When most people think of St Augustine, they think of buccaneer bars and cobbled streets, crooked pirate taverns an centuries-old colonial forts. But that's the historic heart of the town. Over the Matanzas River and by the ocean is the other side of the golden doubloon. There, St Augustine Beach rentals beckon you to a chilled-out exclave of rolling waves, oyster grills, and creaking fishing piers. It's a chance to mix R&R with Floridian history.
The range of St Augustine Beach rentals
From white-painted casas clinging to the cobbled lanes of the Historic District to multi-bedroom homes that fling open their front door onto visions of frothing Atlantic surf, there's a real medley of different rentals in St Augustine, FL, to get through.
Go Robinson Crusoe with cabins on the beach
You're not in Key West just yet – it’s worth remembering that, what with all the Caribbean-styled lean-tos that speckle the coastal roads along St Augustine Beach. Painted in hues of daffodil yellow and cloud white, they often tout timber porches and hammock-swinging gardens, along with compact interiors that are sure to get the romance a-flowing.
Luxurious oceanfront pads
A select few vacation rentals in St Augustine, FL, really stand out from the crowd. The crème-de-la-crème of the crop, they string along the shoreline from Vilano Beach in the north to Anastasia Island in the south. Almost all have stunning views of the beaches. Most have multiple bedrooms. And then come the extras – from interiors inspired by the nautical charms of New England to big swimming pools and spa facilities.
Pet-friendly St Augustine vacation rentals
St Augustine Beach holds the enviable reputation as being one of the most dog-friendly spots on the whole Florida coast. All of the region's beaches – bar the Anastasia State Park – allow canines to hit the sands. Those four-legged family members will need to be kept on the leash, though. What's more, oodles of the local cottage rentals will welcome pooches, asking only a small extra fee per animal, per stay.
Awesome areas where you can score St Augustine rentals
With one foot in the swells of the Atlantic Ocean and the other on the weathered cobbles of Florida's oldest city, it's really important to pick the right area when booking a St Augustine Beach vacation rental. The guide below should help…
St Augustine Beach rentals – oceanfront and Beach Blvd
The laid-back, surf-washed village center of St Augustine Beach itself is anchored on Beach Boulevard. It's a long and loveable stretch of road that's always kissed by breezy trade winds. There, you can score sumptuous villas or cabin shacks nestled between sizzling seafood buffets, BBQ houses, ice-cream parlors, and pie shops.
Muskets and marauding pirates in the Historic District
Saint Augustine Historic District is a magnet for lovers of military history and American history more generally. Hailed as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the country, it's topped by the muscular Castillo de San Marcos and packed with museums dedicated to conquistadores and colonial settlers. Amid it all are quirky St Augustine rentals, including spooky haunted B&Bs and sumptuous boutique aparthotels in centuries-old buildings.
Escape the crowds in Butler Beach
Go south from the center of St Augustine Beach and you'll find the houses get a little larger, the yards start to get bigger, and there's a more get-away-from-it-all vibe. That all comes courtesy of Butler Beach's off-radar location, even though you can still expect to discover pristine white sands overlooked by oat-clad dunes.
Spreading from the Matanzas Inlet to the wild ocean waters of the Atlantic, Vilano Beach is the closest of all to St Augustine's Historic District. The proximity gives it an extra buzz, which you can always sense as you strut down the Art Deco-infused promenades, between the surf shacks and the babbling fountains.
How to secure good deals on St Augustine rentals
Ghost walks, history reenactments in the mighty fortresses, surf lessons on Vilano's swells, shrimp gumbos in the BBQ grills – there are loads of activities and experiences that you'll want to direct the travel budget at in this corner of Florida. Cue the top tips below, which help save as much as possible on the cost of St Augustine Beach rentals.
Find the sweet spot with the seasons
From Christmas to spring break, and the start of the summer all the way to August, St Augustine Beach vacation homes tend to be packed out with sun seekers and history buffs. That said, there tends to be a small dip in demand around late April and early May, when the crowds reduce a tad, and you'll find fewer folk competing for the best deals.
Beachfront rentals will usually cost more
It's not always the case but it's likely that a home right on the sands of Vilano Beach, St Augustine Beach, or Butler Beach will be a pricier option. If you're determined to have the sound of sloshing water as you head to bed, why not think about the more affordable lettings over on the Matanzas River side of the isles.