While just about any day is a perfect one for a horse and buggy tour of St. Augustine, these gorgeous fall days are absolutely blissful! We climbed into a Southern Carriages buggy for a 45 minute tour a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed a ride narrated with history, local lore and lots of laughs.
Clara thought she was in a parade- she waved at every car that passed until she fell asleep in her Daddy’s arms. Sweet memories!
All horse drawn carriages in St. Augustine follow the same basic route agreed upon with the city. Drivers have some flexibility- especially during downtown construction- in the path they choose but mostly customize the tours by tailoring the stories they tell to your likes.
Being a local, we usually recognize the difference between truths and yarns. If you’re interested in history, I suggest you let your guide know early on so they clarify which accounts are true (the burning of St. Augustine multiple times) and which are tall tales (soldiers removing cannon balls from the walls of the fort & immediately firing back at attacking ships… the cannon balls were removed from walls but were not reused). Whether you’re fascinated by historical accounts, ghosts, celebrities or architecture your guide will likely know some tidbits to pepper into the guided tour!
The St. Augustine horse-drawn carriages are ideal for 2 or 4 people but some of Southern Carriages’ larger cabs can squeeze in extras- especially young children. I think it’s helpful to know ahead of time that you should expect additional costs with more passengers.
We drive through St. Augustine’s historic streets all the time. But slowing down and viewing from the carriage opened my eyes to beautiful architecture that I’ve overlooked countless times.
The final stretch of the tour is along the bayfront. Looking out over the recently widened promenade south of the Bridge of Lions reminded me of St. Augustine’s Flagler Era when everything was beautifully built as a wealthy winter playground for Northerners.
Cool breezes blew off the water and the horse continued his familiar route, maintaining a smooth, even gait. The road on this stretch isn’t cobbled so the only bumps I experienced were from the baby boy kicking and hiccuping in my womb. I looked around the carriage at my hubby and children and whispered a prayer of thanks. Thanks, Lord, for knitting our family together. Thank You, Lord, for another beautiful memory. Thanks, Lord, for Florida sunshine and breezes and for life.
Life can be crazy & hard but life is beautiful. Enjoy today!
Southern Carriage Tours
Reservations suggested. Climb aboard along the bayfront near the fort.