By Carrie McLaren

My family recently visited St. Augustine for a day of exploring and making memories.

While the city has numerous spots rich with history, on this particular day we opted to visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum and the popular St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum was the very first of its kind in Florida, built in 1824 to rise 165 feet above sea level. It's 219 steps to the top, but worth it to view the ocean in the distance and the beautiful city of St. Augustine surrounding me.

For safety reasons, children must be at least 44 inches tall to climb to the top, but don’t worry if they don't measure up – there's a fantastic playground at the base of the lighthouse.

My girls loved exploring the area, which features a wooden pirate ship with a slide and lookout telescopes. It’s a great place for parents to admire the grounds, too.  

History buffs will enjoy visiting the maritime archaeology artifact conservation lab and meeting with archeologists. 

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is an adventure in itself. We had an up-close look at snakes, reptiles, birds, crocodiles and alligators during our visit.

The park is extremely educational, too. The Florida’s Forest Friends show highlights animals native to our state. And at the ‘Realm of the Alligator’ show in the Alligator Lagoon animal trainers shared great facts and even fed a few of the animals.

If you’re in need of adventure, check out the Crocodile Crossing, the Alligator Farm’s zip-line that whizzes you over the animals, including the alligator lagoon.

It was a day of adventures, learning and plenty of fun… and I can’t wait to go back.

If you go...

St. Augustine Lighthhouse & Museum
81 Lighthouse Avenue
St. Augustine, Fla 32080


St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
999 Anastasia Blvd,
St Augustine, Fla 32080


To follow along with Carrie McLaren’s travel adventures, check out the VISIT FLORIDA Family Insider Facebook page and follow along on Twitter at @VFFamilyInsider.