Visitors to St. Augustine, Florida, can enjoy a broad range of experiences and attractions. One of the most underrated is Anastasia State Park, a great place to experience the Florida outdoors and also catch a little history.
Located just 11/2 miles from historic downtown St. Augustine, the park opened to the public in 1949 and is open year-round. It boasts everything a Florida tourist (or local) could ask for: A beautiful beach, camping spots, nature trails, a cool coquina quarry and a place to rent bikes and boats.
Anastasia State Park offers a bit more than other Florida state parks. For starters, thanks to its northern location in Florida, visitors to the park will get both sand and tree sap. The beautiful blue waters, which host surfers and windsailers, are bordered by tidal pools and huge sand dunes and backed by hardwoods that date back to Ponce de Leon’s landing in the early 1500s. Take a trail through the woods on your own to enjoy the sights and sounds, or hire a guide from the park’s ranger station. Dependent upon the season, the guide will point out Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets and White Ibises, or Harriers, Sharp-shinned Hawks and Peregrine Falcons. Needless to say, there is something for everyone to see any time of the year.
If you want to get in the water during your St. Augustine visit, your options are abundant. Anastasia State Park permits diving north of the beach ramp. The quarry creates a home to many species of fish and other wildlife, which makes for great nature viewing. If it’s sea turtle season, May 1 through September 30, diving between dusk and dawn is prohibited. Because it is a Florida State Park, lifeguards are at the beach, but only during the summer and in designated areas. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a sailboard. If that makes you a bit nervous, don’t worry, you can sign up for lessons at Salt Run, the park’s ranger station.
Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine will provide you with plenty to see and do. If you’re looking for places to visit in Florida, St. Augustine and Anastasia State Park should be on the list. This Florida state park offers something for everyone, from its beautiful beach line to ancient hardwoods and camping spots; it is a sure bet for productive sight-seeing.