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Location confusion

Sunrise, FL
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Location confusion

My gf and I (neither older than 31) are going to be in town for about a day (Sunday thru Monday) before heading up to Savannah and we want to hit some of the good spots (i.e. Castillo de San Marcos, Fountain of Youth, maybe Ripley's, Pirate Museum, etc.). Unfortunately, we are really confused on where is a good area to stay in to see these sights (i.e. downtown, historical district, by the beach, etc.). Any help will be appreciated.

Also, in that short span of time (say early morning 9a on Sunday, until Monday around noon(ish)) what is logical to be able to see and enjoy during that time?

Neptune Beach, FL
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1. Re: Location confusion

Hi,

-Any of those places where you choose to stay will be just fine. If you stay in the historic district you can leave your car parked and walk to everything. If you stay at the beach, you will drive in to town, park your car at a meter, and then walk to everything. If you take the trolley tour, you can use the trolley for transportation from one place to another (although the trolley isn't a very time efficient form of transportation inasmuch as you may have to wait 20 minutes for a trolley to show up or wait longer if that first trolley is already full.)

-It is highly recommended to take the trolley tour first, and go all the way around before you get off to see something. The trolley tours give a super orientation to Saint Augustine and it's history! The tickets are good for three days and the trolley goes past everything you mentioned and most of the rest of what Saint Augustine offers.

-Just a comment on what you are thinking of seeing... The 'Fountain of Youth' is pretty 'light weight'...

I thought The Old Jail was interesting place to visit. It's frequently bypassed by visitors.

Enjoy your visit! You're coming to a great place!

Spirit

Edinburgh, Scotland
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for Garda, Lake Garda
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2. Re: Location confusion

Hi, I agree with Spirit that the trolley tour is a great way to start so that you can decide what to go back to to explore more fully.

I also agree that the Fountain of Youth is "light-weight". I can't say that I'm a fan of Ripley's either, especially when there are so many other attractions!

If I only had one day I would visit sites like the Castillo, the Spanish Quarter Museum, the Dow Museum of Historic Homes, the Lightner Museum, The Oldest House Museum and, if time allowed, the St Augustine Lighthouse.

Everyone's taste is different though. The problem with St Augustine is that there is so much to see, it is difficult to decide what to include and what to leave out!

Edited: 26 January 2012, 10:19
St. Augustine, FL
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for St. Augustine
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3. Re: Location confusion

Downtown and the Historic District are almost the same thing. If you stay in the Historic District you will be able to walk to everything. If you stay at the beach then I would suggest driving to the Old Jail and buying a trolley ticket there. You can leave your car there all day (included in the price of the trolley ticket).

Sunrise, FL
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4. Re: Location confusion

Gotcha. So downtown and the historic district are about the same thing. Thanks!

Seems like most everyone is suggesting the trolley ticket. I presume Sundays and Mondays are really a busy time, correct?

In terms of walking places versus the trolley, is that worth it? Are we talkin walking a couple miles to each destination (from another)? Just trying to gauge what would be more worthwhile.

Any other suggestions on what is a "must see?"

PS Thank you all for your help!

St. Augustine, FL
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5. Re: Location confusion

Here's my official disclaimer (which you can see in my profile) I'm the office manager for the St. Francis Inn. That being said...we are in the southernmost part of the Historic District and it is about 1 mile to the City Gates which are the northernmost part and across the street from the Castillo. The great thing about the trolley is that it gives you a complete overview in about an hour - then you can either walk or ride back to the attractions you most want to see. We always recommend the Castillo de San Marcos, Flagler College (was built as a hotel in the 1880's and they have great tours), and the Oldest House Museum. All are on the trolley ride and have stops right in front of them. I would also recommend the Pirate Museum (for fun!) and Ripley's and if you had to skip something you could skip Ripley's. The Fountain of Youth is also something you can see when you have more time.

Neptune Beach, FL
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6. Re: Location confusion

Saint Augustine is small and very compact.

Places where you want to go in and spend more time may be a block or two apart, or may be next door to each other.

Take the trolley tour all the way around first, and then just walk.

Spirit

st augustine, fl
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7. Re: Location confusion

The Spanish Colonial Quarter is closed. It is open for school groups and on certain 'market weekends' to the public. I personally skip the trolley tour and buy one of the walking maps with 5 'walks' on it. If you stay in the center of town, it is a 5 minute or less walk to the fort, Ripley's, and Flagler. The Fountain of Youth was lightweight, but now as the 450th approaches, they are the only ones with their act together. They have hired many of the reenactors from the Spanish Quarter and are focusing on education. They will be building a boathouse for the replica ship that will be built. Many times there are reenactments that take place there because it's the only sizable plot of open land in private hands in St. Augustine. And they fire their 16th century cannon every hour during the day.

Sunrise, FL
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8. Re: Location confusion

Outstanding! Thank you all for the tips! We are both looking forward to starting our vacation (long overdue, but arent they all) in St. Augustine. As time gets closer to our arrival, I am sure Ill be bugging you all with more questions! In the meantime, I appreciate the info and feel free to submit more!

Pickens, South...
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9. Re: Location confusion

The Spanish Colonial Quarter is closed?? Isn't this one of the main historic attractions in St. Augustine? We're coming next week and that was high on my list of to dos.

Also, after doing the trolley to get an overview would it be good to do one of the group wallking tours or just strike out on our own?

Edinburgh, Scotland
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10. Re: Location confusion

Thanks for the updated information on the Spanish Quarter, capnconrad. I was in St Augustine in October last year and saw that it was closed, but I was assured it would soon be re-opening as normal.

It sounds as if the Spanish Quarter's loss is the Fountain of Youth's gain!

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