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St Augustine

The oldest continuously occupied settlement in the USA combines unique history and architecture with art, culture, gorgeous Atlantic coast beaches and a food scene that covers all the bases, from casual to super sophisticated.


Place: St Augustine, Florida
Month: April
Gorgeous blue sky and sunshine
Traveller: Susie Ellison

Natural Highs

Burn up some calories by kayaking or paddle boarding with birds and manatees in the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway, check out the critters and more gorgeous birds at the Alligator Farm, walk the walls of the historic Castillo de San Marcos fort, and climb he 219 steps to the top of St Augustine’s lighthouse and you won’t feel guilty stopping in at Peace Pie afterwards for an irresistible ice cream sandwich with a layer of pie filling.

Seafood Central

O.C. White’s is the place for fresh seafood in St Augustine. The building dates from 1790 but there’s nothing dated about the menu, which offers contemporary takes on Florida classics such as creamy grits topped with blackened local shrimp, cheese, bacon and scallions; feather-light fried calamari, and catch of the day cooked with Caribbean spices.

History Lessons

Take in the fantastic Spanish Renaissance architecture of Flagler College, built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler in 1888 as the Hotel Ponce De Leon. Then cross the road to the Moorish-style Casa Monica Hotel for a Mediterranean lunch in the elegant Costa Brava restaurant. Kitty corner is another former Flagler hotel, the Alcazar, which houses the Lightner Museum’s exquisite collection of Tiffany glass and Gilded Age antiquities.

Iberian Charmer

Columbia Restaurant is a St Augustine legend that you do not want to miss. It’s a classic Spanish restaurant with polished service, superb Spanish and Cuban food, a knockout paella and a memorable sangria that is blended table side. Hand-painted tiles, potted plants and fountains add to the magical atmosphere.

BBQ & Booze

It may be a hole-in-the –wall but Smokin D’s definitely delivers. Succulent pork, beef and chicken, smoked to perfection, baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, fresh bread rolls — all homemade, spanking fresh and delicious. When you’ve lined your stomach, head to St Augustine Distillery for a free tour and tastings of their award-winning whiskey, vodka, gin and rum.