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St Augustine Day Out - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Florida

A beautiful beach and town to go and see from Kissimmee/Orlando is St Augustine, which is in Flagler County at a distance of approximately 125 miles from the Kissimmee area. The journey takes about two and a half hours, going along the I4 Eastbound and then onto the I95 above Daytona. The beaches are straight with some superb surfing in parts, and offer a great opportunity to walk and admire the beauty. There are plenty of facilities for restrooms, coffee shops and a children’s play area. There is a small pier, where for a small charge you can walk along and enjoy an even better view of the miles of beach from the seaward side. The small kiosk at the entrance does a mean cup of coffee for 50 cents and at this location there is an information centre providing maps etc of the area. As a matter of interest, if you are over 60 you can enjoy a walk on the pier for nothing.

For those who don’t necessarily want to stay on the beach all day, you can drive further inland past the St Augustine lighthouse and museum, which has breathtaking views from the top of its 219 steps. When you reach Downtown there are numerous car parks dotted around, but this quaint old city centre has some very narrow roads, some of which are one way, which you have to look out for! It is better to park your car and go on one of the various trolley tours to see the whole area.

Having alighted from the trolley ride, it is a unique experience to walk down the many charming streets lined with street cafes and designer shops, and see some of the oldest recorded sights in Florida such as “Florida’s oldest house museum complex” and even the oldest wooden school house in the USA. To top it all you can see Old St Augustine Village with its nine historic houses spanning 1790-1910 with gardens and courtyards. At night you should check out the local haunted happenings on the Ghost Tour by land or by sea.

From the Bridge of Lions there is an interesting walk to the Castillo de San Marcos, which is a medieval fort. This takes you along the edge of the harbour giving an excellent view of the sailing boats and further out to sea over the Matanzas Bay. On reaching the Castillo, at certain times there is a re-enactment of the firing of the cannon – not for the faint hearted! Ear muffs recommended! These re-enactments give the town a real oldie worldie charm.

We found visiting St Augustine to be a most enjoyable day out and would thoroughly recommend it to those who like to enjoy a bit of Florida culture along with magnificent beaches.

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