Day Trip Guide: What to Do and See in St. Augustine, FL
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I woke up to a text from S on Saturday morning saying, “Let’s go somewhere. Do you want to drive a couple hours away… leave town?” I’ve been going through a difficult time handling certain changes in my life (primarily accepting the imminent departure of my twin bestie to DC), so I wanted nothing more than to forget about real life in Orlando for a while. A day spent exploring St. Augustine was the perfect medicine. Keep reading for all our favorite things to do in St Augustine!
If you’ve never been, you have to visit St. Augustine at least once. We used to go on school trips all the time. Honestly, though, the assignments and mandatory tours kind of stripped the fun from the city. As an adult I can finally appreciate the gorgeous destination for its 300+ years of Florida history. St. Augustine is the oldest permanent European settlement in the continental US and is likely the earliest example of community planning, featuring regular and narrow streets, a pleasantly social central plaza, beautiful gardens and patios, and breathtaking buildings and homes… and I thought I didn’t like history.
Enjoying the breezy Matanzas Bay.
The perfect place to take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while.
The city is rich in history, as well as shopping and oceanic cuisine. Upon the recommendation of a lovely man named Ned, we dined at Harry’s Seafood Bar Grille for some of the best fish tacos I’ve ever eaten. De-lish.
The cuteness of this outdoor patio rivals that of Winter Park’s Park Avenue… and I love Park Avenue.
The world’s most de-lic-ious fish tacos. omg.
A trip to St. Augustine would not be complete without visiting the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. It’s essentially an outdoor museum highlighting various chapters of the fort’s long history, dating back to the turbulent colonial era. The Spanish were successful in defending their land when the confident British attacked in 1740 thanks for this very fort.
The Castillo de San Marcos. As you can see, it was pretty poppin’.
The Plaza de Armas
San Pedro Bastion
Canons. Lots of them.
Yep, those are pirate ships in the background.
I’m 99.9% sure we weren’t supposed to be doing this.
Watching a real canon demonstration. So.Loud.
After a long day gallivanting around the Matanzas Bay, we stopped for drinks and a relaxing oceanfront view at The Tini Martini Bar at the Casablanca Inn.
Sparkling Raspberry and Orange Blossom Martinis. Delicious.
Our final stop was the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum. It just looks spooky, and according to S (and wikipedia), it’s allegedly one of the most haunted lighthouses in the country. Yikes.
The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum
A regular stop on all of the many ghost tours- spooky.
There are so many fun things to do in St Augustine– but if you’ve only got a single day, these are some of my must-do’s. On the agenda for our next St Augustine road trip? A nighttime ghost tour, a trip to St. Augustine Beach, and a wine tasting at The Gifted Cork.
Anybody else have any exciting weekend escapades? Also, any recommendations for southern road trip destinations within reasonable distance from Orlando? S and I are planning on embarking on another unplanned adventure next weekend! In the meantime, have a wonderful week, friends!