Cheers Sippin Gypsy Team Vodka! This post comes to you while enjoying A Florida Mule, featuring vodka, mule mix and recipe all from the St. Augustine Distillery!
The Ancient City: St Augustine blends everything I love about a small town getaway. There is a delightful blend of history and culture mixed with modern comforts and indulgences that make this town a true escape. The town is easy to conquer in two to three days, but the surrounding area and a day or two at the beach could easily make St. Augustine a fun four day weekend! Historic St. Augustine is very easy to navigate, however those charming historic cobblestone walkways can do a number on heels, so pack comfortable shoes and layer, you will be dipping in an out of outdoor weather in indoor air condition. I really enjoy St. Augustine at the holidays. The city lights up for what is called Nights of Lights. As usual, before listing some of my favorite spots to explore, here are a few quick tips:
1. St. Augustine is not an open container town. Plan out where you want to sit a while and sip. With both a Distillery and Winery within walking distance to the historic city center, simply pick up a bottle or 10 to enjoy back at your room one evening.
2. There are a lot of eclectic and unique artisan shops in the Ancient City. Give yourself time to find unique gifts for an upcoming holiday, birthday or anniversary.
3. St. Augustine offers a lot of museums and historic land marks packed into this town. If your stay is short pick one or two for this trip and spread out your history lessons over multiple visits.
4. If possible, make a trip to St. Augustine in December to enjoy Nights of Lights The city is so enchanting with millions of lights! Many of the Bed and Breakfast Inns partake in the holiday decorating festivities which can make the stay even more magical! See my suggestions for some beautiful Bed and Breakfast options on my Sipping Gypsy Quick Tips for Restin': St Augustine.
5. Visit St. Augustine offers a free app for your phone that I found so helpful when navigating where to go and what to do at various times. The app is well organized and allows you to filter through activities and dining options quickly.
1. TourSt. Augustine Distillery
I love to support small business and local! The team at the St. Augustine Distillery is fun and passionate about their spirits. The tour is free and includes a tasting!! You may want to drive to the distillery so that when you select the many bottles to take back to your home bar, you don't have a long walk with cartons of liquor that could be heavy. They also sell great bar tools and delicious mixes, so should you want to recreate a cocktail from your tour. Save time to stay a while on property and visit Ice Plant, one of best bars in northern Florida.
2. Tour the San Sebastian Winery
Again, support local and tour the beautiful facility of the San Sebastian Winery. The tours are free and include a tasting, and you can stock up on great wines for your home bar and gifts. If possible tour the winery on the weekend so you can visit their Wine Cellar Upstairs for live music and memorable views (especially at sunset).
3. You know I am a big fan of local tours for your first visit to a city. There are several tours available by foot, train, hearse or boat to learn more about this charming town. Personally I'm a sucker for ghost stories and experiencing the darker side of the city, so my first destination was the Ghost and Gravestone Tour. But if you're not in a spooky mood, or want to make seeing the Ancient City easier on your feet, the Old Town Trolley Tours or Red Train Tours both take you around to landmark destinations and offer on and off privileges through the day.
4. Museums and Historic Landmarks
The Fountain of Youth, The Oldest Wooden School House, Pirate and Treasure Museum, Lightner Museum, the list goes on an on! Each museum and landmark offers a glimpse into the past. This is one area you want to plan for. You could easily fill a whole day submerged in history and experiencing each of these historic snapshots. Since St. Augustine is such an easy walking city, you could indulge in at least two or three adventures to enrich your experience.
5. Live Music
Several bars host local live bands to wrap up your evening with a sip and a song. I really enjoyed the ambiance and music at Prohibition Kitchen. Another fun setting outdoors was Colonial Oak Music Park. If you're lucky, you'll hear a captivating tune while simply strolling the streets, keep a few dollars available to thank these musicians for adding to the charm and beauty of St. Augustine.