Florida: The Sunshine State
We made it to our final state! As soon as we crossed the state border from Georgia, we couldn’t wait to spend 3 fun-filled days in sunny Florida. Our first stop was Amelia Island, a picturesque town perfect for some laid-back shopping. We loved the quaint shops and took a nice al fresco coffee break to enjoy the atmosphere around us.
From Amelia Island, we took a ferry to Jacksonville. We were there in under an hour, and headed straight to St. John’s Town Center for some much-needed shopping. It was the biggest mall we had ever been to! It’s so big they even provide free transportation for customers. We checked out as many stores as we could, from Tiffany’s to Target, and each picked up some great souvenirs and gifts before heading on to our next stop.
It was time for lunch after our shopping extravaganza, so we headed to the Azurea Restaurant at One Ocean Resort. Talk about luxury! The resort had soft music playing in every corner, and each room had a beautiful ocean view. We ordered some of the freshest seafood we’ve ever had, including ahi tuna and fresh-caught grouper.
Just an hour south of the hotel, we arrived at St. Augustine, the oldest city in the country. We took a carriage tour of the city, and got a wonderful history lesson. Not only is St. Augustine the oldest continuously occupied European city in the U.S., but its Castillo de San Marcos fort is practically indestructible. The fort was built to protect the city from British and pirate attacks, and it’s made out of a softer material that absorbed cannonballs instead of succumbing to them. We didn’t even know that was possible!
After our carriage tour, we made our way to our hotel for the night, the Bayfront Marin House Bed and Breakfast. We fell in love with it as soon as we saw it! The incredible little inn had beautiful colonial-inspired architecture and décor. We loved the wraparound porches, and could see ourselves wasting many lazy afternoons there. Bonus: we were greeted with free drinks and appetizers the second we walked in.
Dinnertime came around, so we walked over to the Old City House Inn & Restaurant. This was one of the best restaurants of the whole trip! We loved meeting the amazing Polish chef, who prepared a beautifully presented meal for us. We dined on chicken and pork mousse, carpaccio, rack of lamb, and beef tenderloin. We couldn’t stop eating, and every dish was more incredible than the last. It goes without saying that this was the perfect way to end our first day in Florida. We were definitely ready for more!