St. Augustine was established in 1565.  For anyone who loves history, this is a place you need to check off your list.  You will love it!  We only had a day to soak in the city, but we plan to visit again sometime for a long weekend.  There was so much to do, see and fit in while we were there that we look forward to going back one day.  If you're in the Central Florida vicinity and you've only got a day to explore, we encourage you to go!  That's exactly what we did and looking back, we were so glad that we made the decision to go, even if it was only for a day.

A long weekend (3-4 days) would be ample time to spend in St. Augustine.  We definitely could have stayed a couple more days and really taken more time exploring.  However, we feel that if you planned a whole week's vacation around the destination that you might find yourself getting bored once you hit the recommended 3-4 day mark.

Unless you are the kind of person that has to read all the signs and can't skip a single one at any museum... in that case, a week might be perfect for you.  There are several beaches that are close, so you could also break up a full vacation by spending a few days in St. Augustine followed by a few days at the beach.

We'll share what we packed into our full day in St. Augustine.  We'll make sure you know the things that you've got to see while you're there and maybe a few other things we wish we would have had extra time for.  If you are into history and enjoy architectural detail, this is a place you'll want to visit.  We had the best day in St. Augustine, and it didn't hurt that we had perfect weather.

Here's a quick history lesson, in case you aren't as familiar with the area.  St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European and African-American origin in the United States.

Forty-two years before the English colonized Jamestown and fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, the Spanish established at St. Augustine our nation's first enduring settlement.  Over two million visitors make their way to St. Augustine annually, lured by the sense of discovering a unique historic part of America.  If you love history, you will love St. Augustine.  

With lots of visitors comes lots of traffic, especially if you're visiting when the city is hosting something special.  If you are visiting for the day like we did, we recommend using the Historic Downtown Parking Facility.  You can't go wrong with the location.

It is an easy walk to the Castillo de San Marcos and St. George Street.  The parking facility is open from 7 am to 9 pm so you can fully maximize your visit.  Plus, at $12 for the entire day, you can't beat it for convenience.  If you're staying overnight, most hotels have parking as well.

Sights to See:
Old St. Johns County Jail (previously visited)
St. Augustine Lighthouse (previously visited)

Places to Eat:
Columbia Restaurant (previously visited)

Don't judge, we know it's a long list of places to eat for one day.  We had several places we wanted to check off the list, so we typically ordered one of something and shared.

Coffee to Drink:

Crucial Coffee Cafe

We didn't make it to a couple of these sights or restaurants.  However, each place listed is somewhere that we checked out on our full-day visit or somewhere that Jessica has been before.  You can't go wrong with all of the sights and history that the city has to offer, but you probably can go wrong with certain meal stops so do your homework!  

While traveling, we'd discovered that no matter how many good reviews you read or beautiful pictures you see, you can still have bad experiences at some of your most anticipated stops.

If we're being honest, we had a pretty terrible experience at Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille.  Yikes, we know.  We were really looking forward to this dinner, especially after spending so much time deciding on a spot since we were only going to have one dinner in St. Augustine.  

The reviews are great and the location is wonderful so we left it on our recommendation list... and we hope that you have a better experience than we did if you ever visit.  We both believe in second chances, but Harry's might be out of luck.  Our food was average and the service was poor.  You know it's bad when even dessert doesn't leave a sweet taste in your mouth.

We hope you find our recommendations helpful, whether you're in St. Augustine for a day or if you're visiting for a vacation.  We will certainly be back and will hopefully have the most superb dining experience to share!
Splurge and take a guided tour of America's oldest city on one of the many trolley options.
Don't pay to see the Castillo fort unless you really want to see the inside.
We got all the views we wanted for free.

You must give yourself a whole day or more to explore the city.

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