St. Augustine City Guide
Before moving to San Francisco, I spent about 5 years in St. Augustine, FL. It’s close to where I grew up, but it feels a world away. For anyone who’s not been before, picture a small historic European town with Spanish Colonial architecture and luxurious 19th century hotels on a Florida Coast. It’s the oldest city in the US and there’s a good amount of tourism around cheesy “historic” areas, but there’s also plenty of authenticity and impressive music arts and food.
Other similar towns in the South like Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA get a bit more coverage, so I wanted to share a guide of my own for St. Augustine.
PLACES TO EAT
Casa Maya Fresh “Mayan” cuisine. They make some of the best guacamole I’ve ever had.
The Floridian Great food and warm environment. The Floridian focuses on locally sourced ingredients that are true Florida--in their words “Innovative Southern Fare.”
Gaufres & Goods This little restaurant is on the old cobblestone Aviles St and is run by a delightful Polish couple Darius and Grace. Their pierogies, soups and crispy waffles are amazing.
Yardbird Great soul food. Perfect spot for lunch.
PLACES TO DRINK
The Ice Plant A new spot housed in a beautiful historic ice plant from the early 1900’s. Best cocktails in St. Augustine.
St. George’s Tavern On the other end of the spectrum from the Ice Plant is the Tavern. It’s a local’s dive bar with incredibly cheap pitchers of beer. It’s anything but fancy but I’ve had a lot of great nights there.
PLACES TO STAY
Casa Monica The Casa Monica was built in 1888 and is modeled after a castle in Spain. It’s centrally located downtown.
St Francis Inn This bed and breakfast is tucked away on one of my favorite blocks in the city. It was built in 1791 and is incredibly warm and cozy.
Casa de Solana If you’re looking for a more budget option, the Casa de Solana is a great option. It’s clean and comfortable and in a great location.
THINGS TO SEE
Flagler College This 4 year liberal arts school is housed in a late 19th century resort hotel that looks like a Spanish castle meets Hogwarts. There’s good reason it’s designed a national historic landmark.
Castillo de San Marcos San Augustine’s iconic fort built in the 1600’s from local coquina rock. Take the tour if you’re interested but definitely take a walk along the fort wall that touches the water.
Lightner Museum The museum is housed in another 19th century Henry Flagler hotel, formerly the Hotel Alcazar. Check out the antique shops that are located in what used to be the largest indoor swimming pool in the world.
ST AUGUSTINE BEACH / ANASTASIA ISLAND
Cafe Eleven This restaurant/venue has good food and has been home to many great shows over the years.
St. Augustine Pier Good spot to hit the beach.
Stir it Up Small beachfront spot with great smoothies and wraps.
The Lighthouse Take the walk up the lighthouse stairs for a great view.
Conch House If you’re not from Florida but are interested in finding a very “Florida” experience, the Conch House is a must see. It’s the place where you can get happy hour margaritas and sit in a straw tiki hut on the water.