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quietgirll
02-06-2006, 08:53 PM
hi everybody! my gf and i are going down to orlando in may, and we have plans on stopping in at st augustine on the way down for a day or two. i havent been in many many years since i was a kid going with my parents, and im so excited!! ive been able to find some info, but i was wondering if you guys knew of any must-see places for us to go...thanks so much!! :goodvibes

ChrizJen
02-07-2006, 09:34 AM
I lived in Jacksonville, FL. for a couple of years, and I used to make weekend trips down there all the time! All I ever really did was stroll up and down St. George Street (I think thats the name of the street) where all the old buildings and shops are. I loved that. It was always crowded on a Saturday with musicians playing on the street and I just loved it! (I kinda like to people watch too, so that helps! :rolleyes: ) I took my DGF Jen there a couple years ago, and she loved it too!

But when we went, we also took the Fountain of Youth tour. It was OK, but I wouldnt want to do it again. I've heard that the Lighthouse is a great place to visit, but we didn't make it there. There's also the Gator Farm which is across the Intercoastal (cross the big drawbridge). (sorry I've never actually been to most of these attractions, but I've heard they're all cool) And then if you're a shopper, there's always the old Outlet Mall right off of 95 in St. Augustine!...

Hope that helps! :wave: Have fun!!!! Wish I could go! :rolleyes:

-Christal

quietgirll
02-07-2006, 10:29 PM
christal- thanks! im really excited, and hope my gf will enjoy it. have you by any chance ever tried any of those trolley tours?? ive seen them, and the info on the sites seem to be that these are a good investment, but i just dont know. when i went with my parents, my dad just had us walk everywhere, and i dunno how excited my gf will be about that!! lol...thanks a lot!!

coach4448
02-08-2006, 05:19 AM
quietgirll,
I think that the trolleys are worth the money. We go to St. Augustine a couple of times a year, and have used the trolley. It cuts down on the walking, and with the on-off stops, you can get off, walk and then pick it up again when you are tired of walking. We would rather park the car and leave it.

Parking can be a problem there, so once we check in, the car stays put.
Have you decided where you will be staying? I think that we've stayed in just about all the places there and would be happy to give you my thoughts on them.

I think that you will have a great time. We enjoy checking out the shops, and there are several good restaurants there. Some of things we've done that we enjoyed were seeing the lighthouses, the Lightner Museum, taking a tour of Flagler College, and the San Sebastian Winery. We've also done a sailing on the Schooner Freedom which was fun.

quietgirll
02-09-2006, 12:08 AM
coach--thanks so much!! i think youre right, the trolleys will probably be the best bet for us. we dont want to start off our vacation with tired feet!! do you think we should stay one day or two?? this will probably be the most laid back part of the vacation, since were heading down to orlando for some universal/sea world/ak/space center (sheesh just putting all those together makes me tired!!).

i havent picked where we are staying yet- just been looking at some of the websites so far. ive been a little disappointed that i have been able to find more info on the web to be honest---im one of those overplanners!! any thoughts you may have as to where would be a good place to stay, id LOVE to hear!

the flagler tour you mentioned-is that a guided tour, or do you look around yourself? flagler was actually on my short list of college choices, since i love florida so much and was entranced by the atmosphere there. i vaguely remember going into lightner, i think we may do that again. the only thing i can really remember about it is the antique shopping in the old swimming pool!! oh the things a mind retains!!

i would LOVE any ideas/suggestions you may have coach...thanks so much!!

coach4448
02-09-2006, 06:05 AM
quietgirll,
I think you'll be happy with the trolley. Considering the rest of your trip will involve lots of walking, this will give you a break from adding more walking.
If you want to relax and take it slow before you hit Orlando, I'd do 2 days if it won't cut into the rest of your trip too much.
You might have already checked out this website, but I'll give it to you just in case: http://www.oldcity.com
I think it's one of the better sites for St. Augustine.

The Flagler tour is a guided tour done by students. It really isn't very long, but it was interesting. We also enjoy hitting the shops, popping into some of the local bars for a drink etc. We usually take it pretty easy while we are there and just do things at a slow pace.

As far as places to stay, if you want to splurge, we love the Casa Monica. If nothing else, and you enjoy a cocktail, stop in the bar and have a drink. It's a beautiful old hotel. Also, just so you are aware, all the rooms in this hotel are non-smoking. (just wanted to throw that in, not sure if that would be a concern for you or not) This is our favorite place, and even though I'm a smoker, we still pick this most often. It's romantic and we love the restaurant, 95 Cordova.

If the Casa Monica is not what you are looking for, and you'd like to try a great B & B, I'd go with Our House. Its gay owned and wonderful. The site is:
http://www.ourhousestaugustine.com
Other places we have enjoyed are the St. George Inn, which is right in the heart of St. George Street.
The Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront , is a newer hotel in another great location. I've found some good deals here, and other times it's very expensive. Not sure why but it would be worth checking out.
All the hotels above are in walking distance to most all the sights.
Others that are a good, but not right in the downtown area are:
Best Western Historical Inn, Best Western Spanish Quarters, Hampton Inn St. Augustine Historic District and the Historic Days Inn St. Augustine. Most of these are on the trolley line which makes them a good choice as well.

For restaurants, check out O.C. Whites Seafood & Spirits, Raintree Restaurant, Gypsy Cab Company, Harry's of St. Augustine and the Rendezvous Restaurant, which has over 160 beers from all over the world.
A fun pub type of place is the Giggling Gator, located on King Street.

Stop in Whetstone Chocolates for some really good chocolate!

I know what you mean about over planning! I'm the same way! :thumbsup2
I think that it's part of the fun in going on a trip.
I know that you will have a great time. Not sure when you plan on being there, but the weekends get pretty crowded, but that also makes for good people watching! If there is anything else I can help out with let me know.

lovethattink
02-09-2006, 06:22 PM
We go to St. Augustine alot. Often we stay at Vilano Beach, it's just a short ride to the historic district. There was ALOT of erosion to the beaches during the hurricanes the past two years. Our last stay was at a Days Inn in the historic district which was ok, but not that great.

As mentioned above, we always go to whetsone chocolates, we also stop at the factory and do their mini-tour. We always eat at Harry's and the restaurant where you feed the fish (can't think it's name, but the kid's love it there). We grab dessert at Kilwin's (waffle cone of some kind of icecream, yum! Just walk by and you can smell them making the cones and other candy.) We really enjoy the Flagler Museum, the castillo, Fountain of Youth, the Light House, The Spanish Quarters, and shopping on George St. The only things we did, that we don't care if we do again or not, were the one room school house and the jail. Once we did the ghost tour which was interesting, however, not very appropriate for our child. To this day he still gets the willies when we walk past certain places in St. Augustine where they said things. He still remembers them and is freaked out even though we've discussed it a million times with him. But it was interesting to hear where the term dead ringer and the song, ring around the rosie came from.

quietgirll
02-10-2006, 02:38 PM
coach and love-- i cant thank you both enough!! now i have lots more to go on, and help me make the right decisions!!

ill definitely look into casa monica--i like the sound of it! fortunately, neither of us smoke, so that wont be an issue! :)

im looking at the site for our house now...lol...the name makes me think of the old chad allen/shannen doherty show!! it looks really beautiful, but ive never stayed at a b&b before, and i just dont know if id be comfy in one to be honest :o\ hmm...it does give me something to think about tho...good to know the options!!

im so excited about all the places to stay you listed!! thats been one of the things ive had the least luck with--really finding a lot of info on the lodging, so this will be invaluable!! your list is going to keep me busy for awhile...thanks so much!!


the restaurant info is great too!! esp the one with all the beer--my gf will be excited about that one!! and ive never even heard of this whetsone chocolates, but now that you have BOTH mentioned it, im going to make sure we go there!! i love chocolate--i think the tour would be neat too!

hmm...the ghost tour sounds interesting! ive aways wanted to do one of those down in charleston, but never have...my gf isnt really wild about that kind of thing, but she said she would do it if i really wanted to---any idea on where i can ge4t more info on those? ill just try googling it i guess!! (i love google!)

and i have heard about this restaurant where you can feed the fish somewhere else too---ill look into that as well!!

thanks again to all of you for being so much help!! this really makes me feel better having some concret info to go on to do my searches!! and thanks a bunch for the site coach!!

coach4448
02-10-2006, 03:06 PM
im looking at the site for our house now...lol...the name makes me think of the old chad allen/shannen doherty show!! it looks really beautiful, but ive never stayed at a b&b before, and i just dont know if id be comfy in one to be honest :o\ hmm...it does give me something to think about tho...good to know the options!!

I know how you feel about the B&B. We felt that way also, but on a trip to
Asheville,NC we stayed at one and after that were hooked! I was also worried about how comfy we would be, but once we had the experience, we loved it.
There is a great website called purpleroofs.com that is great. It's full of gay owned or gay friendly places to stay all over the world. We've used it many times and have always been very happy with everyplace we've picked from there.
Please let us know how your trip was when you get back.
All this talk has made me want to plan another getaway to St. Augustine soon!

lovethattink
02-11-2006, 03:12 PM
I just thought of something, First Fridays. The first Friday of every month, the art galleries are open late, so are most of the shops on George St. and through out the historic district. Otherwise, most of the shops and art galleries usually close at 5pm.

Santa Maria is the name of the restaurant where you feed the fish.

I just thought of another place we always stop, the San Sabastian Winery. My dh and I don't drink, but we stop in there and pick up a case of grape juice. The wine and grape juice are made with muskadine (? spelling) grapes and it gives a very unique flavor to the wine/grape juice. It's our son's favorite grape juice in the whole wide world! The grapes are actually grown in Clermont, Fl at their facility there, but made into wine in St. Augustine. They recently opened a lounge at the winery with nightly entertainment. The trolly/train stops here if I remember correctly.