I spend a lot of time in my second home in Orlando but let's be honest. It can get kinda boring. I was looking for something to do and heard a lot of talk about St. Augustine and decided to jump in the car and go. It's a two hour drive and unfortunately the weather was not in our favor but it definitely didn't disappoint. I was also surprised at how cheap it could be so it definitely was a budget friendly day trip.
Parking was a bit expensive at 15 bucks however it's our fault because we parked in the garage out of laziness. Parking in town is metered and will run you about 2.50 an hour however with a little patience and some walking you can find free parking just outside the old city. Specifically near the old jail and fountain of youth. Just be prepared to walk (which I do not mind at all).
There are tons of tours including the trolley and red train however you can do your own self guided tour for free. First, stop at the visitors center where you can pick up a map and the lovely people there will assist you with things to do. The other option is to find discount tickets for the trolley tours. Even though we didn't go I did a search online and was able to find tickets to the trolley for 12.50 which was about half price. Not bad if you are not interested in walking.
Things to do for Free or Cheap
Most of the museums and sites require an admission fee however here are my top five things you can do for free.
(1) Walk St. George Street. This is a pedestrian only street with a ton of cute little shops and historic sites. Most of the historic sites require admission but you can definitely admire the architecture and read about their history on the plaques.
(2) Trinity Parish. This is a beautiful church at the corner of St. George and King Street. You can explore the church for free however be respectful of parishioners who may be attending mass or saying a prayer.
(3) Lightner Museum. Continuing down King Street you will run into the Lightner Museum as well as Flagler College which are both amazing. You have to pay to go into the actual Museum however you can walk the grounds for free. The courtyard is especially beautiful. They have a little shop where you can order coffee, ice cream, beer and wine and sit in one of the outdoor tables. If you need a break it is worth the few bucks you may spend on a beverage or treat as it is such a pretty place.
(4) St. Augustine Distillery. This place is really cool and they offer a tour and tasting for free. You sign up when you get there and there may be a little bit of a wait but how cool does this sounds. If you are impatient like me you can skip the tour and head to the gift shop where they offer the free tastings. I tried the three types of gin. They were pretty good.
(5). San Sebastián Winery. You will find this place at the end of King St. so it's a little walk from town but so worth it. They also offer a tour and tasting for free. The tour is self guided however it includes 6 wines to taste. For an extra five bucks you can add on two additional premium wines. Well worth the five bucks as these wines were awesome and they were very generous with their pours. Extra tip: Keep going up to the third floor where you will find a rooftop deck with a bar and amazing views. They even had live music. We ordered a few glasses of wine and a snack while up there. Since we didn't spend money all day we thought we would splurge. It was a great way to end our day of exploring.
I can keep going with this list as there is so much to see and do in St. Augustine. I definitely would love to visit again sometime soon.
Who is Taima?
I am a native New Yorker that is addicted to travel and fashion. Wealth is not measured by the amount of money you have but by your life experiences.
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