What's New

The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village in St. Augustine has just completed an impressive $10 million renovation which included the complete remodeling of all 301 guest rooms, dramatic changes to the resort’s atrium, new lighting in public areas - even the addition of a new "signature scent." www.worldgolfrenaissance.com.

The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village sits on 6,300 beautifully landscaped acres, next to the one-and-only World Golf Hall of Fame, and is just minutes from the St. Augustine historic district. The Resort is home to the adjacent St. Johns County Convention Center which features over 85,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. This year, the resort won Corporate & Incentive Travel’s prestigious "Greens of Distinction Award," Meetings & Conventions’ "Gold Key Award" and for the third straight year, Meetings & Conventions’ "Gold Tee Award," an award given annually to the world’s finest golf resort properties.

The Black Raven Sails
Lots of pirates must have been looking at Cap’n Jack Sparrow’s treasure map in the final scene of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End because they’re headed for Florida and St. Augustine’s Fountain of Youth. In fact, a full-scale 65-foot Spanish galleon under the command of its pirate crew has arrived at the St. Augustine City Marina. Named the Black Raven, the ship and its crew of bandy-legged sea dogs sail daily in search of booty. The Black Raven transports up to 125 passengers on a voyage of high seas fun and adventure. Depending on their mood, the crew might even be convinced to host your wedding, anniversary or birthday party. For a behind-the scenes look, point your spyglass toward www.BlackRavenAdventures.com.

Exceptional Entertainment Venues
The total renovation of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre has quickly turned it into one of the premier outdoor entertainment venues in the Southeast. Upcoming concerts for spring and summer include Joe Cocker, Chicago, Hall and Oates, Kings of Leon, James Taylor – plus the week-long (May 18-24) Florida First Coast Arts Festival featuring dramatic productions by the University of Florida’s College of Fine Arts. Now, two new venues have been added to the destination. This month, the Artie Shaw Orchestra inaugurated the 400-seat Ponte Vedra Concert Hall located at 105 Cornerstone Drive while the Southern Exposure Music & Heritage Festival became the first major event to be held at Alpine Groves Park on State Road 13. In nearby Elkton, the St. Johns County Fairgrounds has gained increase attention for hosting events such as this month’s Harvest of Hope Festival featuring 140 bands performing over three days. For information on upcoming events at these exciting new venues, go to www.StAugAmphitheatre.com.

Marineland’s Dolphin Conservation Center
Marineland’s Dolphin Conservation Center has a new program that is perfect for anyone who has ever wanted to touch a dolphin, but was discouraged by the cost of swimming with or other in-water dolphin encounters. The new Touch and Feed Program is only $26 per participant and provides a great way to make contact with these magnificent creatures. In addition, Tocoi, Aqe, and Tomo -- three dolphin calves born at Marineland last year – will be available to amuse visitors with their playful antics and to celebrate their first birthdays in June and July! For more information, visit www.marineland.net.

Ripple Effect Eco Tours Kayak Fishing Tours
Come see why kayak fishing is one of the fastest growing sports in Florida. Master Naturalists from Ripple Effect Eco Tours teach proper catch and release techniques and the use of circle hooks to minimize impact and to protect our fisheries for future generations. Half-day trips aboard Hobie pedal-drive kayaks for hands free fishing, all high quality Shimano rods and reels with photographs of the catch are $125 per person with one guide and two anglers! Find out more at www.RippleEffectEcotours.com.

The Oldest Amazzing Race
Looking for a great teambuilding adventure or friendly family competition? AdLib Luxury Tours has just introduced The Oldest Amazzing Race – a fun and thrill packed race with teams working together to solve puzzles and get clues from historical characters while avoiding roadblocks and detours. With its narrow brick passageways and many historical attractions such as the Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine is the perfect place for staging The Oldest Amazzing Race. For details, call 904. 827.1845 or go to www.AdLibTours.com.

The completely re-designed Prime Outlets-St. Augustine changed the face of shopping in Northeastern Florida three months ago when it opened the doors to a new and upscale shopping experience. The $35 million, 90,000 square-foot expansion includes 25 new stores – and the names read like a Who’s Who list of the world’s most exclusive retailers – Gucci, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole, Cole Haan, Juicy Couture, and many others including a new 28,000 square-foot Off 5th – the outlet for upscale retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. In April, Dooney & Bourke, a leading American designer of fine accessories in leather and fabric opens along with Coldwater Creek, the place to shop for unique clothing for women. And for those who enjoy a little culinary treat with their shopping experience, this month will also usher Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs and Nature’s Table Café into the Prime Outlets. Need even more shopping? In May, Talbots, known for exceptional women’s clothing with modern classic style, will open. The 75 Prime Outlets-St. Augustine stores offer savings of 25 to 65 percent off the regular prices making this one of the top-ranked Florida destinations preferred by discriminating shoppers everywhere. For more information, visit www.primeoutlets.com/staugustine.

The area’s newest dining place, Aunt Kate’s is a family-style seafood restaurant built on the same site where Oscar’s Old Florida Grill stood in the Vilano Beach area for 94 years. In Aunt Kate’s is a brand new waterfront restaurant with 5,000 square feet of dining area, 2,000 square feet of deck and 150 feet of floating docks- and 91 years experience. It is named for Katherine Usina, who bought the property in 1904 and ran the earlier restaurant for many years. For more information, call 904.824.1806, x210.

Destination Dine-Around simplified.
The newly formed St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association (SAiRA), a collection of 13 of the finest independently owned restaurants in St. Augustine, provides dining choices that celebrate the culinary and cultural diversity that is unique to northeast Florida. SAiRA dining establishments are among the "local" favorites and offer experiences that range from European fine dining and sidewalk bistros to rustic waterfront grills and seaside eateries. And, the organization offers a certificate/voucher program that allows the diner to choose where they want to eat - the perfect option for a destination dine-around program. For more information about the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association and the fabulous dining opportunities in St. Augustine, visit www.staugustinerestaurants.com.