August 16th, 2021

Moving To St. Augustine, FL: What You Need To Know

Beautiful St. Augustine Florida is the oldest-continuously-inhabited European-established city in the US. Residents and tourists get access to world-class golf courses, beaches, nature, shopping, and cousine.

Meanwhile, a robust economy in St. Augustine and Jacksonville, which is 20 minutes away, keeps unemployment low. Come enjoy great, active living in year round great weather!

Why Do People Move to St. Augustine, FL?

St. Augustine Economy

The biggest economic sectors in St. Augustine are retail, education, and hospitality, while the largest industries in the Jacksonville metro area are retail, health care, social assistance, and hospitality.

The economy of Jacksonville itself is supported by a diverse array of sectors: distribution, financial services, biomedical technology, consumer goods, information services, manufacturing, insurance, and other industries.

The unemployment rate in St. Johns County was 3.6% as of March 2021, lower than the overall unemployment rate in Florida at the same time, which was 4.7%, and lower than the national unemployment rate, which was 6%.

According to the US Census, in 2019, the median individual income in St. Augustine was $28,094, while the median household income was $54,468.

St. Augustine & Jacksonville Employers

St. Augustine is the biggest city in St. Johns County, which is part of the Jacksonville metro area. The biggest employers in St. Johns County are the St. Johns County School District, Flagler Health+, the St. Johns County government, and Northrop Grumman, a multinational aerospace and defense technology company.

The top employers in Jacksonville are Baptist Health, Bank of America, the Mayo Clinic, Southeastern Grocers, and Florida Blue, a financial services company.

Proximity to Jacksonville

St. Augustine is just 20 minutes away from Jacksonville. Jacksonville is a city so rich in entertainment it’s hard to know where to begin. There are large-scale events like the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and Springing the Blues, one of the largest and oldest blues festivals in the US. There are many museums, as well as a monthly outdoor art festival known as The Art Walk.

The city is a tour stop for many world-renowned musicians. The Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts hosts touring Broadway shows, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and has a stage dedicated to small recitals and performances. If you’ve got the acting bug yourself, Jacksonville is home to many community theatres, including Theatre Jacksonville, one of the oldest continually producing community theater companies in the country.

There are many sports teams to cheer for in the city, including the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. The city hosts the Florida-Georgia college football showdown yearly, known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.”

St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida and a popular destination for recreation. The city’s beautiful beaches, which locals call “The Beaches”, are a popular attraction as well. There’s also Adventure Landing, an amusement park in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, with the Jacksonville Beach location housing Shipwreck Island, the only waterpark in Duval County.

The city of Jacksonville is also known as a culinary destination and has many shopping attractions, including two fully enclosed malls and two “open-air” malls.

Great Weather in Florida

Florida gets a 6.8 out of 10 on Comfort Index. On average, Florida gets 55 inches of rain, zero inches of snow, and has 237 sunny days. The summer high is around 91°F  in July and the winter low is 49°F  in January.

St. Augustine, meanwhile, gets a 7.3 out of 10 on the BestPlaces Comfort Index. That half a point difference makes St. Augustine more comfortable than the rest of Florida even though the stats are near the same. On average, St. Augustine gets 51 inches of rain, zero inches of snow, and 223 sunny days. The summer high is 91°F in July, and the winter low is 45°F in January.

St. Augustine, like the rest of Florida, has an enjoyable, warm climate, which means you can enjoy beautiful beaches and the many attractions of North Florida year-round!

Active Living

Kayak Club

With multiple gathering and event spaces, the Kayak Club is where our on-site lifestyle director plans events year-round. We know that the real Shearwater is the friends you make along the way, so we provide ample opportunities for new residents to make friends! The Kayak Club is also a great co-working space. We even have The Hub, our very own Wi-Fi Café.

Fitness Lodge

At the fitness lodge, you’ll find top-of-the-line cardio and strength-building equipment (both free weights and machines). There are also dedicated exercise rooms, personal trainers available on-site, and you can take a Wellbeats® virtual fitness class.

Resort-Style Lagoon Pool 

The lagoon pool is where you’ll find The Perch, our three-story waterslide, plus plenty of areas to lounge.

Multi-Lane Lap Pool 

A six-lane competition-sized pool!

Lazy Bird River

A fun, winding, lazy river where you can kick back and enjoy the ride.

Har-Tru® Tennis Courts

Shearwater® has four Har-Tru® tennis courts. These green clay courts are made of a metabasalt (a type of metamorphic rock). They dry quickly after rain, and you can even keep playing on them if the rain is light. Har-Tru® courts absorb more impact, which reduces harm to your body. They’re also 10 to 15°F degrees cooler than non-clay courts.

Play Area

A big grass field for free play, a playground, and more provide the opportunity for kids to have fun!

Palm Court Pavilion

Gather with friends old and new in this covered pavilion with outdoor seating, firepits, and Wi-Fi.


There are over 15 miles of trails that make their way through preserved nature.

Dog Park

We have an off-leash dog park where dogs can play in a fenced-in area. The park also includes an agility course with ramps and tunnels.

Community Garden

We have a community garden where residents can rent out raised garden beds. A community garden is a great way to make friends, share skills, teach kids, and more.


At Shearwater®, we love planning events for our residents. Movie nights on the lawn, concerts, a haunted boardwalk for Halloween, and more!

Schools In St. Augustine, FL is a reputable source of school evaluations. Niche rates elementary and middle schools based on their academics, teachers, and diversity. School districts and high schools are rated on the additional categories of college prep, clubs and activities, administration, sports, health and safety, food and resources, and facilities. (Note: proximity to a school doesn’t determine enrollment).

Here’s what Niche had to say about the schools in St. Augustine, FL. As you can tell, St. Johns County has great schools!

  • St. Johns County School District
    • Overall Niche Grade: A
    • #1 in Best School Districts in Florida
  • Bartram Trail High School
    • Overall Niche Grade: A
    • #2 in Best Public High Schools in St. Johns County
  • Switzerland Point Middle School
    • Overall Niche Grade: A
    • #20 of 1,087 Best Public Middle Schools in Florida
  • Timberlin Creek Elementary School
    • Overall Niche Grade: A
    • #38 out of 2,191 in Best Public Elementary Schools in Florida

St. Augustine and Jacksonville Attractions

When you’ve got beach access, world class golf, pristine nature, and culinary delights all within easy reach, it can be hard to decide on what to do. So, we’ve put together a number of guides to help you out!

This way you can explore the best of St. Augustine, Saint John County, the city of Jacksonville, and the surrounding area, whether it be a day trip to Palatka (the City of Murals), winery and brewery hopping, shopping at Jacksonville Landing, and more!

How to View Homes at Shearwater®, FL in St. Augustine

In-Person Tours

Arrange guided or self-guided tours of your potential new home from one of Shearwater’s many builders: David Weekley Homes, Lennar, and Dream Finders.

Virtual Tours

David Weekley Homes, Lennar, and Dream Finders offer videos and interactive floor plans on their websites. Browse their real estate today!

Tips For Moving To Florida

Here are just a few moving tips, although we’ve got more moving advice here!

Choosing a Moving Company

You should get reviews from various sources, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Florida Department of Consumer Affairs. It’s important to know that while the BBB may sound like a governmental organization, it’s actually a non-profit.

While the reviews on the BBB are legitimate, BBB accreditation doesn’t mean much because it’s something any professional mover can get just by paying yearly dues. Those dues primarily grant access to educational resources and marketing materials.

When choosing a moving company, pick one that’s been around for many years because it’s more likely to have weathered many storms, have a history of customers successfully having their moving needs met, and honored its contracts and warranties. Those many years in business should also mean plenty of customers who can provide references. If a moving company can’t provide references, move on.

Choose a moving company that provides a reasonable and binding estimate. If the estimate isn’t binding, you may have to pay more than you expected. The moving company should also provide valuation coverage to protect your possession and a bill of lading, which is a document you’re legally required to receive before any more. Avoid companies who demand upfront payments or whose drivers you can’t reach during the move.

Finally, confirm that your moving company has a FLDMV. You should work with nothing less than professional movers. Moving is already stressful. You want a company that makes moving easier, so that all your possessions survive their trip on the moving truck and making it to their new home in one piece.

Change Your Address

All you need to update your mailing address online with the USPA is a credit or debit card. It’s a very quick process.

Florida Driver’s License

Within 30 days of a move in Florida, you need to update your Florida driver’s license.

Vehicle Registration

The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) website has information about vehicle registration.

Voter Registration

Any Floridian can register to vote online!

The Bottom Line on Moving To St. Augustine, FL

St. Augustine is a great place to live for those who want less stress in their lives. A robust economy, a great school district, and easy access to the city of Jacksonville makes St. Johns County a great pick for both young families and professionals.

With so much to do and enjoy in Shearwater® and surrounding areas, it’s no surprise that residents have described life in the Sunshine State as a year-round vacation. Warm weather, affordable living with no state income tax, and a non-stop cavalcade of activity, beauty, and wonder. Browse Shearwater® online or in-person today.

References and Citations