It is pretty much a given that Florida is a great place for a vacation, however, these vacations are centered around being able to take your own boat and enjoy a new place...so let's check out what a Florida St. Augustine Vacation has to offer!
The historical aspects of this town are great, but not in a 'boring old museum' type of way. The residents who run the businesses do a wonderful job of keeping everything fun, upbeat, and family friendly as far as most of the tourist attractions go. Especially seeing as there were many battles on and around the area leading to slaughters, slavery, and change in rulers back in the day.
Attractions in town range from "chain" type of tourism like Ripley's Believe it or not, to The Pirate and Treasure Museum, to The Fountain of Youth Archeological Park. Of course the Boating attractions are to numerous to count! Obviously this area is next to the Atlantic Ocean, but don't fear the big waters, you can get used to the idea of going out on the ocean while you cruise around the inlet and down the creek that gives St. Augustine and the surrounding areas their shape. Bulow Creek is a large mass of water separating Anastasia Island from the rest of St. Augustine all the way down to the Matanzas Inlet about 15 miles to the south.
I visited quite a few marinas and water front locations on my travels and found 1 place that stood out above all the rest as far as places to stay/boat dock/marina/overall awesome-ness.
Located in St. Augustine, but not right in the middle of "tourist-ville". They call it Conchland and rightfully so, not only do they have a marina and a motel, but also huge dock area, a crazy cool restaurant with some patio seating that's in a league of it's own, a bar/lounge with weekend entertainment, swimming pool, and charter fishing trips. There is no boat ramp on site, but there is one just a couple blocks away and you can rent a slip at the Conch House dock to keep your baby in the water.
Want to Camp it out during your stay? This Camp Resort is very nice and so are the staff. It's not in town, it is a few miles north, however you can tent camp, r.v., or rent a cabin and it is waterfront property. They do not have their own boat ramp but there is one down the road. They do not have a dock or place to keep your boat overnight in the water, so you would need to haul it out everyday you use it. Beautiful scenery, nice people, and a range of camping styles to suit make this our "Campground of Choice".
Vacationing in such a boat friendly atmosphere is a great way to feel at home while seeing new things...so when you take your boat from the place you stay and go to "town" for the day, you can cruise around if you want or park it at the local marina which is within walking distance of most of the "Historic Downtown St. Augustine" attractions. See the Fort which is an unmistakably large structure in the middle of the tourist area of town and right next to the water. Across the street is the Pirate and Treasure Museum as well as many other points of interest like the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse.
Ripley's Believe It or Not is around the corner, and a short ways down the road is The Fountain of Youth Archeological Park and the Mission of Nombre De Dios. You can take Trolley Tours, eat at many unique restaurants, see the flair of the local nightlife and bars(which includes a Pirate ship), and shop in quaint stores to bring back regional souvenirs. Or just take a relaxing day to go to the beach.
Another cool thing about St. Augustine is that it's about 30 minutes away from Jacksonville which always has something going on. On our visit we went out to eat in downtown Jacksonville on a Friday night and decided to go to a bar scene, we ended up running into a Snoop Dogg concert and it was AWESOME!
The St. John's River also runs through Jacksonville, so if you love the River life-like many of us do-you'll feel right at home, and the boaters down there are some of the friendliest you'll meet! Just be sure when boating around in any of the waters you talk to people about the local sea life and what to watch out for. Different times of year call for different animals and habits and migrations, so always be aware of that.
This is a serious Boating vacation and may be quite a haul for some travelers, but there is plenty to do and see, not to mention getting to do a lot of boating on rivers/creeks or the ocean. If you do take this journey, you'll be extremely happy that you did!