fbpx Skip to Content

A Perfect Day in St. Augustine

Share the love :)

My last few posts were all about our tour of the factory at Whetstone Chocolates of St. Augustine and lunch at Casa Maya, but there was a lot more to see and do in this adorable historic town.  Just down the street from the chocolate factory we came across this enormous and beautiful Spanish-style building………

the tower of the ponce de leon hotel heavy spanish architecture with white and brown accents and palm trees

spanish tile roof and spanish architecture with arches and shrubery and a lamp post

a two tier fountain in a courtyard with spanish tile and a gate with arches

This is the old Ponce de Leon Hotel which was a popular destination for the rich and famous back in the day.  Now, it is part of the main campus for Flagler College – a private liberal arts college.  It’s a very small campus but absolutely stunning.  Mr. Beet had even made a comment that as we walked through the gates of the college it felt like we had been transported back in time – back to the hotel’s heydays of the early 1900’s.   As we walked into the main building in which used to be the hotel lobby,  we looked up and saw this- but these pictures do not do it justice……

the camera looking up at a well ormanated gold dome

a fancy jewel like lobby to the hotel with the base of the gold dome

The coolest thing about the campus though was the bell tower – as we were walking around the bells were playing “Close to You” by the Carpenters.

The one thing about St. Augustine is that this is a town that definitely thrives on tourism.  I can’t tell you how many of these trolleys we saw carting people around pointing out the sites….

an orange trolley with a green roof on a street in St augustine with spanish architecture in the background

We opted to just explore by foot.  We came across the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument- a fort on the edge of the downtown area.  We got extra lucky because it was National Park Appreciation Week so the entry fee was waived.

a stone tower with a lookout with the sea in the background and a blue sky

stone steps leading up to a bright blue sky

the author on the top of the spanish fort with a lookout tower to the left and the sea and palm trees in the background

The best part of the fort was going up top for some amazing views of the water.

a blue sea against a bright blue sky with palm trees and a couple of sailboats

a scattering of boats on the sea with a long bridge in the background
After exploring the fort, we set off to get some lunch.  (Read about our lunch here)  We then need to work off our lunch so continued walking around the city.  I am just blown away by how pretty the architecture was there –

a stark white building with a tower and a spanish tile roof with a balcony and an American flag flying in the background against a blue sky

a spanish style building with two adjacent towers and palm trees

a view of a brown and white spanish style building peering out over the trees against a bright blue sky

a church with gold features and a spanish tile roof with a giant domed tower

We found a lot of really neat restaurants and shops.  One place we saw was called the Hyppo – nothing but gourmet popsicles.  We didn’t indulge since we had just finished lunch but it looked very interesting.

an artpiece made with wood of a red popsicle against a white wall

a line of customers in the Hyppo with the popsicle menu overhead and light green walls

We also found a store called “Filthy Rich” where I tried on Kate Middleton’s engagement ring…..

a picture of a hand with a blue diamond encrusted ring

We also saw some local residents just hanging around….

a cat sleeping on a porch on a chair against a blue house

St. Augustine reminded me a bit of Key West, tiny, quaint…lots of bars and restaurants, lots of cute little boutique shops and surrounded by water.  Even some of the local businesses seem to keep Key West style hours- check out the opening and closing times on this sign……

the marquee of the giggling gator pub sign reading open when we get here and closed when we leave

As our day was winding down we decided one last stop. We found another Whetstone Chocolates and got ourselves FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE. It was a great ending to our day!

a plastic dome cup with a frozen chocolate beverage with chocolate syrup and whipped cream with a red straw

Helen Corbin

Friday 4th of May 2012

Very very beautiful. You guys should be hired by their Tourist Bureau. Your narration is great and the pictures are beautiful. I’m ready to go………………...