St. Augustine Instashots: Top 10 Must-Have Photos of America’s Oldest City

It’s not that you’re a mean person, but let’s be honest: Some of the fun of vacation is reminding people back home that you’re in a warm and beautiful place, and they’re not.

One subtle way to do that (no humble bragging required) is to post beautiful images on Instagram or SnapChat. St. Augustine might be one of the best places on earth to find beautiful images–after all, Forbes recently named our small town one of the prettiest towns in the country.

Here are some of my favorite photogenic spots around town—guaranteed to make Cathy in Finance wish that you planned her vacation too.

Magnolia trees over a road with a red bus

1. Magnolia Avenue

Named one of the most beautiful streets in United States, Magnolia runs in front of the Fountain of Youth, intersecting with A1A just west of the Usina Bridge to Vilano Beach. Live oak trees line the street, and the resulting canopy gives beautiful light and shadows. The Fountain of Youth is home to several showoff peacocks, too—if the photography Gods are with you, one might hop onto the coquina walls encircling the Fountain’s park as you are setting up your shot.


Old red door with ornate ironwork

2. Door at 15 Bridge Street

Located right around the corner from the inn, this vintage door is charming from its arched top to its custom iron work. It’s a must stop for all of our brides, and it has the prettiest lighting in the late afternoon.


View of the sunrise over the sea from a balcony with white rocking chairs

3. Sunrise from the Seawall

Every morning, the sun comes up over our picturesque piece of the St. Augustine seawall. You can catch a shot from your room, or cross Avenida Menendez and compose a shot with a few serene sailboats in the front, the stately St. Augustine lighthouse in the background, and the stunning Florida sky in between. It’s worth getting up early for!


Opulent gold rotunda with ornate paintings

4. The Main Square

If you take a left on King Street, and walk two blocks, you’ll come to the most impressive four corners in the center of town. On one corner, you’ll find gorgeous Flagler College, a private school today, but previously the opulent Ponce de Leon hotel in the 1880s – 1970s. Walk inside the college, being sure to take some shots of the charming frog-adorned fountain, the impressive iron gates, and the over-the-top rotunda in the old hotel lobby.


Courtyard filled with palm trees in the middle of tall white buildings

5. The Lightner Museum

Located just across the street from Flagler College, you’ll find the Lightner Museum. Walk through the entrance way gate, and find yourself in beautifully landscaped courtyard, complete with a stone bridge and a large koi pond. On the third corner is the Casa Monica today, the only building on the square still operating as a hotel today. Walk through their valet parking lane, and check out the antique cars housed there for their weddings.


Yellow bike leaning against a white stone wall on Aviles St.

6. Aviles Street

Just behind the inn, Aviles Street is the oldest street in the country. At the southern end of the street (closest to the inn), you’ll find some beautiful Colonial homes, including one at 33 Aviles that still sports unfinished wooden siding and an always-artfully decorated door. Feel free to grab a photo of our super cute cottage at 31 Aviles as well–the red roof and textured walls make a great background for OOTD pics. Further towards King Street, you’ll find charming art galleries and al fresco dining at some of the cutest restaurants in town. A great place to grab some food on your photographic journey!


Front of Memorial Presbyterian Church with palm trees

7. Memorial Presbyterian Church

Henry Flagler built this stunning European style church in honor of his daughter, Jennie Louise Benedict, who passed away during childbirth. The church architects took inspiration from around the world, including from St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. Memorial Presbyterian was recently named one of the 8 Religious Wonders in the US.


Black and white lighthouse with red top

8. St. Augustine Lighthouse

Our beautiful lighthouse was built in the 1870’s, and has been lighting the way for the many ships coming into our harbor since that time. You can get a stunning picture from the top, but don’t forget the beautiful architecture from the inside of the tower (the winding staircase is particularly pretty in its symmetry).


9. Colonial Village

The lookout platform in the Colonial Village would offer a great view of approaching enemy ships in the harbor back in the day. Today it gives a great shot of the fort–the height of the platform lets you grab a view that includes both the stone structure and the surrounding bay. Note that there is a fee to enter the Colonial Village–but while you’re there you can also grab a shot of you with the blacksmith!


Blue bird statue on the boardwalk at Vilano beach

10. Vilano Beach

There are so many great photos at Vilano Beach! Walk past the Magic Beach Motel with its perfect neon signs and recently restored flamingo tiles. Plan a lunch on the rooftop deck at Pesca at Hyatt Place–you can capture miles and miles of ocean from its high perch (you can capture a really artsy shot of your lunch too–the sashimi tuna on forbidden rice is just beautiful) . Before you leave, be sure to visit the Bluebird of Happiness at the public pier–he is a kitschy piece of old Florida that can sum up your vacation in just one shot.

Pack your bags and join us at our equally photogenic St. Augustine boutique hotel. It’s a picture perfect getaway!