Vacations are great, usually. My wife and I recently drove to St. Augustine, Florida for a nice, relaxing vacation. When we hit the intersection of Interstate 26 and Interstate 95 we were very happy that we weren’t traveling north. Traffic heading north on I-95 was stop and go for many, many miles. Tension was definitely high and numerous fender benders made matters worse. It was the end of the last week for spring break so the main arteries north were jam-packed. That’s a tough way to end a vacation. I’m glad we waited until the following week. With our kids being out of school now, we can afford to work around the crowds. Anyway, here are five things about St. Augustine.
- The city and surrounding area is a living, breathing history lesson but it maintains a rich balance between old and new.
- Downtown boasts a very cool shopping district on St. George Street and the steets on either side. Many unique shops and eateries.
- There is plenty to do for the kids (beaches, Fort Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St. Augustine Lighthouse, The Old Jailhouse) and adults (all of the aforementioned and a plethora of restaurants, pubs and bars, shopping, and golf).
- The area is easy to get to by car or air. Even though it’s in Florida, it’s just south of Jacksonville, so you don’t have to venture deep into the Sunshine State.
- Most parking downtown is pay by the hour but there are a couple of trolley/bus systems that provide cost effective transportation around the area.
For the city and county governments, it has to be a juggling act to maintain the balance between progress and the deep historic flavor of St. Augustine. I’m sure this is true in most cities but much more so in the oldest, continuously occupied city in America. We enjoyed our stay. It was, at the same time, relaxing, educational, and fun. I highly recommend that it be placed on your list of places to visit before you kick the bucket. We can now cross it off of ours but I’m sure that we’ll be back for a second visit.
St. Augustine Lighthouse, and Ponce De Leon and me at the Fountain of Youth.
Author of A Lifetime of Vengeance, A Lifetime of Deception, and A Lifetime of Exposure.