The date was March 4, 2007. On that day we were on vacation in St. Augustine, FL.
We got an early start to the day, awakening at 6:00 AM. We got our showers and ate a continental-style breakfast at the hotel. We spent the day sightseeing, mainly on foot. We left our hotel at 8:00 AM and walked a few blocks to the Old City Gates.
These city gates used to be the only entrance to the enclosed city. While we were taking pictures of the city gates a hawk flew in and stole a bird out of one of the holes of the gates. You should have heard the racket that the blue jays made when that happened!
We walked through the city gates to St. George Street, a pedestrian-only roadway.
There was hardly anyone on St. George Street at that time of the morning. While on St. George Street we saw the oldest wooden school house; we walked by the Colonial Spanish Quarter; and we walked by a lot of gift shops, cafes, and restaurants. Everything was closed, except for a couple cafes that were open for breakfast.
We stayed on St. George Street until we reached Cathedral Place.
We walked down Cathedral Place towards Matanzas Bay. There is a small park between Cathedral Place and King Street in which we saw a statue of Ponce de Leon.
After photographing the statue, we continued our walk along Avenida Mendendez, which is right alongside the bay. We enjoyed the picturesque views across the bay to Anastasia Island, where the St. Augustine Lighthouse is located.
We turned up St. Francis Street, where we saw the González-Alvarez House, also known as The Oldest House.
We passed the entrance to Old St. Augustine Village (Nine historic houses spanning 1790-1910 with gardens and courtyards). The village was closed; however, we were able to peek over the fence to get a glimpse of the village.
The village wouldn’t open for another couple hours, so we continued our walk.
We walked past Flagler College and the Memorial Presbyterian Church.
The entire historical area (St. George Street, St. Francis Street, Cathedral Place, etc.) is beautiful; however, I was most impressed with the architecture in and around Flagler College.
We returned to St. George Street.
What a difference a couple hours makes. The street was FULL of people. We stopped for a mid-morning break at a cafe. It was nice to sit and relax after walking about town for two hours. After finishing our snack we walked back through the city gates and crossed either Castillo Drive or San Marco Avenue to the Castillo de San Marcos.
We arrived at the Castillo at a good time, as we were able to watch a musket firing and cannon demonstration.
After the demonstration, we paid our $6.00 each and walked inside the Castillo. We walked all around the fortress and took in a few of its exhibits. We enjoyed the view of the city from the top of the fortress as well as the views of Matanzas Bay.
After touring the Castillo we walked back to our hotel. After a couple hours rest we drove to Anastasia Island. We ate a late lunch at McKnight’s Irish Pub. That was an interesting place. Bob ordered buffalo chicken dip. We both expected that Bob’s meal would be chicken with a sauce in which to dip the chicken. Instead Bob’s meal was buffalo chicken dip with tortilla chips. The dip did have little bits of chicken in it. Bob was disappointed with his meal. I liked my meal, though. I ordered a chicken salad sandwich with chips. We shared dessert .. apple crisp with caramel & ice cream. Dessert was very good. While eating we watched several short films (10-15 min in length). I have to laugh because McKnight’s advertises itself as a dinner theater. The “theater” was the short films. After lunch we drove to St. Augustine Lighthouse.
We didn’t tour the lighthouse. The ticket price seemed a bit steep — $8.00 each. We would spend a small fortune if we paid admission fees for every historical building or place of interest in St. Augustine. If we return one day to St. Augustine, I will have to research the availability (and cost) of one ticket that provides admission to many different places of interest. After seeing the lighthouse we drove to St. Johns County Pier, located at the north end of St. Augustine Beach, where we enjoyed views of the Atlantic Ocean.
At 5:45 PM we were back in our hotel, where we stayed for rest of the evening.