If you are familiar with my previous posts, you already know that I have spent a great deal of time in St. Augustine, FL. It’s my favorite area in Florida, and I really think you’ll love it there as well.
To help others make the most of their time in St. Augustine, I’ve created a detailed itinerary that features some of the best spots in the area.
Start the day off by enjoying a sunrise walk on the beach.
Around 8:00 a.m. head to Cafe Eleven for their brunch buffet. As a reward for waking up so early, you’ll miss the crowds of people. (Please note that their regular menu isn’t available during the brunch buffet on Saturdays and Sundays.) The buffet includes everything from fresh salad to praline French toast, so you are sure to find something you love. And, their coffee and tea list is fairly extensive, which is always a plus.
After brunch, it’s time to get ready for the beach! Go ahead and suit up and slap that SPF on.
Whenever you get hungry for lunch, head on over to Stir it Up for a casual lunch. You can sit outside and watch beachgoers come and go while enjoying seriously tasty shakes, burritos, and other yummy treats.
After lunch, check out The Pit Surf Shop that’s directly next to Stir it Up. Their staff members are incredibly friendly, and the store features all kinds of beach-related goodies.
With plenty of hours of daylight left, you can head back to the beach. (Just remember to slap on some more SPF.)
Once the late afternoon hits, I recommend heading back to your hotel or rental home. This is a great time to relax, shower, and enjoy an adult beverage.
Are you dressed and ready for dinner? Great! You can head back out to the beach for a sunset stroll. It’s the best pre-game for the large meal you are about to devour.
After sunset, make your way to Mango Mangos. I recommend getting their nachos with fruit salsa to start with. If you are feeling super hungry, go for the coconut shrimp dinner. For a lighter meal, try their tacos.
When you finish dinner, you’ll have the difficult decision of what to do next. Do you want to keep drinking (beer or wine) at Mango Mangos? Prefer to enjoy the ocean breeze during an after-dinner walk? Care to make your way to a nearby beach bar for some cocktails? I’m a fan of walking on the beach and having some laidback fun back at the rental house.
Wake up for another sunrise stroll along St. Augustine Beach. It’ll be worth it — I promise.
After a beautiful walk next to the Atlantic Ocean, head to the Kookoburra for a delicious coffee or tea. I highly recommend their Honey Badger (latte with honey, cinnamon, and vanilla). Also, go ahead and grab one of their Aussie pies. You won’t regret it!
Then, get ready to head downtown. In even the busiest season, it shouldn’t take you very long at all to get downtown. It’s fair to expect a 12-15 minute drive.
Once you have parked your car downtown, head to Cousteau Waffles & Milkshake Bar. Wes Anderson fans, you are in for a treat. If you wear a red beanie, you’ll receive 10 percent off your bill. (Fellow Life Aquatic fans will understand this.) I recommend ordering The Plimpton. It’s their Liege Waffle topped with fresh blueberry compote, local honey, and whipped cream.
If waffles aren’t your style, I suggest you head to The Bunnery Bakery & Cafe for a wider selection of breakfast items. If you go to The Bunnery and don’t get a Pain Au Chocolat (chocolate croissant), my heart might break. So, please try to save room for a sweet treat while there.
Now it’s time to explore the shops downtown. You can also take a tour of Flagler College or sign up for the many other activities that are offered in the area. History buffs will enjoy exploring the Castillo de San Marcos. If it’s your first time visiting downtown, make sure you take a stroll along the water.
Take a break from your tours and shopping to enjoy a cool treat at The Hyppo. These popsicles are THE BEST. My sister even had a popsicle cart full of them at her wedding. They have flavors like champagne mango, dark roast espresso, horchata, key lime, peanut butter pie, and cilantro pineapple. I reccomend getting the key lime popsicle dipped in chocolate. The sweet, hard chocolate shell is delcious with the tart, fruity popsicle.
Okay, back to exploring downtown.
Are you ready to head to the island? Not so fast. You have one more stop to make before you head over the bridge. It’s time for some caffeine. You don’t want to head back to the beach tired, do you? Make your way (most likely in a car) to Juniper Market. It’s a little bit out of the way but go anyway. I recommend their chai latte. However, the husband really likes their cold brew. If you aren’t impressed with coffee or tea, have no fear. They also have beer and wine. So, while your friends are getting their caffeine on, you can get your buzz on.
Whoever is still sober after Juniper Market can drive back toward the island, but be prepared to stop before reaching the beach. (I didn’t forget about lunch.) Pull into Surf Station and grab some fish tacos at Nalus. And, while you are there, take the time to explore Surf Station and The Girl Next Door. From skateboards to really cute dresses, these stores have everything your beach-loving heart desires.
Have you finished inhaling your fish tacos and shopping at Surf Station? Cool, it’s time to head back to the beach so that you can spend the rest of the day relaxing by the Atlantic.
Between now and sunset, you should get ready for dinner.
Thirty-five minutes or so before sunset, head to Salt Water Cowboys for dinner. Don’t ask to be seated for dinner until you’ve watched the sun disappear behind the marsh. This location has one of the best views of sunset in the area. It’s awesome to watch the sun go down and then walk inside to eat some delicious food. I recommend ordering their three-way shrimp for dinner. This is our all-time favorite dish at this establishment. It’s a giant platter of BBQ shrimp, fried shrimp, and stuffed shrimp. This plate is incredible. When ordering sides, I suggest getting their house salad. A tart vinaigrette covers greens, red onions, and Granny Smith apples. The salad is also delicious to eat with the cheesy garlic bread you’ll be served.
After dinner, I suggest you head to the Ice Plant Bar for some after-dinner drinks. This unique spot is in downtown St. Augustine, so you’ll need to drive there. If your whole group plans on drinking, it’s best to Uber there. (Yes, there’s Uber in St. Augustine, haha.) Ice Plant Bar is worth the visit, so don’t miss out on this unique place. The building was once – as the name implies – an ice plant, which is awesome. The ambiance there is perfect for drinking with a significant other or friends. And, the drinks are really fun and tasty. The bartenders are serious about their craft and use six different kinds of ice to mix drinks with. It’s truly an art form. While some drinks have finely crushed ice, others are served with ice in the form of a large sphere. Even if you aren’t a big drinker, this spot is worth checking out!
Day Three/Last Morning in St. Augustine
Now that you know your way around the St. Augustine Beach area a bit better, you can decide if you want to stay on the island or head back downtown for breakfast.
After breakfast, find your way to Washington Oaks Gardens State Park. There are two sections of this outdoor area. One part is on the beach. Beautiful rocks of coquina line the beach, creating a fun area to explore. Across the street, you’ll find the gardens. From citrus trees to a beautiful rose garden, this part of the park is stunning. You can also enjoy views of the beautiful Matanzas River from the garden section of the park. Plus, there are great restroom facilities at this place (on the garden side), which makes it the perfect stop before leaving St. Augustine. Please note that you will need to pay $5.00 to enter this park.
My number one suggestion in regards to lodging is to rent a home or condo. There are plenty of great beach rentals around and many of them allow pets. (We almost always bring our dog with us.) If you are serious about wanting to visit St. Augustine and want a specific recommendation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can send you the information about where we like to stay best.
Have questions about the St. Augustine area? Comment below! I’m happy to answer any questions you have.