When we arrived in St. Augustine, the weather was sort of awful. Damp, chilly, and dreary with on and off rain. The forecast showed pretty much the same thing for the duration of our stay…yuck! But we were determined to have a good time, regardless of what was thrown at us.
Our first couple days, we just hung around in Anastasia State Park (our home for the week), and spent some time hiking and exploring with the dogs. If you are ever in the St. Augie area and looking for a spot to camp, I would highly recommend this park. It’s minutes outside the city, and has beach access within the park. To be honest, I would recommend pretty much any Florida state park. We have been to a dozen over the years and have always enjoyed our stay. Unlike some state parks, who have very out of date facilities, and pack you in very tightly, Florida SP’s are always clean, have roomy sites, are up to date, and have plenty of activities to keep you busy. This was our second time at ASP, and we will definitely be back again.
Over the next day or so, and despite the dreary weather, we headed over to St Augustine Beach with the dogs (Anastasia SP does not let dogs on the beach). I think it is really awesome that they allow your furry companions to accompany you, as not many beaches back home do that. Some would think that because of this, the beach would be stinky and dirty. I have seen this all too often on dog beaches and in dog parks because many (bad) owners don’t pick up after their dogs. But St. Augustine beach is clean, expansive, and gorgeous. They actually made a law that if your dog does his/her business, and you don’t pick it up, you get slapped with a felony. I think all states should have this law…
Later that night, Fran and I went into the city to grab a bite to eat. We headed over to Spy Lounge, a James Bond themed sushi place that had great reviews. It was early, and the middle of the week, so the restaurant wasn’t too busy when we walked in. The ambiance was great, with cushy L shaped couches and cozy armchair seating (for those who prefer to sit tall and eat, they did have regular seating as well). The staff was friendly and knowledgeable. We dined on sashimi and sushi, with some great drinks thrown into the mix. Everything was incredibly fresh, with lots of flavor bursting through. 6 months ago, Fran’s idea of sushi was California roll, California roll, California roll. And while I didn’t get her to try the sashimi, this time around, her sushi adventures are getting more, uh…adventurous.
The following morning, I woke up expecting the same dreary weather that had plagued us over the last few days but was greeted with sunshine and warm temps. Score! I checked the forecast…the next week was going to be gorgeous! Yeeehaw! Back to the beach…
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If I ever had to pick a place to move to in Florida (besides the obvious choice of Key West) it would probably be St. Augie. The area is beautiful, with amazing beaches and lots of physical activities right out your doorstep. You can surf, kayak, or cruise around on your bike in 70 weather in the winter. The city of itself, which is actually the oldest city in America, is alive and kicking. The buildings are gorgeous, the streets are clean, there are a TON of places to eat/drink/shop or people watch, it is very dog friendly, the locals are neighborly, and it is a great place to bring your family for a vacation. Last time we were here, we visited Castillo de San Marcos, and I got quite a few pictures. We didn’t make it there this time around, and I didn’t get many photos of the city either (I was distracted by eating and drinking)…so I’m going to cheat and post some shots I took back in 2011.
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We thoroughly enjoyed our time in St Augustine. It’s beaches and city have been good to us each time we have visited, and we have added it to our list of places we will always visit when down south.
We packed up and hit the road this morning. Our next stop is…a surprise, so stay tuned!