Monday, May 23, 2011

Staycation Saint Augustine Florida

St. Augustine, the oldest continuous settlement in the United States!  This quaint little city we call home is one of the most remarkable historic cities that I've ever had the pleasure of "playing tourist" in.

We've got everything from the Castillo de San Marco to the Alligator Farm to the sandy beaches of North East Florida.  Sunrises are spectacular and right about now, the sunrises happen around 6:30 AM. 

This is a recent sunrise that I had the pleasure of photographing. 
One of my favorite things to do is go to the beach and
capture the beauty with my camera.




This Memorial Day has us watching the skies with the St. Augustine Air Show with a special "Salute to Veterans" that has been a tradition since 1967.  Don't miss out on the amazing stunts, static displays and much more!

Winner of the Poster Art Contest.
For those interested, they will have
another contest again next year.





History, Mystery, Mayhem & Murder!  If you enjoy lurking on the shady side of the street, skulking in corners and lurking in doorways, just to get a juicy tidbit of the darker side of our town's history, skulk no more!  This tour is what you've been waiting for. 



Anastasia State Park is a quiet beach area with watersports available as well as a self-guided nature trail through a wooded area close by the beach.  Camping is also available as well as an archeological site.


Flagler College, one of our most popular and most recognizable backdrops of our city's skyline, is glanced at in passing, yet as residents, many of us do not stop by to enjoy a wonderful tour of the hotel-turned-college.  It has an extensive and intriguing history and is something that anyone living here or visiting here should not miss out on.



Another city icon is the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  It's not just a lighthouse, there is a museum and they also offer a "Guest Keeper Program" to learn what it's like to keep a lighthouse running.  This is a three-day weekend event.  There is also traditional wooden boatbuilding, standard tours of the lighthouse itself, a Dark of the Moon after hours paranormal tour and a Sunset Moonrise event to watch the sun set and the moon rise from atop the lighthouse with a champagne toast and light hors d'oeuvres.





The Fountain of Youth is a nice little park that is free to St. Johns County residents with ID and is cheap for all others.  Yet it is a very interesting attraction with some wonderful historical tours available.  Don't miss out on this, especially if you live here.  You can't beat the price!  And it's a beautiful and relaxing way to spend a day with the family.




Something that we, as residents here, take for granted is the Castillo de San Marcos.  But did you know that it is the only fort that was never taken in battle?  It has changed hands via treaty only!  The amazing design and materials used in building the fort contributed to the durability and defense of one of our most popular and recognizable icons of our city.



First Friday Artwalk is another of our little secrets that is fun and free!  This is an event that takes place year round on the first Friday of each month.  Check out the website for sponsors and participating galleries.












Continuing with the art exhibit theme, the Butterfield Garage Art Gallery is another place to put on your grocery list of places to pop in on.  This is for our local artists to exhibit their work, so it is definitely a place for locals to honor our artistic neighbors. 






If you enjoy fishing, or if someone in your family does and you and your family want to just sit back and relax, Devil's Elbow Fishing Resort is probably for you.  This place used to be a little hidden spot that was just for fishing, but it has become a small, quiet resort with cottages and a heated pool.  Sit back and rock away on a covered porch,  watch the dolphins, go boating, go fishing, enjoy the old world style of relaxation just down at Crescent Beach and enjoy what others have enjoyed for 50 years. 




Limelight Theatre is another of our city's treasures.  I personally had worked on their very first show here in St. Augustine and it has been a delight to watch this company grow into such a wonderful beacon of culture.  Their next play will run from June 17th to July 10th called Assassins.  A macabre musical comedy that sounds quite intriguing.  There is also the Exploding Bishops Improv Comedy Crew the first Wednesday of the month, as well as the KidzFactory Summer Performance Camps.  Don't miss out on the wonderful world of theatre in our very own Limelight!



With that in mind, there is also the St. Augustine Murder Mystery Dinner Theater.  I haven't experienced it myself, but have read good reviews.  If you're interested in "dinner and a show" with a comedic, interactive twist, this may be for you. 







Worley Favor Pottery is an interesting artist gallery.  His pottery is quite interesting and beautiful.




Honestly, there are so many more things to do here in St. Augustine that it's really impossible to list them all.  We have so much rich culture and history, yet living here, we tend to take it for granted.  Don't miss out on the wonderful rich history and fun activities that we have.  Just look around at all the forts, museums, numerous beautiful churches, parks, antique shops, our winery, the lighthouse, our entertaining attractions, our oldest house, oldest schoolhouse, oldest "everything," St. George Street, horse and carriage tours, boating tours, golfing, horseback riding, and who knew you could ride a Segway on the beach on a guided tour?!

Of course, there's nothing like taking one of the tour trains or trolleys around town.  And before you get all uppity about the trains/trolleys (they are two different companies, did you realize that?) and looking "too much like a tourist" give them the benefit of the doubt.  They're not too expensive and they actually give a nice tour with quick little bits about different attractions that you stop at as well as points of interest that you pass by. 

After doing the research for this post, I now have my family's entire summer planned!  I hope I've been helpful to your summer schedule as well.  Don't take our city for granted, we have too much to pass up and "put off" for another day that never comes.

Get out there and enjoy our beautiful city of St. Augustine, Florida!



4 comments:

  1. I just found your blog through Eat at Home's Staycation post. I graduated from Flagler in 2005 and miss St. Augustine so much! It truly is a beautiful city and I'm jealous that you live there. =) My husband and I have already decided that we're retiring to St. Augustine some day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sarah,

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I graduated Flagler in 1992 and it was a lot different back then, but I agree, it's still a beautiful city! The only problem is, living here, we tend to take it for granted. This project made me take notice of the things we've been ignoring. I hope you can retire here like you want!

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  3. I found your blog through Life As Mom's staycation information. We had the privilege of going to St. Augustine several years ago and we loved it!! We have talked about retiring there as well! We are going to be able to go to FL again this September and would love to spend a night there. Any recommendations for nice (bed bug free) lodging? Nothing fancy, just clean since we would only be there a short time and really just want to enjoy the beach and re-tour the fort, walk the streets, etc. We are in love with this town! Thanks for any recommendations!

    Rebecca
    5langfordatcomcastdotnet

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  4. OMG We love St.Auggie. We've been going there 1-2 times a year snce my honeymoon (we live in GA).
    My fav waas the fountain of youth. The live peacocks walking all arond just appeal to everyone of all ages. We have a 17yr old daughter and 4 yr old and this October we are going there to show him this time.
    Oh and my hubby and daughter did Segways on the beach and had a blast!!!
    Thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete

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