Saturday, July 8, 2017

Watering Holes: One New, Another Freshened-up

Watering holes. Everyone likes them. Some are better than others but, anyone who's been to St Augustine FL knows that we have the best.  And now we have a one new one, and another that was closed for years just to renovate!  Both are now open.

A lot of Floridians have been enjoying Ancient City Brewing's (ACB) beers for a couple years now. Heck, some of us remember Mile Marker Brewing, but this is not about that. ACB has now opened a Tap Room on Cathedral Street. (For those who don't know, that's the street where the bridge of lions comes into St Augustine.)  Right in the hear of the ancient city itself.

They only serve beer, and sell ACB tee-shirts and caps but it looks great. They did a great reno on the space and it's clean and inviting.  They brew a great variety of beers that will satisfy the more discriminating connoisseur.  Check-out this place.

Then there is the old American Legion at 1 Anderson Circle (What a great address - only one building on Anderson Circle.) It was closed for what? 2 years or more?  But now it's back open with one of the best views of the Matazas Bay (Water Front) in the city.

But the bar is not what it was. If you had been there before
and felt uneasy in the old 'biker bar' that is was, you will love this high-end, up scale, new bar.  They have full liquor, cold tap & bottled beer, and now even better - it's professionally staffed! (With the likes of Melissa - formally with Barley Republic - we love and missed her!)

So when you come back to St Augustine for a romantic weekend, please consider placing these 2 new watering holes on your must-do list.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Festival Season Is Here

When you are looking for something fun to do this Spring, come to the historic village of Saint Augustine and enjoy one of these fabulous festivals. These festivals are St Augustine traditions. And along with the romantic bed and breakfast in St Augustine, you have the perfect makings of the perfect weekend. 

Hurry and book a room at the Inn on Charlotte Bed and breakfast to see what all the festival fun is all about.

St. Augustine Lions Club Seafood Festival, Friday-Sunday, March 3-5
Location: Francis Field, W. Castillo Dr.
Expect heavy traffic in the vicinity of Francis Field including Ponce de Leon Blvd. (U.S. 1) and San Marco Ave. during the event. Free satellite parking and shuttle service available on Saturday.
More information: Click here 
St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival, March 10-12
Location: Francis Field, W. Castillo Dr.
Expect heavy traffic in the vicinity of Francis Field including Ponce de Leon Blvd. (U.S. 1) and San Marco Ave. Some downtown streets closed on Saturday, March 11 from 9:00am to 11:00am to accommodate the St. Patrick's Parade. Free satellite parking and shuttle service available on Saturday.
More information: Click here

St. Augustine Race Week 2017, March 24-26
Location: St Augustine Bayfront, Inshore water ways, and Offshore - out at sea.
This annual Spring sailing event combines large boat ocean racing and spectator-friendly small boat racing along the historic Saint Augustine Bayfront. On Thursday & Friday evenings, there will be FREE music concerts, brought to us by Meehan's Irish Pub. 
More information: Click here

Rhythm & Ribs, March 31-April 2
Location: Francis Field, W. Castillo Dr.
Expect heavy traffic in the vicinity of Francis Field including Ponce de Leon Blvd. (U.S. 1) and San Marco Ave.  Free satellite parking and shuttle service available on Saturday.
More information: Click here  
Festival of the Chariot, April 8
Location: Plaza de la Constitucíón and several downtown streets.
Expect traffic interruptions along parade route (Cathedral Pl., Cordova St., Orange St., Avenida Menendez) from 10:30am until 12:00pm.
More information: Click here 
Old Town Art & Craft Show, April 8-9
Location: Francis Field, W. Castillo Dr.
Expect some traffic congestion in the vicinity of Francis Field including Ponce de Leon Blvd. (U.S. 1) and San Marco Ave. during the event's hours.
More information: Click here 
St. Augustine Easter Parade, April 16
Location: San Marco Ave., Avenida Menendez, Cathedral Pl. Cordova St.
Road closures and detours are in effect from before the parade's 3:00pm start until its conclusion at approximately 5:00pm.
More information:  Click here 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Hidden Season in St Augustine

So why is January such a great time to come to Saint Augustine? Well, besides the cooler weather, it’s right after the holidays and most don’t have the extra cash to hit the streets to shops & Restaurants.  So the upside is the Nights of Lights are still up (thru the month of January, actually), room rates are discounted over 20%, and no lines at your favorite attraction.  So if you stay during this month, not only do you and your Honey-Bunny have the city to yourselves, almost, you also get the nights-of-lights guiding your way each evening!

Check January’s Availability Now

While the Christmas decorations are coming down, the little white lights of Nights of Light, outlining all the little buildings (Think Paris in winter time) are still up and shinning.  Plus: Not only is the city at its lowest occupancy (No lines at the bars, or no waits at restaurants), Room-Rates are at the lowest of the year too.

So while the holidays are still fresh, and your credit card statements are piling up, think about the best time for the two of you to getaway. Book a room at the Inn on Charlotte for your reasonably priced romantic rendezvous. Come see us this January.

Friday, September 9, 2016

2016 Holiday Tour of Bed and Breakfasts

This is the perfect time to see over 20 bed and breakfasts, all decorated in a holiday theme. This year’s theme of, “Christmas through the years” will charm tour goers and guests alike. The Southern half of the Inns will be open Saturday, and the Northern half of Inns will be open on Sunday, with the doors on both days opening at 1:00 pm each day, and close at 5:00 pm.

What’s more, each B&B will partner with a local restaurant to bring tour goers a taste of what St Augustine restaurants have to offer. This year the Inn on Charlotte is partnering again with the fabulous La Pentola who offers fresh and uniquely inspired food and wine. They are neighbors as well as friends, and a place we always recommend to guests.

So get your tickets now because, 1) we sell out every year, and 2) they are on sale until October 1st..  If there were one Christmas event for you to go to this holiday season, this is the one. Not only will it help get you into the spirit of the Christmas, you also get a chance to sample some of the city’s best restaurants. St Augustine Historic Inns (SAHI) association presents their annual Holiday Tour of Inns, December 10th & 11th 2016, and you and your friends are invited!

This is the perfect event for large groups of friends such as church groups, social clubs, neighborhood groups, or work groups. The nights of lights will be in full-swing by this time and making a day of it, with friends, in the ancient city will feel only natural. So gather your good book in advance to some money. When you are coordinating your large group, please contact them directly at the website.
In any case, please read all about this year’s holiday tour of historic inns here at the official website, and book your room at the Inn on Charlotte for your holiday today.

Other Holiday events this year in St. Augustine:
-November 19th: is the 23th annual Light-up Night!
-November 19th through January 31: - Nights of Lights, the city is ablaze in millions of white lights for the season. 
-December 3rd: The 62th Annual Christmas Parade
-December 3rd: (evening): Grande Illumination – British Night Watch
-December 10th: Regatta of Lights - St Augustine's annual Christmas Boat Parade sails on historic Matanzas Bay at 6 p.m.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

After 451 year St Augustine is Beautiful

Saint Augustine is approaching its 451 first birthday in September and she could not be in better
shape.  And if you want to come stay in St Augustine, at a bed and breakfast, to see how great our old city is doing, you might want to see the free annual historical re-enactment of Menéndez' landing, or the Founding Event as we call it, this coming September 10 at the Mission Nombre de Dios (Mission Name of God).

Way back in 1565, Pedro Menendez landed here in Florida and without a great Bed & Breakfast to stay at, he began building his colony for the King of Spain. And now each September we have a large group of re-en-actors who enjoy participating in the monumental event while in full period costume. Many of the re-en-actors stay at the local B&Bs.

The location of the re-enactment, the Mission Nombre de Dios, is as vital to the story of St Augustine as anything else because the first Catholic Mass in the new world was held right here. After landing, Menendez asked that a mass be held to thank God for the safe passage, and it was very close, if not in the exact, at same spot.

So if you’re coming to stay at our B and B and looking for something fun to do in St Augustine FL this or any September, come see the free annual, historical re-enactment of Menendez' landing at the Mission Nombre de Dios.

Friday, June 17, 2016

What makes a great restaurant?

Is it the setting?  Up-high in the mountains with views of snow covered-peaks in the background, or maybe down on the water front with boats out your window? Or maybe it’s just fancy lighting and ultra-modern furniture? Or even, maybe it’s the higher the price – does that make a better restaurant?  

Well we think it’s none of that rather the freshness and quality of the food served on your table. And if you agree, then Saint Augustine just got a GREAT restaurant on Hypolita Street.   Mam Thai & Sushi Bistro opened yesterday (6/16/2016) in a building just around the corner from the Inn and we stopped by for lunch today and OMG (as the kids say) it is amazing!  You have got to give it a try.

We wanted to order everything but, since we are trying to loose weight, we limited it to about 5 dishes.  We started with Chicken Satay – moist and delish, with a great peanut butter/pepper side-sauce! Then we tried the Crispy Shrimp rolls – crispy deliciousness, with a great minced peanut/pepper side-sauce! As a gift, the owners sent out the Fresh Summer Roll with shrimp, veggies, rice noodles in a rice wrapper – another amazing side-sauce! We had to try the Sushi, so we got the Sashimi Appetizer with very fresh White fish, Tuna, and Salmon.  Triple-yum! 

Okay, now time for the main courses; Panang curry Chick – a staple in my Thai diet – and what they call Tiger Cry, grilled Flank Steak (marinated in some amazing Thai spices) with large cut veggies. Both were done to perfection and something we will order again, no doubt.  The whole menu makes you want to start all over again.  

Mam Thai & Sushi Bistro at 21 Hypolia Street in Saint 
Augustine is simply a great restaurant! We recommend it. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Romantic St Augustine

We ask each guest as they leave, ‘how was your visit?’ and in the numerous answers, we always hear her say, ‘It’s so romantic, here in St Augustine.’  And she says it as if it’s the best discovery since Florida was discovered by Ponce de Leon in 1513.  And so if you guys are listening, here’s a great tip for a romantic weekend… If you are looking for a bit of romance, and who isn’t, go to Saint Augustine Florida.

Yes. It’s as simple as that. But what makes it so romantic? Well, the city is actually a beautiful little European village, it really is. It was founded by the Spanish and streets were laid-out in the late 1500’s and they have not changed since. Oh sure, buildings have come and gone with each city fire or ‘improvement’ project but, we still have about 18 colonial structures. And through it all (450 years) this old city still holds its original romantic charm it got from Spain.  That and, with a little help from Henry Flagler, too.

So what does a master of business during the Gilded Age like Mr. Flagler of Standard Oil have to do with St Augustine? Well it was here he moved and then poured millions of dollars into building world-class hotels in the late 1800’s for America’s wealthy who wished to avoid the cold winters of the north. He loved this romantic city and so employed European craftsmen to create some of the most beautiful building of their time to blend in. I think this is the most use of terracotta in one city, in the USA.  It’s spectacular, and a must see. 

And in keeping with the Romantic theme, the city made an effort, 50 years ago, to turn back towards their Europeans roots with new building ordinances, some colonial reproduction buildings, and creating a pedestrian only shopping street – St George Street - where one can discover nice shops and fine restaurants and yes, even souvenirs.  But there is more than just Saint George St to shop on; there are shops and restaurants on all the streets, as well as homes, hotels, and of course Bed and Breakfasts.

So men, for a no-brainer, bring your honey to St Augustine, the most romantic city in the country, and a little slice of Europe (without updating your passport, and flying over there) here in North Florida for your next romantic getaway. Who knows, you might even like it too.