Anastasia State Park and St. Augustine

Anastasia State Park is in St. Augustine and located right on the beach. I was a little nervous about my site because there were low hanging branches, but it turned out fine. There was water and electric, picnic table and fire ring. The bath house was a short distance away and looked clean. There are no windows, just screens, so no temperature control is available except for the ceiling fans. Too cold to shower with 30′ night temps!
The beach was about 1/2 mile from the camp site and the sand dune restoration project is trying to preserve the dunes and wild life that inhabit the shore. Walk ways to the dunes and beach made it easy to navigate with shoes on and it was pretty secluded for January.
There were shells every where, mostly small and a great spot for sunrise and sunset
You can see the lighthouse from the walkway and it’s about 1 mile or 2 away. I would definitely go back here again!

St. Augustine, FL
Oldest city in the country 1565 founded by the Spanish. Though very touristy, there is so much to see here, historically, architecturally, and you know, sightseeing-y.
The lighthouse is the oldest one in Florida and is a working beacon with black and white spiral stripes and a red top. It’s beautiful! I spent an hour one night in a parking lot by the marina just watching the light. The lens is huge!
There is so much to see here that I can’t list everything, but here are some of the highlights.
Ripley’s Believe it or not – for me too pricey, but would be interested to check it out someday. Originally a rich man’s residence (there are many!) and Ripley bought it back in the 1960’s. Check out the statue of David behind the hedge (naughty bits are showing).
Take one of the trolley tours for the best experience. You can jump on and off anytime while the tours are running to visit stops, go shopping, eat, whatever.
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and entrance to the city
This is a national monument with a star pointed fort facing the ocean that was built in 1560’s. You can see the cannons, holes in the walls, oven to heat cannon balls and the wall to the gate that enclosed the city. The gates to the city were closed at dusk every night and today, the old buildings are used as the shopping and eating section of the city. Some of the old buildings from the 1800’s are still in use or replicated.
The hotels were built to replicate how the city looked in the 1800’s. It’s gorgeous!
Check out the stops on the Old Town Trolley website to see what’s there.
Flagler College was once a famous hotel and is one of the most extravagant buildings in the city. The rich were treated quite well back in the day!

Nights of Lights
I went here the night before the last day of the lights and was glad I made it. If you are ever in Florida around the Christmas holidays, this is a must see! There is a beautiful square with thousands of white lights, and the whole city is decorated including the lighthouse
The famous Bridge of Lions was lit up too and you can watch the boats in the harbor.
lighthouse is working and 200′ tall.
Free parking for RV’s during the day in the outside lot near HWY1. This was the highlight of my stay and 2 free days was worth it. I camped at a Cracker Barrel and a travel center.

Architecture
Flagler College (partner of Rockefeller) used to be a hotel. Grandeur to the max! Tiffany stained glass, etc.
Flagler museum houses a collector’s whopping collection of stuff.
Churches were built on his land in exchange for property and didn’t have time to go inside the buildings and definitely will return again.
Got to check out the fort.

Trolley tour around $40
Old Town Trolley has 22 stops. Look it up online. Pretty cool!
They missed me a couple of times and had to walk to the next stop, which was kind of annoying. They made up for it when I lost my debit card and they found it and mailed it back to me when I called the next day. Thank you guys!!!
Plenty of place to eat and drink, but I’m cheap and ate in the van. Gas prices are higher and I have to be careful about spending.
Weather
Cold and windy! I wore my hat the whole time.
What’s with the weather in Florida??

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