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St. Augustine, Florida is a charming, romantic city that has adorable oceanfront cottages and condos and residents alike. It has historic streets, well-preserved Spanish–style architecture and wonderful white-sand beaches. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, there is a variety of accommodation from which to choose. Along with direct access to the beach, you can expect swimming pools, tennis courts, entertainment systems and much more.
Known as the oldest European city that is still going strong, St. Augustine was founded in 1565 and has never looked back. Today, one of the best places to walk is St. George Street, which is almost like a promenade that is lined with art galleries, quaint boutiques and excellent restaurants. The Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum is on this street, which provides a step back in time where you can experience the life of the early inhabitants including a blacksmith, soldier’s wife and carpenter. The costumed characters will tell you stories of their lives in the 1740s. There are quaint cottages within walking distance of the downtown area.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! made St. Augustine its first home in 1950. Located in the Castle Warden on San Marco Avenue, it is the first Odditorium and contains many odd and unusual items. Some of the current TV show episodes are filmed in this location. Potter’s Wax Museum on King Street is fun and educational. It offers more than 160 wax figures of famous people including athletes, artists, explores, the Founding Fathers and celebrities. Alligator Farm Zoological Park on Anastasia Boulevard was opened in 1893 and still offers high adventure. Visitors can zip line over crocodile and alligator habitats on two challenging courses and see many more wild animals. There are lower and shorter courses for the not-so-adventurous.
The Cortesses Bistro on San Marco Boulevard offers fresh seafood and a wide variety of other items. It was named by Jacksonville Magazine as the Best Outdoor Dining and Most Romantic Atmosphere in the city. The Conch House is one mile from the historic center of the city and serves award-winning conch chowder among other things. It has a waterfront outside dining deck and features live entertainment. Just east of the Bridge of Lions is Zhanras where you’ll find tapas-style dining in an art-gallery setting and there is a cigar bar.
St. Augustine has a subtropical climate with mild winters and hot summers. Some years it has a few days when it freezes at night during the winter. The rainy season is between June and September and there may be daily thundershowers in the afternoon. There is not much rain, if any, between November and April. December through February is the coolest time, and this is considered the best time to visit.
It’s easy to reach St. Augustine by car. Interstate 95 travels west of the city. If you are driving south towards the city, take exit 318 and if you are traveling north take exit 298. There are several major highways that enter the city including US-1 and FL-A1A. There is a huge parking garage at the end of St. George Street, and you may find a few parking spaces on the streets.
The nearest Amtrak station is in Jacksonville. It is served by the Miami – New York City routes. Your best option is to debark in Jacksonville and take a taxi to St. Augustine for about $50.
There is no commercial air service to St. Augustine, but there is accommodation for private and corporate jets. Jacksonville has the closest commercial airport that is served by nine airlines.