Staycation Link Up

I’m excited to be doing a Staycation Link Up with other bloggers around the country!  I’ll share some St. Augustine staycation ideas here for visitors. Locals can start with this list of freebies for locals. Wherever you plan to make summer memories, look at the list of states at the end of this post for city-by-city suggestions for a fun, frugal summer!

How to do St. Augustine… Most visitors jump on the tour trolley ($25), get off at a few attractions (Pirate Museum $13, Spanish Military Hospital $9, Whetstone Chocolate Factory Tour $8) and eat at the first place they see…

Don’t spend $55 a day per person plus a mediocre lunch and souvenirs! All of those stops are fun and good… but if you want to #EnjoyYourStayTheLocalWay, let me show you around!!

SWING park downtown st augustine
Let the kids run & play at S.W.I.N.G. Park in downtown St. Augustine.

Start outside! After all that travel time to get here, the kids need a chance to run and play without having to use their inside voice. St. Augustine’s S.W.I.N.G. Park has space for littles and big kids and is directly across from the parking garage ($12/day parking). If you’d rather cool your heels in the Atlantic, grab subs from Publix grocery store (they’re famously good- and you can order ahead online and skip the line!) then head South to our favorite Butler Beach.

Boardwalk to Butler Beach in St Augustine
Butler Beach has showers to rinse in, potties, covered picnic areas and a wide beach with plenty of shallow water to play in!

Hit the best attractions! There is so much to see and do here. We are locals and spend most of our “fun time” exploring St. Augustine and we still haven’t hit every tour and attraction!! So don’t worry about doing it all. Instead, choose from these to get the most bang for your buck (and to maximize your time!).

If you love history… head to Fort Matanzas. It’s free, includes a boat ride to the fort and tour of the fort. The nature trails there are stroller-friendly boardwalks and the signs along the trail are informative! You can save the $10 per adult admission to the Castillo de San Marcos downtown and expose your kids to the same experience. Bring some cash and donate a few bucks or tip the boat captain- all $ goes back into maintaining this hidden gem!

Colonial Quarter St Augustine Traditional Crafts Blacksmith
Colonial Quarter is your best way to learn St Augustine’s history and see traditional crafts such as blacksmithing.

In historic St. Augustine, spend your tourist dollars on admission to the Colonial Quarter. You have three options for tickets there, starting at $13/adult & $7/child. This is a hands-on, 2.5 acre living history museum that tells the story of St. Augustine as it has changed hands from a Spanish to British to American city.

Don’t eat bad food! The Taberna del Caballo (on Colonial Quarter property & St. George Street) is one of the best food experiences for families. The kitchen is overseen by local favorite Chef Michael of Michael’s Tasting Room but the ambiance is casual & family-friendly. Live music, open air setting, home made ginger beer (spicy & kid friendly!), the best sangria in town, candlelight only at night (pretend there’s no power… this is Colonial Spanish time!) all make this a must-try restaurant! Food is my passion- click through the Restaurants in St Augustine category of my site for lots of friendly-but-totally-biased restaurant reviews.

Hidden Dole Whip St Augustine

Snack time! If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll likely want to hit St. Augustine’s Dole Whip stand. Large families will love Cafe del Hidalgo‘s platter of gelato for only $16! My kids like to visit the Candy Shop every time we’re downtown (careful! That candy adds up quickly!) and French Fry Heaven is always a fun treat.

There is so much more to share… this entire website/blog is filled with our family’s adventures in St. Augustine! Subscribe to receive St. Augustine travel tips then click around and #EnjoyYourStayTheLocalWay!!


If you’re headed elsewhere this summer {gasp! Why would you not come to paradise? hehe} look through this staycation roundup list!

A – D

Phoenix, Arizona — Saving For Someday
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous

F – I

Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Destination Main Streets also has some great ideas for enjoying St. Aug!
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida —
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois — Entertaining Chicago
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss

K – P

Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High

R – W

Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That


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