What we did in St. Augustine…
From Charleston to St. Augustine, it takes a little over 4 hours which is perfect for a 2 day quick trip over the Spring Break Week. We have been wanting to get down to this city for awhile now and we were not disappointed.
Where to stay beach or downtown? We opted to stay right in the center of the city at Casa Monica which is a historic landmark hotel. It can be pricey especially on the weekends but during the week the price drops drastically and you can find lower prices on Booking.com occasionally, which is in fact how we booked. It has a resort fee and $25 valet parking not included in the original price. It was well worth the views, turn of the century vibes and they also have a large pool, spa and a great lobby bar.
We arrived in St. Augustine just in time for a Nor’easter… not the best timing. It was cold (which is hard to do being 4 hours south of Charleston). Luckily, we had looked at the forecast and were prepared with some warmer clothes. We headed straight down the main roads stopping at the oldest Street in America before diving into an English Pub, called The Chatsworth Pub. Not to worry, it was happy hour, kid friendly and they had warm soft pretzels. We then proceeded to St. George Street and walked up and down stopping into the small shops (remember it was cold), prior to eating at Columbia Restaurant. I recommend making reservations as it was busy on a weekday. It is very large but all the seats were definitely filled. They are known for their Salad, the Mojito, Sangria and tapas. We all enjoyed it and it was family friendly but also filled with tourists!
Just the adults headed out after dinner to try the Tini Martini. It’s a cute little bar right across from the water and it was fairly empty thanks to the Nor’easter. You know it is a local favorite when the only patrons during the bad weather were locals! One drink really affords you two as they leave the shaker for you to finish. We loved the atmosphere and the people were great giving us all the recommendations around the area that we might not have thought to do!
Our day 2 was full of their ideas and those provided to us you all. We left the Martini Bar and headed back to the hotel bar for our last drink before turning in that night.
Time for Brunch! We walked to the Blue Hen which is about ½ mile from our hotel but thankfully the sun was up that day so it was much warmer. The wind however wasn’t ready to call it quits. The Blue Hen is first come first serve and there was a line (remember this was a weekday so it will be longer during the weekend) when we got there but it moved relatively quickly. The chicken and biscuits and omelet were both amazing and the kids could get half orders instead of a kids menu. We walked off our “biscuits” around town heading to the Fort.
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument was our next stop! It’s one of the oldest Forts in the United States. It is $15 for adults but kids are free and it was well worth touring. Remember what I told you about the wind, it was whipping at the top and near the wall to the water but it was beautiful and overlooked both the city of St. Augustine and the inlet. Pictures and history were both fantastic!
Aargh Matey… the Pirate and Treasure Museum was next. This museum was recently relocated from Key West, It provided lots of history as well as a treasure hunt game for the kids throughout the museum to keep them engaged. It was a bit pricey $44 for all 4 of us to go, but the kids loved it and I enjoyed learning about all their sweet “booty”!
Time for an Ice Cream Break… of course. There are no shortages of ice cream on St. George street so take your pick between Gelato, Dole Whip (any Disney Fans?), and traditional. My kids are traditional so that’s what we went with plus sprinkle waffle cones! Since we once again were trying to eat our way through vacation, we walked from St. George Street over the Bridge of Lions to visit a local shrimp shack. If the wind wasn’t whipping, it would have been a very pleasant walk. I would recommend walking if possible since the traffic over that bridge appeared to never stop! Osteens was another recommendation from one of those sweet locals we met and it was …. DELICIOUS! You will have to wait, or place and order to go if you don’t want to wait. We loved it, but try going when it first opens or at 3 pm when it is only a portion of the wait.
We walked back over the windy bridge to Flagler College (Hotel Ponce De Leon) and walked around the beautiful campus. The girls decided to shop a little more while the boys went to swim in the pool (too cold for me), before heading to dinner. Lucky for us, we were able to get a reservation at Collage because of one of the people that we met at the Tini Martini. Let me tell you this was the best food we had in St. Augustine by far! Reservations highly recommended in advance as they book out early and they turned away lots of walk-ins as they do not have a bar and only have a small dining area. If you are planning to go to St. Augustine book your reservations at Collage now! It was priced on par with the quality of food, but wouldn’t recommend kids. The Filet and the Special Local fish were fancy AF and delicious too!
Off to Dos Gatos for a drink then back to the Tini Martini to meet our now Instagram friends before heading back to the Casa Monica! Up and out the next day to head north for a Volleyball tournament. I loved St. Augustine and we think you will too with or without kids. It has something for anyone and the people were just as charming as the city itself. We wanted to thank everyone that sent us suggestions. We missed a bunch of places because of timing which only means we have to go back!
Until next time!
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