Day Trip Guide: What to Do and See in St. Augustine, FL


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Native Floridian Stephanie Ziajka of Diary of a Debutante shares her favorite things to do in St Augustine Florida

 
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.
 

St Augustine, Florida Travel Guide by blogger Stephanie Ziajka of Diary of a Debutante
Stephanie Ziajka of Diary of a Debutante by Matanzas Bay in St Augustine, FL

 

Enjoying the breezy Matanzas Bay.

 

Matanzas Bay in St Augustine, FL

 

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.

 

Harry's Seafood Bar Grille in St Augustine, Florida
The patio at Harry's Seafood Bar Grille in St Augustine, Florida

 

The cuteness of this outdoor patio rivals that of Winter Park’s Park Avenue… and I love Park Avenue.

 

Fish Tacos from Harry's Seafood Bar Grille in St Augustine, Florida

 

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.

 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka of Diary of a Debutante by the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St Augustine, Florida

 

The Castillo de San Marcos. As you can see, it was pretty poppin’.

 

The Castillo de San Marco in St Augustine, FL
Inside the Castillo de San Marco in St Augustine, FL

 

The Plaza de Armas

 

The Plaza de Armas of the Castille de San Marcos in St Augustine, FL

 

San Pedro Bastion

 

San Pedro Bastion in the Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine, FL

 

Canons. Lots of them.

 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka of Diary of a Debutante by the San Pedro Bastion in the Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine, FL

 

Yep, those are pirate ships in the background.

 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka of Diary of a Debutante by the San Pedro Bastion in the Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine, FL

 

I’m 99.9% sure we weren’t supposed to be doing this.

 

Canon demonstration at the Castillo de San Marcos in St Augustine Florida

 
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 from The Tini Martini Bar at the Casablanca Inn in St Augustine

 
Sparkling Raspberry and Orange Blossom Martinis. Delicious.
 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka of Diary of a Debutante drinking a martini from The Tini Martini Bar in St Augustine

 

Happy girl.

 

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.

 

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka of Diary of a Debutante at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

 
The St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum
 

The St. Augustine Lighthouse in St Augustine Florida

 
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!
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21 thoughts on “Day Trip Guide: What to Do and See in St. Augustine, FL

  1. Sheila Simmons

    Your pictures look awesome. This is on the Atlantic side of Florida, right? You never hear about St. Augustine about being a place to visit. This needs to go on my bucket list of places to travel in the US. Thanks for the article.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Ziajka

      Thanks, Sheila! Yes, it's on the Atlantic Coast, and it's typically overlooked on the top lists of Florida destinations. I totally disagree! Please please please go if you're ever down here 🙂 Hope you're having a great week!

      xo,
      Steph

      Reply
  2. Mash Elle

    You are just too sassy! I agree St. Augustine is like a dream… so peaceful and beautiful! We should have a road trip next time i'm down with Ash!

    Xo, Michelle
    mash-elle.blogspot.com

    Reply
  3. Amy W

    Hi
    My name is Amy and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about St. Augustine to share on our site and I came across your post…If you're open to it, shoot me an email at amy(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!
    Amy

    Reply
  4. Alix lion

    The above discussion is going well and I feel all of you have great knowledge about different attractions around the world especially Florida's attractions. However thanks to Sheila! Who share her beautiful thoughts with us? From my long period of tourism I never get any chance use to visit Florida But now in the coming summer vacations I must go Florida by bus tours and collect lots of memories just like blog writer.

    Reply

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