Help with St. Augustine, FL itinerary

Feb 4th, 2019, 04:34 PM
  #1  
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Help with St. Augustine, FL itinerary

Our family will be heading to St. Augustine for Spring Break/Middle of March this year. We are active and have a 16 and 13 yo. We are big history nerds and would rather look at forts than shop. We tend to "tour hard" between 9am-5pm and then crash at home for the evening. We usually just get take out from restaurants for dinner.

Here is what I have so far, with questions included:
Day One, Sunday--Universal Studios, specifically for Harry Potter--we have passes for both parks and we are staying at a hotel that gives us the Express passes, leave around 5:00 and drive 2 hours to St. Augustine Beach where we are staying in a VRBO. There is a Publix grocery store nearby. Can I buy wine in the grocery store?

Day Two: Tour St. Augustine: Castillo de San Marcos, Pirate Museum, City Gate, Lunch, Photios Greek Church, Presbyterian Church, Walk past the Governors House, Cathedral Basilica, Spanish Military Hospital. (The idea is that after seeing one major museum in the morning, we will want to do quick "pop ins" at small places while wandering St. George Street. I just don't know that I could get them to see the Castillo and do a house tour in the same day.) I was going to park in the visitors center parking lot and walk to these places. I don't know that I want to pay the money for the trolley when we can certainly walk. And we will probably start at the visitors center to get a map and some other info so we can review it as we walk along.

Day Three: Kayak. I am struggling here. The main kayak company that launches from St. Augustine has a simple 2 hour tour that just doesn't seem that great. We are not expert paddlers but we are used to a 3 hour tour with a break, but seeing lots of animals etc. I checked out Kayak Amelia but they are really up near Jacksonville. That leads me to Ripple Effect Eco Tours, which seems good and maybe one of the tours north of St. Augustine. Any ideas on this??
Then, depending on when the tour leaves (which depends on the tide), I think we could fit in the St. Augustine Light House, which would be something different for us.

Day Four: Ft. Clinch. I think this looks like a full day. 3 hour RT drive, a couple of hours in the fort, walk the nature trail, look for shark's teeth, see if we can spot dolphins, etc. Or would it take much less??

Day Five: Starts with a tour at the Sea Turtle Hospital south of St. Augustine (we have reservations) and then a trip to Fort Manzanas in the afternoon. Maybe we would have time to see some other St. Augustine sights???

Day Six: Head down to the Kennedy Space Center where we have reservations for a bus tour. Then leave about 5:30 pm for the airport and fly home.

Any other ideas? Critique about time planned? TIA!!
StantonHyde is offline  
Feb 5th, 2019, 07:49 AM
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I don't see the Colonial Quarter on your list. This part of Old Town is an interactive museum, similar to Williamsburg but of course smaller in scale. It's a popular school trip, so I've been on my own and as a chaperone. I think tickets are $12.99 for adults. Colonial Quarter | Colonial Quarter Saint Augustine

You may find that it takes you more than 2 hours to get from Universal Studios to St. Augustine, even on a Sunday. I-4 has a lot of construction. Allow plenty of time to get out of the park, to your car, and then on to I-4, as well.

I'm not familiar with Ripple Effect Eco Tours, but it looks like a fun outfit. I've never used the trolley either, btw. Oh, and yes, you can certainly buy wine at the grocery store.
sludick is offline  
Feb 5th, 2019, 09:55 AM
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St. Augustine was important in the civil rights movement, so something for the kids to research there. The oldest wooden schoolhouse on George Street is worth a visit. I wouldn't take the trolley. I think it's expensive and the city is very walkable. It sounds as if you are staying on the A1A. If so, I highly recommend you visit Viola's for pizza or pasta. It's really good, eat in or take out. I have no connection with the restaurant, but we stayed across the road from it for 3 months last year and went many times!
SusanMargaret is offline  
Feb 5th, 2019, 12:37 PM
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Take your children to see Flager college. It is very historical and beautiful.
Macross is online now  
Feb 5th, 2019, 02:21 PM
  #6  
mms
 
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I think Ft Clinch is very interesting. If any subs are coming/going from Kings Bay, GA, you can see them from Ft Clinch.
mms is offline  
Feb 5th, 2019, 04:59 PM
  #7  
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I thought the Colonial museum looked too young for my kids. And I’m not sure if they have all the re-enactment things during the week in March.

The school house also seemed more for young kids

i would like to the Civil Rights walking tour-I have to look at that schedule. If I can’t join a tour I wonder if the visitors center has a walking guide—we would all enjoy learning more about this part of St Augustine history.

Thanks for the the recommendation on the pizza place
StantonHyde is offline  
Feb 5th, 2019, 05:11 PM
  #8  
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Bachslunch thanks so much-that is a great trip report!!
StantonHyde is offline  
Feb 6th, 2019, 05:35 AM
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Can I buy wine in the grocery store?
Yes!

"
I don't know that I want to pay the money for the trolley when we can certainly walk."
Yes, you can walk, but you don't get the running commentary that informs you about everything you are seeing. This is very educational.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 04:15 PM
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Call the Castillo de San Marcos about their schedule for firing the cannons, it's worthwhile to try to work around that.

(904) 829-6506
Anonymous is offline  
Feb 13th, 2019, 09:41 AM
  #11  
 
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StantonHyde—I can’t speak to all the ideas you have but as one who also loves history, the Castillo San Marcos was terrific. I will second the Flagler College Museum (the antique music boxes show was fantastic) and add the Prince Murat House (where Napoleon’s nephew lived in the Second Spanish Period) and the Oldest House. I spent 4 days in St. Augustine and had a great time! Daniel
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