Visiting St. Augustine, Florida

As we continued traveling south toward our winter destination, we made a stop in the beautiful city of St. Augustine, Florida, America’s oldest city.

Inkedimg_2314_LIOur campground for this trip was the Compass RV Resort. We would highly recommend this campground if you’re visiting the area.

Compass RV Resort is an easy, and short, drive from I-95. This campground has different site options, including full hookup sites, large patio sites, and even buddy sites if you’re traveling with friends and want your front doors facing each other. We enjoyed a full hookup site that had a view of the pond. We also took advantage of the very nice laundry facility. Other amenities include a pool, fitness center, and nature trail.

St. Augustine is full of history and museums. If you have several days, we would recommend taking the Old Time Trolley Tour that picks you up right at the campground. Tickets are $25.00, and you can purchase them at the campground office.

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On-site parking lot and looking south into St. Augustine. The fort is surrounded by a mote that was never filled.

We only had one day to explore, so we chose to drive into town. Knowing we had to park an F-350 dually, we got up early to make sure we could find a parking space big enough!

Our destination was the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. We did a Google search for parking (a parking garage wouldn’t do), and found there is a lot on the monument grounds! The cost is $2.50/hour, paid by cash or credit card at an automated machine. Getting there early paid off as we were able to get a large corner spot. We also avoided the line of cars trying to find parking that was there when we left a couple of hours later.

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The north side of the fort looking out into the bay.

The entrance fee for Castillo de San Marcos is $15.00/age 16 and above. Children (age 15 and under) are free when accompanied by an adult. If you have a National Parks Pass, you can use it here, as well as other passes as explained on the monument website.

Be prepared for walking up stairs that were built 350 years ago, and walking along walls that do not have railings. As the Self-Guided Walking Tour information says, “it was built for warfare, not visitors”.

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Marching to the cannon demonstration.

We were surprised at how many different countries occupied this fort over the centuries. From the first Spanish period, British period, second Spanish period, to American occupation during the Civil War, this fort withstood major battles.

We were fortunate to be there to watch the cannon demonstration. The ranger warned us that it would be loud and we’d get a cue to plug our ears, and he wasn’t kidding!

 

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Firing the cannons. You can really see in this pic that there are no handrails around the wall. Safety with young children is a must!

 

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Looking out toward the historic district and shops.

After touring the fort, we walked across San Marco Avenue, over to St. George Street. This is a pedestrian mall with shops, small museums, and historic buildings. Just looking at the Spanish architecture was fascinating.

While we only saw a small part of St. Augustine this time, it was well worth the visit. As I said before, we would most likely do the trolley tour next time to see even more of this magnificent city.

Our next blog will be 10 Tips for Downsizing to a Smaller Home or an RV!

Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Click here for all the details.

 

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