The City of Saint Augustine, Florida is the longest continuously occupied European settlement in the U.S. This popular retirement community was established in 1565 by the Spanish. It has been under 4 flags – Spanish, English, Confederate, and U.S. – and some of these (Spain and U.S.) more than once! Located on Florida’s northeast coast and southeast of Jacksonville, Saint Augustine has about 13,000 residents. The area is experiencing rapid growth, particularly among active adults 55+. This diverse city has a mild climate in the winter.
Several Spanish Colonial Revival Style buildings from the Spanish era still exist in the city, most notably the 1672 fort by the Spanish, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. Henry Flagler helped build St. Augustine into a winter resort for the very wealthy. Some of the mansions and palatial hotels from this period still exist and have been converted to buildings at Flagler College and in several museums. There is plenty for active adults to do in this retirement community including fabulous beaches and public golf courses such as St. John’s Golf Club. The Retired and Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) is very active here. Saint Augustine Beach is located in St. Johns County.
Watch this short Youtube video about Saint Augustine prepared by VisitFlorida:
Where to Retire in Saint Augustine and Home Prices
Active adults can choose from a variety of housing alternatives. In the city it tends to be single family historic homes showing Spanish influences – these are more expensive than average. Outside of the old city there are newer, less expensive choices and many condos. Single-family homes located on the Intracoastal Waterway or on Anastasia Island tend to be quite a bit higher as they are waterfront property. Further out of town there are retirement communities and a number of mobile home communities. Zillow reports the median home value was $409,296, in early 2022, which reflects a 34% rise during the past year.
What Is Special about Saint Augustine
Bridge of Lions; Casa Monica Hotel; Castillo de San Marcos; Cathedral of St. Augustine; Flagler College, part of which is the former Ponce de Leon Hotel; Lightner Museum and City Hall; Fort Matanzas National Monument
What Is Not Special about Saint Augustine
Downtown traffic; hurricane season; living in a tourist town
Who Will Like Retirement in Saint Augustine
Saint Augustine attracts a community of active adults who want to live in an interesting, historic community with mild winters. There is a lot to do that is connected with the city's rich heritage. There are plenty of opportunities for interesting volunteer and part time work due to the many historic buildings and the strength of the tourist industry.
Local Economy Is Driven by
Tourism, services, and real estate are important to the economy.
Climate and Physical Environment
Saint Augustine is in the northern portion of the east coast of Florida. Access to the Atlantic Ocean is via the St. Augustine Inlet of the Matanzas River. This is north Florida so winters aren't quite as warm as further south. It rains frequently in summer.
Restaurants & Cultural Scene
Saint Augustine cultural events tend to center around Flagler College and the many museums in the city. Nearby Jacksonville tends to be the cultural center.
Crime in Saint Augustine is somewhat higher than the national average.
Flagler Hospital West
St. Augustine Airport. Jacksonville International (48 miles). There is no public transport, but Saint Augustine is above average in walkability when compared to other communities.
My spouse and I visited St. Augustine fall 2021 with an eye toward retirement. Cute city, but businesses display signs wishing ill on \"the Libs\" or actively promoting 45. Just no. We drove all around the surrounding area and, at times, felt like we were in a Trump rally. We currently live in an area that is pretty evenly split politically so don\'t assume I come from some liberal bastion, I don\'t. But seeing businesses actively display partisanship was a huge turnoff for us. There was also a \"free the J6\" rally going on. Hard pass on what was formerly a desirable area.
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