Ever been to a place and thought, “This is it. When we retire, this is where I want to be.”
Well, during our epic family road trip from Louisiana to Florida included two stops through St. Augustine, Florida. Initially, we were just stopping through St. Augustine to stop by the Pirate garb store. Then we stopped back through after visiting NASA and Orlando because it happened to be the Pirate weekend celebration in St Augustine.
Here’s my hunky scallywag at one of the parks…
Where we found our Pirate costumes…
The burger joint literally right next door (great food; took some time to get it but worth the wait)…
A gorgeous view from the fort…
Did you know that St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US? That’s right! It was founded by the Spanish and remained in their control for several centuries. We enjoyed walking the cobblestone streets of the oldest part of the city. We visited a bunch of places such as the Castillo de San Marcos, the Atlantic Ocean at our hotel, and Potter’s Wax Museum the first wax museum in the US.
Here’s the delicious little coffee shop with treats that we enjoyed…
Our hotel was right on the beach and had a beautiful view!
Being on the beach meant my kids could dip their chilly little toes into the Atlantic Ocean for the very first time. It made me so happy to know they had this opportunity! But I’m hoping to get to go back again sometime when it will be much much warmer. 😊 The hotel was not a fancy place but it was really nice and clean, had a good pool, delicious breakfast, and of course a view of the crashing waves. So pretty!
During our first stop at St. Augustine we checked out the Castillo de San Marcos which is a fort that was built by the Spanish in the 17th century.
I was fascinated by the walls that were so thick but made up mainly of shells. There were demonstrations going on in addition to all of the museum exhibits throughout the fort. I think my kids’ favorite thing to do was be on the top part of the fort and checking out all the cannons and view.
We also walked throughout the old part of St. Augustine, did some shopping, tried out a coffee shop, and of course had to check out the Pirate Museum.
It’s not a giant place but the Pirate Museum is really fun! They had a scavenger hunt for the kids to fill out. It made it fun for the kids as they were given a prize at the end. I liked all the interactive exhibits. Be sure to check this out. It’s across the street from the parking area for the fort.
Our other big stop for this trip was visiting Potter’s Wax Museum. If you love wax museums, this is a must see! It’s the very first wax museum in the US. Plus, you can see the old pharmacy that the building also used to house. With over 160+ wax figures, it is a must see! [A little more info from my instagram post featuring Mr. Gene in the above picture who is a real person/not a wax figure – “Are you a fan of wax museums? We are! Just stumbled upon Potter’s Wax Museum in St. Augustine, Florida, when we were going back to our car Saturday(Was that yesterday?!). This nice gentleman, Mr. Gene, let us in the museum just as they were about to close. In the entrance it still has the cabinets, concoctions, and counter area that was part of the building when it opened as a pharmacy back in the 1800s. The other part of the building is wax figures with many of the original creations that were made and shipped from England. St. Augustine had so many cool things to see and do! Hoping to visit again in the future. If you’ll be heading that way, check out the Wax Museum at 31 Orange Street.”]
We loved visiting this city! So much that my husband have put this on our short list for places to retire.
If you get to visit, know there are plenty of places on the beach to choose from to rent but there are also options for downtown St. Augustine. If you have more than just one day/night, check out the Red Train(aka trolley) tours, take a pirate cruise, visit the famous Fountain of Youth, Lightner Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Lighthouse & Maritime museum, ghost tours, mini golf, lots of parks, and more.
Who else is ready to pack up and move?! LOL
TIP: For parking near the old part of town there are a couple options… There is a pay lot right in front of the fort. You will need a credit or debit card to use the machine and reserve your spot. Our first time there we were able to get a parking spot. The next weekend we were not so we went to the garage just a block or two from there. Unfortunately, they would not let us park there because we had the luggage holder on top of our car. So the gate attendant gave us some sort of paperwork about an RV lot about 3 more blocks away and it was free! Yipppeeeee! Either way, the parking wasn’t that expensive and we were still within walking distance from the touristy area. Check out this helpful article about parking around St. Augustine.