Florida is a wonderland.  Depending on where you visit, you can experience any manner of environment.  I happened to be in the lush costal town of St. Augustine, which has quickly become a fast-favorite of my family’s.  Here, the land is drenched in a controversial history that spans more than 450 years.  Every street corner has a story to be told. A trip here will be what you seek out of it.  I like to get an unfiltered view into every city I visit, and the following spots helped me do just that in St. Augustine, Florida.

Comfort Foods:

St. Augustine DiningBelow you can find an in-depth lineup of my top picks, but the rest of my suggestions are:  Mojo BBQ for quick, local BBQ.  It’s got a really simple menu that has an option for everyone. I get the Beef Brisket with collards and mac&cheese as my sides. Their homemade sauces really hit the spot! ] If you’re near St. George Street, hit up  The Hyppo Popsicles– Their bars are truly delicious & so great for cooling down and eating clean.  My man and I stopped at the Tini Martini Bar one afternoon, and had the best drinks *with a view* before taking on the town.

The Ice Plant +  St. Augustine Distillery.


The Ice plant was on my must-go list the moment I found it online.  It’s a little off-the-beaten-path, which adds to its allure.  Tucked away, just a mile from St. George Street– This spot boasts 2 stories of southern excellence.  “Inspired by the historical period of the early 20th century. Their idea is to reintroduce guests to a time where the experience of having a cocktail and a bite to eat was both healthful and enjoyable. Focused on the art and craft of mixing exceptional local ingredients” to create some of the best clean comfort foods I’ve ever tasted.

Visit them Online. OR  In person, Here!

Crucial Coffee Cafe

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Crucial Coffee is conveniently located in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic district. It’s just across the street from the fort, at the corner of Charlotte and Cuna Street. They have a massive variety of beverages to cool down amidst Florida’s sweltering heat. Whether I’m craving iced espresso or boba tea, I always find a reason to make my way here.

Visit them online. OR  In person, here.

The Floridian.

St. Augustine Dining

This spot never disappoints. “Regionally-inspired and fresh from the source, their cuisine is a synthesis of Down-home Southern Comfort Foods, and lighter, healthier, vibrant and creative dishes–with many vegetarian options. They support local growers and producers because–to them–that just makes sound, sustainable sense.”

Visit them Online. OR  In person, Here!

All of the Attractions:

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My few of my favorites are: The entire St. George Row area Downtown,  Wolf’s Museum Of Mystery, St. Augustine LighthouseThe Conch House, The Pier,  And more below.  Fort Matanzas National Monument, This one’s convenient if you find yourself down the A1A toward Butler Beach.

Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth


Invites you to experience a fascinating, informative, & entertaining tour of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth– the original site of the Nation’s oldest city. Located in the area first explored by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 and settled by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565, historic St. Augustine is the oldest successful European settlement in the United States.

Visit them online. OR  In person, here.

Castillo de San Marcos


This is the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. Quick History Lesson! The City of St. Augustine is the nation’s oldest permanently occupied European settlement, having been founded by the Spanish in 1565. The Timucuan Indians were here, Thriving when Menendez and his party of about 1,500 soldiers and colonists first arrived.  Succeeding governors of the province maintained a peaceful coexistence with the local Native Americans, which allowed St. Augustine to flourish and gain some stability for a few years.  In the beginning, The main antagonists in the story of St. Augustine, were– get ready– pirates!  Just a bit of time spent wandering the fort-site & enough imagination, and you can really imagine some fascinating battles going down on the soil right beneath your feet.

St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park


The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is one of Florida’s oldest continuously running attractions, having opened on May 20, 1893. I loved it here. There was such an amazing sense of cohabitation with these incredible animals.  I watched a mother bird feed her babies and tune up the nest, with no glass barrier between us– it was MAGIC.

Visit them Online.  OR  In person, Here!

See the Sights:

Get after it out there! Make sure you bring the sunscreen & bugspray though. This is a great spot for Paddleboarding.  Depending on where you’re staying, take your pick of Bike Rentals. For Nature reserves and more, start here:  Anastasia State ParkTimucuan Ecological and Historic PreserveFort Mose Historic State ParkMatanzas State Forest,  Guana River Wildlife Management Area.

Solano Cycle of St Augustine

214-IMG_1106-143174-06-IMG_1283-195These are such a great alternative to traditional sight-seeing methods like trolleys and carriages.  Solano Cycle of St Augustine are amazing for Moped Rentals and more.  Visit them Online.  OR  In person, Here!

I stayed in the beautiful crescent beach area, about 20 minutes south of the city.  So on days with mild weather, I’d drive into town (hit some thrift stores on the way) and park at Solano. From there I rented either a mini car/scooter, and a golf cart & I set off for the sights– solo.  This is something I love to do in a new city.  I trace the city, immersing myself in any special spot that connects with me.  Having a little vehicle to cover more ground was a gamechanger. I could pull off, on little back streets to take in the gorgeous bungalow homes. Or park for just a moment to get out and capture a breath-taking tree.

I’ve really considered getting myself a moped to hitch onto the car after experiencing this,  but a bike will do back home.

210-img_1088-139.jpgI really don’t condone Carriage Rides.  Especially in the dead of the South. I’ve personally seen some very sad buddies pulling these. I know I feel rough just toting my camera pack around, so that’s just my take on common sense things like this.

Incredible Architecture:

This town has it all.  From grand old churches to little bungalows by the water, you can really see some magical homes if you set aside some time to seek them out.


A Sacred History:

The city is speckled with churches, cemeteries and other religious relics. A few of my favorite places to find peace are: Grace United Methodist ChurchAncient City Baptist Church, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine.  St. Benedict the Moor Church “Slaves were freed; nuns were arrested; Martin Luther King Jr. planned civil rights rallies. These events are all key elements in the history of St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Complex in Lincolnville. (!!!)

Mission Nombre de Dios and Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche


Memorial Presbyterian Church