When we were planning this leg of the route (from Charleston to near-Tampa) we were looking for a good, several-day stopover so we didn’t have a brutal drive day. St. Augustine seemed like a good one…lots of history there, right? Some good homeschool social studies stuff. And…you know, gorgeous beach.
Somehow we lucked into 4 nights’ reservations at Anastasia State Park right on the coast. Florida State Parks (especially those with direct beach access) book up 11 months in advance, so snagging this one was miraculous…even though we did have to move sites one day in. We pull into our loop to find that our site was right next door to another Airstream. Score! As we were settling in the Airstream neighbors came over for a visit…instant friends. I know I say this a lot (do I?) but one of my MOST favorite parts of this journey has been meeting fabulous people. I digress. Anastasia State Park is GORGEOUS and I wish we would have been there an entire week.
After we biked to the beautiful beach that went on forever (of which I got exactly zero pictures) and played for a while, we went next door for a lovely Airstream Happy Hour.
The next day we went into town to hit up the Castillo de San Marcos to complete their Junior Ranger program and snag another badge. You might think…”seriously, another fort?” Yes. Another fort. And it rocked just as hard as the first 247 forts we’d seen. [OK, one of us is over forts. I’ll let you guess which one.]
After the Castillo we walked around town and very quickly became totally and completely smitten with it. The Spanish influence on the architecture, the walkability of all the cool stuff, the diverse population (that may or may not have just been tourists), the beautiful harbor full of sailboats with musical halyards, the quaint little side streets, the jaw dropping gorgeousness of Flagler College (dammit, why didn’t I go there!?!) and the icing on the cake was that the entire town was lit up with Christmas lights…EVERYWHERE. Smitten. Did NOT expect to love it as much as we did and we saw so little of it…so much more to see. We’ll be back St. Augustine.