfing, swimming, boating, and birdwatching. Enthusiasts of space exploration should take advantage of this unique opportunity to view rocket launches from Playalinda Beach.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

foliage around a blue spring in Florida

Distance from St. Augustine: 100 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Wekiwa Springs State Park is the perfect day trip for anyone looking for a natural oasis.

Home to lush greenery and its famous natural springs, Wekiwa Springs State Park offers visitors a chance to relax in nature and take advantage of a variety of recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking trails.

The popular swimming destination features spring waters that are a remarkable 72 degrees all year round.


Orlando skyline across a lake

Distance from St. Augustine: 105 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Orlando is a great destination for those looking for an exciting day trip. While it’s known as the home of world-famous theme parks, there’s much more to do in this fun city.

From exploring its greenspaces like Lake Eola Park to shopping and dining at Disney Springs, you’ll find something that appeals to everyone here. Try Andretti Indoor Karting, the Crayola Experience, or Gatorland. Venture outside of the major tourist areas to do things like exploring the West Orange Trail or Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve.

Kennedy Space Center

display of rockets outdoors at Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Distance from St. Augustine: 115 miles
Approximate drive time: 2 hours

Visiting the Kennedy Space Center is a great way to get an up-close look at one of mankind’s greatest achievements, space exploration. This iconic attraction offers visitors the chance to explore and learn more about American history in spaceflight. There are a variety of Kennedy Space Center tour options.

Where to stay in St. Augustine, Florida

There are many hotels or inns in St. Augustine you could choose from. Here are some of the top-rated for their cleanliness, friendly staff, and location.

Casa Monica: This iconic resort and spa in the historic district is a popular high-end place to stay. It’s located very near Plaza de la Constitución.

Penny Farthing Inn: This Bed & Breakfast is located in historic St. Augustine near the popular Lightner Museum.

Holiday Inn St. Augustine – Historic District: This affordable hotel option is located about a 6-minute drive from Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

The bottom line

St. Augustine, Florida, is a great place to visit for its rich history and culture, but it’s also an ideal location from which you can take day trips to explore other exciting places in the state.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there are plenty of destinations near St. Augustine that provide experiences like wildlife viewing at Anastasia Island or hiking trails at Ravine Gardens State Park.

From nearby towns such as Jacksonville and Daytona Beach to farther away sites like the Kennedy Space Center and Ocala National Forest, there’s something suitable for everyone within easy driving distance of St. Augustine.

What’s your favorite day trip from St. Augustine, FL?

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