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.
MORNING | Breakfast and Visual Arts Walking Tour
Australian-American coffee shop proudly serving specialty coffee, espresso, and Aussie pies.
Art and Architecture Walking Tours
Led by an art historian, the 90-minute guided tour highlights iconic paintings, Spanish, Colonial, and Victorian architecture, stained glass, monuments, murals, public sculptures, local art galleries and studios, and more.
For reservations, call the St. Augustine Art Association below.
TOUCH St. Augustine Braille Trail:
Braille markers with tactile graphics, developed by the Saint Augustine Art Association, are located at numerous public statues throughout historic downtown. These markers, along with the audio guide, form the TOUCH Saint Augustine “Braille Trail.”
To download the map and audio tour, visit www.staaa.org/touch
AFTERNOON | Lunch and Exploring
Local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients in a comfortable and casual atmosphere. Taste southern comfort food, and vibrant, creative dishes with many vegetarian options.
VISITORS TIP: In the afternoon, take some time to explore the downtown area. From St. George Street’s eclectic shops, boutiques and museums to the waterfront, there is lots to see and do!
EVENING | Dinner
Enjoy an international menu inside a restored St. Augustine 1879 Colonial Victorian home, or in its quaint Florida courtyard.
Uptown Saturday Nights
Mingle with artists and art lovers, enjoy live music, refreshments and other activities as San Marco comes to life. Many participating shops also serve wine and refreshments. 5-9pm, the last Saturday of the month.
Interactive Map – Visual Arts Itinerary
Visit local art galleries, museums like the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, and historic sites like the former Ponce de Leon Hotel as you explore St. Augustine’s dynamic visual arts scene.