Top 5 Reasons You Need to Visit St. Augustine, Florida
I have always wanted to travel to Florida but never got the chance until this year! At least I can thank COVID-19 and working from home for something! In September, I got to spend 2 weeks with my friend Becca (also mentioned as a travel pal here) in St. Augustine, Florida. I fell in LOVE with Florida from there and have been begging my husband to go back with me since. Here are the top 5 reasons you need to visit St. Augustine too!
1. Soft Sand Beaches
Growing up in California, I’ve been to hundreds of beaches over the years but nothing could compare to my excitement about St. Augustine beaches. The second you step foot on the sand, you take a short walk through the hills of sand grass where turtles frequently lay their eggs. When you reach the tide, you’re greeted by warm water all year round.
You can even search the shores for shark’s teeth at beaches in the area. My friends and I found 15 shark’s teeth over 2 days at Vilano Beach just sitting on top of the sand. I’m a sucker for shell beaches and the St. Augustine beaches did not disappoint! I collected my own little tiny bottle of shells to take home and add to my bookshelf as a memento.
2. Small Businesses
It was surprisingly difficult to find a lot of chain restaurants outside of fast food. St. Augustine highly supports their small businesses all over the city, especially restaurants. I got to try a few in St. Augustine’s Historic District that had unique menu items. These included pitchers of sangria at Columbia Restaurant, “UFO” burritos at Burrito Works Taco Shop, and the best locally roasted coffee from Kookaburra. Oh, and don’t forget brunch at Uptown Swinery! If you visit St. Augustine for the food alone, you’ll be in good hands!
3. Proximity to Other States
From where I live in San Diego, it will take me 4-5 hours to make it to the next states over. But from St. Augustine, it only takes about 1 hour to cross into Georgia. We spent a whole weekend in Savannah, Georgia (2.5 hour drive) and had the best time during our little mini getaway from Florida. There are so many terrain changes within a hundred miles of St. Augustine, you can still find mountains and lakes and oceans within day trip distance. Other popular nearby destinations include Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, and Orlando.
4. Historical Landmarks
I’m a sucker for historical sites and that was one of the first things I wanted to see on my visit to St. Augustine. As a former Spanish colony, it’s influence can be found everywhere. The Castillo de San Marcos is a prominent stone fortress that is now a national monument. You can visit the fort and walk inside for $15 or for free if you have a national parks pass. You might even be able to catch a cannon firing show!
Among other historical sites, St. Augustine also has “love trees” which are named when two different species of trees grow within each other. This results in rather odd looking trees and are rumored to bring everlasting romance to couples who kiss beneath the trees.
5. Slow Pace
Even among all the fun and exciting things to do, like visiting the Alligator Farm, St. Augustine has such a relaxing environment. Life feels like it slows down a bit in this sleepy beach city. Visit St. Augustine for a little break from reality, a romantic weekend, or a chill girl’s night out.
You’ll find plenty to do from visiting local coffee shops, seeing the history of one of America’s oldest cities, and spending relaxing time at the beach. Look up from time to time to see the fluffiest clouds ever!
Trust me, visit St. Augustine once and you’ll fall in love too! It is the perfect little place for all occasions with wonderful weather almost year-round. Great for couples, friends, and even families. Check out more photos from St. Augustine on my Instagram!