The Best of St. Augustine Florida
This summer we spent 2 days in St. Augustine Florida for a wedding. I found that 2 days was plenty of time to see the city. Everywhere we ate was quite good and there were several more spots we ran out of time to try. These are the best things to do and places to eat that we came across in St. Augustine.
Things to Do
As soon as I got into town (my husband was there already) we walked around Castillo de San Marcos. You can get tickets to tour the inside of the fort. We were happy strolling around outside looking at the walls. After an early morning flight and a car ride from Jacksonville, I was happy to stretch my legs. Located along the river, near the Bridge of Lions, there plenty of spots to sit and enjoy the views too. Nearby is St. George Street, which is a walking mall full of restaurants and shops.
Across the Bridge of Lions on the oceanfront is Anastasia State Park. We met a few friends there one morning and walked along the beach. The beach was wide and pretty empty. If we had more time, a day here relaxing on the beach would have been lovely. Entrance to the park is $8/vehicle.
To escape the heat, a few of us went to Salt Spa St. Augustine. I had never been in a salt cave and this one was a relaxing experience. Inside the air has a constant temperature and humidity that help maintain the salty air that’s produced. The walls are made of bricks of salt that are illuminated from behind. Soft music plays as you lay in a reclined chair. I ended up so relaxed that I dozed off.
Spots in Saint Augustine to Eat & Drink
Our first stop was Osprey Tacos across the Bridge of Lions. There were so many tacos to try. If we had more time we would have made a second trip. The Boise & Cuban tacos were my picks, and they did not disappoint. There’s no room inside to eat, but a covered patio with picnic tables out front. We went next door to Old Coast Ales to try some beers while we ate.
We met friends at Catch 27 for drinks. Our cocktails were excellent. After tacos and beer we weren’t that hungry, but the plate my husband and I shared made us wish we were. The restaurant was small and popular, so a reservation is a good idea.
I stopped into Relampago Coffee Lab for a quick bite before heading to the salt cave. The guava and cream cheese pastry was so unbelievably good I made my husband go back the next day for pastries to take with us to the airport. We weren’t there at a time we wanted coffee, but I have dreamt about those pastries multiple times.
A group of us did a tour at Whetstone Chocolates. A tour was only $9/person and included tastings during and after. It was cool to see how cocoa beans are turned into chocolate. Our tour guide was knowledgeable with pretty funny jokes. Chocolate is also small enough to fit in carry-on luggage to bring home.
ANOTHER FUN CHOCOLATE TOUR: Raleigh Travel Guide
I needed a quick meal to hold me over until the wedding and near our hotel was Juniper Market. The fun and unique coffee drinks were a hit. Their pimento bacon grilled cheese was out of this world, and it was in adorable packaging. I appreciated the option to have carrots instead of chips. A veggie or two while traveling is always a good idea.
Before we left St. Augustine we got breakfast at Kookaburra Coffee. This Aussie spot with a few locations was recommended to use a few times. The bacon egg and cheese hand pies were a great start to the day. There’s a reason they have multiple locations – those pies were mighty tasty.
Things to Know about St. Augustine Florida
If you are flying in, Jacksonville is likely the closest airport unless you fly on something really small. That’s an hour from St. Augustine. Renting a car was quite helpful for getting around, but parking in the main area of town wasn’t plentiful. We figured this out while planning our trip, so it wasn’t a shock to us when we got there.
What we weren’t expecting was the water tasting terrible. Neither my husband or I usually have issues with tap water in places we’ve traveled, but we couldn’t do this. Once we realized what was going on, we switched to bottled and felt much better. Then we did a better job of staying hydrated since the water we drank tasted better. I think the St. Augustine water is also why we weren’t huge fans of a lot of the coffee or beer we had in the city.