I don’t know about you, but raising kids is hard work! Raise your hand if you’re a parent and you need a break. Us too! Hubs and I didn’t have much time for a break, so we enjoyed a staycation in our charming, historical hometown, St. Augustine, Florida. Every year on their anniversary, my parents used to reserve a room at a local bed and breakfast and hire a babysitter for us kids. I thought it was funny but now that now that I’m an adult with my own family, I realize how sensible it is to “getaway” to your own town.
We stayed at the picturesque St. Francis Inn, courtesy of the owners, Joe and Margaret Finnegan. They showed us to the Overlook Room, a spacious, private retreat on the third floor. On our second trip up the stairs, I felt dizzy and Hubs pointed out the steps weren’t square. They were crooked. I found this absolutely fascinating when I learned that the Inn was built as a trapezoid with no right angles in the house. In my book, it only added to the charming character of the home.
The Inn, built in 1791 by a Spanish military man, boasts of a fortress-like structure and shields the front entrance and secluded courtyard. Since its construction, the Inn has had multiple owners, each one more fascinating than the last. In the late 1800’s, extensive renovations expanded the Inn, adding a third floor and a new roof. Today, the St. Francis Inn has 17 beautiful and unique rooms to choose from, each with its own private bath and a parking lot across the street. If you’ve been downtown, you know parking is a premium so this was a huge plus for us!
Our visit fell within the two months of Nights of Lights when three million twinkling white Christmas lights adorn every corner of the district. It’s romantic and festive and everything we needed for a weekend away so we spent the first night strolling and admiring the lights. This is the Lightner Museum and the very place where we shot our engagement photos. We may need a second staycation because I cannot believe it, but Hubs has never been in there!
We ate a quick bite at Carmelo’s Pizzaria, which has a great family atmosphere and the price point is great for this frugal mama! Try their datil pepper buffalo wings or signature pizza. Hubs ate every bit of his huge, cheesy three-meat calzone!
There are so many great attractions in downtown St. Augustine, it’s impossible to visit them all in one weekend, and why should we when the purpose is for rest and refreshment? We squeezed in a visit to the Lighthouse though and I’m embarrassed to say my legs almost gave out on the way down. Adding squats to my fitness regime earlier that week was a bad idea. Hubs, on the other hand, had no problem and even held up the lighthouse for a while. I wonder what they did when we left…?
All that straining wore Hubs out, so we stopped by the Uptown Scratch Kitchen for lunch. If you live in St. Augustine, or nearby, or visit us one day soon, add this to your must-eat food list. The food is excellent and the owners are incredible! Try the Colorado Beef Burger or the Steak Frite because they are both to-die-for. The onion rings are delicious and I don’t even like onions! Also noteworthy: rosemary fries.
Across the street from Uptown Scratch Kitchen is a sweet little shop you don’t want to pass up —Creme de la Cocoa! When it comes to sweets, I’m a girl that knows what she wants, but this was hard for me to choose. The Snickers cheesecake won the toss-up. So did the oreo. Oh yeah, and the chocolate chip sandwich. I see extra squats in my future and maybe a salad. Or twelve.
You cannot staycation downtown and not shop on St. George Street. So we spent a few hours walking the cobblestoned streets and doing a little window shopping. You must not leave St. Augustine without stopping by Antoinette’s Bathhouse and loading up on a few bath goodies. My recommendation: Champagne Seduction sugar scrub.
All in all, we had a wonderful staycation and I highly recommend you and your spouse scheduling a weekend “getaway” right away! Stay local. Shop local. Support our town.
Check out the St. Francis Inn and let me know which room you’d love to stay in!
Lodging: St. Francis Inn
Eating: Carmelo’s Pizzaria, Uptown Scratch Kitchen
Shout outs: Cruisers Grill and Creme de la Cocoa
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.