New ways to experience fun on Florida’s Historic Coast
With more than 455 Years of history, there are innumerable ways to experience the storied past of St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches.
The City of St. Augustine boasts more than 25 intimate inns and historic boutique hotels with a wide range of options. Two new hotels opened this past year: the Renaissance St. Augustine Historic Downtown, which was built to replicate the historic San Sebastian Hotel of the 1800s and the Homewood Suites by Hilton, which is located on the banks of the San Sebastian River.
Boutique hotels and inns have gone techie! Guy Harvey Resort St. Augustine Beach is the latest lodging property in the area to offer contact-free guest services and mobile keys ensuring safe and secure on-site experiences. At The Local Inn, checking in is anything but vintage at this mid-century 21-room inn located near Anastasia State Park and historic downtown St. Augustine. It is all digital, even the bicycles. The Bayfront Marin House B&B was among the first to achieve this digital trend with their in-room digital concierge “Angie,” programmed with information about Bayfront Marin House and important area information.
Fun times can be had by the sea at the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort, one of the few Embassy Suites Resorts in the chain, which recently completed a new wing adding more than 40 rooms to the resort.
The Collector Luxury Inn and Gardens is now offering private lessons to guests to learn the art of craft cocktails. Also, with every two-night stay booking The Collector provides guests a $25 gas card to help fuel their St. Augustine adventure.
Other hotels set to open in the months ahead include the Hilton Garden Inn St. Augustine Historic and the Hyatt Place Resort on Vilano Beach.
Learn and explore
A new water shuttle service, Dolphin Bay Scenic Water Shuttle, provides daily shuttle services across the Matanzas Bay between St. Augustine Municipal Marina and Vilano Beach. The shuttle provides visitors with a scenic trip across the bay while learning more about the area’s natural environment and historic culture.
Enjoy magic and mind reading experiences in a boutique showroom at the Casa Monica Resort & Spa. Indulge in a complimentary cocktail in the opulent Cobalt Lounge before being ushered into the Magic Hideaway, where Master Magician Bill Abbott will host an intimate performance of sleight of hand.
This summer visitors to the oldest city will be able to enjoy participating in an architectural tour with Genteel & Bard walking tours. St. Augustine’s newest tour will provide participants with a guided walk-through history, focusing on the architectural beauty and the stories behind some of the area’s most significantly important buildings. The guides on these tours wear a microphone so you can hear loud and clear through your complimentary souvenir earbuds.
There is more magic: Take a night time kayak adventure that showcases a natural phenomenon, bioluminescence created by billions of jelly combs and dinoflagellates in the night-time waters of Guana Lake. The local outfitter GeoTrippin Adventure Company offers an exclusive night-time paddle on the lake where paddlers can experience this fascinating show on select dates throughout the year.
As home to the PGA Tour, TPC Sawgrass, host to The PLAYERS Championship and the World Golf Hall of Fame, St. Augustine l Ponte Vedra Beach has often been referred to as the golf mecca. The latest news is that The PXG Women’s Match Play Championship, an event on the East Coast Women’s Pro Golf Tour, returns to the World Golf Village October 30-November 6
Now America’s fastest growing sport, pickleball is also taking the sports stage on Florida’s Historic Coast. To accommodate this easy to learn and a fun competitive sport, courts all over the area are adapting to accommodate play and competitions. The Yards at Ponte Vedra Beach is a one-of-a-kind sports complex for golf, tennis and more, with an emphasis on pickleball.
All is well on Florida’s Historic Coast
Great retreats and pampering moments help keep your getaway to St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches refreshing. The spas at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort, the Casa Monica Resort & Spa and several of the day spas in the area have provided rejuvenating experiences for visitors. Now there are even more opportunities for visitors to experience a healthful retreat. The Bayfront Marin House Inn St. Augustine offers summertime guests a new Wellness Retreat Package where at check-in the refreshing begins with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to prepare for the in-room couples massage.
Tasty new experiences
Walk the streets of St. Augustine and you can find lots of tasty cool treats. Tedi’s Ice Cream, which has been a favorite on St. George Street since the 1960s, along with modern treats like Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops, the eclectic Peace Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches on Aviles Street, Cousteau’s Waffle and Milkshake Bar and Mayday Handcrafted Ice Cream on Hypolito Street – each offers yummy hand-crafted cool tastes. Mayday Handcrafted Ice Creams, named in honor of some innovative Americans who served our country in World War II, have opened their ninth Mayday location (Midtown).
There are great new food tour offerings here, too. The St. Augustine Experiences Tours has added two new tours: The St. Augustine Historic Tour, focusing on history and architecture, and the new Dining at Twilight, an evening culinary experience t. And The Tasting Tours has also added some really fun themed tours including the Shiver Me Timbers Swashbuckling Cocktail Tour and the St. Augustine Sangria Stroll.
Getting here in 2022 is even easier
Florida’s Historic Coast remains an easy access drive destination. There is also great air service available via Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), approximately 50 minutes north of St. Augustine and Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) approximately 50 minutes to the south. Both airports are served by all major airline carriers.