Top Reasons To Live In St. Augustine, Florida | Bee Mortgage App

April 20, 2023

Top Reasons To Live In St. Augustine, Florida | Bee Mortgage App

Top Reasons to live in St. Augustine, Florida

Vilano Beach St. Augustine, FL

While there are many places to possibly live in Florida, there’s one that’s so unique, it stands out for reasons the others can’t match, and never will be able to match. Located in St. Johns County, Florida, St. Augustine is quite literally a one-of-a-kind place you have to see and experience yourself to believe. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest city in America beating out Jamestown, Virginia by over 40 years. Named after the saint whose feast day fell on the day explorer and Spain’s top Admiral, Don Pedros Menendez de Aviles, stepped foot on the shores of Florida, St. Augustine is quaintly frozen in time.

The “nation’s oldest city” has beautiful cobblestone streets, Spanish-inspired architecture, and historical sights you won’t see anywhere else. From the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the county, to the Fountain of Youth and the Old Jail, there are tons of things to see and do in St. Augustine that aren’t Disney World or the beach (even though this historic coastal town has a beach, and a great beach at that; Vilano Beach). The attraction to make St. Augustine your permanent home is a strong attraction for visitors merely coming to take a stroll down history’s lane and feast on some of the best food, sights, and experiences in Florida.

Why move to Florida in the first place? 

ICYMI: here’s a quick recap of why you should consider moving to Florida to begin with: 

  • The Weather
    You get up to 300 sunny days every year. They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing.

  • No State Income Tax & Homestead Exemption
    Less taxes means you get to keep more of your money to do whatever you want with. 

  • The Beach
    The undeniable allure of Florida are some of the finest beaches in the country. About 1,000 people move to Florida every day.

  • The Florida Lifestyle
    Shorts, flip flops, sun dresses, sunglasses, beach cruisers, beach days, relaxing poolside in the free state of Florida. 

  • Stuff To Do
    With unrestrictive COVID policies that preserved individual and religious freedoms, there’s always something to do in Florida, especially on or near the water.

  • Affordable Housing & Living
    Believe it or not, Florida ranks very well nationally for affordable housing and living.

  • Florida Businesses
    The business of Florida is business, and one of the best states for a rewarding career. 

Why St. Augustine? 

First and foremost, this place is absolutely beautiful. The city is not modern in a sense that it’s trying to compete with other cities for advancements in city planning, building design and construction. Locals and visitors cherish and adore the old, historic buildings, churches, streets, waterways, lighthouse, and other elements of a bygone era. And it’s evident as soon as you arrive. 

The Bridge of Lions of the Intercoastal Waterway, St. Augustine

Few cities have the charm and feel, plus a street named the most beautiful street in America, like St. Augustine does. Magnolia Avenue runs in front of the Fountain of Youth and intersects with A1A, just west of the Usina Bridge to Vilano Beach. Live oak trees line the street providing a natural picturesque canopy that cast beautiful lights bursting through the leaves, moss and branches and shadows. The woundress views are why so many wedding pictures are taken on the lane, creating loving memories that last a lifetime. 

Magnolia Street, St. Augustine

Ideally situated along Florida’s First Coast, St. Augustine, Florida is a charming and historic city with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant community. Nestled in St. Johns County, the healthiest county in Florida eleven years in a row, St. Augustine offers numerous benefits, from a high quality of life for both career and social connections as people from all over the country flock to the bustling city, making it the perfect place to call home. St. Augustine is also minutes away from the beach, located along the intercoastal waterway of Florida creating scenic views on Saturday afternoons at the Conch House. 

Did you know? The the first orange trees were planted in St. Augustine, Florida in the mid-1500s.

One of the biggest relaxing and emotional advantages of living in St. Augustine is its warm, mild Florida climate. With comfortable temperatures and about 225 sunny days each year-round, residents can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and water sports throughout the year. The city's location on the First Coast also offers access to beautiful beaches and stunning natural scenery, in addition to many historic places to explore and discover.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse

Located on Anastasia Island, just across the Matanzas River from downtown St. Augustine, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is a historic landmark in Florida. Rumored to be haunted and featured on the TV series Ghost Hunters, the lighthouse is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, and has stoof for 140 years.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse

Originally built in 1824, the original lighthouse was deemed inadequate due to its short height and poor visibility for keepers and ship captains navigating the dynamic inlet where the Tolomato and Matanzas rivers converge. Often hazardous during storm conditions when wind meets the current, the new lighthouse began construction in 1871 to provide a much needed landmark for safe passage. When it was complete in 1874 and it in October of the same year, it was 165 feet tall and was equipped with a first-order Fresnel lens, becaming one of the most powerful lighthouses for its time. Mariners relied heavily upon the lighthouse as a critical navigational aid in the treacherous coastal waters. 

Visitors climb 219 steps to the top of the lighthouse for scenic views of the intercoastal waterway, shoreline, and discover why the lighthouse was used during World War II as a lookout by the Coast Guard on watch for enemy submarines and ships. The lighthouse also features a museum, picnic area, and gift shop; along with 

Today, visitors can climb the 219 steps to the top of the lighthouse for stunning views of the surrounding area. Along the way, they can explore exhibits on the history of the lighthouse and its keepers, as well as the history of St. Augustine and the surrounding area. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, the lighthouse grounds also feature a museum, gift shop, a picnic area, and legends of ghosts of former keepers and their families that haunt the lighthouse. Visitors have reported seeing strang apparitions, blurry shapes, unexplained noises, and the overwhelming sensation of cold spot throughout the lighthouse.

The Old Fort

Castillo de San Marcos

Go back in time to about 100 years before the Revolutionary War. Located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in downtown St. Augustine and officiially named Castillo de San Marcos, the fort is the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. With lots of greasy open areas surrounding the fort, this is a great place to spend the day exploring, discovering, and relaxing with a picnic. Perched high in the fort, visitors enjoy historic sights of cannons and cannon balls, along with stunning views of the inlet, the intercoastal waterway, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Downtown St. Augustine 

If you want to spend the ideal evening just wandering around old shops, dining at incredible restaurants, and seeing historic sights, go to the heart of the city, historic downtown St. Augustine. Walking through the charming old, cobblestone streets and shops featuring picturesque architecture takes you back in time, and is easy to spend an entire day enjoying. From antique and unique shops offering everything from handmade jewelry to vintage clothing and gourmet deserts, many people from the surrounding areas go to St. Augustine for a weekend dinner, meeting up with friends, or fun family events. 

Flanked by two white marbled lion statues, the Bridge of Lions is a double-leaf bascule bridge that span the intercoastal Waterway connecting Anastasia Island to downtown St. Augustine. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is very popular with visitors and locals alike. A must-do is a walk over the bridge giving siteseers perfect views of the sailboats anchored in the inlet. 

Another popular spots to visit is St. George Street. A pedetiran-only street that’s lined with historic buildings, shops, and places to eat. With a lively arts culture, numerous galleries, theaters, and very popular ampitherater that hosts some of the biggest names in music, there’s always something happening in the vibrant city.

River & Fort fried green tomatoes; Llama, St. Augustine; Mayday Ice Cream, St. Augustine

Two of the best restaurants in Florida are in downtown St. Augustine; River and Fort, and just over the Bridge of Lions is Llama, the best Peruvian food around. Be sure to try and fried green tomatoes at River & Fort, and anything at Llama. Llama is a place you could easily pass by if you didn’t know what you were looking for; and with limited seating reservations go fast, so plan in advance. When you're done eating, some of the best ice cream in Florida is found at Mayday Ice Cream. Handcrafted in Florida, along with homemade waffle cones and homemade sprinkles, Mayday is the best place to go for desert after a night of fine dining. If you’re spending a weekend site seeing with the family, be sure to bring the kids by Mayday for a quick, cold treat!

World Golf Village

Built by the PGA Tour and featuring the World Golf Hall of Fame, the World Golf Village is a must-see themed resort for golf enthusiasts seeking to discover the history of golf in an comfortable, relaxing environment. Whether its a vacation, local resident, or someone working in one of the many commercial developments, there’s dining and entertainment for everyone. 

World Golf Village; Resort style home; Hall of Fame

The resort features a golf academy and two Golf Digest 4.5 star (out of 5) rated champion courses, the King & Bear, jointly designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus; and the Slammer & Squire, a collaboration by Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen. Both sources have hosted nationally televised golf tournaments and a Champions Tour event. The resort also offers residential homes that are beautifauly situated along the scenic courses, and elsewhere, for those who want to make the resor their permanent residence.

St. Augustine Beach

The closest beach to St. Augustine is Vilano Beach, which you can drive on, and is located between the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Intercoastal Waterway on the west. Due to its unique location and can’t-miss sunrises, Vilano is legendary among the locals and has everything you need for a fun day at the beach that won’t break the bank. The Vilano Beach pier is lined with picnic tables for convenient dining and you can watch the sunset over downtown St. Augustine from there. There’s also watersports, shell hunting, waterfront dining at Caps, all-night fishing, and unforgettable views of downtown St. Augustine.  has everything you need for the ideal beach vacation that won’t break the bank.

St. Augustin Beach; Vilano Beach

Vilano and St. Augustine Beach have a small-town feel that makes you want to play like a tourist. With lot’s of beachside parking waterfront dining and entertainment, you don’t have to pack much or travel far to make a day of it. There’s surf shops, food truck, concession stands, bike rentals, paddle boarding, and souvenir shops. Only two miles east of St. Augustine, it’s easy to rent a small hotel and make a night of it, like a lot of locals do. Experiencing the local St. Augustine beaches makes you want to get lost and never return.

Affordable Housing & Living

While St. Johns County is the wealthiest county in Florida (ranked by median income), the cost of living in St. Augustine is 1% lower than the national average. The median home price is about $500,000 and the city has many options to choose from, with houses in the historic district to ocean front (or near ocean). There’s all different types of homes to choose from and the affordable cost of living makes raising a family or retiring in St. Augustine ideal. Whether you dream about a condo with an unbeatable view, or a home for your family with a pool, perhaps, you can find every type of home in St. Augustine.

Condominium with an ocean view; home with pool; single family home in the historic district.

With a major Florida college, low taxes, and a business friendly local government that attracts talent from all over the state, your money goes further in St. Augustine than most other places as the county gives residents more purchasing power than anywhere else in the state. Living in St. Augustine is peaceful and relaxing, the typical Florida experience, with lot’s of stuff to do in the area and nearby. Lot’s of out of town students end up staying after graduation due to how great the city and beaches area is; and there’s a well-defined pathway for career advancement along with upgrades to a bigger and better house in the area.

There is lot's of new housing development going on in St. Augustine. With multiple, active home builders in the area, buyers are certain to find a property type and home style you love. 

New housing developments include

  • Seasons at Morada
  • Brandon Lakes at Silver Landing
  • Parkland Preserve
  • Grand Oaks - The Grove
  • Verano Creek
  • Trailmark
  • Seaside Vista
  • Oak Grove at SilverLeaf
  • Preserve at Beacon Lake
  • Rolling Hills
  • The Landing at Beacon Lake
  • Elm Creek at Silver Leaf
  • The Trails at Grand Oaks
  • Bridgewater
  • Sable Estates
  • SilverLeaf Waterford Lakes
  • Falls at Shearwater
  • Morgan's Cove
  • Silver Landing at SilverLeaf
  • TrailMark 70's & 80's

New Construction Homes, St. Augustine

The St. Augustine, Florida real estate market has been resilient due to the high demand for affordable housing options in friendly, low-tax areas of Florida. St. Augustine is also highly sought after by retirees and snowbirds escaping restrictive state government policies and cold weather. 

The Median Home Price Compared to a Year Ago:

$484,495 (+17.2%)

Home Price By Bedroom Count:

Beds              March 2022       March 2023         %
1 Bedroom      $189K                 $230K              +21.7%           
2 Bedroom      $320K                 $330K              +3.1%
3 Bedroom      $407.4K              $475K              +16.6%
4 Bedroom      $524K                 $675K              +28.8%
5 Bedroom      $645K                 $774K              +20.1%

Number of Homes Sold:

March 2022   March 2023    %
14                  21                +50%

Asking Price vs. Sold Price 
26 under asking price
5 at asking price

Average Home Sale Time

March 2022   March 2023      %
39                  90              +128.1%

Homes For Sale:

February 2022     March 2023      %
134                     147          +9.7%

Beds           February 2022       March 2023     %
1 Bedroom            2                           2            0.0%           
2 Bedroom           33                          27        -18.2%
3 Bedroom           58                          71        +22.4%
4 Bedroom           32                          36        +12.5%
5 Bedroom            9                           11        +22.2%


Schools & Sports For Kids

St. Augustine is located in St. Johns County, which was recently ranked the #1 school district in Florida. St. Augustine has some of the finest schools and educators in all of Florida. There’s also highly-rated and recommended sports leagues for kids of all ages, including soccer, baseball, football, basketball, dance, cheerleading, gymnastics, and lacross. With dedicated and caring coaches, each kids has an opportunity to pursue their competitive dreams!

Dining & Entertainment

Although many of the old, historic places are still around, there’s always a new place to try in St. Augustine. River & Post along with Llama are fairly new places to eat, while other places such as Caps have been around for a while. You’ll find some of the best food and desert places tucked away along the old, cobblestone narrow streets that have been stuck in time for centuries. From quick bites to the second best pizza in all America, quant little coffee shops and cafes, you’ll never get tired of dining at it’s finest!

View from River & Fort, St. Augustine

The entertainment possibilities in St. Augustine are many! Here’s just a small sample of stuff to do:


Explore the Old Forts & Castle Otttis


Explore the Lighthouse


Discover Ripley’s Believe It Or Not


Explore the Lightner Museum


Dine at the Reef, ocean front restaurant


Night Of Lights at Christmas Time


Eat at Caps on the Water under sunset


Watch the sunrise at Vilano Beach


Eat at River & Fort overlooking the old fort and Intercoastal Waterway



Stroll down St. George Street and discover history in downtown St. Augustine


Visit the Alligator Farm


Catch a show at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

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