We decided to take a quick overnight getaway for the 4th of July. I can’t think of a better place to spend the birthday of our Nation than in America’s oldest city! Nestled on the coast of northeast Florida our trip to historic St. Augustine was a short 3 hour drive from Tampa. While we only spent 24 hours there we were able to see and do so much. Continue reading to see how we made the most of our quick visit so you can too!
We decided to give Airbnb a try for our stay and I must say we had a great first experience. Our hosts were wonderful and the location was perfect! You can check out where we stayed here.
1. Burger Buckets
3 Cordova St, St Augustine, FL 32084
We arrived in town around lunch time and decided to grab a quick bite to eat before checking into our AirBNB studio. I’m not sure what attracted me to me this place more- the guy outside wearing a hamburger hat or the fact that it’s a burger joint and ice cream shop in one. Either way we decided to give it a try and I’m glad we did. I ordered the sliders and 1/2 basket of fries while my husband went for the Philly sandwich. We didn’t save room for dessert but it was a popular addition for many fellow diners. Burger Buckets is the place to go for a quick lunch!
2. Castillo de San Marco
1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084
Definitely a must visit while in town. Castillo de San Marco offers 360 degree views and a glimpse into what makes St. Augustine so charming. Bordered by the Matanzas River, the entire experience encourages you to consider what life would have been like in 1672.
Midday view looking out over the Matanzas River
If you have a National Parks Passport make sure to stop inside the gift shop to get your stamp! This is a fun way to commemorate your visit to a National Park. Don’t have a National Parks Passport? No worries! You can buy one in the gift shop.
Active duty military can apply for a free lifetime pass and veterans with a VA disability rating are eligible for a free lifetime pass. For more information visit the National Park Service website.
3. St. Augustine Coffee House
I was starting to feel the mid afternoon slump so we popped into the first local coffee shop we came across. St. Augustine Coffee House is a small shop with a flavorful menu. I ordered the frozen vanilla latte and my husband tried the frozen Dulce de Leche latte. Not only was the service friendly and fast but hands down the best frozen latte I’ve ever had. Both drinks were a quick way to cool off and find respite among the summer sun.
4. Shopping on St. George Street
Caffeinated and cooled off we set out to stroll through St. George Street. Housed in historic buildings and tucked in time visitors can find traditional souvenir shops neighboring boutiques and specialty shops. We find ourselves dropping in and out of the shops admiring each one’s diversity. There’s literally something for everyone on this historic street. The best part? The street is walking accessible only making it a wonderful experience to just slow down and observe the history lined brick road. Our favorite stores along the route included Red Pineapple Boutique, The Panama Hat Company, and Faux Paws.
5. MOJO Old City BBQ
5 Cordova St, St Augustine, FL 32084
When we moved to Florida from Kentucky I seriously doubted we would ever find great BBQ again but MOJO Old City BBQ proved me wrong. Not only did they have great BBQ but the sides were equally as delicious. I went with the beef brisket, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes sans gravy, and jalapeño cornbread. You just can’t go wrong with a southern style home cooked BBQ meal. Make sure to get a reservation for this place if you plan on going close to dinner time. Thankfully we beat the dinner crowd but as we were leaving the restaurant was packed.
6. Colonial Oak Stage
21 St George St, St Augustine, FL 32084
Having a few hours left to kill before the fireworks show we decided to go back to St. George Street and wander around. Just as people were filling the streets so too was the live music. We happened upon the Colonial Oak Stage tucked in behind a gift shop. The music was great and just the type of live show we enjoy checking out. They had three bars setup near the stage with decently priced adult beverages. While we didn’t grab a drink we stayed for awhile to listen to Chillula play. I recommend following them to see where they are playing while you’re in town. Their energy was great and we will definitely check their show schedule to find them the next time we visit.
7. Sangrias Wine & Tapas Bar
35 Hypolita St, St Augustine, FL 32084
As the sun began to set, we decided to find somewhere to cool off and satisfy my sweet tooth. Sangrias Wine and Tapas Bar was just the cure. We sat on their porch overlooking Hypolita Street and enjoyed a glass of wine and a grilled banana split. Hands down one of the best foodie choices while in town. The atmosphere was enjoyable with live music and great views of the downtown streets.
8. Maple Street Biscuit Company
39 Cordova St, St Augustine, FL 32084
The next morning we woke up early to maximize our last few hours in town. We arrived at Maple Street Biscuit Company shortly after they opened and ordered the deluxe biscuits and gravy with a side of hash brown casserole. This place is adorable and the food was heavenly. When you arrive you order at the counter and instead of asking for your name they have a question of the day. Whatever your response is
I recommend going early in the morning to avoid long lines. This place is a local favorite and seating fills up quickly!
9. Fountain of Youth
11 Magnolia Ave, St Augustine, FL 32084
We couldn’t leave town with out visiting the Fountain of Youth. Ponce de Leon’s famous journey for the fountain of youth is a staple in American history books.
The website states to allow 2.5 hours to tour the attraction. We didn’t think it would take us this long but come to find out there’s so much to do there. We enjoyed the time on the property so much that we ended up exploring for 2 hours.
Side Note: You can drink the spring water from the Fountain of Youth. Legend says it can restore youth to anyone. I personally think it smells like rotten eggs so I only took a small sip. My husband on the other hand chugged an entire cup. No way was he passing up the opportunity to gain some youthfulness 🙂
10. Whetstone Chocolates
139 King St, St Augustine, FL 32084
As our time in St. Augustine came to an end we made one final stop for an edible souvenir. Since 1967 Whetstone Chocolates has been providing quality products to residents and visitors of St. Augustine. There were so many flavors to pick from but I went with the three classic flavors of fudge I knew would be a hit: peanut butter, peanut butter and chocolate, and cookies and cream. A truffle assortment as a gift rounded out our purchase. Their website says they offer tours as well and I wish we would have had enough time to do it. But that’s the joy of micro-traveling; there’s always next time.