Sail Away on Schooner Freedom

Since 1565, St. Augustine has been a seafaring town. The fort, the cross, the lighthouse, the Bridge of Lions and the low, beautiful skyline of the Historic District are all uniquely appreciated from the water. Since 2001, one St. Augustine water tour has sailed beyond the rest- the premier tall ship Freedom. I've heard it said that a good Cap'n keeps a tight ship. By these standards, Captain Jon is a fine man. His crew is friendly and playful yet respectful. The Freedom is clean and orderly and everything is in its proper place. Once the ship is underway, the … [Read more...]

Be Still

St Augustine Beach Meme

When we spent the week at Crescent Beach, I went down 2 days early for a writer's retreat and some quiet time. I didn't realize how much I needed the rest until I was there, had deeply breathed the salty air... and slept. And slept. And slept. Sometimes I can be so busy doing, I forget to just be. Sunday morning, I strolled along the beach. I savoured the waves rushing in and swirling around my ankles {my favorite feeling in the world!} and basked in the beauty that surrounded me. I wasn't actively praying so much as I was resting in God's goodness. For the … [Read more...]

Coquina Condos at Crescent Beach

crescent beach fl

Even though we live 20 minutes from the ocean, we are not beach regulars. Getting there is the first problem... try packing a picnic lunch, floaties, hats & towels then sunscreening up six excited kids. It's no small task, I assure you! That's only the beginning of the effort, though. Bringing six sandy kids home can cause heart failure for the inexperienced! (car, bathing suits, house... SO.MUCH.SAND!!) Add on top of that the fact that I have six of the whitest children on the First Coast- one who burns just walking to the car and we have reasons to limit our trips to … [Read more...]

Summer Staycation Idea: Find the BEST Beach in St Augustine!

31 Days Best Beach in St Augustine

Simply St. Augustine hosted a writing & photography contest as part of our 31 Days of Summer in St. Augustine series... it was so much fun seeing the work that local students sent in! All the photos in today's post were shot by student photographers- feel free to comment with your encouragement. I'm so proud of them! St. Johns County boasts over 40 miles of coastline and although they're all in one county, our beaches do have distinct personalities. So that begs the question... What is the best beach in St. Augustine? We have beaches so packed with shells you … [Read more...]

Fountain of Youth

Fountain of Youth St Augustine

A 2 story globe. 15 waterfront acres. 30 peacocks. 500 years of documented history. 600 foot observation dock. St. Augustine's Fountain of Youth Park is a surprisingly refreshing stop if you know what you're diving in to! Our family is enjoying "staycationing" in our hometown this summer. Perks come with staycations... like knowing the summer weather patterns! We visited the Fountain of Youth one afternoon and timed it so we'd spend the rainy part of the afternoon in the 2 inside attractions. The first is the Navigator's Planetarium where a peacock tried to … [Read more...]

Crave Food Truck – Fresh, Healthy and Waterfront!

St Augustine Food truck Crave

I happened upon another St. Augustine hidden gem last week... CRAVE Food Truck! They buy all their veggies at local farmers markets, whip up smoothies, build-your-own-salads, sandwiches and wraps to order and they have picnic tables on the water. locally grown food + waterfront views = awesome food truck! I'm newly gluten-free and while CRAVE doesn't offer gluten free bread for sandwiches (too crumbly), they do make a gorgeous, filling salad! I topped my local greens with shredded carrots, red peppers, candied nuts, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, red cabbage... as my … [Read more...]

Moses Creek Conservation Area

St Augustine Nature Preserve

St. Augustine boasts well over 25,000 acres of public lands- it's an incredible place to enjoy nature and take in The Real Florida.  While playgrounds like the Carousel Park and downtown's SWING park are easy to spot, the nature preserves are often harder to find.  When you do see them, it's hard to tell if they're worth visiting.  We'd driven past Moses Creek Conservation Area dozens of times before we stopped for a hike. The small parking lot off SR 206 is unassuming but the 2,173 acres tucked away there give you the opportunity to explore seven distinct habitats and … [Read more...]

Stokes Landing Conservation Area

Stokes Landing Observation Tower

You would never stumble on this conservation area.  The only people hiking Stokes Landing are locals or those who tracked down a hike with a view of the marsh.  It's a St. Augustine nature walk with a surprise at the end of the hike. Located near the St. Augustine Regional Airport, Stokes Landing Conservation Area is 277 acres - largely scrubby wetlands- managed by the St. Johns River Water Management District.  The trail is wide but not always smooth.  Roots to trip over, fallen branches and wet, muddy ground made this a messy hike for our littles. Still, there were … [Read more...]