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A Few Days in St. Augustine, Florida

Every spring, my in laws rent a house for a month in the beautiful coastal town of St. Augustine in Florida. They had been asking us to visit them while there for a while, and we finally took advantage in early April of 2023. From a St. Augustine website: "Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European and African-American origin in the United States. Forty-two years before the English colonized Jamestown and fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish established at St. Augustine this nation's first enduring settlement."


Needless to say, besides being a beach town; there is a lot of history in this area. Since we were only there a few days and our primary visit was to spend time with family; we only caught the highlights. Here are things we enjoyed and recommend if visiting.


This National Monument is the most obvious and a must for first time visitor's. Built by the Spanish, it is the oldest masonry fortification in the U.S. The tour was self guided, but we did see parker rangers and times certain presentations were listed. The history is on display throughout the facility and really fascinating, not to mention understand why the structure was built that way for defense. Even if you are not a big history buff, I still think you would enjoy this. Some pictures of the grounds below!


Note: the parking lot right next to the facility can get pretty full and we could not find parking. Instead we went to a city garage a couple of blocks away, it was much easier to get in and out.





Saint George Street

This historic street was once the main street of the city. Today, it is a filled with tons of stores, restaurants, and galleries. The business's still maintain the historic buildings and charm. The street is pedestrian only and can get busy with tourists. Don't be afraid to walk around some of the side streets as well for additional offerings.


The ground for this are not only a lighthouse but a maritime museum. The property and grounds are a beautiful backdrop to the nature around. The lighthouse itself is very quintessential and idyllic in its appearance. There are 219 steps to the top, but there are landing areas you can stop and rest if needed. The view from the top is worth the visit and the hike.


Picture of lighthouse from below.


The keeper house on property offers a glimpse into life of a lighthouse keepers family. It also has exhibits where you can explore ship wrecks and how shrimping played a big part of the areas history.


Picture of the lighthouse keepers home and now museum.



Food is one of the best souvenirs I think to take home from a vacation, either for yourself or a loved one. Local chocolates are always a nice gift in my book! This place features chocolates seashells that come in a variety of flavors; perfect to remind you of your time by the ocean. They also offer things like fudge, hot chocolate, and even coffee to drink in the store. The one location does do a tasting tour. We did not do that but may if we ever return.


Frozen Drink at Milltop Tavern

Wine is is my drink of choice, and usually second to that is beer or cider. Spirits or liquor come last. However, there is nothing quite like a frozen mixed drink in your hand when you are at the beach. A friend (thanks Kathleen) recommended us going to Milltop Tavern for a drink; and it did not disappoint. The watermelon daquiri was one of the best daquiri's I've ever had. They usually have live music daily as well. Get out of the heat here with a great drink, and listen to some good music.




Wine at Casa de Vino 57

I might have scared those who know me with my mixed drink talk, but don't worry; we still visited a wine bar. Casa de Vino 57 is exactly the kind of wine bar I would love to open myself someday. The place specialized in serving a variety of wines from around the world. The wines as well were not your every day selection you may find in most restaurants or stores. They ranged from red to white; and dry to sweet. They seem to just love wine and offer all types for different palettes. You can purchase wine by the glass, bottle, or do a flight. We did a flight and bought a bottle to take home.


For their charcuterie and cheese boards you could customize them for the meet and cheese options you wanted, which I prefer. I hate when I spend money on one and get a cheese or meat you dislike. They had a beautiful outdoor garden setting you can relax and enjoy your charcuterie in as well.


My wine flight and our charcuterie board.


That was our big highlights. We had some fun time with family, took some nice strolls on the beach, and even a lovely drive to admire the homes along the coast.


Finally, I know there are a lot more museums and beaches in the area to explore. We did not have the time but I recommend visit the Visit Saint Augustine Website.



All pictures on blog post taken by me on our trip.



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