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ST. AUGUSTINE & GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA

Last updated on June 20, 2018

After a long semester, winter break could not have come soon enough. The thought of finally being together with my lovely boyfriend, Joe, and traveling down to Florida got me through the last stretch of the semester.

It was very weird being in Florida for an extended period of time and doing every day tasks because any other time I was in Florida, it had been for Disney World or Universal. Nevertheless, I had an unbelievably wonderful time with Joe! The last time I visited him, I compiled a list of go-to places in Gainesville so I thought I would do the same with St. Augustine.

 

ST. AUGUSTINE

DINING

  • The Blue Hen Cafe: This little place is tucked away in a neighborhood that is away all the buzz of the area, and you will question if you are in the right place. But, this place is oh so amazing. The food was tasty and I was so sad when I could not finish all my food because I just wanted to keep eating! Here are my thoughts:
    • The serving size is more than decent.
    • The home fries actually tastes and smells like potatoes.
    • The biscuit… oh my the biscuit. It is huge! The middle is all soft and flaky while the outside is brownly baked.
    • The bacon. the bacon. It is not that small, limp, overly greasy thing you get at some breakfast places. It has meat on it. It was not greasy at all, but it was crispy!
  • One Twenty Three Burger: Wow. Can “Wow.” be the only thing I write here? Their burger and fries… absolutely amazing. I got the “Farmer Joe” burger– comes with egg and bacon on top– perfectly cooked. I also recommend the fried pickles (I don’t even like pickles but this was the perfect amount of fried, salty, and crunchy).

ACTIVITIES

  • St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum: There are more than 200 steps to get to the top of the lighthouse, but oh my, the view over St. Augustine is breathtaking (if the steps up did not take your breath away.. hah..). They also have a little trail that takes you around the east view of the lighthouse. Around the lighthouse, there are little houses set up with historical information which goes with the museum part. I say this is a must-do while in St. Augustine.
  • St. Augustine Pier: You’re at the beach! You have to go to the beach/pier! Just walk up the pier, sit on the little benches, watch and listen to the waves crash against the rocks, marvel at how the sun shimmers on the water, feel the wind blow your hair and graze your face… just take a moment and just enjoy where you are, who you are with, and just sit and live in that moment.

* Joe and I didn’t get to go to the Alligator Farm or the Aquarium because it was too cold for the animals to be out and about. However, I hear these two are must-go-see’s!

ADULT ACTIVITIES

  • St. Augustine Distillery: Yes, you are in Florida and not in Kentucky~ They have this entire room dedicated to bourbon whiskey! Are you in the mood to see how they “mix, match, cook, and distill” vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey? Well, are you in the mood to taste (for free) vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey? This is the place for you!They have tours every 30 minutes. Also, the people leading the tours are humorous and will keep you entertained if the alcohol does not!
  • San Sebastian Winery: This place is conveniently located 0.3 miles (~7 minute walk)from the distillery! They have both tours and tastings every 20-25 min/7 days a week. You can taste about 10 (I can’t quite remember how many we tasted) different types of wine ranging from white to red to dry to sweet to dessert. The person leading the tasting will also take you through the “Five S’s” of wine tasting!*This is a cute date idea~ the set up has two wine glasses per stand.Joe and I had a great time clinking our glasses! We were placed next to a middle aged couple and we engaged in conversation about life, school, our respective vacations… ah they were such a sweet couple. As being 21, I felt like a real person… at a wine tasting and making friends with the people next to us (who were not my age).

 

GAINESVILLE

I’m just going to refer you to my “WEEKEND ADVENTURE: GAINESVILLE, FL” post because my recommendations from that post still stands.

ACTIVITIES

  • Payne’s Prairie: Bison, horses, alligators, birds… they have it all! There are a few trails that you can walk through. If you are not a native floridian, I recommend going on this walk because you can see different types of nature/trees that you usually wouldn’t see.

***

These seven days were by far, one of the best days I have had. After not seeing Joe for months, I am super grateful to have spent time with him. Not only did we go on fun adventures, we got to chill and watch The Office, Black Mirror, and romantic comedies together, wake up and brew coffee and make breakfast, bake muffins and brownies, jam out to (ridiculously dance to) music in the car… the little things along with the adventures really made this one of the best vacations ever.

I hope you enjoyed this post and that my recommendations will come in handy one day!