Weekend trips are the best! I love going on mini-getaways for the weekend with my husband and experiencing a new place, new food, and new surroundings. This past weekend, we made our way up to St. Augustine, FL, which is the oldest city in the United States and is known for its Spanish colonial. From Miami, it was about a 4 and a half hour drive away, which isn’t too bad!
Where To Stay
For the two nights we were in St. Augustine, we stayed at The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens. This inn was just perfection! The grounds were perfectly kept with gorgeous landscaping, fire pits throughout, a corn hole game in the center of the Inn, rocking chairs in various locations, complimentary bicycles for guests, an outdoor pool, an on-site bar called The Well, history tours and much much more! I can’t say enough about our stay at The Collector. In the morning, a complementary continental breakfast is served until 10am. We went down on Saturday morning around 9am, and enjoyed some coffee, orange juice, pastries and fruit! You can sit inside to dine or they have a few marble tables outside, which is where we ate. You can also bring your food back to your room, as the staff offers trays to carry your food. The staff is very accommodating and extremely warm. As soon as we checked in, we were welcomed and offered many recommendations as to where we should eat and visit!Our room was fantastic! We stayed in the Dow House on the top floor and it was gorgeously decorated. The whole Inn has this type of southern charm about it because The Collector is a compilation of homes, that are all updated and quite modern. Our room had a huge king sized bed, multiple seating area’s, a living room area with a kitchenette, and a beautiful bathroom with great smelling toiletries! I would say the style of the room was southern rustic chic! It was a lot of lighter wood, gold picture frames, antique looking accent chairs and light colored decor.As for their cozy bar, The Well is a great place for guests to go, relax and unwind. The bartenders make classic cocktails and as well as some modern, herb-infused elixirs. For guests who are interested in learning a thing or two about mixology, The Well has a program in which guests can learn the finer points of mixing a perfect seasonal drink!
Places To Visit
- San Sebastian Winery
- Castillo de San Marco (Fortress)
- The Colonial Quarters
- The Old Jail
- The Fountain of Youth
- St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum
Places To Eat
- Harry’s Seafood, Bar & Grille – We ate here the first night we arrived. Harry’s provides New Orleans style food, which I had never had before. I have always heard great things about creole cuisine, so I was so excited to try it out! We ordered two appetizers: The Boudin Balls and Voodoo Shrimp. For our entree’s, Tyronne ordered the Pasta Chicken Louisianne and I ordered the Chicken -N-Grits. I wish we could have stayed for dessert because I was dying to try the Oreo Beignet’s, but we were late for a movie, so I didn’t get to try them.
- Whetstone Chocolates- It was recommended to me to stop by Whetstones and try their homemade gelato! I am so happy that I did because it was delicious. I had the “mud pie” flavor and Tyronne had the “strawberry sorbet”. Upon walking in, the store was packed with people! That is because Whetstone’s offer’s daily tasting tours of their chocolate shops! It is $8 for adults and $5.50 for children. Although we didn’t have time to take the tour, I did overhear someone say that it was completely booked when we arrived, so it must be great! I mean, come on, who doesn’t love a tour of a chocolate factory?
- Carmelo’s Marketplace- Don’t let the exterior of this pizzeria fool you, the food is delicious! Carmelo’s looks like a small store attached to a gas station, but I promise you, you won’t be disappointed with their pizza pie’s. We ordered one large pizza with mushrooms and pepperonis, and finished off the whole pie! If you are looking for a place that is more low-key, has a warm and welcoming staff, is affordable, and has a local feel, I definitely recommend Carmelo’s!
Fun Facts About St. Augustine, FL
- St Augustine was founded by the Spanish explorer and admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés in 1565.
- The city is named after Saint Augustine of Hippo
- 42 years before the English colonized Jamestown and 55 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish established St. Augustine as the nation’s first settlement.
- The legendary spring, the Fountain of Youth, made famous by explorer Ponce de Leon, is in St. Augustine and located on what is now known as the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
- St. Augustine is a pretty small and quaint town. Located in St. Johns County, it is approximately 9.43 square miles.
- St. Augustine has three forts that guard it. Castillo de San Marcos (which we visited!), Fort Mantanzas, and Fort Mose were all built to protect the city. The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States.
*A special thank you to The Collector for hosting us on this beautiful weekend getaway! We can’t wait to come back. Check out The Collector on Instagram @thecollectorinn or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thecollectorinn/*