Jep, St. Augustine has many wonderful neighborhoods, we have lived in almost every one of them and the neighborhood needs to fit you as well as your house. So here is a bit of a break down.
NE, NW - I found most people who live here to be your typical commuters, most work in Jax but want our schools. If you do not work in Jax and need to live there for commuting reasons, the commute to more populated area for say a nice dinner downtown, is a pain and I-95 traffic is a nightmare cause all those commuters leave and come home around the same time, safety is good though.
North City - Is a laid back older neighborhood mostly families who love to be near downtown but like to stay just far enough away for some true neighborhood amenities...like grass:) safety is good.
Downtown - definately expect less for more down here, a huge plus is walking to St. George Street and the bayfront, there is also a bit of the night life down here. Although traditional family oriented streets down here can be found, (Lemon St., Rhode Ave) just to name a few, plan to get far less space inside and out. And if you plan to leave your house on the 4th of July, you will not be able to get back home after the fireworks end and the flood gates open on both the cars and the crowds coming trying to leave via most downtown streets.
The South / The Shores - Though grouped together because of their proximity to each other, their are just as many differences as similarities between these two neighborhoods. Both neighborhoods, are EXCELLENT for families with children, both have a large variety of smaller neighborhoods inside of the larger ones, both have parks within them.Both have close proximity to shopping and restaurants. Both are just far enough away to allow for larger homes and larger yards. The Shores however has a large community center, fishing pier, community pool, Biking trails throughout, Ponds, and homes that back up to lush golf courses. Safety is an A, especially in the newest section of the shores( the southernmost entrance) And is also zoned for Hartley Elem...A top notch school. I have included their community website.
CR207, SR16, CR208, Vermont Heights - Although these are spread throughout the county, I grouped them based on the types of neighborhood you will find in them. Here you will see your neighbor driving down your street on a 4wheeler, the neighbors usually get along and congregate in a different persons driveway each time and discuss school updates, work days or whatever else they feel the need to discuss, meanwhile the 20 or so kids who all play together typically confiscate the driveway next door and ride their bikes, heely's, rollerblades or just play tag. safety is very good, but you are looking at a 10min drive to the stores and restaurants.Oh and Pizza Hut doesn't deliver, they say it is too far, but Domino's and the others all do. Safety is top notch, this is a great community watch type neighborhood. ( specific comments are directed towards the Vermont Heights neighborhood - Found on the East side of CR207 just South of the I-95 overpass )
These are the neighborhoods that I have personal knowledge of, I have three little girls and find that the best community for us is "The Shores" it has all the amenities we needed and it is surrounded by great schools, we love being able to walk our girls to school and ride our bikes on the paths and we love having a large yard that backs up to a beautiful golf course.
I hope this helps & God Bless You!