St. Augustine, Florida – Retirement Guide

St. Augustine, Florida   Retirement Guide

It’s easy to fall head over heels for St. Augustine’s charms. The city woos visitors and residents alike with a beautiful coastal setting, quaint (and fascinating!) historic district and interesting attractions and shops. There’s plenty for history buffs to explore in St. Augustine, known as the longest continuously occupied settlement in the United States.

First established in 1565 by the Spanish, today you can visit remnants of the town’s past such as the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a 17th-century fort. Or spend a while meandering through the town’s historic neighborhoods, admiring the Spanish Colonial Revival-style homes and buildings.

The town also lays claim to the nation’s oldest road, Aviles Street, as well as the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. Shoppers can exercise their wallets at the many shops along adorable St. George Street — locals know to stay away from the touristy souvenir shops. Outside the confines of the town, retirees will find plenty of nearby golf courses. Additionally, St. Augustine’s prime waterfront location means there’s plenty of opportunity for boating, fishing, kayaking or simply relaxing along Florida’s sugar-white sands.

Pros: Charming historic district, ample activities and restaurants, boating and fishing
Con: Downtown traffic can be heavy, region can be affected by hurricanes

At a Glance
Best For: History buffs, water lovers
Population: 13,336
Cost of Living: 8% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $180,000
Unemployment: 6.2%
Top State Income Tax: no state income tax
Crime Rate: 15.8% higher than national average

Like many towns in Florida, St. Augustine’s cost of living falls below the national average, and the median home price is $180,000. It’s important to note that home prices can vary dramatically in and around St. Augustine, particularly within the Old City and along the waterways, which house far more expensive properties than inland housing developments and condos.

One thing retirees should be aware of when relocating to St. Augustine is that the town is an extremely popular tourist destination. While this does mean there are ample attractions, restaurants and bars, it also means the town grows clogged with visitors during peak seasons. This increase in foot and auto traffic can be frustrating for some residents.

Photo by Craig ONeal via Flickr. All statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.