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A few weeks ago we were fortunate to travel to the Sunshine State and visit St. Augustine. This is one of our favorite travel destinations and we try to get here at least once a year if not more. The sandy white beaches are beautiful and the area is fun to visit. We never run out of things to do or see – except time. St. Augustine is also rich with history as being the first city discovered when Juan Ponce de Leon set foot on this unclaimed land in 1513. It also claims to be the oldest city in America.
We stayed on the beach (which I will share with you next week) but also managed to visit the fabulous Farmers Market. It is located on St. Augustine Beach at the pier and the market is open every Wednesday. On this particular day that we went it was raining but it didn’t deter us – but it did deter some sellers. We were still able to buy great local products and meet some great sellers.
How cute is this?
I especially loved their vintage brine bucket…
How could we not visit and purchase some of this local honey? Perfect name 🙂
We purchased the Black Mangrove variety as it is very unusual and tasty.
They offer free tastings – which my own Honey Bee participated in.
All produce is locally grown. These lemons and limes were picked that morning.
We couldn’t believe how inexpensive the produce was. We found out at the register that these tomatoes were only .39 cents per pound!! I ran back and got a few more.
This is Chiaz, a Navajo Native American shaman. His jewelry is beautiful and made 100% by hand. He does all of the collecting of stones, rocks and gems in their natural, raw state. All etching, bending, twisting, polishing and finishing is done by small hand tools – no machinery of any kind is used. He was just as colorful and genuine as his beautiful jewelry pieces! So glad we got to meet him.
His personal cuff:
Just a very small example of his wares:
Even the preschool that shares the same parking lot as the farmers market grows their own herbs and vegetables.
When we venture into the historic part of town, we have a few favorite places we like to eat and have special beverages. The Columbia Restaurant is our hands-down favorite. They have several restaurants in Florida and we look forward to visiting the St. Augustine location every time we are in town – sometimes more than once.
Beautiful handmade Spanish tile decorates the restaurant throughout.
Each time we go here we prefer the white sangria. It’s very bubbly and refreshing and not too sweet. It is served in their own pottery pitchers.
And it is made table-side by your server.
Also, each time we eat here we are sure to order the “1905 Salad” which is also made table-side. We love the smoky, tangy flavor. The Columbia Restaurant is a family -owned business that began in 1905.
We usually have lunch at Osteen’s. It’s a very casual place with the best fried shrimp platter I have ever had. There are always lines outside so we try to get here for an early lunch at around 11:30 AM or a late lunch at 2:00 PM. When we drive by in the evening starting at 5:00 PM there is always a huge crowd outside.
Osteen’s started out 65 years ago as a family restaurant. When the family sold the restaurant, they sold it to a man who was their very first dishwasher and still worked for them. There are three men who are the cooks at Osteen’s – they are each in their 60’s and have worked here since they were teenagers. I feel this really states a lot about why the food is so good and fresh and people love to eat here.
These signs sum up how casual it is:
Florida Cracker also has great food.
When the weather is nice, its great to grab a table outside under a tiki hut. If you ever dare to try gator bites this is the place to do it 🙂 They have fresh seafood – great shrimp too. Also very tasty local brews from Mile Marker Brewing:
The Sunset Grill is open and casual. You can feel the breeze almost everywhere outside of the restaurant. They also offer inside dining.
We will just call this after-beach refreshers 🙂
And they have this gorgeous view from their upstairs deck:
Shopping in downtown St. Augustine is fun and eclectic. You can shop along the bay or venture down the alleyways and streets deeper in the historic area.
Fun coconut art:
And old buildings:
Americas oldest schoolhouse:
Thank you for following along as we visited the oldest city in Florida. Have you ever been to St. Augustine? If not, I hope you visit soon 🙂 I can’t wait to go back!