Looking for a new Summer adventure? From parasailing to horseback rides on the beach, St. Augustine beaches have activities for everyone -- adventure seekers and families alike.
Tired of the usual routine at the beach? Enough said.
Instead, skate, gallop or fly over the variety of beaches and adjacent waterways of St. Augustine and for a more authentic experience.
St. Augustine’s beaches have many activities both for adventure seekers and families alike. Take the kids to the splash pad at St. Augustine Beach Pier and sunbath for the day, or head north on A1A and wave to boats traveling in and out of the inlet at Porpoise Point. Hunt for shells, sea glass or other mysterious treasures on the shelly north beaches, from Vilano Beach to Ponte Vedra Beach.
Many attractions in St. Augustine are wheelchair accessible — and the beach is no exception. Visitors with reduced mobility can enjoy the soft, sandy beaches and salty water with beach-friendly wheelchairs, free to rent from St. Augustine Bike Rentals.
With St. Augustine’s accessible beaches, anyone can enjoy sunbathing or swimming in the Atlantic. For those seeking more adventure, this list of unique experiences will provide some thrilling ideas.
While some items on this list may be physically demanding or only appropriate for adults, there are several activities that almost anyone can enjoy.
Soar above the Atlantic Ocean and take in the sights of Vilano Beach, Anastasia Island and downtown St. Augustine. St. Augustine Parasail takes adventure seekers through the Matanzas Inlet and into the Atlantic Ocean. Witness the scenery and marine life the local waters have to offer.
Say “cheese” on your way up. The first mate will take photos of the experience, which are available for purchase afterward. Trips lasts approximately an hour, and discounted rates are offered for groups of five or more.
Fun in the sun and on the water makes for a great day, but sunburn does not. Make sure to bring lots of sunscreen and beach attire.
St. Augustine Parasail is located at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina next to the Bridge of Lions downtown.
For information, go to staugustineparasail.com or call 904-547-9608.
If parasailing isn’t extreme enough, check out kitesurfing at Ocean Extreme Sports.
Take kitesurfing lessons from experts, as they teach everything from the basics in the classroom to advanced lessons in the water.
Basic training starts with ground school, where instructors teach basic skills to help determine safe wind conditions, perform basic flying maneuvers and fly a four-line kiteboarding kite. Level two takes students into the water. Experts demonstrate how to fly a kite in the sky, water relaunching and body dragging, among other techniques.
Once students have mastered this level of the course, instructors offer a level three class to help fine tune riding skills and take the experience to the next level.
For information, go to oceanextremesports.com or call 904-461-9415.
Love being on the beach, but don’t want to be in the water? Landboarding may be could be the answer.
Landboarding is another form of kitesurfing, but instead of surfing the waves, experience skating down 10 miles of vast, open beaches. Ocean Extreme Sports offers an introductory four-hour class that covers the basics and a variety of techniques.
For information, go to oceanextremesports.com or call 904-461-9415.
4. Beach rentals
The Florida sun and sea can be a best friend or worst enemy. Instead of buying new beach chairs and umbrellas that will collect dust waiting for the next vacation, beachgoers can rent them from Barney’s Beach Service.
Barney’s Beach Service not only offers beach chairs and umbrellas, but also surfboards, beach bikes and beach towels. Another useful item for the beach is Kona Gold Tanning Oil, created by the owners of Barney’s Beach Service. Their line of tanning products includes natural ingredients, such as Kona coffee and green tea.
Rentals can be delivered to guests in at a variety of locations along St. Augustine Beach. They are next to Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week if weather permits.
For information, go to barneysbeachservice.com or call 904-461-1422.
5. Ride horses on the beach
Plan a romantic ride at sunset and take in the sights, or take the family for an authentic beach experience.
The group, Ride the Beaches of Amelia Island guides riders through the beautiful scenery that Amelia Island has to offer on one-hour tours. Well trained horses are provided, and the excursion is suitable for beginners. There is a four-person limit, but up to six people can be accommodated with advance notice.
Horseback riding is also available at Mickler’s Landing Equestrian Access located just south of Ponte Vedra Beach. Boundaries for riding stretch from the Mickler’s Landing Equestrian Access to the Surfside Avenue walkover located north of the Vilano Bridge.
Another hot spot for horseback riding is on Anastasia Island. Butler Beach, located two miles south of St. Augustine Beach, is prime shoreline for taking a ride.
For information about Ride the Beaches of Amelia Island, call 904-753-1701.
For information about where to ride on the beach, go to co.st-johns.fl.us/HCP/Riding.aspx.
6. Biplane tours
What better way to see the nation’s oldest city than by flying?
Whether your partner has an adventurous spirit or is a history buff about the Golden Age of Aviation, The St. Augustine Air Tours takes guests on a thrilling ride through the sky and through time.
The 1935 Waco YOC is an original fully restored luxury 1935 WOC Custom Cabin Waco biplane, according to St. Augustine Air Tours. The authentic biplane is owned by Dave and Veronica Genet and is the only company that offers flights in this model, according to their website.
Fly over Vilano Beach into downtown or fly south over Anastasia Island at sunset. The biplane sits up to four passengers and is great for bringing along the kids, adventuring with friends or for an unforgettable date.
For information, go to staugustinebiplanerides.com or call 904-625-1450.
7. Helicopter rides
If flying in a vintage biplane won’t be enough airtime, get a bird’s-eye view of St. Augustine and the surrounding area by helicopter. Helicopter Tours of St. Augustine offers unique experiences, including a view of downtown, the Bridge of Lions and Porpoise Point, to name a few.
Looking for a breathtaking date night? Book the Romance Sunset Package and fly over 12 miles of beach as the sun sets behind downtown.
There is a minimum requirement of two people per flight and no maximum, but there is a discount offered for parties of nine or larger. Flights depart on a walk-in basis throughout the day, so plan on arriving half an hour to an hour before taking off.
For information, go to oldcityhelicopters.com or call 904-824-5506.
8. Find shark’s teeth
Shark’s teeth are an authentic souvenir from the beach, and Vilano Beach is a prime spot to find them.
St. Augustine’s Shark Teeth Hunting Tours knows it. Drive to Anahma Drive on Vilano Beach and look for the so-called shark tent, where the tour begins.
Hunters will have the opportunity to learn about prehistoric shark teeth and shells, along with marine life and sea glass. Experts will teach techniques used to discover a variety of treasure hidden in the sand of the coquina beach.
Walking Tours operate around the tide and last one hour. Reservations are required.
For information, go to the Facebook page, “St. Augustine’s Shark Teeth Hunting Tours.”
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This story originally published to staugustine.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.