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St. Augustine, Florida


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I love the old part of Florida.  It’s grown up a lot - but it still retains some of the old Florida feel.

In that part of Florida, paddling the springs is a lot of fun. You’ll be out of prime manatee season, but it’s still fun to paddle the crystal clear water.

Salt Springs isn’t far far. Crystal River is a lot of fun if you’re ever on the other side of the state - but it’s probably 100 miles from St. Augustine.  It’s worth it though.  My kids would get in the car right now if I told them We could go paddle the springs. 

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I would recommend Castillo de San Marcos Monument, oldest masonry fort in the lower 48 ( i think) if you like history.  Had a great lunch at Harry's Seafood, Bar & Grill and dinner at the Columbian Restraurant (traditional Spanish restaurant), it's local chain but the wife and I enjoyed it.  We were there just for a day but we will definitely go back.  

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We have been going every August for about the last 10 years and will be down there the 2nd week this August. We started going there for the pet friendly beaches in St Augustine Beach. 
Flagler College is a must to tour, largest single collection of Tiffany glass collection in the world, all in pretty much one window. The lighthouse is cool. They we’re doing some excavation at one of the churches last year and we’re supposed to start displaying some artifacts.

We always have our anniversary dinner at O.C Whites, followed by a carriage ride. You can usually get the best history lessons on the carriage rides. Cantina Louie for Mexican. The Beach Comber in St Augustine Beach is great for lunch.

I think we’ve seen most everything, we’ll stay in St Augustine Beach and head into town once or twice during the day and go back and walk around at least one or 2 nights.

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Little Cuban place not far off the central plaza. La Herencia Café. So good we ate there twice and stopped for a good coffee a third time. Breakfast Cuban sandwich is pretty great. 

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is worth a visit if you enjoy lighthouses. It was not a bad climb to the top and a heck of a view. https://www.staugustinelighthouse.org/

I also enjoyed the short boat ride over to the Fort Matanzas National Monument . It is showing temporarily closed though so you will have to check on it. https://www.nps.gov/foma/index.htm

 

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2 hours ago, Erik88 said:

How many days are you going for Greg and are you staying in town, or on the beach? 

It’ll be a week, and We’ve not booked a place yet so I welcome suggestions.

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39 minutes ago, gregintenn said:

It’ll be a week, and We’ve not booked a place yet so I welcome suggestions.

St. Augustine is great, but's it's not very big. After about 3 days, you may run out of things to see unless you are fine with hanging out on the beach the rest of the time or venturing out to some of the places people mentioned above. I'm one of these folks that can't sit on a beach all week but my wife can. 

I was going to suggest splitting your trip between there and Savannah if you've never been. It's a bit further away than I remembered though. 3 hours from St. Augustine to Savannah. Either way, I'm sure you'll have a great time. 

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12 minutes ago, Erik88 said:

St. Augustine is great, but's it's not very big. After about 3 days, you may run out of things to see unless you are fine with hanging out on the beach the rest of the time or venturing out to some of the places people mentioned above. I'm one of these folks that can't sit on a beach all week but my wife can. 

I was going to suggest splitting your trip between there and Savannah if you've never been. It's a bit further away than I remembered though. 3 hours from St. Augustine to Savannah. Either way, I'm sure you'll have a great time. 

I don’t care for sitting on a beach either. Savannah is awesome!

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I'm currently down the road a piece from St. Augustine.  The town itself if pretty seedy and many of the tourist oriented restaurants long ago began looking a little long in the tooth.  That said, the Lightner Museum is very engaging.  As to restaurants I feel The Columbia is a must for the atmosphere if nothing else.

You may enjoy driving a little inland to take an air boat tour.  Maybe drive further towards the center of the state to snorkel in the springs.  Ginnie Springs is cool, both figuratively and literally.  Although there are plenty of charter boats in that area for off shore fishing, if you go out of Sebastian or further south you'll likely get some great catches.

Doing any shooting while down here?  I have access to the 600 yard NRA certified range in Palm Bay.  In Volusia on the weekends they open up the 1250 yard range.  Once per month you can actually shoot a mile if you have the hardware to accomplish that.

Have fun.

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9 minutes ago, gregintenn said:

Could someone explain the attraction to lighthouses. My wife makes a big deal out of them. To me they are simply a grain silo with a ladder and a big flashlight.

I agree.  I've been to the tops of many.  St. Augustine and Jupiter being the ones I'm currently closest to.  Maybe the neat thing about them is the history and the role they served before modern aids to navigation.

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10 minutes ago, billyblazes said:

I agree.  I've been to the tops of many.  St. Augustine and Jupiter being the ones I'm currently closest to.  Maybe the neat thing about them is the history and the role they served before modern aids to navigation.

This mostly. In another life I apparently was a sailor because I am drawn to water and the ocean. Even though I have been in Tennessee a bulk of my life I could live on the water. 
I get pretty fascinated with old boats, uninhabited islands, and stories of the seas. Lighthouses fit right into that. It is mostly the history and the tales that come with them. Since they are often in remote (or formerly remote) and hazardous areas the stories of the people who lived their lives working them can also be pretty fascinating. 

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I'm quite content sitting on the beach and surf fishing for an entire week.  Lots of stuff running as the water warms up in June.  You can take your freshwater gear - just keep it out of the drink - and rinse it off well at the end of the week. Or, just come by and I'll loan you a surf rod.

If you do get bored, between St. Augustine and Savannah is Saint Marys, GA.  The ferry ride out to Cumberland Island is worth the ride. Seeing the wild horses that the Carnegies let go is pretty cool. 

It's a couple of hours away - but if you're driving down - renting a Jon boat in the Okefenokee Swamp is a lot of fun, too.  You're early enough to not get completely overrun by mosquitos - and likely to see a bunch of Georgia's finest gators.

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If you like historical stuff there is the "Historic district" with its cobblestone streets and houses  dating to the 1700s. The Castillo De San Marcos is the fort erected in the late 1600s to defend the bay against English privateers. The Pirate and Treasure Museum has some cool exhibits. The Bull and Crown Pub (English pub) and the Taberna del Caballo (Spanish tavern) have great ambiance. The Columbia Restaurant is fabulous .  Then there is the Fountain of Youth and the living history exhibits there. The wife and I love St Augustine. 

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3 hours ago, MacGyver said:

I'm quite content sitting on the beach and surf fishing for an entire week.  Lots of stuff running as the water warms up in June.  You can take your freshwater gear - just keep it out of the drink - and rinse it off well at the end of the week. Or, just come by and I'll loan you a surf rod.

 

I'm with MacGyver on this.  Good time of year for fishing FL.  You never know what you might bring in.  Since the wife has caught the bug, we're fishing every morning and evening.  Love it!

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1 hour ago, Quavodus said:

You know you could go to Michigan, and meet the same people and it would be cooler. 😎

I did consider a trip to the Upper Peninsula, as I’ve never been, but doesn’t Queen Gretchen still have  the place shut down for the ‘rona?

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If you decide to go out fishing in St. Augustine I can whole heartedly recommend Endless Summer Fishing Charters and the guys on Endless Summer 3. 
https://www.facebook.com/EndlessSummerChartersOfStAugustine/

Went about 50 to 60 miles out with them the last time I was down there. It was a bottom fishing trip mostly and we targeted water roughly 80 to 150 ft deep. 
We got tired of catching fish. It was doubles or something big every drop. We pulled in Barracuda, Cobia, Mahi, Grouper, Snapper, Trigger, nurse and hammerhead sharks. It was well in excess of 200lbs of cleaned and processed fish split between the 6 of us even after giving most of the Triggers to the crew. 

I enjoy surf fishing as well but it is hard to beat a good deep water trip. 

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We stayed there a lifetime ago, and really enjoyed it. My son actually moved there a year or so ago, and they love it.

When we went a long time ago, we stayed at a bed and breakfast. It was in a really old house in the historical district. They had bikes to use, and we would ride them all over town. It was great. If you have never done a B&B, you really should try it. You won't forget it. 

There is  a horse drawn carriage ride that leaves from the Fort and drives all around the historical section. We really enjoyed that. It's all along cobblestone roads, so you get the clack, clack, clack of the wheels on that, plus the horses hooves. Makes for a neat experience.

If you like to camp, Anastasia State Park has a campground right on the beach that is amazing. We've thought about going to the camp ground and not telling our son, just so that we could spend the week there all by ourselves (kidding).

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