Discover What’s Off St. George Street

Get Off the Main Drag for Even More History, Attractions, Dining and Shopping

November 26, 2020
View of St. George Street in downtown St. Augustine, Florida

In St. Augustine’s early days, St. George Street was the main street, and today the thoroughfare is still considered the heart of the city. Here, visitors find historic attractions and some of the restaurants, galleries, bakeries and shops for which the city is famous.

However, no trip to the Nation’s Oldest City would be complete without time spent traversing some of the roads less traveled. St. George is just one of many enchanting streets that make up the city’s Historic District.

Also, sticking just to St. George Street would mean missing out on the city’s must-see attractions located outside the downtown core. For example, St. Augustine’s two outlet shopping centers – the St. Augustine Outlets and Premium Outlets – are a short drive west of downtown, just off Interstate 95.

To make sure you see all that’s beyond St. George Street, follow the proposed route below.

Tour the Oldest House

Begin on narrow, brick-paved Charlotte Street, where it intersects with St. Francis Street, and take an informative tour of the Oldest House, located on a site occupied since the early 1600s.

Enjoy Authentic Polish Food

Make your way north along the street, stopping at clothing stores and art galleries. Take a break at Gaufre's & Goods at 212 Charlotte Street, where you will nosh on authentic Polish food with perogies and waffles made fresh daily.

Discover Spices & Teas

Once you reach Hypolita Street, take a quick detour west and pop in to Spice and Tea Exchange of St. Augustine, where they combine traditional and exotic gourmet spices, sea salts, loose teas and seasonings from around the world. Be adventurous and explore the finest in savory spices from their own exclusive recipes.

Have a Glass of Wine & Bite to Eat

Or head further north on Charlotte Street, where it ends, check out the charming, old, wooden structure that houses the Crucial Coffee Cafe. On nearby Treasury Street, you’ll want to step into an old world secret garden where a glass of wine and a charcuterie platter await you at Casa de Vino 57. Walk north away from downtown, and you’ll reach San Marco Avenue. Enjoy a glass of wine at Carrera Wine Cellar or participate in one of their wine tastings! San Marco Avenue is known as an antiquer’s heaven. The road is lined with boutiques and antique shops and great restaurants such as Raintree Restaurant.

Tour the Mission of Nombre de Dios

San Marco Avenue is also where you’ll find the serene Mission of Nombre de Dios, the site of America’s first mission. A walking tour of the beautiful grounds will bring you by a 208-foot, stainless steel Great Cross, a church built in 1965, a bronze statue of Father Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales (celebrant of the first Mass here), as well as the small, Spanish-style chapel of Our Lady of La Leche.

See the Fountain of Youth

Off San Marco Avenue, on Magnolia Avenue, is the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park, where visitors can drink from the very spring that Ponce de Leon thought was the sought-after Fountain of Youth.

Go Gallery Hoppin’

Heading back toward downtown, pick up Cordova Street at Orange Street. Lined with art galleries, quaint bed and breakfast inns and ornate Victorian houses.

Visit A Historic Cemetery & Church

Cordova is also where you’ll find the historic Tolomato Cemetery and the architecturally stunning Grace United Methodist Church.

Splurge on Fine-Dining

In the mood to splurge for dinner? Try the five-course tasting menu at Michael’s, where rotating art exhibits adorn the walls and diners can sample wines in a wine gallery.

View Stunning Architecture

At the corner of King Street, you’ll see Flagler College, housed in eye-catching buildings that used to be the luxury resort, is the Ponce de Leon Hotel, built by Henry Flagler in 1888. Across the street is the Lightner Museum, also housed in a former luxury hotel called the Hotel Alcazar, and also built by Flagler in 1888. Besides its galleries of decorative art, the museum buildings house several antique shops. Walk west on King to find more art galleries, shops, and the Villa Zorayda Museum, a reproduction of the Alhambra, Spain’s famous castle.

Treat Yourself

Nearby on Granada Street Claude’s Chocolate welcomes you with small batch hand-crafted truffles and bonbons made with Belgian chocolate and only the finest natural ingredients. Peace Pie on Aviles Street is the home of the most amazing artisan ice cream sandwich you’ve ever tasted with a decadent layer of pie filling nestled in between its homemade ice cream. Yum. Sweets not your thing? No problem. Dog Rose Brewing on Bridge Street has hand-crafted beers and lagers to satisfy the pickiest ale palate in a comfortable environment. Play some darts and catch a live band as you unwind.

Learn About African American History

A few blocks east will take you to Lincolnville and the Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center on MLK Avenue. Inside you’ll find a wonderful collection of art, recordings and displays that capture the life and history of the nation’s earliest black residents.

Take Route 1

If you find yourself on Route 1, or the Dixie Highway or Ponce de Leon Boulevard, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy and entertained. At Coconut Barrel you’ll find a great selection of handcrafted items made by the finest artists, crafters and designers in the area. They’re also around to share stories behind their work. Speaking of great works, if you love cars, the Classic Car Museum of St. Augustine should be on your list of must-dos. Here you’ll be dazzled by the collection of classic automobiles dating from the early 1900s to the present day. And if it’s not cars but cats that strike your fancy, be sure to stop in to the Witty Whisker Café for a coffee and some furry friend love in the cat lounge.

One thing’s for sure: no matter which way you turn in St. Augustine, you’re bound to find lovingly restored historic structures, one-of-a-kind shops, welcoming cafés, romantic restaurants, and impressive art and cultural attractions.

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