St. Augustine for Free(ish)

In November, I did Boston for $87. Inspired by my frugal ways, I tried to do St. Augustine for that cheap. I wasn’t as successful because of gas and hotel costs, so it was more. But I managed it for $123.05. Not too shabby.

St. Augustine is so incredibly beautiful, just breathtaking, and definitely worth the trip.



St. Augustine is the oldest city in our country and as such is rich with history. We checked out two Spanish forts. The FREE one was Fort Matanza National Monument. The park includes a nature trail, a beach, and a ferry across to the actual fort. The employees out by the fort were in period costumes, and they set off a canon which was kind of cool.

The canon reenactment at Castillo de San Marcos was considerably more impressive. They explained how much damage the canons did and how far they could travel. When they did the demonstration, the actors did it in Spanish. There was so much more in the way of history at this fort, and the $7 entry fee is good for a week.


Driving in, we stopped off at Marineland Beach. I pulled off because it looked interesting. It turns out the building that attracted me was a dolphin habitat. I didn’t go, but it seemed like a place worth checking out.

Mantanza Beach was across the way from Fort Matanza. It was so windy and cold, but the dunes and white sand there were beautiful.

My hotel was right next to St. Augustine Beach Pier. These beaches (unlike my hotel) were so beautiful. The water even smells differently on the Atlantic side.


There are lots of museums downtown, but it was very much like Venice in that we didn’t need a plan; we just wandered. We spent a few hours winding throughout downtown. Some cool sites were Flagler College and the little shopping village.


San Sebastian Winery was a really nice venue including two wine bars and a gift shop. It was so busy that there was no tour, just a tasting. I tried port and sherry for the first time ever; I hated them, but I can say I tried it!

Vino del Grotto Winery wasn’t actually a winery the way I think of one, but they had wine from ALL over the world and a tasting. I tasted some chocolate, coffee, wine infusion from heaven that I loved. And learned about a winery I didn’t know existed in Clearwater.

I was consistently amazed in this beautiful old city. The ONLY downside of my trip was my hotel, the St. Augustine Beachfront Resort which was a dive of epic proportions.

I will definitely be back.

H, out.

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