Spring has sprung and rain is inevitable. While the weather in Northeast Florida is envied by many with an average of 223 sunny days a year, St. Augustine also gets, on average, fifty-one inches of rainfall per year. Keep those rainy days interesting with a trip to one of these classic spots in St. Augustine that will be sure to entertain and educate you.

St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum

AHOY, MATEY! Spend the day at The Pirate Museum and explore owner Pat Croce’s impressive collection of pirate memorabilia. Hunt through more than 800 pirate artifacts and state-of-the-art displays created by the Disney Imagineers. The Pirate Museum is home to the only surviving treasure chest in the world AND one of the only remaining Jolly Roger flags. Before you leave, be sure to stop by the gift shop to purchase a little pirate booty of your own to take home. To plan your day at the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, visit www.thepiratemuseum.com.

The Old Jail

In 1891, Henry Flagler commissioned the company that eventually built Alcatraz to construct a jail just north of downtown St. Augustine. To avoid instilling fear in the public and to encourage his friends to invest in the city, Henry Flagler disguised the jail to look like a hotel! The Old Jail provides guests a glimpse into the daily lives of St. Augustine’s most notorious prisoners. Enjoy an interactive experience as costumed actors tell stories of the jail and the prisoners behind bars. Visitors will also have a chance to view the large collection of weapons and artifacts on display. The Old Jail is truly a must-visit in St. Augustine!

St. Augustine Distillery

If a rainy day has you in a drinking mood, stop by St. Augustine Distillery. This family owned and operated establishment is committed to making world-class spirits using the best of Florida’s agriculture. St. Augustine Distillery offers free tours everyday so visitors can learn how they make their spirits from farm to bottle, the differences between each spirit, and, best of all, learn how to make St. Augustine Distillery’s FOUR signature cocktails! No reservation is required for these amazing tours and they are FREE – can’t get much better than that! 

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum

If you haven’t already visited, you have to admit you’ve always been curious about Ripley’s Believe It or Not! From incredible artwork to shrunken heads, your eyes won’t know where to look next. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum was founded by Robert Leroy Ripley to display the amazing artifact collection from his extensive travels. He documented his adventures in his famous comic strip, “Believe It or Not!”. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit their website

Contact each location for their latest COVID protocols and restrictions.

 
 
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The attraction to World Golf Village is easy to see. From the vibrant communities and the exceptional school district to the golf courses and nearby shopping, there is something for everyone to enjoy. It seems as if new businesses are popping up every day, but most recently there have been a few notable additions to the St. Augustine community that you NEED to check out. 

Pet Paradise: 

Calling all dog and cat parents! Pet Paradise opened a new location on 291 Center Place Way, St Augustine, FL 32095. The Jacksonville based company recently opened five new locations in Northeast Florida. Pet Paradise is equipped to handle all your pet boarding, daycare, grooming or veterinary needs. With multiple boarding options, Pet Paradise has the perfect accommodation for every furry friend. Pet Paradise clients love having access to the live webcam. That’s right! Pet owners can check on their pet any time with their live pet cam. Pet Paradise offers a wide variety of pampering amenities for your pet to enjoy including a dog bone shaped swimming pool, misting stations, and full-service dog grooming spa. Next time your pet needs a vacation, take them to Pet Paradise!

Carnival Sweets:

Travel back in time at Carnival Sweets. This establishment has something to satisfy every kind of sweet tooth. Enjoy classic carnival favorites – without the carnival! You and your family will love exploring Carnival Sweets with their shelves of candy and delicious funnel cakes, gourmet popcorn, and shaved ice. This nostalgic candy shop takes these classics and gives them a modern twist. When you visit consider trying fan favorites: Cotton Candy Burrito, Banana Pudding Popcorn, or the Ice cream stuffed snow cone. A visit to Carnival Sweets is well worth the sugar rush! 

And last, but certainly not least…

Buc-ee’s:

You won’t want to miss this first of its kind in Florida. With more than 52,000 square feet and more than 104 fueling stations, Buc-ee’s has opened its doors in St. Augustine on 200 World Commerce Parkway. The Texas-based travel stop has already created quite the buzz around town as hundreds waited in line for Buc-ee’s grand opening on February 22, 2021. The store is open twenty-four hours a day and offers an array of food, drink, and merchandise. Buc-ee’s has tasty treats ranging from traditional homemade fudge, kolaches, and jerky to snacks that are a little more unusual like pickled quail eggs. Buc-ee’s promises friendly service and the cleanest bathrooms in America.

 
 
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Someone needs to remind Mother Nature that it is October and it’s time to send in the cooler temperatures. But despite the heat, the rain, and the humidity we are currently experiencing in Northeast Florida – it is FALL! That means all things pumpkins, pumpkin spice, pumpkin flavors, and pumpkin patches! Most of us wouldn’t actually give up our year-round temperate weather we experience on the First Coast for the bitter cold months our neighbors north of us endure. And while it would be pleasant to enjoy fall-like weather and leaves changing colors there are a few places we highly recommend to enjoy the fall season (even if you do have to wear tanks, shorts, and flip-flops.)

Travel over to Green Cove Springs and enjoy a full day of fun at Amazing Grace Family Farms www.agcropmaze.com which is open Fridays and Saturdays through October 31st. The list of activities available at Amazing Grace Family Farms will keep children of all ages busy enjoying the adventures and will likely have them sleeping on the way home. From their pumpkin patch worthy of family photos to the enormous jump pad that will completely exhaust any kid or even kid-at-heart, there’s plenty to see and do. The crop maze will challenge the adventurers with its many twists and turns. The BarnYard Ball Zone will have the crowd going wild. The Tug-O-War brings just the right amount of competition for the family (or maybe family vs. family). And a highlight every year is the farm animal petting zoo where children are able to experience real life on the farm with these precious animals. Parents, be sure to have your phones ready because this beautiful farm provides plenty of picture perfect moments to capture the wholesome fun you’ll enjoy outdoors making memories.

Next on our list, is CONNER’S A-MAIZE-ING ACRES. This small family farm packs in a HUGE and exciting day. Located in Hilliard, CONNER’S A-MAIZE-ING ACRES is a local favorite for many reasons. With 125 acres of a working family farm, during October and select days in November, Conner’s A-MAIZE-ING ACRES is open to the public for people to enjoy their sweet farm animals, wagon rides, playground, ride horses, pumpkin patch, and most importantly the incredible corn maze that changes from year to year. With last year’s maze shaped with The Wizard of OZ theme, this year’s maze will have you lost in a web…Charlotte’s Web, that is! Be sure to bring your appetite, too. Conner’s A-MAIZE-ING ACRES offers plenty of eating options perfect for your day on the farm. For more information visit www.connerscornmaze.com

Rounding out our TOP 3 is SYKE’S FAMILY FARMS. The Sykes Family has more than 50 years of farming experience and provides their guests with a tradition people can enjoy year after year. The 9-acre corn maze is filled with twists and turns and will have families laughing and navigating as they enjoy the outdoors together making memories. Syke’s Family Farms also provides a play area, farm animals, cow milking, hayrides, pumpkin patches, cow train, teeter-totters, duck races, and plenty of wholesome entertainment to keep the family busy for hours. For more information about hours of operation and tickets visit www.sycofarms.com

All three locations are operating under state recommendations and providing COVID-19 precautions. Please contact the locations prior to your visit for a better understanding of how each farm is operating.

 
 
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Are you noticing things around St. Augustine seem to be slowly getting back to normal? While the pandemic and precautions are still part of our everyday lives, an overwhelming majority of St. Johns County students are back in school and for most of us that looks like a slight return to normalcy, bus routes in the morning and afternoon, and fewer crowds in our favorite spots. Let’s get out in our great city and safely enjoy the best that St. Augustine has to offer. Grab your bags Moms, Dads, Grandparents, and empty nesters! It’s time to act like a tourist and hit Davidson Realty’s Top 3 Places to Visit in St. Augustine! While it was very difficult for us to narrow it down to just three, our Davidson Realty team focused on a few that aren’t often found on everyone’s list like Leisure Group Travel Magazine and U.S. News & Travel.

St. Augustine Distillery 

As Americans seemed to experience the great hunt for toilet paper and hand sanitizer, one local St. Augustine company stepped up in a big way to help with the shortage of hand sanitizer across the First Coast. The St. Augustine Distillery is located in the historic district of St. Augustine in an old ice plant. Known for their vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey, you can find their labels on the shelves of local liquor stores. But you can also take a free tour of the distillery while also enjoying a sampling of their spirits. The St. Augustine Distillery is operating under CDC guidelines and accommodating tours every 30 minutes with no reservations but on a first-come-first-serve basis. Open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm, St. Augustine Distillery is a place we highly recommend touring and enjoying a cocktail.

Trolley Tours

With a couple to choose from (and we don’t want to single either one out) we highly encourage you to hop aboard one of the trolley tours in this historic St. Augustine area. Even in the hottest of temperatures, the movement along the bank and through the streets of downtown provides a breeze and a little bit of relaxation as you get a St. Augustine History 101 tour and learn about Ponce de Leon and the early settlers. The Trolley Tours are also a great way to navigate some ideal and popular dining spots. Hop on and hop off as you view the beautiful buildings, experience the historic charm, and enjoy the ride. 

Vilano Beach

With so many beautiful choices of sandy beaches in St. Johns County, our Davidson Realty team selected Vilano Beach as one of our favorite places to visit. It’s important to know the history of Vilano Beach to fully appreciate why it’s one of our favorites. The prestige of this beautiful stretch of shoreline dates back to the late 1800s when Henry Flagler would host his millionaire friends at Vilano Beach. A quaint little beach village, Vilano offers some of the area’s most charming restaurants, shopping, and plenty of rentals to enjoy a “staycation” in your own backyard. Vilano Beach offers a casual, laid back atmosphere, beautiful natural surroundings, and some of the best sunset views. Pack up the car because Vilano Beach also allows four-wheel drive vehicles on the beach making it so convenient to spend a day on the sand.

With so many options to choose from that include the Castillo de San Marcos, the Lightner Museum, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and so much more, sometimes it’s fun to tour the road less traveled. We encourage you to tour our Top 3 Places to Visit in St. Augustine, maybe for the first time but likely for a repeat visit, and let us know what you think!

 
 
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Local film buffs are buttering their popcorn and gearing up for the 7th Annual St. Augustine Film Festival, coming January 21 and 22!

Presented by Flagler College, the event will feature more than 40 films—many international—shown in five local theaters including Flagler’s Lewis Auditorium, the Gamache Theatre, and three screens at the Corazon Theatre. Some viewings will even feature special guests like directors, writers and actors.

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Northeast Florida is known for its spectacular holiday lights, but none shine brighter than historic St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights celebration. In fact, Rachael Ray magazine named St. Augustine one of the Nation’s “Twinkliest Towns” in 2014. National Geographic also dubbed St. Augustine one of the Top 10 Places in the World to view holiday lights in 2012 and 2013.

This year’s event looks to be just as “twinklie” as previous years with more than 3 million lights going up through the town. The celebration will run from November 19 through January 31, 2017.

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