St. Augustine, Florida - March 2019

It did not occur to me until I was already in St. Augustine that it had been exactly 10 years since I had been there the last time. I went during spring break of my freshman year of college to visit a girlfriend who was there attending Flagger College. I remember going home early though because a) I had just lost two of my grandparents like the week before and b) I did not understand what kind of town St. Augustine is haha!!

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But I gotta say, it was so cool to be back there this time and with the family and really enjoy and explore!!! If you get a chance to visit, I definitely suggest it. It’s a great weekend getaway and apparently very popular for bachelorette parties. St. Augustine was giving me major Charleston and Savannah vibes so I could definitely see it.

We initially went to visit some friends of my husband and see the Avett brothers play at the St. Augustine amphitheater. We weren’t going to taking L at all but I’m so glad we did because I think she had a great time and it was a great opportunity for us to be together as a family because my husband and I have both been running all over the place recently, and I think L really needed some time with the focus on her!! Plus there was a surprising amount of kid friendly AND adult friendly activities. All in all we were there for about 60 hours… a little over two days, and that was about all I felt we needed!

One great thing about St. Augustine is that everything is SUPER walkable. Whatever you need is very close. If you’re flying you do need transportation from the Jacksonville Airport in to St. Augustine but from there you either walk, take the trolleys, and there’s Uber! I wouldn’t say that you definitely need a car. We still rented a car because we were staying with friends and because we needed a car seat. Anyone who has put a car seat in a time or two, knows it’s a pain in the ass and would probably prefer to do it as few times as possible!!

What To Eat

So St. Augustine is apparently a bit of a foodie town. Who knew?! I certainly didn’t. There’s so many places to eat and drink and everything is great. I will say, if you’re counting your macros or trying to stick to any particular diet, it can be a little tricky here. Most places we visited were super accommodating, but some not so much.

BLACKFLY THE RESTAURANT

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This was a great dinner spot AND we could walk there from our friends’ house which is a BONUS. Gotta get those steps in!! We loved their Chili lime shrimp and their Ceviche for starters. I also had their Tuna which was awesome. Gold star to this place for being super accommodating with all my substitutions, and asking for like zero oil, etc. They were very helpful and knowledgeable and our server even knew how many ounces of tuna was coming right off the top of his head!! I love that!

MEEHAN’S IRISH PUB & SEAFOOD HOUSE

Truth be told, we were only here for late night. They had a really nice outdoor bar area. Their fries were GREAT! Their wings are so so BUT they did let me order them NOT breaded. So if you’re keto or trying to avoid carbs but you’re down for fat. These are a great option.

CRUCIAL COFFEE CAFE

This was our first stop Friday morning. A girl’s gotta get her coffee haha. It had the cutest little garden and lots of sweet treats available. Trying pulling your small child away from those! Good luck with that one.

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CASABLANCA INN

This was our first breakfast stop. The food was… fine. For a foodie town, there’s probably better out there. There’s not a lot of options. No veggies, no fruit, which makes making substitutions difficult if that’s what you’re looking for. I had some eggs benedict without hollandaise and asked for some spinach and extra egg whites. L basically just ate toast and bacon surprise, surprise hahah.

THE FLORIDIAN

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Y’all. Hands down best place we ate. Freaking loved it. Great service. Great food. Easy to make substitutions. Laid back atmosphere. Ugh just loved it. We had a beautiful cheese board and salads. They had a lot of great options for heavier foods but I just was really looking for some veggies and protein here. Again. I can’t say enough good things about this place. GET YOUR BUTT IN THERE!

CATCH 27

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Y’all another great spot that I LOVED. We got there early because a) we’re old and b) we have a kid with a bedtime who didn’t take a nap haha. But this really worked out for us because they hadn’t gotten too busy yet. We had, yet another cheese board (I had to try them all, ok?! hah) We also had their deviled egg oysters which is basically the best combo of all time. You need to try these!!! Anywhere, our service was great and again super knowledgeable. He was really helpful when it came to understanding which things I could leave off, like sauces, and where I could add some veggies and protein. My husband loved this place too so that means it’s a real winner.

MAPLE STREET BISCUIT COMPANY

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Going in to this place, I thought the options would be so limited and basically just covered in grease. Boy was I wrong. The girl taking our order was SO patient with me as I asked about 10 questions about every single menu item. She helped me figure out how to order basically a ton of veggies and some protein and I even a fit in a biscuit which was honestly, so so so worth it because it was amazing. I definitely suggest their collard greens and then putting everything else over one of their "bowls” which is basically a salad. They also have a great fenced in outdoor area where L could run around and be free and I could have eyes on her and not feel stressed about her running in the street or something.

MAYDAY HANDCRAFTED ICE CREAM

We actually stopped here BEFORE lunch at the Floridian and it was WORTH IT. They had some great dairy free options that were super tasty and their serving sizes were actually reasonable. They had a chocolate almond coconut flavor that was dairy free which is totally what I got because it was reminding me of my favorite chocolate coconut almonds from Trader Joe’s. ugh so good!!

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::What To Do::

FESTIVAL

We were there for their Celtic Music and Heritage Festival which was just great accidental timing. It ran March 8-10 and was a quick 5 minute walk from where we stayed. There was a parade in the morning to kick it off that went right by our hotel. Once inside, there was a ton of games and fun things for the kids, food, drinks and other fun things to check out. You can see more at their website here…. http://www.celticstaugustine.com/

MUSIC

If you get a chance to catch a show at the St. Augustine Amphitheater, definitely do it. That venue was GREAT. I thought the sound was great but the atmosphere is general was awesome too. They had allllll kinds of drinks available, not just your typical light beer anymore. And it was really beautiful. Catching an Uber in and out was also pretty simple and well organized. FYI - I just checked their spring and summer line up and it’s definitely a good one. Grab your tickets at their website… http://staugustine.amphitheatreflorida.org/

PARKS

If you have kids and time to kill, maybe waiting to check in or something, you’ll need a park. The park at the St. Augustine Public Library main branch is super cute and has a merry go round. I don’t know if L had ever been on one before and this could easily have been the highlight of her trip. Plus the park is free, so that’s always cool. It’s nice and shaded too so you’re not burning your legs on the swings or going down the slides.

TOURS

Apparently St. Augustine is haunted af. If you’re in to ghosts and scary stories, definitely catch a ghost tour! This one is a great option… https://www.ghostsandgravestones.com/st-augustine

L was dying to take a trolley so we ended up just riding Old Town Trolley around for a while and it was very informative and interesting. It also stops at a lot of convenient places and you can just hop on and off through out the day. https://www.trolleytours.com/st-augustine

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FLAGGLER COLLEGE

Honestly, Flaggler is one of the most beautiful colleges or even buildings I’ve seen in the US. I love to hear about the history and how it was a very ritzy hotel before becoming a college. Taking a tour should definitely be on the top of your list! https://legacy.flagler.edu/pages/tours

BEACHES

I wouldn’t exactly call St. Augustine a beach town. You’re probably not going to just lie around with your toes in that sand and work on your tan. It’s not Destin, y’all. But, it never hurts to get your toes in the sand.

::Where to Stay::

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St. Augustine is littered with Bed and Breakfast’s. They’re seriously all over the place and so stinkin’ cute. We ate breakfast at the Casablanca Inn and it was adorable.

https://www.casablancainn.com/

This is also a city I’d feel comfortable staying in an AirBnB because it seems like a super safe city.

There’s also a few really beautiful hotels there. We stayed at the Casa Monica and seriously…. gorgeous. And there’s a Bill Clinton chair hahah if that’s something you’re in to LOL.

::What I Packed::

I would like to give myself a gold star for packing the least I’ve ever packed on a trip!! I really tried to pair things down. Here’s what got my through…

Able Alem Weekender This bag is just beautiful! I love it. I love to look at it. I love to use it.
Able Tigsight Clutch Y'all know I love Able for their mission but their leather bags are SO GREAT!! This is my all time favorite clutch!!
Lululemon Align pant in sage grey It's no secret I live in gym clothes but these were really great. I wore them twice on this trip
Jack by BB Dakota Belt it Out Short I love these shorts because they're highwasted, a great length that covers by WHOLE butt, they don't get scrunched up by my thighs when I walk and they feel very versitile!! Plus I'm loving this green right now!
Lululemon Crop top tank I have this in black but I love these colors available
Denim Button down This is not the exact one I took with me but I honestly might buy this one now that I found it. It's so pretty and a great basic!!
Aerie Ribbed Super Plunge One Piece swimsuit I love this swimsuit because it's covered but also isn't just super mom mode. This piece felt very fitting for the time of year and for where we were.

I don’t have this exact pair but I did take some Dr. Scholl’s nude slip on sneakers and they I LIVED in them!

Look, I don’t care who you are or how old you are you NEED THESE LEGGINGS. omg. Dress them up, dress them down. I wore them with fringe boots, a crop tank and a denim shirt but I also have worn them with an over sized sweater and tall grey boots.

That’s it for St. Augustine friends!! If you visit, or have been in the past, I can’t wait to hear all your favorite spots in the comments!!

LOVE,

MEL BELL SHEFF