What to do in Anastasia State Recreation Area

More than 300 years ago, sites like the coquina quarries located within Anastasia State Recreation Area were busy with workmen, mostly Native Americans, hauling out blocks of rock. By the late 1700s, the Native American population had died out and quarry workers were usually enslaved Africans. With hand tools, they hewed out blocks of the soft shellstone and pried the squares loose along natural layers in the rock. The blocks were loaded onto ox-drawn carts, and then barged across Matanzas Bay to the town of St. Augustine. The blocks were used to construct the Castillo de San Marcos and many other public and private buildings.

The area's popularity has not died down. Recreation enthusiasts now flock to the site which is recognized as a fabulous birding opportunity and, for the first time, is included in the "Great Florida Birding Trail." The park boasts a broad beach flanked by sand dunes and a lagoon bordered by rich tidal marshes. Ancient dunes are now forested with live oak, sabal palm, and southern magnolias. Brochures describing the birds and trees found at Anastasia are available at the ranger station.

Anastasia State Recreation Area was first opened to the public in 1949 and since that time has become one of Florida's busiest state parks. Located just south of America's oldest town, St. Augustine, the park is a wonderful day use and overnight location during all seasons of the year. A variety of water sports are available in the Atlantic Ocean or in Salt Run. Many canoeists and kayakers enjoy paddling Salt Run up to St. Augustine, a 4 mile workout.

Anastasia State Recreation area provides coastal camping, Atlantic swimming, sunbathing, surfing, sailboarding, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and beach driving. Nature students can enjoy the abundance of birds found along the four miles of white, sandy beaches and throughout Salt Run, the lagoon divided Conch Island and Anastasia Island. The park offers a variety of nature related activities including self-guided or ranger-guided tours. Campfire talks, beach bashes, Halloween events, candlelight tours and more a scheduled throughout the year.

Anastasia State Recreation Area is located in northern Florida, just off A1A on State Route 3 approximately 1.5 miles south of historic downtown St. Augustine.

Summers in northeastern Florida are hot and humid with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Summer temperatures average in the low 80's Fahrenheit (27 - 28 Celsius). Mild winter temperatures average below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). Freezing temperatures are infrequent but windy conditions are common. The average precipitation for the northeast area is between 52 and 56 inches per year. Light, loose fitting clothing is recommended in spring, summer and fall. Layered clothing is recommended for winter. Biting insects are common throughout the year and are especially heavy from late April through early June.

A1A South
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Phone: 904-461-2033

Fax: 904-461-2006

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