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1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Ohio
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1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Hello all.

My husband and I will be in St. Augustine during Oct. 20-24. We will be staying at La Fiesta Ocean Inn and Suites. We would like to make the most of our stay. Can you help with a recommendation...

We would like to take a carriage ride. (Who is the best vendor?)

we would like to get a massage at a day spa in town (any recommendations)

We would like to rent bikes. (where do we go?)

We LOVE seafood... where to the locals go for the best seafood?

Best place to buy cool tshirts for our children :))))

Any MUST DO while we are there??? sailing, fishing, hiking, enchanted forest??

Thank you.. during our visit I will keep good notes and post them.. everyone here who has posted has been very helpful.

Thank you fellow Trip posters... :))))

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Oh, you are going to have the BEST time!

You don't even have to "look" for the carriages, they are all lined up on the bayfront right next to the Bridge of Lions. Just pick one and enjoy! The drivers give a great narration of the city's rich history.

There is a great place for shopping...St. Georges street! There are a few t-shirt shops there as well as any kind of souvinere you can imagine!

You should first go to the visitors center on San MArco. They are stocked full of brochures and coupn books, and suggestions.

You should take a tour of the Castillo De San Marco right there on the bayfront. (can't miss it) There are trolleys and sightseeing trains that take you all over the city at all their famous tourist attrations. You pay something like $18 for a ticket to ride on it for 3 consecutive days. It stops at approx. 20 places. They narrate as they drive you around. It sure beats having to find parking places when you want to go to another part of town.

There is a winery in St Augustine too. Very friendly folks there. A french pastry shop called DeNoels- We love that place! If you're a fan of Vera Bradley handbags, visit Among the Flowers near St Georges street. Columbia is a good restaurant, Harry's Seafood Bar and Grille is great.

Wow, I could go on and on... I hope you do post when you come back. I know you'll have a lovely time!!

new jersey
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2. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Well this is your lucky day. I lived in St. Augustine Florida for 13 years. With that said. The best seafood is Salt Water Cowbos on A1A in St. Augustine Beach. Or Schooners on Poncede Leon Blvd. North of town.

If you would like the best lunch sandwich in town. GO to Anne O"malleys on Orange street. Best Irish bar around and the best sandwiches you ever tasted.

For a fun time go to Gypsy Cab Comedy Club and Restaurant

Among others to be the best are The World Famous Oasis at the beach, Sunset Grille excellent dinner in a casusal atmosphere. Fine Dining Fiddlers Green in the heart of downtown St. AUgustine.

Carriage rides are all great directly on the bayfront. And for all of your T"shirts go to the historical district to St. George Street you will find everything. Definitely drive on the beaches if you have a car its breath taking.

IF you see a Muffler shop called Ricks on Poncede Leon blvd tell them DIANE miss all of them and St augustine

Ohio
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3. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Nickie623 and Diane

Thank you for your replys! Diane.. since you lived there can you help me with the massage therapist?

Nickie.. thank you for the tip on the visitor's center.. Coupons are always good :) I like the trolly ride deal.. and I LOVE WINE.. so thank you very much for that tip!

Diane.. thank you for the restuarant tips.. and the comedy club.. we were not aware of that!.. also We will remember Ricks Mufflers and make sure if we are not lost to say hello for you!

Thank you both! I just read a bad review about our hotel.. and I am a little nervous... do you know La fiesta?? We like to be near ocean but want a heated pool.. and cleanliness is very important :)

Thank you both! We will post soon :)

Cincinnati, Ohio
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215 posts
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4. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

I wouldn't be nervous at all about La Fiesta. I have stayed at this property, but it was a longggg time ago. I just read the reviews for this place and I would keep my reservations just the same. If you really want to be on the ocean and have a heated pool, this is a great place to stay.

I always stay in the historic area because of it's charm, but as far as ocean front hotels...you picked a good one. (I also use to live in St Augustine.)

If you ever decide to stay in the historic area, try "The Cozy Inn" Suites or the Inn at Camachee Harbour" They are lovely suites for the same price of La Fiesta. No pool, but they make up for it They both have websites with pictures of their suites and have great hospitality among the staff/owners. I believe the Inn at Camachee has a salon/spa on the property.

St. Augustine FL
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5. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Inn at Comanchee is not in the historic district-you would have to drive into the historic district from here - it is near the bridge to Vilano Beach. Fiddlers Green is on Vilano Beach NOT in the historic district and I would read the reviews before eating there. Also Harry's -

better read the reviews - there are 10 reviews - six are bad ones. When they ahve that many bad reviews, something is wrong ! AIA is excellent seafood in the historic district - right on the bayfront. Full of locals.

A good salon with wonderful massage, etc. is Small Indulgences - very professional and right in the historic district.

They also have a complimentary pick up service from your hotel to the spa and back again.

There are two carriage companies - either is fine - $20.00 per person for an hour's ride (with other people in the carriage). The trick on the bayfront is to get into the front seat of a carriage as they will put at least four other people in the carriage with you and if you are in the back (3rd seat) you won't be able to hear the driver. Wait for the front seat. Unless you wish a private carriage ride for two - $85.00-for an hour's ride at the Bayfront also near the fort.

Rent bikes and cycles at Solano Cycle on San Marco.

I don't understand why people book at places first and then look at the reviews on them.

I think if any restaurant, or hotel, motel, b&B has more BAD reviews than good ones, one should steer clear!!!!

Just a gentle reminder to all planning to visit St. Augustine (or any place) to check ALL the titles of previous forums as most of this information is out there many, many times already.

I like the B & B's in the historic district which include wonderful breakfasts, front porches, ambiance, walk to all, and are MUCH cleaner than most hotels. I am a clean freak-hotels do not compare. Some have kitchennettes also, etc. etc. etc.

Check out previous forums on St. Augustine for things to do that are popular. Have fun!

Cincinnati, Ohio
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6. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

"Sailing on By"

I wish you all the best on your trip to St. Augustine. You've had a handfull of good tips. Maybe when you come back. you can give your own reviews.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me directly. St Augustine is my favorite place! Nickiewallace@hotmail.com

St Augustine
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7. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Sailing on By, I ama local resident so I will try to give you that insight. if you are going to be for a short trip, especially during this period, you should consider the B&Bs downtown. Parking(or lack of parking, I should say!) is a real experience downtown and if you stay at the B&Bs there you can park your car and never even need it during your stay! The price difference is minimal if you are a good shopper and consider parking fees and breakfast costs. Also, it sounds like you are looking for a romantic trip and most of the B&Bs will be nicer than the La Fiesta for the ambience. Some of them have packages which include carriage rides and massages, too!

Fall is a lovely time here....some of the downtown restaurants will be having Octoberfest menus and special events. The weather will hopefully be a touch cooler!

The Columbia is nice, McKnight's Irish Public House, Old City House. WE had the best shrimp we have ever had at McKNights. There are nice t-shirt stores on St George Street and on the plaza streets there(Cathedral and King Street). You can rent Kayaks at the Anastasia State Park and take the most serene trip into beautiful waters you have ever had right there. Nature at it's best! the nicest couple runs the rentals there--the beach is lovely, too, and much nicer than the beach near the La Fiesta. You will not even see any buildings there at the Anastasia Park--it is very old Florida and unspoiled.

Ohio
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68 posts
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8. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Thank you to everyone!!... I will keep good notes and pass on when we return.. Thank you Mahoney for the spa and bike places.. We have printed all the discussions in the forums

(well at least most of them!) and will plan our visit well. Charlesfood thank you for the kayak rental tip.. we love the water and kayaking! so we will definetly be doing that. Nickie.. again thanks for the personal invite to write. We are so excited..

Thank you to all!

Sailing...

St. Augustine, FL
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9. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Hi, Sailing On By...one place that was not mentioned is the Fort Matanzas National Park about 10-15 miles straight down A1A. It is older than the Castillo. The Fort itself is on Rattlesnake Island, and a boat at the park takes you over for free (with donations welcomed. Hours are from 9-5, not sure about weekends. It is a lovely view at the top!

My husband and I live in St. Aug. Beach, and wanted to get married there, back in 1996, but it was closed with the government shut-down stuff, and besides, they don't allow weddings in National Parks..We should have just snuck in!

Have fun! Cristie

Just outside of...
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10. Re: 1st visit need your recommendations.. thank you

Hi, we just returned from St Augustine this past weekend. (We Live in Ohio too) When we went there 2 years ago, We stayed at the LaFiesta our first 2 nights. It was bare basics and kind of run down. We didn't have reservation and were exhausted from our drive and needed a place to stay. The pool was freezing. My children (now 9, 6 and 6) wouldn't stay in it. Check out the Casa del mar in Vilano Beach. That is where we stayed this time. We had a king bed with a queen sleepersofa that worked fine for us. Also we got a room on the first floor with a large patio at the pool. This place was outstanding. Also they have a full breakfast every morning including omlets bacon etc. that is comp. In the evening, they also had wine/beer and cheese comp. I can't say enough about this place but I can see why it was voted #1 by travelocity. The prices were not bad at all. Traffic is not as conjested going to Vilano beach from town. Also make sure you do a ghost tour. We had alot of fun with that. Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!