Before packing up and heading to Jacksonville, give St. Augustine a try
By Taylor Toothman | email@example.com
I can picture you right now, reading this article, stalking a friend of a friend on Facebook, or – you must be really desperate – catching up on homework because you don’t think there’s anything to do in town.
Granted, St. Augustine may seem like a boring place because it’s so small and so many places close around 6 p.m. But, there really is something for everyone, if you look close enough. You won’t even have to walk far.
The bar and nightlife scene is hoppin’ downtown, and on the beach, and it’s a great social avenue to meet up with friends and listen to live music.
There are a lot of different places to choose from, some with unique cultural twists and some that cling to that certain era when disco was in and Wham! ruled the pop charts. Mardi Gras on San Marco, Club Fusion, Sangria’s on Hypolita, A1A Ale Works on King, and the British Pub on Anastasia Boulevard are all fun and happening places to get your groove on after dark. Don’t forget your I.D. and D.D. when you leave the house.
Food in St. Augustine is good, too, and there’s plenty of it. What do you like? We’ve got it.
Breakfast: Casa Maya and Schmagel’s Bagels on Hypolita; The Bunnery on St. George.
Latin: Acapulco Mexican Restaurant on Avenida Menendez; Madre’s on Aviles Street; Columbia and the Spanish Bakery (cash only) on St. George.
Pizza: Pizzalley’s and Pizza Time (cash only) on St. George; Kozmic Bluz on Spanish Street.
Burgers: Mango Mangos on A1A Beach Boulevard; Georgie’s Diner on Malaga Street.
Organic Smatterings of All Kinds of Deliciousness: Flavors Eatery on King; Present Moments Cafe (a vegetarian’s heaven) on West King.
Sushi and Asian: Fusion Point on San Marco; Yamato Japanese Steakhouse on State Road 312.
Desserts: Luli’s Cupcakes on San Marco; Claude’s Chocolate on Hypolita; Cafe Del Hidalgo (gelato!) on St. George.
Adult Beverages: Tours, tastings, and more at the San Sebastian Winery on King; beers from around the world at J.P. Henley’s on Marine Street.
For those of you who don’t like the bar scene (or have been banned from all local bars because your fake I.D. was busted) (that’s what you get for being illegal, kids) or you just ate and are now looking for something exciting to do, here are some options so you’re not stuck at home twiddling your thumbs.
Art: First Friday (of every month) Art Walk, or check out individual shops – Butterfield Garage, Absolute Americana, or Rachel Thompson Gallery to name a few.
Touristy Activities That Locals Can Do Without Looking Touristy: The beach all along A1A Beach Boulevard (Of course, that’s why you’re here, right?); Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum on San Marco; Potter’s Wax Museum on King (How long can you stay in there without being completely weirded out by the soldier who looks like Glenn Close?); tour Flagler College (one of your only chances to get into those fancy locked rooms); St. Augustine Lighthouse on Lighthouse Avenue (you can see Russia from it); ghost tours on land or sea with Ghost Tours of St. Augustine on St. George; putt putt golf at Bayfront Carpet Golf on Avenida Menendez, Fiesta Falls Miniature Golf on A1A Beach Boulevard, or Anastasia Mini Golf on Anastasia; ScootCoupe rentals at Solano Cycle on San Marco; St. Augustine Premium Outlets on State Road 16.
Sports: Flagler College teams have game schedules posted at www.flaglerathletics.com.
Performances and Movies: Flagler College Auditorium on Granada Street, which hosts College productions and performances of the EMMA Concert Series; Limelight Theatre on Old Mission Avenue; CafÃ© Eleven on A1A Beach Boulevard, home to delicious eats, indie concerts, and events like the annual Big Trunk Fashion Show; St. Augustine Amphitheatre on A1A South, where you’ll find the big music names in concert, plus a free movie almost every Friday night and a Farmers Market every Saturday; Pot Belly’s Movie Theatre, which is kind of creepy and dirty, yet somehow quaint; Regal Mall Cinema 6 at the “mall” on US 1.
If, however, you’re a modern Emily Dickinson, or you just need a night at home to recoup after a weekend out and about, here are a few ways to stock up on essential materials.
Lil’ Champ on King St. for all your ice cream, slushy, and magazine needs; Second Read Books on Cordova; Loose Screws and Anastasia Books on King; Wolf’s Head Books on San Marco; and St. Johns County Public Library on Ponce De Leon Boulevard (Free! But don’t forget to eventually take your rentals back or the librarians will hunt you down…).
If you are still sitting on the couch watching your fifth hour of “The Antiques Road Show,” bored to tears, wondering why you ever moved here, there is nothing I can do for you. That’s about the time you buy a ticket to Disney World.