Founded in September of 1565, over 200 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, St. Augustine stands as this country’s oldest continuously-occupied city. It’s a place rich in history. On Matanzas Bay, you’ll still find the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest fort in the United States, and the trails around the city offer a taste of old Florida; it’s a wild, forested world that’s never been truly tamed. When you book an RV in St. John’s County, you’ll get a unique chance to explore the beaches, rivers and woodlands of northeastern Florida. Find your St. Augustine RV rental today and experience history like never before.
The Great Outdoors
The most accessible outdoorsy destination for the St. Augustine camper rental would likely be the beach. This city was built along the coast, and it actually has over 40 miles of lovely beaches. You’re renting an RV in Florida. Don’t miss out on the beach! And if you’ve had your fill of St. Augustine beaches, or you’re looking for warmer, more secluded areas farther south, A1A will take you all the way down the coast. Crescent Beach and the Palm Coast are both under 30 miles away, and Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach are both only about an hour out.
If you’re looking for more of a wilderness experience, Anastasia Island is just minutes from St. Augustine’s downtown. There, you’ll find an estuarine tidal marsh with tons of plant and animal life, as well as a trail running out through the hammock and onto the sand dunes. Here you can camp, swim, hike, and surf. Another great area to check out is Fort Mose, the first legally-sanctioned free African American settlement. In addition to its historic sites, Fort Mose also offers great bird watching opportunities. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, great blue herons, and white ibises.
Other nice areas include the Matanzas State Forest and the Twelve Mile Swamp Conservation Area. If you’re going hiking and are not familiar with the area, please note that Florida weather is often pretty temperamental, especially during the summer months. Afternoon thunderstorms are very common, and they typically last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple hours. Don’t worry too much if you see “Scattered Thunderstorms” on the forecast for the days you planned your St. Augustine rental motorhome, just be prepared to hunker down for a little while to wait the storm out.
There are quite a few RV parks in the St. Augustine area. Nearby, you’ll find Compass RV Resort, which, in addition to full hookups, comes with a dog park, swimming pool, and fitness center. There’s also Stagecoach RV Park, which is both close to I-95 and within easy walking distance of an outlet mall and several restaurants. If you’re looking for more of a beach experience on the other hand, try out Bryn Mawr Ocean Resort, North Beach Camp Resort, or Anastasia Island State Park Campground.
If you’re considering exploring even more of Florida with the St. Augustine travel trailer rental, note that Jacksonville is just 35 miles away from St. Augustine, and you can get to Gainesville in about an hour and a half.
Exploring the City
St. Augustine is a magnificent city, and you’ll never be at a loss for things to learn and do. No St. Augustine vacation would be complete, for instance, without a trip to the Fort San Marcos. This sits in a quiet area of the city, looking out over Matanzas Bay. It was built by the Spanish way back in the 1600s to protect the city from rival British troops. When the Europeans set out to build forts in Florida, though, they faced a serious dilemma as there was no stone to be found anywhere in the area. Their workaround for this came in the form of coquina, an extremely hard, stone-like material made from compacted seashells. It actually turned out to be a miracle material at the Castillo de San Marcos; ships’ cannon balls simply bounced off its massive, 14-feet-thick walls. The fort stood strong against the British for years, although it was eventually taken. It later stood as a stronghold for both the United States and the Confederacy.
If you’re still looking for more history in this area, head the St. Augustine RV rental over to the Old Jail, where you can learn more about the conditions of Florida inmates during the late 19th century. This is also a stop on a couple of this city’s famous ghost tours. To hear the tour guides tell it, St. Augustine is one of the most haunted cities in the entire country. Another fun historic stop is the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. This museum celebrates conquistador Juan Ponce de Leon’s exhaustive effort to find this mythic fountain in Florida. You can even try some of the famous water yourself. Who knows. It just might work!
St. Augustine also offers a huge number of museums. The Lightner Museum, for instance, is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, built by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler. It has a massive collection of 19th-century American art across all types of visual media, as well as a couple more eccentric highlights. These include a mummy, shrunken heads, cigar labels, and art made from human hair. Intrigued? For more experiences in the extraordinary, check out St. Augustine’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, a museum dedicated to unusual artifacts and trivia from all around the world. Other fun museums include the Old Florida Museum, an inexpensive yet high-quality and family-friendly look at Florida in the 1800s, and Potter’s Wax Museum.
Getting around the city is often a bit of a challenge on foot, especially during the heat of the summer. A St. Augustine motorhome rental will most definitely help with that. While finding parking might be a bit of a challenge, there are usually a couple free parking spots in the suburbs around the city.