Oldest or most charming or nicest city? How about all of the above? There are many popular tourist spots in Florida including Key West, Miami, and Orlando, just to name a few. Overlooked by most people in or traveling to the sunshine state is the quaint little town of St. Augustine. The oldest town in the United States is at the top of my list of must visit places in Florida. Being that it is only a few hours drive, I have visited this quaint, sweet city multiple times.
Things To Do
Walk From St. George Street to Flagler College
Walking around this town, you can just feel the history. The best part is most must-do things are walkable. St. George Street is where it’s at! Along this main street, you can find cute shops and restaurants and even stumble upon the oldest wooden schoolhouse. Although, it is not a real school anymore, it is along your walk and great for quick photo-op. You can even go in and take a tour for a small fee. I would opt to continue forth off of St. George Street over to Flagler College if you are interested in taking a tour of an educational establishment. One of the most beautiful campuses I have seen! During my tour, I learned that this school used to be a high-end hotel! You guys, these kids eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a ballroom… With windows made out of Tiffany glass! I mean, come on! Go take a tour of this campus, you may just want to go back to college.
Climb the Lighthouse
A short drive away is the St. Augustine Lighthouse. If you have a fear of heights like me, it is a great way to conquer your fears, one step at a time! Also, it is a nice workout with a great view at the top. While I was there we saw a wedding shoot taking place. So in case you wanted a cool spot for a photo shoot, this is a solid option.
Enter a Historical Battlefield
Checking out the architectural history of a place or going to an art museum is always on my must-do list. That’s why I had to check out Castillo de San Marcos when I was in time! This fort has a great rich history where you can see where the battle was going down. You can catch reenactors throughout your tour and even a reenactment of cannon being fired. The highlight of this historical fort is the views of the waterfront. I can imagine during the battles the soldiers could find some solace looking through the peepholes over the beautiful ocean.
Must Eat & Drink
The Kookaburra for Coffee
Let me just tell you that a must at every place I visit is to find a great local coffee shop. I don’t know how you start your mornings, but coffee is a must for me! One of the most popular spots and well worth the try is The Kookaburra. They have a few locations, I walked over to the one on the opposite side of St. George Street before I headed to Flagler College. The staff was so sweet, they even gave my doggo a puppacino! The last time I visited, I took my dog Bruce, and the whole town was super dog-friendly! We were able to get into most shops, right into The Kookaburra, and even on the patio for lunch.
Grab a Southern Lunch at MOJO Old City BBQ
Cannot leave town with a bite to eat! I stopped for some great bbq at MOJO Old City BBQ. They have some delicious southern side dishes, I opted for bbq pull pork, some collard greens, and mac & cheese. No going wrong there, the pupper approves too. Another option is just to stop in any of the local shops you find on the way. The first time we went we just hopped into a cute little sandwich shop and it was a great pick.
Dessert at The Hyppo
Dessert is not an option, well for me at least. Given it usually pretty hot in Florida, stopping by The Hyppo is always a great choice. They have a wide variety of unique flavors to help you cool off. Everything from avocado cream to margarita to King Street Horchata. Or you can always opt for something more traditional like pineapple or strawberry. Either way, you can’t really go wrong.
St. Augustine During the Holidays
I have only gone on day trips so far, but I plan to stop by during the holiday season(maybe next year) and stay overnight. I have seen gorgeous photos and heard how beautifully the town decorates during the holidays. They even have live entertainment during the evening.
Ghost Tours, Drinks & The Beach
Right along St. George Street there were booths taking folks on ghost tours. If you are into the supernatural or happen to stop by around Halloween, I would recommend checking it out. Or if you are like the many people that flock to Florida for its beautiful beaches, don’t you worry. Yes, that’s right, you can find a beach on your trip to St. Augustine too! Another spot with great reviews is the Ice Plant Bar. I would love to go grab a drink and bite there sometime.
For all the shoppers out there, St. George Street is filled with cute shops of all sorts. My favorite shop along this street is Earthbound Trading Co, they have a little bit of everything. I bought a super cute pair of earrings from there. The best way to find a cool spot is by stumbling upon it. As I was on the way over to Flagler College from St. George Street I found the cutest little clothing shop called Closet. Quite literally the closet you wish you had in college. I know I am not in college, but when you find a cute top which says ‘Coffee Hangover’, you get it. Since it is a quick drive away, St. Augustine is definitely somewhere I will be going again! This small, old town has plenty of great spots to spend a day or even a weekend. It is one of those places you can just wander about and stumble onto hidden gems. St. Augustine is definitely worth being on your list if you ever want to escape to the sunshine state!