Get Up Close to St. Augustine Wildlife

At seemingly every corner of historic St. Augustine, from the tight canals to the open river, from the dense marshland to the cobbled streets, rests some kind of wildlife. The birds soar through the air and the dolphin prance in the water along the St. Augustine beaches, all while you rest and enjoy the views.

The St. Augustine wildlife is extensive and fascinating.  The below top four locales give you the finest places to see it all for yourself within a short drive of our St. Augustine beach rentals.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm

The Alligator Farm is one of the city’s most cherished gems. It is often bizarre, sometimes scary, and always riveting. It homes some of the area’s most dastardly critters, including a variety of pythons in the spooky python cave, an assortment of large reptiles in the reptile center, and a number of massive land birds, including the mean and dangerous Cassowary from Papua New Guinea.

Not all of the critters at the Alligator Farm are unique to the region. The creatures span the globe and nowhere is this better showcased than in the farm’s large number of crocodiles. The Alligator Farm (home to some alligators of course) houses at least one of every living species of crocodiles in the world! Why it is called the “Alligator” Farm and not the “Crocodile” Farm likely has a lot to do with the farm’s famous alligator pit, featuring over 20 of the largest and most impressive alligators you will ever see.

This includes the notorious 15-foot long and 1,250-pound behemoth, Maximo.

Grab a cup of coffee in St. Augustine and head on over! The Alligator Farm is $27.99 for adults and $16.99 for children ages 3-11. It is located at 999 Anastasia Blvd and opens every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No St. Augustine vacation is complete without a stop at this famous farm. 

The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife

Head up to Jacksonville, about an hour north of St. Augustine, to experience the thrilling world of the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife. This big cat sanctuary is home to an assortment of exotic cats as well as other specialized species. You can see bobcats, pumas, tigers, lions, leopards, foxes, and even horses.

The gorgeous animals here are rescued and now have a dedicated forever home. Daytime tours operate every afternoon and calling ahead is not required. You can buy tickets online to secure your spot or at the gate. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-11. A ticket provides you with entrance and a 45 minute guided walking tour where you can see the protected animals close up. 

The highlight at Catty Shack is the night feeding where about 600 pounds of meat is served up for the variety of big cat species.

st augustine tiger
Photo from Shutterstock

St. Augustine Wild Reserve

The wild reserve is a fascinating attraction. This animal sanctuary offers views of both native and non-native mammals of the world, including mountain lions, tigers, wolves, and more. Many, if not all, of the animals, were rescued from individuals who either abandoned them or did not hold proper licensing to own them.

The reserve requires guests to book ahead and reserve a spot. This is required and should be done at least a week in advance. Tours are only offered every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 2 p.m. Interestingly, photos are not allowed, as it is known to disturb the animals. 

The reserve offers a rich and rewarding experience open for all ages.

Plan Your Vacation

Secure one of our finest St. Augustine condo rentals today and be sure to experience all types of St. Augustine wildlife!

St. Augustine Eco Tour

A local ecotour provides you and your family the absolute best and most direct way to see wildlife in its natural habitat.

If this sounds like your speed, we recommend Ripple Effect as well as St Augustine Eco Tours. Ripple Effect offers guided kayaking through the scenic waterways by the beautiful Spanish Moss-coastline of Washington Oaks and the massive Faver-Dykes State Park. St Aug Eco Tours is in the heart of the city and offers boat tours, sunset cruises, sailing, and kayaking adventures. Tours are available daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but booking ahead is highly recommended.