Visual Arts Itinerary
St. Augustine is a vibrant blend of music, arts and culture – but few institutions stand out in our community as vividly as visual arts. In fact, from the early 1930’s to the mid 1950’s, the “Lost Colony” of St. Augustine was one of the largest visual arts communities in the South. Treat your eyes to our community’s dazzling array of painting, sculpture, photography, crafts, and more with this Visual Arts Itinerary. We’ve included suggestions for local art galleries, dining, drinking, and discovering your way through St. Augustine’s most artistic options.
MORNING | Breakfast and the Visual Arts
When it comes to local art galleries, the Butterfield Garage Art Gallery leads the charge in artist-run presentations. The former Ponce de Leon Hotel – now Flagler College – is a treasure trove of art and history from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Turquoise-tinged haunt serving delicious, healthful cuisine prepared using organically grown fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, herbs, spices and coffees!
Journey through historic Flagler College and experience the artistic and architectural heritage of the former Ponce de Leon Hotel. Tours are free for St. Johns County residents and for children under 10.
The Butterfield Garage Art Gallery emphasizes communication between artists and artist-directed exhibitions. Take in works ranging from paintings and drawings to photography and glass.
The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum exhibits regional, national, and international artists, and offers a venue for fostering knowledge and a deep appreciation of contemporary visual arts.
The museum is open Monday-Friday 10am – 4pm, and is free to the public.
AFTERNOON | Lunch and Museums
The historic Lightner Museum, formerly the luxurious Alcazar Hotel of the 1800s, boasts a large collection of artwork – including Tiffany stained glass. Aviles Street is bursting with local artistic opportunity and galleries!
Formerly Henry Flagler’s Alcazar Hotel, which closed in 1932. The indoor pool, now the location of Café Alcazar, was the largest in the world in its time. At certain times, the pool was drained, and elaborate gardens were installed on the pool’s floor.
TRUE STORY: The dining area of the Cafe Alcazar is inside what was once the world’s largest indoor swimming pool where athletes would try out for the Olympics!
Discover the museum’s full range of artwork – featuring three floors of artifacts and visual art from the era of the Alcazar Hotel, including exquisite Victorian art glass, stained glass from Louis Comfort Tiffany, and paintings from around the world.
Aviles Street Art Galleries
Stroll colorful Aviles Street, which has become one of the area’s most diverse arts districts. Some of our favorite local art galleries include:
Promoting the visual arts since 1924, the St. Augustine Art Association produces monthly juried exhibits, workshops and lectures, and serves as the community’s cultural hub.
EVENING | Dinner and First Fridays
Internationally inspired fare with a focus on fresh and local seafood, steaks, lamb and veal. Reservations required.
On the first Friday of every month, the St. Augustine Art Association hosts Art Walk – where local art galleries welcome visitors to browse the latest exhibits and enjoy refreshments and live entertainment at more than 30 participating galleries.