Sweet and southern with a strong mix of historical charm, St. Augustine, Florida, has a vibrant vibe that is unmatched in the US. From the Oldest Wooden School House to the calm and picturesque long, white sandy beaches, St. Augustine is the perfect weekend getaway. Here’s how to spend two days fully soaking it up:
7AM ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH
Collect shells on the beach. Wake up early to guarantee the best selection of shells that washed ashore over night. One tip for finding sharks teeth: most sharks teeth will be very black and compared to other shells that might look like sharks teeth, the teeth have a shine to them when hit by the sun. If they don’t shimmer, they probably aren’t sharks teeth.
9AM CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS
1 S CASTILLO DR. ST. AUGUSTINE, FL 32084
Put on your hat and sunscreen for an outdoor tour of the Fort and oldest city. The Castillo de San Marcos, or The Fort to locals, is the oldest masonry and only 17th century fort still in standing in North America. Experience what life was life for early Spanish settlers and watch a reenactment of cannon fires and different restored guns from the era. After touring The Fort, walk across the street and down historic St. George Street to see the Oldest Wooden School House, The oldest mission in America and quirky stores and chocolate shops.
1PM ST. AUGUSTINE CITY WALKS: FOOD TOUR
Join a historic food walking tour with St. Augustine City Walks. Experience the history of the city through a fun and delicious 2.5 hour walking tour mixing in wine and food pairings. This tour takes visitors on trip from the first Thanksgiving in the area to present day cultural mash-ups.
4PM SAN SEBASTIAN WINERY
157 KING ST. ST. AUGUSTINE, FL 32084
Continue your foodie tour with a wine tasting tour at San Sebastian Winery. Try several different table, dessert and sparkling wines from hybrid and Muscadine grapes. Time your visit with the jazz band that plays weekend afternoons on the roof top patio.
7PM AUNT KATE'S
Dine at Aunt Kate’s on the intracoastal side of Vilano Beach for the most beautiful outdoor sunset dinner on the Atlantic coast. Try the blackened fish sandwich, sweet potato fries and hushpuppies for an authentic southern seafood meal. The pumpkin muffins are also an irresistible snack before eating your meal.
9PM RENDEZVOUS BEERS
106 SAINT GEORGE ST. ST. AUGUSTINE, FL 2084
A nightcap with style. End your night with beers and cider at Rendezvous Beers. Located on a back alley off St. George Street, this small beer bar is the perfect way to sit back and relax. Unlike some of the kitschy bars around the city, this one isn’t going to force you into a history lesson while you savor your beer.
10AM WATER BOUND SPORTS
Beach time on the island. Pack your umbrella and beach chair and drive over the Lion’s Bridge for a sun-filled day at the beach at Anastasia State Park. This is a great beach for beginner surfers, as the waves are gentle and the warm is pretty warm April through October. Another fun water activity to try is stand-up paddleboarding. Set up a private one on one lesson with surf legend and local resident JD Motes and his paddleboard company, Water Bound Sports. He will bring the boards to you, teach you exactly how to feel comfortable on the board and then take you out on the water so you can experience this incredible new sport for yourself.
1PM MANGO MANGOS
Feast at Mango Mangos for lunch. Combing the rich classic American flavors with spices and dishes from the Caribbean and the American Southwest, Mango Mangos will be a meal you’ll leave town dreaming about. Plus, this restaurant allows you to stay on Anastasia Island for the rest of the day.
2PM ALLIGATOR FARM ZOOLOGICAL PARK
Test your adventure on an obstacle course and zip line over hundreds alligators at the Alligator Farm Zoological Park. The obstacle course is great for kids of all ages, and a truly unique way of experiencing a zoo.
5PM ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE AND MUSEUM
Cool down with a tour of the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. Arrive early enough to tour the museum and climb the 219 steps, about 14 stories. Built in 1874, the still active lighthouse helped navigate ships into the bay during the 1800s. Buy an additional ticket for the Sunset Moonrise tour, which allows visitors to climb to the top of the lighthouse and have a champagne toast and hors d’oeuvres presented by local restaurants.
7PM SALT WATER COWBOYS
299 DONDANVILLE RD. ST. AUGUSTINE, FL 32080
Dine on fresh shrimp and award winning chowder at Salt Water Cowboys. Known for serving up fresh rock shrimp, alligator bites and frog legs, Salt Water Cowboys will satisfy your seafood cravings. Don’t leave without trying their calm chowder or jambalaya and finish your meal off with their sweet homemade key lime pie.
9PM A1A ALE WORKS
Make new friends over award winning brews. Finish your trip off by trying some local brews at A1A Ale Works. Grab a spot on the 2nd floor outdoor balcony for panoramic views of the bay and bridge, which is lit up at night.
WHERE TO STAY: CASA DE SOLANA
21 AVILES ST. ST. AUGUSTINE, FL 32084
Casa de Solana built in 1763, is one of the oldest residences in St. Augustine, belonging to one of the cities first Spanish families. This luxury bed and breakfast is located downtown within walking distance to all major attractions.