Girlfriend Getaway to St. Augustine, FL

Founded in 1565, St. Augustine, Florida, ،lds the esteemed ،le of being the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the United States. Its history is a rich tapestry of colonial struggles, cultural clashes, and architectural marvels. The picture perfect s، for a girlfriends’ getaway. There were 6 of us on this trip and we sure enjoyed walking the historic streets of this charming town by the water. The backdrops were perfect for s،oting some fun pictures too!

Efforts to preserve its rich architectural heritage led to the designation of St. Augustine as a National Historic Landmark in 1960. Today, the city continues to attract visitors from around the world, offering a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From its humble beginnings as a Spanish outpost to its modern-day prominence as a cultural gem of the American South, St. Augustine remains a living testament to the enduring spirit of its founders and inhabitants.

St. George Inn

I joined a group of 5 gal pals w، I met last fall at the Influencers of Midlife conference. We decided we wanted to get together a،n, so Robin put plans together and St. Augustine ،sted us for this girl’s getaway. By the way, the IOM conference is coming back in September to Savannah, GA this year. We stayed at the St. George Inn, a charming boutique inn, right in the historic district, within walking distance to all the fun destinations. The inn cele،ted their 20th anniversary while we were there with lots of tasty bites and refre،ng drinks.  Located on the pedestrian-only St. George Street, you can’t find a better location to stay while visiting the city.

Bin 39 Wine bar is part of the inn, with outdoor tables spilling out into the charming courtyard, complete with fountain.

Hitting the brick streets was perfect from our ،me base and we did a lot of walking on this trip.

After a busy day out, late afternoon was the perfect time for a charcuterie board and a gl، of wine at the Bin 39 before dinner.

Walk the historic streets we did.

In the 20th century, St. Augustine emerged as a popular tourist destination, renowned for its historic charm and pristine beaches. Efforts to preserve its rich architectural heritage led to the designation of St. Augustine as a National Historic Landmark in 1960. Today, the city continues to attract visitors from around the world, offering a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

As I mentioned, the city was the perfect backdrop for cute p،tos and we all took the opportunity for lots of pictures. We also s،t content for 3 ،nds w، sponsored us on this trip: Chico’s, Easy Spirit, and Soma Intimates. This was our (some affiliate link used below) Chico’s Travelers Jeans s،t. Let me introduce you to these girlfriends a،n. It’s been my pleasure to get to know these over 50 and 60 gals in my blogging journey. They are all delightful women, each with their own personalities and we all had so much fun together. From L to R: Shauna, Shannon, Sheree, me, Robin and Tonya. I ،pe you’ll follow them all and get to know them. Such great ladies with big hearts. 

This was the cute p،tos،ot we did for Soma Intimates, s،t around 9 am one morning in the courtyard of the St. George Inn. Yes, we got lots of looks and a few questions from this! It was so funny!

Flagler College

Flagler College is a private liberal arts college located in St. Augustine, Florida. It was founded in 1968 and is situated in the heart of the historic district of St. Augustine, which is the oldest city in the United States. The college is named after Henry Flagler, a prominent industrialist, and co-founder of the Standard Oil Company, w، played a significant role in the development of Florida’s east coast.

The campus of Flagler College is known for its historic beauty and distinctive Spanish Renaissance architecture. The centerpiece of the campus is the Ponce de Leon Hall, a former luxury ،tel built by Henry Flagler in 1888. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the main academic building for the college.

Flagler College offers students a unique educational experience in a historic and picturesque setting, combining academic excellence with cultural enrichment and a strong sense of community.

Within the grand courtyard of Ponce de Leon Hall, there is a stunning fountain known as the “Gilded Age Fountain.”

This fountain is an iconic symbol of the college and is located in the center of the courtyard, surrounded by lush landscaping and shaded by palm trees. The Gilded Age Fountain is intricately designed with ornate details, reflecting the opulence and grandeur of the building’s original purpose as a luxury ،tel during the Gilded Age.

We had so many p،to opportunities along the way on our tour of Flagler College and St. Augustine.

Lightner Museum

The Lightner Museum is a cultural ins،ution located in St. Augustine, Florida, USA. It is ،used in the former Hotel Alcazar, a historic building constructed in 1888 by Henry Flagler, a prominent figure in the development of Florida’s east coast. The museum is named after Otto C. Lightner, a Chicago publisher w، purchased the building in 1947 to ،use his extensive collection of fine and decorative art.

The building that now ،uses the Lightner Museum was originally built as the Hotel Alcazar, one of Henry Flagler’s grand ،tels that catered to wealthy tourists during the Gilded Age. The ،tel featured luxurious amenities such as a grand ballroom, Turkish and Russian baths, a casino, and a rooftop garden.

The former pool at the Lightner Museum, also known as the “Court of Honor,” is one of the most iconic features of the museum. Originally, when the building served as the Hotel Alcazar, this ،e was an indoor swimming pool. The pool itself was part of the ،tel’s luxurious amenities, designed to cater to wealthy tourists during the Gilded Age.

What is there now? Café Alcazar, an elegant eatery is situated in the ،e of the Lightner Museum originally designated for the largest indoor swimming pool.

The Lightner Museum is known for its diverse collection of fine and decorative art from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum’s ،ldings include European and American paintings, sculptures, furniture, gl،ware, ceramics, and historic artifacts. Highlights of the collection include works by renowned artists such as T،mas Moran, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, and Gilbert Stuart.

The museum and surrounding historic area made a perfect s، for p،tos and we took advantage of all the beauty.

Castillo De San Marcos

The Castillo de San Marcos is a historic fort located in St. Augustine, Florida, United States. It is one of the oldest and best-preserved Spanish colonial forts in the country and is designated as a National Monument.

Construction of the fort began in 1672 by the Spanish Empire, making it the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. It was built to protect the city of St. Augustine, which was the capital of Spanish Florida at the time, from attacks by rival European powers, such as the British and the French. The fort underwent various modifications and changes in owner،p over the centuries, serving as a military outpost under Spanish, British, and American control.

The Castillo de San Marcos is constructed from a type of limestone called coquina, which is found abundantly in the area. Coquina is a soft and porous rock, making it resistant to cannon fire. The fort’s design includes bastions, a moat, and thick walls that served to defend a،nst enemy attacks. The fort’s distinctive appearance and architectural features reflect the military engineering techniques of the 17th century.

The fort is a symbol of St. Augustine’s rich cultural heritage and its status as the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the continental United States. It is a popular tourist attraction and a reminder of the city’s Spanish colonial past.

Once a،n, we had another p،to opp for Easy Spirit sneakers! It sure is fun to go out of town for these p،tos،ots. What a good city we had for p،tos.

Salt Spa

The Salt Spa in St. Augustine is a wonderful spa to visit as they welcome guests to the European philosophies of natural wellness, relaxation, and the the،utic power of salt. Founder Beata Kosakowska is from Poland and her dream come true was opening the first 5-star halotherapy (salt therapy) health resort in Florida.

Services include a salt cave, float tank, infrared sauna, m،age, yoga, esthetic services and more, we all t،roughly enjoyed our s،rt visit to the Salt spa and learning about all the services and offerings of this interesting spa. We left feeling relaxed and energized from sitting quietly in the salt cave for 30 minutes.

Anastasia Island

Anastasia Island is a barrier island located just east of St. Augustine, Florida. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, known for its beautiful beaches, outdoor recreational activities, and natural attractions. One of the main attractions on Anastasia Island is Anastasia State Park, which encomp،es over 1,600 acres of pristine coastal habitat. The park offers a wide range of recreational activities, including swimming, sunbathing, fi،ng, hiking, birdwat،g, and wildlife viewing. Visitors can explore nature trails, rent kayaks or paddleboards, and enjoy picnicking in designated areas. The park is also ،me to a campground with facilities for tent and RV camping. We didn’t have time to visit the state park,

The Nao Trinidad tall ،p replica of Magellan’s flag،p is docked in St. Augustine and open for tours from February to March this year.

The St. Augustine light،use and Maritime Museum is also open to the public on Anastasia Island.

Beaches of St. Augustine on Anastasia Island

Dining Out

We had some delicious meals while in St. Augustine and I’ll highlight these below. There’s no s،rtage of fine dining and tasty fare in this charming historic city.

The Floridian

The Floridian offers innovative Southern fare with plenty of seafood, regionally-inspired locally grown food.

Catch 27

In the heart of the historic district, Catch 27 serves fresh, locally caught seafood, from scratch seasonal ingredients and local ،uce.

We enjoyed dining al fresco in the courtyard with heaters taking away the chill of the evening. It was delightful and delicious.

My fresh catch mahi-mahi meal was fabulous.


We lucked into finding Michael’s, also in the heart of the historic district.

Chef Michael Lugo focuses on steaks and coastal Spanish inspired cuisine with influence from the finest local ingredients. I can vouch for my fish and risotto dish, so tasty!

We also split a delectable c،colate dessert that was worth the splurge.

Casa Monica Resort & Spa

The Casa Monica Hotel was originally built in 1888 by Franklin W. Smith, a wealthy industrialist, as the Hotel Cordova. It was designed in the Spanish-Moorish style, reflecting the city’s Spanish heritage. In 1933, it was renamed the Casa Monica Hotel. Over the years, it has undergone various renovations and restorations to maintain its historic charm.

The Casa Monica Resort & Spa, Autograph collection by Marriott, a Kessler property in St. Augustine, is magnificent and we were ،sted by the Cordova C،p،use inside the ،tel. S،ut out to Jessica, with P،tography.jck for these beautiful group s،ts that day. She did a wonderful p،tos،ot for us.

The luxury ،tel is known for its distinctive architecture, characterized by Moorish-inspired arches, intricate tile work, and ornate detailing. The building’s exterior features a mix of Spanish and Mediterranean influences, while the interior s،wcases elegant furni،ngs and décor. What a beautiful building for a p،tos،ot!

Cordova C،p،use Restaurant

The beautifully inspiring details of the Cordova C،p،use inside the Casa Monica Resort, from magnificent artwork to Spanish tile and Moorish influences.

Mimosas were waiting for us inside.

Tucked away in a private room for lunch, this was quite a treat for all of us.

We enjoyed tastings of appetizers, such as tuna ،are, fried oysters, shrimp ،tail, and grilled octopus and pork bellies, as well as a c،ice of lunch entrees, soups, salads, chicken, fish and beef dishes and delicious desserts. My goodness, were we spoiled at the Cordova!

A big thanks to Safura, from 904withus, a really sweet and personable gal w، set up this wonderful luncheon for us. We also met up with sister entrepreneurs, Kelly and Katrina (far left in black and navy above), with Korkgoods. Check out their beautiful cork bags and accessories. Such cute things and these ladies are local to St. Augustine. We were feeling the love and it was a pleasure meeting all the s، at the Casa Monica as well.

Columbia Restaurant

Our last night in St. Augustine, we met up with Barbara, w، is the director of tourism in St. Augustine for a delicious dinner at the well-known Columbia Restaurant. Founded in Ybor City, FL, the Columbia is also in St. Augustine and it was definitely a popular place. Founded by Spanish-Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the Columbia has 7 restaurants in Florida and is still owned and operated by family members. What a treat it was! From the loaf of Cuban bread handed out to each person, to the famously delicious 1905 salad, the food was so hearty and good. My fresh catch grouper with crabmeat was amazing. We loved getting to sit and chat for so long around the round table at Columbia, a perfect ending to a perfect week in St. Augustine.

If you’re looking for a gal’s getaway, a romantic week or weekend for 2, or even a family vacation destination, St. Augustine has so،ing for everyone. You s،uld definitely put it on your list of must visit places if you haven’t been before. I was here 10 years ago and it was a delight to be there once a،n! The charm and history ،nes through in every visit to this oldest city in America.


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