St. Augustine

There are many things to see and do in this beautifully historic town, but here is just a short list of what myself and my hubby saw this past weekend.  It is only two hours from Orlando, definitely worth the drive, and we stayed in an Airbnb home that greeted us like we had been family or friends for years.  Sometimes it can be totally awkward staying with people in their own homes, but the other times can be so wonderful because you get to spend time with strangers and really inspire people and you feel inspired too.  So I am not going to talk much, I would rather let the pictures speak their words.

Flagler College.  

Founded in 1968 and it stretches across 19 acres of land.  You cannot miss this building.  Despite this historical place which is on the “National Register of Historic Places” it houses many college students which brings a youthful vibe to the town as well as tourism.

Henry M. Flagler was known to be an industrialist, philanthropist and railroad pioneer.  Flagler put his visions to work by creating beautiful Terracotta buildings.

The Hotel Ponce de León is mentioned numerous times which will be on our to do list next time we come back.


Lightner Museum.

This is the former Alcazar Hotel that Flagler built in 1888.  Now you are able to view 19th century art that is one of the best places in the country.

Being as beautiful as it is, naturally events are held here such as wedding ceremonies.

In it’s peak, the Alcazar Hotel had the largest indoor swimming pool, baths, gym, sauna, a bowling alley, archery and tennis courts and also a grand ballroom.  With much to do, it is of no surprise that this was a popular spot during the 1890’s.  Now, still keeping the structure around the gardens which occupy the entrance; there are small boutique shops that wrap around.  One boutique really caught my eye and it was filled with historical pieces of the British culture.


Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Not knowing where we were going, we ended up walking around the back of the church and through a side door.   The church itself is in great condition considering it has been standing since 1889.  Henry M. Flagler was the business man behind this being built here.  He dedicated this building to his daughter that sadly died following complications from childbirth. You can pay homage to him and his family in a private room.


Villa Zorayda.

Franklin W. Smith – a Boston millionaire with an acquired taste for design built this “castle”. Inspired by the Moorish Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.

Moorish art and architecture is an Islamic type art.  It fills this home, now museum Even the floor you walk has a historical story.

No photos are allowed inside.


Castillo de San Marcos.

Took an amazing sunset walk around the perimeter of the castle.  You literally walk from St.George Street and a few minutes; you’re there.

This National Monument is over 315 years old, even took 23 years to construct.

There is much to learn of this castle and much to see, and alike to the Lightner Museum, I will be visiting this next time.


*A fun fact; Terracotta is also known as earthenware.  Typically used for sculpture and pottery as well as housing needs such as bricks and roof shingles.  This has been a practice throughout history for a long time not only for its durability but for the rich colour we all know.

Whilst I visited St.Augustine with my husband, we chose the walking route and by walking route I mean getting lost and stumbling upon things.  I am an over thinker sometimes and plan everything so it did feel great not to have a plan.  

Other tourists choose the hop-on hop-off trolley which drives all around the town.  

We started off at the Presbyterian church and parked on the street whilst we walked inside but then moved over to the Villa Zorayda where we left the car all day for $10.  

We spent two days here and slept over at an Airbnb home that we found.  Unfortunately the weather was not beach weather and despite getting rained on, we saw some of the coolest stuff walking around the town such as the oldest school.

One of my favourite crystal store is here in St.Augustine too so make sure you go, it is opposite the smallest school. 

Being just a couple of hours away from Orlando, it is a nice little drive and it can be done gently in a day but I would advise doing your own walking tour if you were to go in a day.

It makes a change from the hustle and bustle and commercial area of Orlando.

St.Augustine is situated on the east coast and not too far from Jacksonville also.  Right above is the border to Georgia so there multiple of options in the vicinity.  If you like what you read, make sure to send me your feedback and I would love to hear of your travels if this blog has inspired you.  One more blog about St.Augustine is the distillery…. It’s a FREEEEE tour so make sure you read it here !!!! 

 

 

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