St. Augustine, Florida – Relaxing Week-End

I just returned from a relaxing week-end in St. Augustine. Two of my friends from Church and myself had made reservations a while back at the Super 8 Motel ($79.00 per night). Our reservations were made before Hurricane Mathew had came through, so when it came time to go, we were somewhat worried how our trip would go.

st-augustineFrom the news and many people’s photos, we knew that the area we were going to had been flooded. Once we got there, we were pleasantly surprised at how much clean-up had already been done. You actually could not tell that just a couple of weeks ago, everything had been under-water.

We arrived on a Friday evening, went straight to our motel and checked in. The motel was very nice and clean. Beds were very comfortable. The only complaint we had was the smell in the rooms was not to our liking. My friend had brought along some air fresheners, which is something I had never thought about taking on a trip. Once those were put out, everything was just perfect. I know that I will add this to my list for taking on trips from now on.

After checking in, we decided to run to the grocery store and get some coffee we liked, coffee creamer and sugar. We bought the little packets of Maxwell House coffee that you can use in the single server coffee pots they put in Motel rooms, now. All we had to do, was open their little packets and use the disposable tray they are in. You can use that tray over and over. This allowed us to make our own coffee without leaving our room. We had already brought a cooler packed with lunch meat, drinks and condiments. We also had bags with snacks in them also. So, back to the room we go.

After unloading the car, we walked across to the beach to look for sharks teeth. Another new experience for myself. We stayed out there till dark and then returned to the motel. We took baths, ate and played a card game till 2:00 in the morning. A great way to end our first night at the beach.

Saturday, we all arose, got dressed and went to the light house. One of my friends had already climbed it before and my other friend wanted to do it. I had never climbed it either and was kind of dreading it. I didn’t know if I could make it, but I did and bought the shirt that says I made it as a reward. After our conquering this feat we decided to visit Old Town. This area had been flooded also, but most of it had already been repaired. We spent almost all day, walking and shopping there. We grabbed a hamburger at one of the local shops. A little expensive, but not bad tasting. Everyone knows when you eat at a place like that, prices will be a little higher then normal. It was the only meal we bought while there, so we really couldn’t complain.

On returning to the Motel, we walked to the beach again, to look for sharks teeth. One of my friends and I decided to walk out on the pier (which cost $1.00 apiece). While we were in the little store there, we found out it only cost $3.00 to fish from the pier if you brought your own fishing poles or you could even rent a pole from them. Very nice man that runs the pier shop.
Their are benches all along the pier for setting on, so we sat and talked awhile while watching all the birds, boats and people around us. Some people were surfing, some playing in the water, some fishing and some just laying out enjoying the sun. We watched a few shrimp boats, not close enough to really see how they were doing.

When we returned to the motel that night we showered, ate sandwiches and went straight to bed. We all were exhausted.

Next and last day, we awoke, dressed, packed everything up and drove over to the beach. We were fairly early, so we were able to get a pretty good parking place right by some picnic tables. We walked to the beach, again looking for shark teeth. I had one friend that had found a lot, another friend found a few. I Had found 2. You really have to develop and eye for finding them. It’s not easy. We continued this till about 1:30 and then returned to the picnic table and had a picnic before we left.

Our vacation was done on a budget that almost any body can afford. I hope you like our story and might get some ideas, even if St. Augustine is not your destination. Having snacks and other things in our cooler made our stay much more affordable.

22 thoughts on “St. Augustine, Florida – Relaxing Week-End”

  1. St. Augustine is one of my favorite places, also. There is a store in Old Town that makes the best home-made bread and I have to buy some each time I go. It’s amazing cheap and soooo good.

  2. I love St. Augustine! My mom and I visited my aunt’s family in Jacksonville back in the 1970s and 1980s. We would always end up in St. Augustine. We took the bus from Jacksonville so we never made it to the beach. I sort of remember the Fountain of Youth and Ripley’s Believe it or Not when we went there. Lot of fun.

  3. I can’t believe how many shark teeth get washed ashore. St. Augustine is a great place for finding them. You are right about it being a very economical place to stay and there are just so many places to visit. It’s great for a week-end get-a-way.

  4. Some friends and I stopped in St. Augustine for a couple days during a larger trip, and we really enjoyed it (and the cheapness).

    I’m kind of disappointed we didn’t think about finding sharks teeth. I didn’t even know that was a common thing but I’m glad you were able to find a couple!

  5. It was my friend that taught me about the air freshener, but I will be doing this from now on. It made all the difference in the world in our stay in St. Augustine. The room was perfect except for the smell. After we placed the air freshers around, it was a very pleasant stay.

  6. I only live 3 hours away, so we drove. I am going to try to write a post today on some of the tips I have for flying that can save you a lot of money. I hope you will check it out and give me your input .

  7. I have also been several times and you are right, you could spend a lot of money, but if you are on a budget there is so much you can do without spending much. I can’t remember if I have ever ate at any of the restaurants there. I have ate at a few inside old town, but as you know, they are really over priced. Maybe next time I go, I will have to try this Mango Mangoes.

  8. It’s my friends that had the obsession with sharks teeth. This was my first time looking for them. It really takes practice to spot them…lol. I’m not sure what all they do with them, but the ones we found on this trip were made into a Christmas Tree Ornament. One of my friends made each one of us one as a remembrance of our little vacation.

  9. The motel we stayed at was actually a good deal for St. Augustine. Most are priced higher plus we were right across the road from the beach and surrounded by great restaurants.

  10. It’s nice to read about your travel story. A lot of people have bad experiences when travelling to a place for the very first time. It’s great that you somehow enjoyed your holiday.

    Are the motels there usually priced around the same range? Or the one that you were staying at, was more expensive than usual? Would be great to know more about the accomodation.


  11. Great story, I’m amazed at how quickly they were able to clean up after hurricane Matthew. But then again they are used to it because Florida gets hit with so many hurricanes. If it were me I’m not sure if I would have gone on the vacation knowing that a hurricane had just passed. I think your obsession with sharks teeth is cute, what do you do with them after you retrieve them?

  12. You are absolutely right about St. Augustine, I have been there many times and you can definitely see a lot for a little, and you can spend a lot too if you wanted.

    I live about an hour and a half away from there so I have been dozens of times. Sometimes we just go for the day and sometimes we will stay at a hotel.

    There are also two really good spots for kite surfing there!

    When you do indulge in restaurants which ones do you like to go to? My favorite is Mango Mangoes!

  13. Nice story, and some useful information to consider.
    As you said, even if my destination may be different, there are tips that are valid regardless of where you go. I’m thinking about the air freshener in particular, an item that I never considered to bring with me so far 😉

  14. Hi Rita

    Thanks for the tips.

    As an owner of an online travel business, I think these tips will definitely come in very handy.

    It’s amazing how some pre-planning and creativity can make travelling so cost-effective, especially when travelling can be so expensive.

    I assume you didn’t travel by plane. If you did have to fly, do you mind sharing how you got around the sosts.


  15. Thank you, Keith. I hope you will return again as I try to find any off-the-beaten-path vacations or ways to stay at regular tourist places for a fraction of what you would normally pay.

  16. You got to hand it to the authorities in St Augustine. To clean up the flood damage in so short a time is no mean feat. But i suppose if you want tourists to keep visiting you’ve got to put the work in.
    I personally am a fan of staying at self catering accommodation. I don’t like the coffee that most hotels etc provide and I like to make my own.
    Sounds like you had an amazing time.
    I enjoyed reading about it.

  17. Oh my, that was a hard lesson learned for sure. When you include amusement parks or other costly activities, you do need a budget before you leave home, I always spend more then I intend to when I visit them. They have all these cute things I am a sucker for and I like souvenirs. I want to bring all the kids and grandkids back something also. I usually budget me some extra spending money and I know my limit now,,,lol,

    I’m glad you were able to make it home and I hope it hasn’t put a damper on traveling.

  18. I feel like sometimes we need to get away just to relax. I know a lot of people (my ex-husband, being one of them), that won’t go any where, because they are always saying,”We can’t afford it”. Don’t ever let that happen to you or your family. Sometimes the best vacations are when you take your food and do picnics in various locations, or drive instead of fly just so you can see all the scenery, you would have missed, otherwise. Even plan a vacation closer to home if time is an issue. Don’t let the little things in life keep you from enjoying life.

  19. Actually, we drove. We are only about 3 1/2 hours away and my closest airport is 2 1/2 hours away. I do have some other post on my pages that can possibly give you good rates on flying, if you live to far away to drive,

    I agree with you about being careful which motels you stay in and I was a little skeptical about this one before we actually arrived there. It turned out to be very clean and comfortable, so I would recommend it highly. Just do take air freshener. I’m not a fan of the type they use.

  20. That sounds like a really great and relaxing holiday! And at such an amazing price! I am always nervous staying in local motels, I always worry that I’ll end up in a place with bed bugs or something else unpleasant.

    Therefore finding a site like this with personal recommendations is so good and the little extra tips you give are invaluable!

    How did you get there? Did you fly and how much did that cost you?

  21. I too never thought about bringing freshener to motels we stay out, that’s cool. Your right, taking a vacation doesn’t have to be a spendy venter, you can take a vacation for a very low price. Thank you for your vacation story, I shall take a lot from it when we go on our next vacation.

  22. Hi Rita,

    It’s nice your vacation wasn’t ruined by the hurricane. You shared some good tips about how to budget on your vacation. It can become very costly when you vacation.

    Years back we took a somewhat, partial vacation and travel to California to retrieve some items we left behind from our move. While there, we decided to go to an amusement park. When it was time to travel back home, we ran out of money before making it home and we needed gas, but no money. My husband sold his watch just to get us money for gas to get us home. We laugh now when we look back to that time. LOL!

    It’s always a good idea to plan your vacation and your know your budget. Thanks for sharing your tips, Rita.

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