Luxury in the Old City

St. Augustine's resorts, historic sites, restaurants and shops surprise with little luxuries.

In the ancient city of St. Augustine, just steps away from Florida’s Atlantic coastline, lies a paradise offering all the trappings of elegance. Be chauffeured through the brick streets by horse-drawn carriage. Shop specialty boutiques for everything from art to chocolates and fine wines. Then get dapper for dinner and cocktails. St. Augustine’s historical glamour is worth dressing up for.

Begin at the Casa Monica Resort & Spa, where opulent surroundings engage the senses. From the triumphant lobby fountain, richly tiled and flanked by high-backed leather settees, to thick velvet curtains tied with sashes, you’ll find yourself steeped in luxury. The Casa Monica is strewn with royal flourishes that complement its castle-like exterior. Rooms are appointed in mahogany and wrought iron, and luxury suites in the hotel’s five towers offer antique furnishings, circular living rooms and generous views.

Once in your lavish retreat, choose from a bevy of services and activities to experience on your visit. Take a dip in the second-story pool, arrange a horse and carriage ride, or duck into one of the hotel’s upscale boutiques.

Hilton St. Augustine Historic Bayfront hotel is another sophisticated option for staying in style within steps of the bayfront and all of the Oldest City's attractions. Its colorful Spanish Colonial buildings with views of Matanzas Bay are close to most of St. Augustine's atractions, historic sites, restaurants, bars and shops.

St. Augustine's newest luxury property is The Collector Luxury Inn and Gardens. Located in the heart of the historic district, the Inn blends contemporary amenities with historic authenticity. Historic homes surrounding an elegant brick pabed courtyard are where you'll stay in suites and meticulously restored rooms. A private a cocktail bar and pool are located near the main house where a European breakfast is served each morning.

St. Augustine’s historical riches will keep you moving about town, so don't forget your walking shoes and sunglasses. For first-rate cultural immersion, tour the Colonial Quarter. Take an immersive journey through three centures of St. Augustine's rich history brought to life at this two-acre signature attraction. For an unparalleled view of St. Augustine old and new, picnic in the soft grass at Castillo de San Marcos. Select a wine to suit your fancy from the Carrera Wine Cellar and a gourmet lunch to go from the Gourmet Hut, a local favorite known for its homemade baked goods and fresh wraps. Before retiring to your quarters, stop at Whetstone Chocolates for homemade fudge.

Whether uptown or downtown, St. Augustine’s shops will satisfy serious shoppers and casual spectators alike. Visit The Ancient Olive for a unique selection of ultra premium extra virgin olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars and culinary gifts. Looking for art and accessories? Make your way to The Starving Artist consignment shop, located just off St. George Street on Cuna Street, or check out Saint Augustine Art Glass located at the north end of St. George. For unusual gifts, stop in at Rembrandtz and marvel at fanciful art and unique prints.

Let a horse-drawn carriage ferry you back to the Casa Monica, where a delectable meal awaits at the hotel’s in-house restaurant, Costa Brava. Take a culinary journey with their shareable dishes and a bottle of carefully selected wine as you settle in to one of the sumptuously decorated dining rooms. Afterwards, explore the city’s galleries on the first Friday of each month during the evening Art Walk. The St. Augustine Sightseeing Train and Old Town Trolley Tours are available for transport to the galleries, where you can see new exhibits and enjoy the street music.

Cap off your stay in St. Augustine with a trip to Uptown with antiques shops clustered around San Marco. Here you’ll find European furniture, estate items, art glass, costume jewelry, antique stained-glass windows, home goods and other wonders. Located in what used to be the Hotel Alcazar’s pool, Lightner Antique Mall mixes the old with the older.