Winter Escape: St. Simons Island

King and Prince st simons island

The Road Trip section of my site is where I share our wonderings from the lovely city of St. Augustine, Florida {Viva St. Augustine! Viva!}  This post is from a writer's retreat to St. Simons Island. As much as I love the excitement that Nights of Lights brings to St. Augustine, by the end of December my soul longs for quiet- a bit of solitude- to both relish the truths of the Christmas season and recover from the fun! I recently slipped away to St. Simons Island and found a place that's as beautiful as St. Augustine but in a quieter, more genteel way. Historic The King … [Read more...]

St. Augustine featured in Huffington Post

st augustine in the news

As all the locals know, St. Augustine is a great place to live. In this part of my site, I share news articles from around the nation where our fair city has been featured. In this one, Huffington Post reblogs Fodor Travel's piece featuring St. Augustine as one of "10 Places to go this Winter". 10 Places To Go This Winter {excerpt} from HuffPo Travel Where: Florida Sometimes called the Nation’s Oldest City, St. Augustine is technically the country’s longest continually inhabited European settlement, having been founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers. Starting in … [Read more...]

Jacksonville’s M Shack – Burgers, Shakes and More

M Shack Milkshakes Jacksonville

We have a pretty big family and pretty big families shop at Costco. So we're in Jacksonville at the Town Center every other week or so. Any time I can arrange my shopping trip to also fit in a visit to M Shack, I do! Here are a few reasons why... starting with their hand-spun shakes: The Marshmallow Brulée Shake (small $4, large $5.25) does not have the bruléed flavor all throughout. That was a bit of a bummer for me, but the kiddos love the chocolate/vanilla shake with the bruléed marshmallow topping! All of M Shack's shakes are thick and ice creamily delicious. … [Read more...]

How to Survive a Road Trip with Dad

road trip dads way

Hubby & I love Road Trips… but we love them differently. I love to explore {thus the travel writer occupation & Simply St. Augustine blog}. Road trips are the perfect opportunity to discover something new!!! When we #RoadTrip my way, I research roadside attractions, parks and local restaurants along our route and we make the journey part of our vacation. It may take twice as long, but life is a journey, not a destination. Right? Hubby just wants to get there. He will tackle a 7 hour road trip with 1 potty stop. My thoughts? … [Read more...]

Smokin’ D’s BBQ

Smokin Ds BBQ StAugustine

There are BBQ places and then there are local haunts you'd never know about that close early some days because they only serve what is smoked fresh each day. Smokin' D's is the second kind of BBQ joint. Cash only. Take out only. Fresh only. Real, affordable, old-school BBQ. We had driven by "that BBQ place with the pink pig out front" dozens of times but never at dinner time. The perfect opportunity to visit came when we stayed at a nearby Crescent Beach Vacation Condo {review coming soon} and I decided beach time > cooking dinner. We ordered out, which was a good … [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...]

Palencia Pirate Ship Park

Palencia Pirate Ship Park

** UPDATE: Palencia's Pirate Ship Park is no longer home to this big, wooden ship. They've gone to a newer style play space ideal for younger children. ** Next time your kiddos are being crazy and you're tempted to tie 'em up & tell 'em to walk the plank, load them up instead and head to the Pirate Ship Playground at Palencia. This mixed use park offers something for everyone- from baby swings to ball fields.  It's about a mile into the Palencia development off US1 (before the gate) and there is a Starbucks on the corner of US1 & Palencia Village Drive! … [Read more...]

Ice Plant Bar – the coolest hangout in town

How to make large blocks of ice plant

Rough hewn plank walls.  Guys in suspenders & dolls with ruby red lips.  Everything made to order...  Step inside the new St. Augustine Bar Ice Plant Dining & Vintage Bar and experience how a drink should be made, how food should taste and why St. Augustine's dining scene is not about to cool off. I was in town for meetings and some work time.  Wi-Fi can be hard to find in St. Augustine, so I often end up at the library or Kookaburra Coffee to work.  But after The Florida Room's iced coffee in the afternoon, I decided to forego another dose of caffeine. Ended … [Read more...]