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Romantic Getaway: St. Augustine

By: Jodi Lewis

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLA.  -- Looking for a weekend getaway for just the two of you?  Look no further than St. Augustine, Florida.  St. Augustine's rich history and beautiful architecture make a short weekend away feel like a trip back in time.   

If you want romantic lodging, 44 Spanish Street is a quaint bed and breakfast located in the historic downtown district of St. Augustine.  The location is ideal for accessing all the major sites in the city.  You can park your car and walk or ride one of the trolleys to many locations in the city.  The inn itself is a 1920's boarding house that has been converted to a delightful bed and breakfast.  The low-key atmosphere feels like staying at your mom's without the inevitable “when-do-I-get-grandkids” questions.  The rooms are comfortable and clean, and some include a large jetted tub, which I recommend for any romantic getaway!  There are two lovely verandahs where you can relax or people-watch, as well as a quaint, brick courtyard where you can eat or just unwind under a canopy of trees.  The breakfast is phenomenal and includes items such as fresh fruit, fresh berry waffles, homemade breads and muffins, hash browns, sausage, veggie-egg-and-ham cups, coffee and juice.  The service is personal, friendly and prompt, and makes you feel like royalty.  The best part is 44 Spanish Street offers a 10% military discount, but if you mention this article you will get a 20% discount.

For a romantic stroll, browse the downtown shops and art galleries. The local art and food is rife with romance.  Downtown in the evening is even better.  Live music wafts from every restaurant and pub, and the lights and brick streets take you back to another era.

If you prefer a spookier stroll try one of the walking ghost tours.  The Original Ghost Tours of St. Augustine winds you through the downtown streets to the Castillo de San Marcos, on to the city gates and then to two antiquated cemeteries.  Ghost Tours of St. Augustine also offers a riding tour.  We enjoyed the ease of the walking tour and some in our group even caught paranormal activity on camera.

The Castillo de San Marcos takes you back to the founding era of St. Augustine.  At the fort you learn about military life in colonial times, watch a cannon firing, and enjoy beautiful views of the bay, inlet and the Atlantic beyond.

St. Augustine Scenic Cruise takes you around Matanzas Bay where you can relish views of the city as well as the old lighthouse.  The double-decker boat allows you a seat on top of the boat where you can sip a cold drink as you relax and watch dolphins, birds and fish as well as the city skyline.

The Lightner Museum offers a fascinating view of American life in the Gilded Age.  The architecture of the building is incredible and beautiful.  And then you see the exhibits.  There are three floors of various collections including musical boxes, nature, clothing, buttons, ceramics, cut glass and furniture, just to name a few!  The Lightner Museum offers a 40% admission discount to active military personnel and their families, $6 for adults instead of $10.

You can't visit St. Augustine without climbing the 219 steps to the top of the old St. Augustine lighthouse.  It is truly a step back to a more romantic time.  The view is unparalleled.  The keeper's house is also open to tour.  There you can learn about the lighthouse through different periods in its history.  The lighthouse offers free admission for active duty military and their families.

St. Augustine has something for everyone and if you plan to visit for a weekend, don't worry about trying to see everything – you'll be back.

---------------- is proud to be featuring the travel articles of Erica I. Pena-Vest to our users. Erica is a travel industry veteran with over ten years of experience in public and media relations. Erica has worked with hundreds of travel writers before becoming one herself in 2004. As a Navy wife, Erica understands the needs of military families and focuses her research and articles to travel deals for those in the armed services. Erica's travel column is appropriated titled "Sweet Land of Liberty". works hard to bring a multitude of resources and information to our audience. This site has thousands of pages of resources and information. There is something for everyone. Users refer to, as the "the Go To Site" for the military and veteran communities. When the next tour is back home, it's on