Anastasia State Park is windswept and sandy, with an arc of beach that stretches four miles to Matanzas Inlet, curving in on itself to face the ancient city of St. Augustine.
Resources for exploring the area
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Location: St. Augustine
Address: 300 Anastasia Park Rd, St. Augustine
Fees: $8 per vehicle
Restroom: At the lagoonside picnic area and beach parking
Land manager: Florida State Parks
Open 8 AM until sunset daily. Leashed pets welcome but not on beach.
From downtown St. Augustine, cross the Bridge of Lions to follow A1A south. Just past the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, the road curves; the park entrance is on the left.
About the Park
While it gets busy on summer weekends, there is so much space that a simple ramble brings solitude and seashells, squawking seagulls and pelicans floating overhead.
Now that cars are no longer allowed on the beach, the sweep of hard-packed sand provides one of the best beach walks in Florida.
The campground and nature trail are set in deep shade under the wind-shaped canopy of wizened live oaks, and the lagoon attracts kayakers and windsurfers.
At the park entrance are quarries from the 1500s that defined St. Augustine, the massive coquina blocks sliced out by slave labor under Spanish direction and moved to the city to build its fortifications.
Visit for an hour or a weekend and find your own quiet space in this 1,600 acre state park.
See our photos of Anastasia State Park
More worth exploring while you’re in this area.
The only remaining 17th century fortress in North America, the Castillo de San Marcos defended the Spanish colony of St. Augustine from two British sieges in the 1700s.
A little-known chapter in Florida history is that of Fort Mose, the first free African settlement in the South in pre-Colonial America. The settlement site is preserved and interpreted at Fort Mose Historic State Park.
Gentle loop trails showcase wild spaces and cultivated grounds at Princess Place Preserve, an 1880s homestead on Pellicer Creek with a campground on site.