St. Augustine, FL

Dec 9th, 2007, 12:55 PM
  #1  
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St. Augustine, FL

We are heading to St.A. in early January and looking for things to do and places to eat. I did check out a thread on a Thanksgiving visit that has given me a head start, but any more info would be appreciated.
wopel is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 12:58 PM
  #2  
 
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My husband and I spent 9 days there at Christmas last year and loved it. Give me some more info about what you are looking for (places for kids, fine dining...) and I may be able to give you some tips.
Jeanne is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 02:06 PM
  #3  
nlg
 
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I loved walking around the shops in old town St. Augustine and we ate at the Columbia Restuarant-it is very good. My son and husband enjoyed the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. The Old Fort is interesting-so much history.
nlg is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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On A1A (the beach road) there is a restaurant called the Oasis. Lots of tourists and locals.

Be sure to get there early and go upstairs - on a Thursday there is live jazz. The rest of the week good food and a fun place for all ages.
maryann is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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I love St Augustine. My husband and I had our 1st B&B stay there years ago and found it a great couple spot. Great place to park the car and walk the town. The little street of shops is nice, visit the fort, take the trolley ride for a narration that gives you a great overveiw, horse and buggy ride in the moonlight, lots of little museums (old store, old school, old jail, etc).

Take a drive over the bridge and see the lighthouse, Alligator Farm, beach and Matanza Fort.

Some like the Ripleys Museum. Flagler College and Lightner Museum are so full of history and beautiful.

If you take the trolley, take it on your first day as the ticket is good for three days. Great way to learn the sites and then have a 'hop off and hop on' mode of transportation since parking isn't too easy.

*If* you aren't going as a couple but taking family, I still think it's a great place. We just returned with our children over the T'giving holiday and I wish I'd had a bit more time there. We'll do back.

Have fun. There is a good Chamber site to get more info.

Also......the trolley tickets were cheaper online in advance. Quite a savings. The Chamber Building is a good place to start your visit and gather info: for example about the Friday night ghost tour.
Kristinesonja is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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I suppose I should post my Thanksgiving trip report.

I recommend buying tickets on the tourist trolley. There are different ticket packages, but any of them will give you on-off privileges for three days.

Where are you staying?
xrae is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 07:17 PM
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We had dinner one evening at Opus 39 (I think I am remembering the name correctly.) It is a restaurant and art gallery. DH and I were on a board retreat and our group had the whole restaurant, which was quite small. The food was very good, good wine list, good drinks.

We stayed at Casa Monica and ate at the restaurant in the hotel and it was good, too. The service was wonderful.

We breakfasted one day at the Olympia Greek restaurant and it was very, very good, but the service was terrible. The waitress acted as though we were annoying ghosts she could hear but not see.
kswl is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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This article <http://tinyurl.com/2j8rab> was in Sunday's (12/9) Orlando Sentinel. If you are interested, print it out as their links expire rapidly.

For very basic information about the city and surrounding area, go to <http://www.getaway4florida.com/> and <http://www.st.augustine.com/>.

You'll definitely want to see "The Old Fort" (Castillo De San Marcos). A good way to get an overview of the entire historic area is by sightseeing train or trolley <http://www.redtrains.com/> or <http://tinyurl.com/yhb57v> which offer a number of packages with some admissions included and all-day reboarding privileges. You can see a lot in one day this way.

Here <http://tinyurl.com/2ovls3> is a pretty discussion of restaurants.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:11 AM
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One evening tour that we took when there this summer was St. Augustine's Pirate walking tour. The guide was named "Captain Dion." Not scary but extremely entertaining and an absolutely fun evening. There were younger members of our tour and they really seemed to enjoy it. They do have a website: www.staugustineghostandpiratetours.com
teacherD is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 06:12 AM
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My family stops there every year for at least one night, on our way down to New Smyrna Beach from Atlanta and we never get tired of going there. The websites you've already been provided will give you a lot of great ideas.

But, let me make a suggestion of where not to go & eat: Mi Casa Cafe on the historic St. George Street. We had a extremely bad experience there and would never recommend it to anyone...and there's too many other great places to recommend anyway.
BWBlakely is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 12:45 PM
  #11  
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Thanks to all for your help. I should have told you all adults. We like a good deal, but will spend on a very good meal at an expensive place at least once! We don't like to dress up.
wopel is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 08:27 AM
  #12  
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We made it to St. Augustine - and it's not warm! I am still looking for restaurant thoughts. Does anyone like Harry's? How about LaParisienne? A1A Ale House? Thanks.
wopel is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 08:30 AM
  #13  
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p.s. On Orlando_Vic's response I couldn't open the restaurant discussion page. It brought me back to the forum page.
wopel is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 08:31 AM
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I really think Opus 39 is your best bet for good food right in St. Augustine.
kswl is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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Hi wopel-

Here are my restaurant recommendations, based solely on my personal preferences... and 17 years of enjoying their cuisine:

Old City House http://www.oldcityhouse.com/
Outstanding breakfasts and dinners. Located just steps away from the Casa Monica.

The Raintree http://www.raintreerestaurant.com/

The Reef <http://www.thereefstaugustine.com/index.html?
The food is very good, and the ocean views are even better. Be sure to arrive before sunset (or for Sunday brunch) for best views. Request a window table when making your reservation.

Saltwater Cowboys
(My personal favorite for ambiance and value combined)
<http://www.saltwatercowboys.com/>

Gypsy Cab Co. <http://www.gypsycab.com/>

Creekside Dinery http://www.creeksidedinery.com/rest.html

Le Pavillion <http://www.lepav.com/>


Honorable mention

O'Steens
(Perhaps the best shrimp in town. ZERO ambiance, no reservations, reasonable prices)

http://tinyurl.com/2qtxgd

Barnacle Bill's
(Very good shrimp, reasonable prices, family atmosphere)
http://www.barnaclebillsonline.com/


You'll notice that I did not mention the Columbia restaurant. IMO, their food is good, but not as good as any of the other restaurants I have mentioned.

Also, it is somewhat of a tourist trap and one of about 6-8 other Columbia's around the state. This may qualify them as a chain restaurant. I know a lot of people eat there, but the other restaurants I have given you are all better.

You can also do better than Harry's & LaParisienne. The A1A Ale House is only fair IMHO.

Happy dining!



Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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We had an excellent meal at Harry's when we were in St. Augustine. We had asked our hotel desk clerk to recommend an extra nice place with good food and feel he made a great suggestion.
teacherD is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 11:40 AM
  #17  
Brutforce
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Columbia is a great place & make sure you get some Sangria. Also, don't miss the Fort that is there, it is quite unlike any other.
 
Jan 6th, 2008, 10:56 AM
  #18  
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Thank you, thank you! We actually ventured out Friday and went to Saltwater Cowboys - and that was a great find! I will read up on the others and report back! Thanks again.
wopel is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 11:00 AM
  #19  
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This may be far afield, but we have to drive down to Daytona for a lunch - any thoughts?
wopel is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Sorry, no lunch suggestions for Daytona Beach. I do have an EXCELLENT lunch recommendation for St. Augustine: Cafe Alcazar.

This cafe is at the deep end of the historic swimming pool in the old Alcazar Hotel, now the Lightner Museum. You have to be looking for this place because it is unlikely you will stumble upon it by yourself. Just go to the south end of the museum and you should see a small entrance on the west side. Don't look for any large or flashy signs because there aren't any.

You probably won't find a more unique restaurant setting anywhere in St. Augustine. You might even want to bring your camera. It is very restful and the food is quite good too. They are only open for lunch and accept no reservations. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
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