• Melissa

Sunshine State: Historic St. Augustine

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

florida thrifting

St. Augustine, the oldest city in the US. It was discovered by a Spanish admiral and explorer named Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565. This is way before Jamestown and Plymouth Rock were discovered which a lot of people don't know. Crazy, right? Not only is St. Augustine known for its beaches, but it still holds history in its downtown area which has the oldest masonry fort called Castillo de San Marcos. I love nerding out on stuff like this so when we decided to go here, I was super excited and mapped out all the historic monuments. I was also excited to know that a place like this where there's serene beaches mixed with history actually existed! However, the trip took a turn....

Have you ever heard of a cellular sunburn?!? Probably not, a lot of people haven't. It's the worst thing ever! I couldn't walk you guys, not because of the burn itself but from the pain. It rushed down my legs whenever I swung them over the side of the bed and when I walked. It felt like heavy sandbags rushing down them which was then accompanied by pins and needles. I also couldn't sit with my legs bent, they HAD to be stretched out. Now if you're thinking, "Why didn't you put sunscreen on?" I did! I used the spray-on kind which I will never use again, I'm using sunblock lotion moving forward. Because I'm half Puerto Rican, I don't burn and if I do, I don't know until a few hours later. Even then it's hard to tell because I turn a dark red that looks like a tan - I think I get it from being part Taino Indian (Puerto Ricans are made up of Taino Indian (aka the Arawak tribe), African American and Spanish). Anywho, jumping ahead; I was laid up for about 2 days in St. Augustine and then had to trek through Disney World for a few days where I eventually developed edema and neuropathy. Overall, it was awful, but I put a smile on my face and kept going 😄 It was my husband's birthday week, too, so I couldn't ruin it for him even more by being a negative Nancy.

Going back to St. Augustine - Obviously after that day at the beach, we didn't go back and instead just walked around (well, I tried. I had to take a million breaks 🤣). We, of course, did a brewery crawl which we found this cute little place called Old Coast Ales that was on the beach side of St. Augustine. I loved it!! Highly recommend going there. We also went to Ancient City Brewing which was pretty good as well, A1A Ale Works which is kind of like a Gordon Biersch if you have ever been there - it's okay, nothing exciting. Then we went to The Chatsworth Pub which was super cute! They also have a tea room, but unfortunately they were booked - I've been looking for a good tea room so if you know of one, email me.

We also went and did a wine tasting at San Sebastian Winery which was good. They have a rooftop which we heard was awesome, but when we went there it was April so it was closed due to Covid. We then walked over to St. Augustine Distillery - Fantastic! Next door, well it's actually in the same building, is a place called Ice Plant. OMG!!! You guys have to go. Such a cool atmosphere with its historic industrial charm and its cocktails. It's yummy! We had the housemade pimento cheese - Holy crap! Probably one of the best things I've ever had. It's pictured below, but it's guava-datil jelly served with garlic toast. You MUST get this! For drinks we had the 'lover's lane', the 'blue velvet' and the 'aku aku lapu'. All delicious!

**This is a slideshow so make sure to click the " > " that's on the photo to see them all!

Now onto one of my favorite parts, and the last part before I start talking about all my thrift store finds 😉 - the sightseeing!! I do love me some touristy type of sites, but I also love finding those places that you don't really think about seeing as well, because why not?? It's those types of places that you remember the most and makes your trip and the story even better! As I mentioned, we saw:

-Castillo de San Marcos: It's a monument so you can just walk around it and in it and it's free!

-The oldest wooden school house: You just walk by it so it's also free. It's located in the little strip where all the shops and restaurants are.

-Old City Gates: It's a pretty photo opp so make sure to take a pic of you under them!

-Flagler College: BEAUTIFUL!! If you're an architecture nerd like me, you'll love it!

-Great Cross: Walk in by the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum and go towards the back. You'll see it above the treeline.

-St. Augustine Oak Canopy: It's just a bunch of oak trees over a residential neighborhood, it's gorgeous! You can either Google Map it or you can go to the crossroads Magnolia and Dufferin which is near the Fountain of Youth.