I've figured out a way to get there without a car. Now the question: Saint Augustine FL has piqued my curiosity as a place to potentially go next year for a warmer Christmas- New Years getaway before I return to a Canadian winter. I'm curious about it since it is seems such a standout in Florida in a way, being a place of very early Spanish settlement and I do enjoy history.
There are a number of things I can't get a sense of:
1. Is Saint Augustine a place one could cycle from say, in reasonable safety with good street smarts from the historic center to the beach? I read an article bemoaning the lack of paths, but also saying that there were lots of cyclists in the center.
2. How much of the history is * continuous*, meaning are there a fair number of buildings dating from Spanish settlement days or is it one of those places that has modern buildings making a faux attempt to re-create history? A relative told me she found the "Fountain of Youth" hokey, so it got me wondering.
3. If one stayed reasonably near what seems to me the activity epicenter (King & Castillo Streets?), in your opinion, could one have a pleasant stay without a car? I don't care if I "DO" everything in the region. With a few sites of historic interest, some nice strolls, access to inexpensive but good places to eat by foot, I'm happy. A few days just chilling in warmer weather is a selling point enough. Bike rides and beach access are bonuses. I'm perfectly wiling to use the city bus system armed with schedules or take a cab or three if it'll help me get to a particularly interesting site.
In the vicinity, I had a great time in Savannah and Charleston without a car. I know Florida generally is not noted to be the best for the car-less, but perhaps unfairly so for certain parts. I thought Key West was great for me being so compact, a Miami visit do-able (and actually interesting) with patience, flexibility, armed with bus schedules and being OK about not doing it all, and Fort Lauderdale not great but passable if you're fine with just beach, water taxi and environs.
I don't drive and will choose something else if the prevailing advice is "rent a car".
Best wishes, Daniel
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Would Saint Augustine, FL work as a destination for a car-less traveller?