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Place Category: Beach Towns
Just south of the historic district of St. Augustine, is the serene barrier island popularly known as Anastacia Island. Tourists come to Anastacia Island for the beautiful beaches that line its coast, as well as, the different activities that you can enjoy. There are some parts of the island which is considered within the city limits of St. Augustine. In addition, there are also areas which are state parks.
Just like most areas within its vicinity, Anastacia Island has a rich history, dating back to the Timucuan Indians in the 1500’s. It was also during these times when Spanish explorers started to colonize Florida, thus they built forts which still stands to this day.
The island is also home to some surprising archaeological areas where many scientists and experts are still using as a point of study today. Areas such as the Fountain of Youth Park and Menendez First Camp Site.
Attractions in Anastacia Island
• St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum – Every year, the lighthouse and museum receive more than 200,000 visitors, both tourists and those from nearby schools who wish to know more about history. In the late 1500’s it is believed that the Spanish settlers built a watchtower in the same area. The purpose is to warn the settlements located in the St.Augustine area of oncoming enemies, in the later years, this was replaced by a lighthouse. The same lighthouse is officially known as St. Augustine’s oldest surviving brick structure. The area is now preserved and maintained by the museum authorities.
• The Anastasia State Park – This park offers at least 1,600 acres abundant wildlife within rich ecosystems. You can enjoy discovering miles and miles of crystal clear beaches, an estuarine tidal marsh that is rich in endemic plants and animals, or you can hike or bike along trails. You can also enjoy other activities like swimming, lounging at the beaches, picnics, there are also opportunities to enjoy water sports like surfing, boating, paddle boarding and kayaking.
• Coquina Quarry – This important archaeological site is located within the Anastacia State Park. It is where coquina rock was mined during the construction of the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument which is nearby the area.
• St. John County Pier – Prepare your fishing rods as you laze the afternoon away at the St. John County Pier.
• Fort Matanzas National Monument – This site includes a 1740 Spanish fort which was originally built to guard the Matanzas Inlet. It was then strategically placed to guard possible rear entrance towards settlements in then the nearby St. Augustine. The fort is made of coquina a shell stone that is commonly used during that time and naturally found in the area.
• Enjoy Water Sports – There are several beaches that line the coasts of Anastacia Island. Here you are able to rent out equipment for surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and even underwater diving.
• Eco Tours – Many parts of the island are amazingly pristine and offers a raw nature experience. Check out local guides who are offering eco tours to experience nature at its finest.
How To Get There
From St. Augustine it is easy to get to the beautiful Anastacia Island, in as little as 15 minutes you will be able to enjoy the pristine beaches in the area. Drive southeast on San Marco Ave. Cross the Bridge of Lions towards Anastacia Blvd. also known as A1A.
Driving into St. Augustine, Florida is easy whether you are coming from the north or south. Take Interstate 95 and exit on 311 down to the beautiful Florida Highway A1A. Driving from the west, you can take Interstate 10 to arrive at Jacksonville and drive south towards St. Augustine.