St. Augustine Beach is perfect for the nature lover that enjoys intriguing history, captivating scenery, endless waterways, and diverse wildlife. The area has endless choices for outdoor recreation. Discover the outdoors though guided nature walks, kayak tour or paddleboard tours. You can learn to identify birds and marine life, or become an expert in nature photography. Guests can find out more about these activities and more at the Outfitter Shop with our Adventure Coordinator.
Standup Paddleboard Tours
Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) offer a fun, relaxing way to be on the water. With minimum gear, you can paddle along St. Augustine Beach or through the intracoastal waterways. SUP is a wonderful way to enjoy unique views of everything from sea creatures to historic landmarks in St. Augustine. Our Adventure Coordinator in the Outfitter Shop can help you plan your next paddleboard excursion. Daily rentals are located on St. Augustine Beach as well as guided tours including dolphin tours, full moon paddles, SUP yoga classes, and surfing lessons.
Ocean Extreme Sports
Tour St. Augustine on the water with a private paddle-board excursion. Our ACA Certified Instructors/Tour guides make learning to paddleboard fun and easy. With a few simple tips, you will be gliding across the water ways of St. Augustine. Visit www.oceanextremesports.com or call 904-461-9415.
St. Augustine Eco Tours
This tour provides the best chance of seeing dolphins and a large variety of wildlife in St. Augustine. An Interpretative Naturalist will explain dolphin behavior, birdlife, and elements of the estuary. Located at City Marina south of the Bridge of Lions. Visit www.staugustineecotours.com or call (904) 377-7245.
Kayak tours are a fantastic way to connect with the outdoors in St. Augustine. Explore the salt marsh habitat, admire views of the historic downtown, or join a fishing excursion. Being up close and personal with nature from the seat of a kayak is a great way to observe marine life and wildlife, shorebirds and even dolphins playing in the estuary waters.
Ripple Effect Ecotours
A dedicated kayak touring company based in St. Augustine offering scheduled eco-tours in many of the state parks in Northeast Florida. All trips are two hours and no prior kayaking experience is necessary. Visit www.rippleeffectecotours.com or call (904) 347-1565.
Kayak St. Augustine
Experience St. Augustine from the water with some of the best kayaking eco-tours in Florida. The quaint and scenic charm of St. Augustine is home to abundant wildlife. Possible encounters may include dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, bald eagles, ospreys, herons, and more! Visit www.kayakingstaugustine.com or call (904) 315-8442.
Guided Nature Walks
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
Visit Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) and it’s 75,000 acre preserve. Teeming with wildlife, the GTM Research Reserve is a dynamic, ever changing destinatinon with many interconnected habitats from the ocean to the forests. The landscape protects and provides for a great diversity of plants and animals. People have historically changed and preserved this ecosystem. The Reserve extends from the Guana River Dam down to the Matanzas Inlet and south, including a couple of state parks and the River-to-Sea Preserve near Marineland. It offers a series of guided tours for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
Coastal Florida was a major field of conflict as European nations fought for control in the New World. As part of this struggle, Fort Matanzas guarded St. Augustine’s southern river approach. The colonial wars are over, but the monument is still protecting not just the historic fort, but also the wild barrier island and the plants and animals who survive there amidst a sea of modern development. Fort Matanzas State Park offers free birding walks. The 2-hour birding walks begin with brief information sessions about the do’s and don’ts of birdwatching. The park even has some spare sets of binoculars available for the walks, accommodating novice and more experienced birdwatchers. Bring your cameras along for this one, nature photographers.
Visit a National Park
Anastasia State Park
Anastasia State Park was first opened to the public in 1949 and since that time has become one of Florida’s busiest state parks. Located off A1A just north of the resort near the pier, the park boasts a broad beach flanked by sand dunes and a lagoon bordered by rich tidal marshes. Anastasia State Park includes 1,600 acres of rich ecosystems and abundant wildlife. Explore up to four miles of pristine beach, the estuarine tidal marsh teeming with plant and animal life, or the self-guided nature trail which takes you through the maritime hammock and onto ancient sand dunes. You can also visit the Coquina Quarry, an archaeological site where coquina rock was mined to help construct the nearby Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, earning it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. At Anastasia, there are many recreational activities to enjoy including hiking, swimming, beachcombing, bird watching, and much more.
Visit a State Park
Faver-Dykes State Park
Quiet, peaceful, relaxing and unhurried are words used to describe this park near St Augustine. This tranquil park contains 6042-acres along Pellicer Creek an aquatic preserve. The Creek, pine flat woods and mesic hammocks are home to many deer, turkeys, hawks, and bobcats.