The country’s oldest city, pet friendly St. Augustine, offers beaches, historic sites, and dozens of dog-welcoming restaurant patios. It’s worth visiting many times in different seasons to experience everything it offers to pet travelers.
Whether you prefer hiking, boating, walking, or just hanging out and watching people, pet friendly St. Augustine offers visitors with pets plenty of activities to enjoy together. I have visited four times with my dog, Honey, and we have never run out of things to do!
Take A Pet Friendly Tour
Perhaps the best way to start your visit is by taking a tour.
St. Augustine is a small city. But its wealth of pet friendly activities means you run the risk of running out of vacation time before running out of things to do. Why not start by taking a tour to get familiar with all the town has to offer?
Explore St. Augustine on foot, by bus, or by boat. You might even meet spooky specters on one of the city’s haunted tours.
Touring St. Augustine By Boat Or Bus
Scenic Cruises of St. Augustine offers 75-minute, narrated tours up to 5 times a day during most of the year. Tours leave the St. Augustine marina, just south of the Bridge of Lions. Your dog is welcome aboard the boat, but you must keep them on a leash.
READ MORE ⇒ 5 Questions To Ask BEFORE Taking A Dog On A Boat
The best way to see St. Augustine is from the water.
Or you can enjoy a variety of private and public nature tours through St. Augustine Eco Tours. Make your reservation in advance and let them know you would like to bring your polite pup. Tour routes vary each day to give you the best chance of seeing manatees, dolphins, turtles, or other sea creatures.
Another option are the open-air Red Train Tours which leave from the pet friendly Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. Your small pet is welcome to join you on tours, as long has he sits on your lap.
Pet Friendly Walking Tours In St. Augustine
St. Augustine Historic Tours offers a variety of options to explore the city on foot. Their popular Conquistatour welcomes polite pets to join you. But they also occasionally offer specialty tours with dogs in mind.
Past tours included their “Bone Appetit Pet Friendly Food Tour” or the “St. Augustine Pup Crawl.” So check their website to see new tours they offer.
Some people believe pets sense paranormal activity. And in nearly 4 centuries, St. Augustine has accumulated quite a few ghosts. Pet friendly ghost walking tours include A Ghostly Encounter, Ghost Tours of St. Augustine, and Old City Ghosts.
In addition, some local Air BnB hosts offer private, pet friendly excursions for an additional fee. Look for these special activities when you book your stay.
If you and your pup are more independent, you can always pick up a map at the visitor center (10 S Castillo Drive) and do your own self-guided walking tour.
Along the way, you’ll pass several historic sites—perfect for an impromptu photo shoot.
READ MORE ⇒ 6 Simple Steps To Get Your Dog Posing For Photos
Sailor loves a good walk. And St. Augustine offers plenty to see!Photo credit – Just a Girl and Her Dog and a Boat on FB
Visit A Historic Site
Downtown Historic District
Start at the Castillo San Marco (1 S Castillo Drive). This National Historic Site is the oldest fortification in the United States, built by the Spanish to protect Atlantic trade.
Honey outside the Castillo San Marco.
Sorry, only humans are allowed inside the fort. But the grassy grounds are great for a picnic and a stroll around the walls. And one person can wait with pets while another explores indoors. There is an admission fee to enter the fort. And since the site has no shade, make sure you pack water for yourself and your pets.
Between the waterfront and St. George’s Street, visit the Colonial Quarter (14 S Castillo Drive), a living history museum. You can stroll the public areas and dine on the pet friendly patios for free. But to take advantage of demonstrations or to climb the watchtower, you must buy a ticket.
Walk one block north to view the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse (14 St. George Street). Part of a Minorcan homestead established in the late 1700s, the building and gardens are a rich historical treasure. And yes, polite pets are welcome too!
Then walk about 10 minutes south to the Spanish Military Hospital Museum (3 Aviles Street). They welcome pets on fully guided tours. Learn about Colonial medical practices. Remember to reassure your dog that you’re not taking him to the vet.
Take a long walk (about a half hour) or a short drive to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park (11 Magnolia Avenue). Exhibits at the pet friendly park will teach you about the original settlers of the area, the Timicua, as well as the arrival of the Spanish.
Is the Fountain of Youth real? Probably not. But why not give your dog a drink from it just in case.
Magnolia Avenue, the parks address, is known as one of the most beautiful streets in America. So make sure to stop and take a photo of the live oak trees sweeping over the street.
But there are so many more sites to explore with your pet: the St. Augustine Lighthouse (100 Red Cox Drive), the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum (19 San Marco Avenue), and Fort Mose (15 Fort Mose Trail). The fort is the site of the first legally-sanctioned, free African American settlement and a beautiful, green space.
Wineries, Breweries, & Distilleries
Whew! After all that walking, you have earned yourself a drink. Time to check out the local dog-friendly wineries, breweries, and distilleries.
A few local alcohol businesses welcome dogs (at least small dogs) on tours. Just don’t overdo it. You don’t want your pup to have to walk home without you.
Pet Friendly Distilleries & Wineries
The St. Augustine Distillery (112 Riveria Street) offers a tour and craft cocktail sampling. Dogs are permitted on tours but the distillery asks that you keep them on a leash at all times.
City Gate Spirits (11 St. George Street) is a short walk from the Castillo San Marco. And they welcome dogs on tours and tastings.
Dog Friendly Breweries
If hard liquor is not your thing, several breweries offer pet friendly seating as well.
Ancient City Brewing‘s (3420 Agricultural Center Drive) original brewhouse hosts special events and regular visits from local food trucks. They also have a roomy, pet friendly patio.
Or check out Bog Brewing Company (218 W King Street) which serves classic, seasonal brews on historic King Street.
Dog Rose Brewing Co (77 Bridge Street) is a short walk from the historic area. They welcome dogs on their open patio.
And Old Coast Ales (300 Anastasia Blvd) has an indoor/outdoor taproom with live music. They welcome polite dogs at the tables outside.
Dog Friendly Wineries
The San Sebastian Winery (157 King Street) allows small dogs on tours and in the rooftop bar. Dogs must be carried or remain on a leash.
Pet Friendly Shopping
If your dog has been a very good girl or boy, don’t they deserve a treat? Stop in one of the local pet boutiques to get them a special treat.
Sailor would love a special treat for Christmas. Photo credit: Just a Girl and Her Dog and a Boat on FB
Check out Faux Paws (97 St. George Street) for special baked treats and accessories. This small shop is usually busy with pets and the people who love them. Or stop by Paradise Poochie (280 State Route 312) for Adventure Pets (51-1 Cordova Street) for an even larger selection of supplies, food, and treats.
St. Augustine’s Pet Friendly Beaches
Of course, your pet did not ask you to come to St. Augustine for shopping, right? Make time to hit the beach.
You may take your dog on all St. Augustine’s beaches, except at Anastasia State Park. Dogs must remain on a leash on all beaches.
READ MORE ⇒ Best Pet Friendly Beaches In Florida
Please note that migratory birds breed along St. Augustine’s shores from April to August. And sea turtles nest from March through October. So please keep your enthusiastic pups from stressing birds. Give them plenty of room. And pay attention to signs marking off sea turtle nests.
Most parking areas have showers for rinsing sand off your feet or paws. So you can go right from the beach to lunch at one of the city’s many pet friendly patios.
St. Augustine Restaurants With Dog Friendly Patios
So most of St. Augustine’s restaurants and bars with outdoor patios welcome you to dine with your dog. Some will even provide a drink or snack.
You will have no problem finding food you love, from Spanish to fast food to fresh seafood. And if one patio is too crowded, just keep walking. You are sure to find another one soon.
READ MORE ⇒ Taking Your Dog To Pet Friendly Restaurants
Tuxedo enjoys watching people on a restaurant patio in pet friendly St. Augustine. Photo Credit: Carrie Johnson Boyko.
Here are just a few restaurants with pet friendly patios to get you started:
Ann O’Malley’s (23 Orange Street)
Auggie’s Draft Room (3 St. George Street)
Barley Republic (48 Spanish Street)
Casa Maya (22 Hypolita Street)
Crave Food Truck (135 King Street)
Florida Cracker Cafe (81 St. George Street)
Harry’s Seafood (46 Avenida Menendez)
Hurricane Grill (4255 A1A S)
Hurricane Patty’s (69 Lewis Blvd)
Kingfish Grill (252 Yacht Club Drive)
Meehan’s Irish Pub (20 Avenida Menendez)
Mojo Old City Barbecue (5 Cordova Street)
O C White’s (118 Avenida Menendez)
One Twenty Three Burger House (123 King Street)
Pizzalley’s (60 Charlotte Street)
Preserved (102 Bridge Street)
Raintree Restaurant (102 San Marco Avenue)
Salt Life Food Shack (321 A1A Beach Blvd)
Sunset Grille (421 A1A Beach Blvd)
Taberna del Caballo (37 St. George Street)
The Floridian (72 Spanish Street)
The Reef (4100 Coastal Hwy)
Vilano Grill 180 (180 Vilano Road)
Although I have visited St. Augustine with Honey several times while cruising the Intracoastal Waterway, we have dined at a small fraction of this list. And only at the restaurants within walking distance of the marina and mooring field.
So make sure you share your favorite pet friendly dining spots in the comments below!
St. Augustine Dog Parks
If wearing a leash at the beach makes your dog sad, consider checking out one of the local dog parks.
Treaty Park is a 47-acre county park with its own Paws Park. With separate areas for small and large dogs, drinking water, and kiddie pools for splashing around, your pup will have a blast! If you need to tire your dog out just a little before entering the park, walk the park’s nature trail first.
Just north of downtown, find Pomar Park. Situated along the San Sebastian River, the dog park has a grassy area with trees for shade and a kiddie pool to cool off in.
And the big draw of the Shearwater Dog Park is agility equipment! The park also has fun human activities, including a 3-story water slide and hiking trails.
In St. Augustine Beach, you will find the Ron Parker Park Off-Leash Area (44 Old Beach Road). And Vilano Beach has a small off-leash area at North Shore Park (3721 Coastal Highway).
When enjoying the St. Augustine waterfront at dusk, keep an eye out for egrets.
Attend an Outdoor Concert
Not all dog friendly activities have to be active. Perhaps your lazy pup prefers napping at a local concert? Summer in St. Augustine has her covered.
St. Augustine has been running its Concerts in the Plaza series for over 30 years! Listen to local and regional musicians perform Thursday evenings from the end of May through September in the Plaza de Constitución (170 St. George Street). Bring a chair or blanket.
Also, on Wednesday nights, St. Augustine Beach offers Music by the Sea at the pier (350 AIA Beach Blvd). Bring your own picnic or buy a meal from a local restaurant providing food for the concert.
Pet Friendly Lodging
After an activity-packed day in St. Augustine, you will need a quiet and comfy place to stay. Luckily, there are dozens of pet friendly hotels, house rentals, and a few campgrounds. Click through the accommodations options on GoPetFriendly.com to find the perfect stay for you.
Here are a few pet friendly stays to help you plan your trip.
At Journey’s End
Bayfront Marin House
Beacher’s Lodge Vacation Rentals
Best Western – Bayfront
Casa de Solana
Casa Monica Resort & Spa
Days Inn – West
Days Inn Historic Downtown
Guy Harvey Resort (also has a pet friendly restaurant)
Inn at Camachee Harbor
Holiday Inn – World Golf
Home2 Suites – 1-95
La Quinta Inn & Suites
North Beach Camp Resort
Ocean Sands Resort Inn
Old City House Inn (has a pet friendly restaurant)
Quality Inn Saint Augustine Beach Area
Quality Inn Saint Augustine Outlet Mall
Southern Oaks Inn
Saint Augustine Beach KOA Holiday
St. Francis Inn
Super 8 Motel
The Collector Luxury Inn
The Flagler Inn
The Kenwood Inn
The Saint Augustine Beach House
Don’t Leave Your Pet Behind
One of my strongest memories from our stays in St. Augustine was the many people who came up to pet Honey. They told us they had left their own dogs at home. And I had to wonder, why?
St. Augustine is the most pet friendly town I’ve ever visited!
A schooner sails by the Bridge of Lions.
So here is one insider tip. Are pet lovers interrupting you to get a furry fix on their vacation? Send them to cuddle the cats up for adoption at the Witty Whisker Cat Cafe.
The kitties looking for homes will thank you. And it is a good place for pet loving travelers visiting St. Augustine to get a kitty fix.
The post Pet Friendly St. Augustine – What Should You Do During Your Visit? appeared first on GoPetFriendly.com.