Just because summer is coming to an end doesn’t mean it’s the end of vacations. In fact, on Florida’s Historic Coast, this is the Easy Season®, the time of year when the weather is fine and the crowds get thinner.
This is a great time to check off those “must-do” experiences on your bucket list--like learning to surf or fly-fish, or adventures like swimming with dolphins and zip-lining over crocs. Maybe you’ve been wanting to just get away with your BFFs for a spa treatment. Whatever you’re into, there are a variety of unique, authentic experiences you can pack into a two- or three-day, mid-week trip to St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beaches.
Here are a few mid-week itineraries to consider:
Inns & Outdoors
Like your history with a bit of fun? Stay at a historic inn in the nation’s oldest city, such as St. Francis Inn or The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens to take advantage of the St. Augustine Historic Inns’ Extended Play packages offered through September. Spend a morning kayaking along the historic waterfront with St. Augustine Eco Tours, paddle board on the river with Anastasia Watersports and enjoy a picnic at Anastasia State Park. In the evening, take a sunset cruise on Schooner Freedom followed by dinner at O.C. White’s Seafood & Spirits.
Mi Casa es Su Casa
St. Augustine has a long history of Hispanic culture. Why not celebrate this wonderful culture where it all began in the nation’s oldest city? Stay at Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast Inn or Casa Monica Resort & Spa, enjoy an impressive charcuterie and boutique wines at Casa de Vino 57. Explore the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument then attend Hispanic Heritage Film Festival at The Corazon Cinema and Cafe. Feast on Paella “a la Valenciana” as you sip on sangria at Columbia Restaurant.
Surf & Turf
Love the beach? Enjoy an ocean side stay at Beacher’s Lodge on Crescent Beach. Experience a dolphin encounter at Marineland Dolphin Adventure Florida then take a kayak tour with Ripple Effect Ecotours and possibly encounter dolphins in the wild. Be sure to board the free ferry ride to tour Fort Matanzas National Monument. Take a morning surf lesson with a skilled instructor from Pit Surf Shop then take a walk along the historic streets of St. Augustine, shopping on Aviles Street, the oldest street in the United States. Spend your evening on a sunset cruise with Florida Water Tours, followed by a delicious meal of the freshest seafood and casual cuisine in the relaxed setting of Kingfish Grill at Camachee Cove Harbor.
Call your BFFs and plan to stay at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club or the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa to get pampered at one of the resort spas. Enjoy a private golf or tennis lesson with a pro. Visit the latest art exhibits at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach, then enjoy a show at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Spend a Tuesday afternoon in Historic St. Augustine participating in the Tasting Tour’s Taco Tuesday tour, then enjoy a sunset cruise from Vilano Beach with Red Boat Tours.
Slow Down Sunday
Mini-vacations should be relaxing. And a stay at Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort is the perfect place to do that. Start with yoga by the pool in the morning followed by a paddleboard tour on Salt Run with Kayak St. Augustine. You’ll want to slow down when you visit the sloths at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. For the evening, enjoy a wine tasting at Carrera Wine Cellar and a relaxing gourmet dinner at Michael's St. Augustine.
You’ll love the beach party vibe when you stay at Magic Beach Motel on Vilano Beach. It’s a great place to take a stroll along the beach looking for fossilized shark teeth in the coquina sands. In town, take in a fine art exhibit at Flagler College’s Crisp-Ellert Museum. For an adventure, take a Dolphin and Wildlife tour with Florida Water Tours, then relax and enjoy a sunset dinner at Cap’s on the Water.
There’s so much to do here you’ll need a rest. So stay at one of St. Augustine’s luxurious Historic Inns. Then, zipline over crocs at St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s Crocodile Crossing, swim with dolphins at Marineland Dolphin Adventure Florida, go fly-fishing with Drum Man Charters, and take surf lesson with Pit Surf Shop.