More than just a sweet little city. St. Augustine, Florida

I spent a few of my much younger years living in Jacksonville, FL. Not so far from the sweet little city of St. Augustine. You think I would have known that it’s the Nation’s Oldest City. Over 400 years old dating back to 1565 when Pedro Menedez de Aviles claimed Florida for Spain.  I did not……

There are cobble stoned streets that cry out HISTORY.

Although, I enjoyed visiting Fort Matanzas and Castillo de San Marcos, my absolute favorite “history lesson” was at the Ximenez-Fatio House. Simply breathe taking.

I love the fact that Miss Fatio turned the space that was built as merchant’s home and place of business (1798), Ximenez House, “Into St. Augustine’s most fashionable boarding house. After our tour was over, I wasn’t ready to leave! Our tour guide was one of the best story tellers I’ve heard in a long while. I was really bummed that my girls were not with me because I know they would have loved to look at the building as well as hear the stories our guide shared.

The Distillery and Ice Plant! More favorites. The Distillery is just that… a distillery. They use locally sourced ingredients pulled together to distill homegrown whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin! We were treated to a guided tour of the distillery and the museum.  Which was really not a special treat just for our group (although it felt like it).  They will do it for you too!  They also offered samples for parents. I am more of a whiskey girl myself, but their gin was fantastic! And the best way to end a tour is to head upstairs for dinner at the Ice Plant. This place is no joke. I may be a bit of a San Diego snob, because I was not expecting this scene in St. Augustine. The cocktails were artfully made with fresh juices and ice that is custom cubed by the bartender! While the food is farm to table with wonderfully creative dishes from Blue Crab Beignets to St. Augustine White Shrimp & Greenway Grits with BBQ Pork Belly, Grilled Okra, and Roasted Tomato Gravy. Yumm!


I should not fail to mention that I dined in a pool! And the food was fantastic.

In the 1890s this was the world’s largest indoor swimming pool.  Again the history in St. Augustine is something to be considered.  These photos are from the Lightner Museum.   Henry Flagler built the Alcazar Hotel in 1888.  Walking through the museum I felt as if I was taken back in time.  There is no shortage of things to look at including a grand ballroom filled with beautiful antique furniture an art, eclectic collections from buttons, fine glass to human hair art.  A little something for everyone.

All in all, I was super impressed with the combination of history and hipness going in in St. Augustine.  A few must check outs before I peace out.

  • Aviles Street – it’s quaint and cool all at the same time.  Lots of fun places to eat.
  • Touch St. Agustine Sculpture Garden
  • Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
  • The Hyppo Gourmet Pops – I mean REALLY.  I’m not a Popsicle fan, but these are sooo good!  I had no intention of trying but I kept on hearing about them, and happened upon the storefront a few hours before dinner.  Thought, I try the worst sounding flavor for a Popsicle, just to see.. Avocado Serrano Chile.. So FREAKING GOOD.  My mouth is watering thinking about it.


Renee is a New York-born travel enthusiast with a passion for yoga and a West Coast spirit. As a travel writer specializing in the West Coast and beyond, Renee loves to explore new destinations and share her experiences with others. She has traveled extensively, gaining a wealth of knowledge about the best places to go, things to do, and where to stay. Renee's writing style is immersive, taking her readers on a journey to the places she visits. Although she doesn't consider herself a professional photographer, Renee is passionate about capturing the beauty of the world around her and loves to include her photos in her travel writing. With her New York attitude and West Coast soul, Renee is a force to be reckoned with in the world of travel writing.

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