May 5th-May 12th, 2020
We loved St. Augustine! It was amazing how much the city reminded us of Wilmington. It is a place that is very convenient for cruisers. The municipal city marina has several mooring balls available for $25 a night and that includes a great dinghy dock and access to laundry facilities and groceries. Entering the inlet, there is an island on your right that looks so much like Wrightsville beach and to the left there is a protected island with a lighthouse similar to Masonboro. The city of St. Augustine has a waterfront walkway, a fort, many historic homes and buildings (dating back to the late 1600s and 1700s) along with lots of shops and restaurants. Founded in September 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain, St. Augustine is the longest continually inhabited European-founded city in the United States – more commonly called the "Nation’s Oldest City." We were on a mooring ball right in front of the Fort known as Castillo De San Marcos and we had a great view of the Bridge of Lions. Several days, we had dolphins swimming and surfacing right next to our boat. Every day, we would take the dinghy in and walk the streets. It was finally great to have some Publix Fried Chicken and Papa Johns Pizza! Overall, it was quiet and most restaurants were only open for takeout but we enjoyed being there.
One of the highlights when we were exploring was Flagler College. Flagler is a gorgeous college in which the centerpiece of the college is designed around an old luxury hotel from 1888. Some buildings on campus are old and some buildings are new designed in the same extravagant architectural style. The old hotel was known as Hotel Alcazar and had the world’s largest indoor swimming pool. It is no longer a pool but you can go inside and see how elaborate it was. It looks like a giant ballroom with a sunken in floor with enormous cathedral ceilings like a church. It was quite impressive. Today it is used for weddings and it appeared you could eat there if the restaurant had been open.
With the towering live oak trees, (bigger than any we had ever seen before) the clean, well manicured streets, restaurants, trollies, and horse drawn carriages, St. Augustine would be a great place to book a Bed and Breakfast getaway and we look forward to enjoying this city even more someday when things return to normal.