History and Beaches: Camping in St. Augustine Beach, Florida

St. Augustine Beach

I must admit I had never stayed in St. Augustine Beach before.  Actually I hadn’t been to the beach here before except a family trip in the 1970s.  And I worked for a museum for five years that had another facility in the old town section of St. Augustine.  So, finally, I decided it was time to visit.

We selected the KOA campground because it was fairly close to the ocean yet still close to the old town since we were just using bicycles to get around.  As with all KOA campgrounds, this one was well run and very clean with amenities to keep everyone happy.  It was Labor Day weekend in the U.S. so it was fairly busy.  It was nice to see the campground fairly full.

Cabins across the lake at the KOA Campground in St. Augustine Beach, Florida
Cabins across the lake at the KOA Campground in St. Augustine Beach, Florida

We used the pool which was great and we had a very good end site.  The bike ride to the beach was all of about 7 minutes so it is very convenient and directly down Pope Road.  The beach here is a short walk to the pier and has a shower and some parking too.  There is an old motel that is shuttered awaiting some type of development at this corner.

The Pier at St. Augustine Beach is less than ten minutes by bicycle from the campground.
The Pier at St. Augustine Beach is less than ten minutes by bicycle from the campground.

We managed to eat at two different places on A1A and both were very good.  The first, Little Margie’s FA Cafe is more of a small dive restaurant and I mean that in the best way possible – it was terrific.  It has indoor and outdoor seating and a small bar.  It is the perfect little beach place and does lunch and breakfast as well as a full liquor bar.  The nachos were excellent and the beers (5 Bud Lights for ten bucks) were cold!  Be sure to visit the unusual gift shop next door which is owned by the same owner and is worth a pop in to.

Little Margie's FA Cafe was the perfect place to relax and eat right across from the beach in St. Augustine Beach.
Little Margie’s FA Cafe was the perfect place to relax and eat right across from the beach in St. Augustine Beach.

The second place we went to, Salt Life Food Shack, was just down the road and is a much more polished place (despite the name shack) with indoor and outdoor seating, air conditioned inside and a roof deck.  It was fully non-smoking and had great views from the roof deck.  Ironically we opted for nachos here and they were heaping and fabulous!

The nachos at Salt Life in St. Augstine Beach were out of this world and paired perfectly with cold beer.
The nachos at Salt Life in St. Augstine Beach were out of this world and paired perfectly with cold beer.

St. Augustine

I’d been to St. Augustine many times and also been director of a museum there though I had an on-site manager so I didn’t spend that much time there.  Still, I’d been to St. Augustine many times and have many friends in the tourism business there.  But if I somehow could forget all that, I’d still find it a fantastic place that I’d highly recommend to everyone.  And I do.

We rode our bicycles into the town which was a bit further than probably most people would like to cycle especially in the heat.  But we did it in about thirty minutes.  We passed the Alligator Farm and the St. Augustine Lighthouse.  Both attractions I would highly recommend and have been to them both.

The outside of Taberna del Caballo in St. George Street, St. Augustine.
The outside of Taberna del Caballo in St. George Street, St. Augustine.

In the town we really just walked up and down St. George Street.  We stopped at the former Old Spanish Quarter which is now the Colonial Quarter.  We ate at the Taberna del Caballo and had a pleasant enough meal inside with paraffin lamps being the only lighting in the place made it feel special and more authentic.

After dinner we rode back to the beach to the campground and enjoyed a relaxing drink outside the RV.  Having enjoyed some ocean time, downtown historical time and some camping time, this was a great weekend getaway and one that we’d surely repeat if the opportunity presented itself again.

 

 

 

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