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Our trip to Florida came and went entirely too quickly. That’s how it always happens isn’t it? You look forward to something for so long, and then you have such a wonderful time, you try to be present and soak up every moment. But, then in a blink of an eye, you look up, and it’s over. We are already are planning our next trip out that way! While it was a relatively short trip, we packed a ton of fun into it. Which included one day in St. Augustine.
This was my first trip to St. Augustine, and it will not be my last. There is so much history, I kept having to pinch myself. All the old historic buildings made it feel more like walking around Europe than the United States. There is nothing like that out here on the West Coast. While, I easily could have spent an entire week exploring the city, all we had was a day. So, I pulled out all the stops, researching some of the best places, and stumbling upon others. And as a result I bring you the quintessential travel guide, what to do in St. Augustine for a day!
Cousteau’s Waffles & Milkshakes
First up, you’re going to need some sustenance to start your day and seriously, if you ate nothing else your whole day, this is where you need to stop. It’s a need people, a need. Cousteau’s Waffles & Milkshakes is tucked back on a quaint cobblestone street, with a loudly painted red front door so you can’t miss this to die for eatery. The small menu boasts nothing but made to order gourmet waffles and milkshakes. We ordered a Plimpton waffle and a Calypso milkshake to split. The Plimpton is a homemade waffle topped with fresh blueberry compote, whipped cream and local honey. And, honey, let me tell you, it was good! The Calypso milkshake was like a tart key lime pie in a cup made with fresh squeezed Florida lime juice and graham cracker crumbs. You will leave happy as a clam, and you’ll be talking about it the whole rest of the trip.
Castillo de San Marcos
To work off all those waffles and milkshakes, a trip to Castillo de San Marcos is a must. Just a couple blocks away, and right on the water, it’s the perfect place to spend the morning exploring. It’s the oldest masonry fort in the US being built in the 1600’s! Seeing that much history in one place was truly amazing. One of the things I loved was seeing all the graffiti. You heard me, the graffiti. Just like kids today, soldiers from hundreds of years ago, etched their names into the stone walls and is still visible.
Ancient City Brewing
After your tour around the fort, it’s probably time for a beer. And, I know when I’m somewhere new, I want to check out what’s local. Ancient City Brewing has a great taproom right in the middle of historic St. Augustine. Ancient City Brewing is a local brewery from right in St. Augustine that has some good craft brews. And, that’s coming from two Washingtonians who live in the heart of the craft brew capital. Plus, they have a great logo and lots of merch to commemorate your drinking experience.
Since you’re already in the heart of historic St. Augustine, this is the perfect time to take a walk and see all of the architecture. It’s all absolutely beautiful. The streets are cobblestone, the buildings date back hundreds of years. There are hidden treasures everywhere you look. I appreciated all the plaques around the city telling me about the buildings and the city itself.
A1A Ale Works
Across the main square from Ancient City Brewing is A1A Ale Works. From the outside it might not look like much, but since it’s probably about lunch time now, this is the perfect spot to stop. While the inviting bar downstairs might catch your eye, if you go upstairs to their restaurant you’ll be in for a treat. They have a beautiful outdoor balcony overlooking the water. We ended up sitting here for hours, chatting, watching the water, trying more local beers, and of course, the gator tail. As someone not from the South, I didn’t know this was a thing, but it is, and it’s delicious. Tom, being from the south insisted that we get gator tail everywhere we went so he could get his fix. And, according to him, A1A Ale Works has the best gator he has ever had. When in Rome folks!
Bridge of Lions
Right across from A1A Ale Works is the Bridge of Lions, which is worth walking by and checking out. Originally built in 1925, it’s an icon of St. Augustine, named for the stone lions that stand at the bridge and was named one of the most beautiful bridges in the United States.
There are so many great places to stop in for a drink in the afternoon. Take your pick! We loved strolling between quaint little outdoor bars and interesting shops and galleries. From the front Meehan’s Irish Pub in St. Augustine, looks like a typical Irish pub. But, if you skip the front entrance and stroll along the Hypolita Street, and come in the back, there is a gorgeous outdoor venue called the Backyard. It’s a tropical bar, all outdoors in a lush garden setting. Next, find your way to St. George Street. It’s pedestrian only so you can walk between lots of great shops with ease. While tootling along from shop to shop, we heard live music coming out of Taberna Del Caballo, and a sign out front advertising their sangria, so of course we had to stop. And, if I had it to do all over again I would stop there again! It’s a Spanish style building with a beautiful outdoor patio and great sangria.
Once it’s dinner time I highly suggest trying Catch 27. To date, it was one of the best, if not the best, meal I’ve ever had. Their menu is all locally sourced, in season, and fresh. This seafood restaurant we randomly stumbled across because of the reviews online, and it truly was phenomenal. If weather permits, the outdoor seating in the cozy backyard is truly romantic, with string lights overhead. At the suggestion of our server, we had the blackened fish of the day over pasta in a sherry pesto cream sauce and pan seared scallops with root beer braised pork belly. Both were absolutely outstanding, and next time we are in St. Augustine we will be back at Catch 27 to try the rest of the menu.
By this time it’s time to call it a day! And, there is your day in St. Augustine!
If you missed it, I wrote a guest post over on Tawni Marie where I shared a super simple, quick and easy essential oil cider recipe AND I’m giving away a $50 Young Living credit!