3 days in Florida : Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine

by Simone
Alice and Simone in the swimming pool

How we spent 3 days in Florida in Ponte Vedra & St. Augustine on our summer American road trip

On our way to Florida: From Charleston and back again to Savannah

3 days in Florida | St. Augustine, Florida | Ponte Vedra, Florida | What to do in 3 days

Charleston to Jacksonville

Charleston to Jacksonville

We’ve travelling on a bus again, this time back from Charleston to Savannah (again), to Jacksonville….. We took the Greyhound Express, and the ride took around 5hrs in total, with a quick stop in Savannah.
Before leaving, we took a look at how much money we spent, and we found out that it has been more than we expected. But hey, look at our route-map so far, I would spend every single cent in the same way, except for the horrible coffee at Charleston Greyhound bus stop
While listening to “Bruises” by Bands of Skulls, I was thinking of how small the world is. Let me explain: what are the chances to meet the same person in a hostel in Boston, and then almost 30 days later at Savannah bus station? Well, that happened to us!

Wondering if you should choose Megabus or Greyhound? We have a guide for that!

From New York to Jacksonville

From New York to Jacksonville – all we did so far…

| Read more about our road trip in the USA by bus

Road trip to Florida soundtrack

Again and back on the highway, heading South to the Sunny State of Florida!
Some songs that kept me company during this ride:
  • Etienne de Crecy: Live fast track vs We are your friends
  • Cage the Elephant: Ain’t no rest for the wicked
  • Deftones: My own summer (shove it)
  • Phoenix: Love like a sunset part 2
By the way, if you’re traveling around here, make sure to take the South Eastern bus lines! (We got a codeshare on the bus ride)

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Day 1: St Augustine & the ocean in Ponte Vedra

Simone in Florida

Day 1: Visiting the oldest city in Florida St Augustine

Stuff to do in St Augustine

We had breakfast at home before leaving to St. Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement in the borders of the continental United States (September 8th, 1565). On the way, we stopped at a hardware store where Regina bought us a new camera as a wedding gift.

St. Augustine, where I’ve already been a couple of times, is a nice little town full of nice restaurants and things to do. We had lunch and walked around, as they are a few landmarks to see.

To me, the best way to try and see everything, especially if you have a bit more time than we had, is to get the Discover St Augustine Attractions Pass with Hop-on Hop-off. It’s the most complete and practical pass to discover more than 100 points of interest and see all of the city’s top attractions. | Check the great reviews and price on Viator

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is the first thing that greeted us when we arrived in town.

The Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine

The Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine

After lunch, we first started our tour of the city by The Bridge of Lions
The Bridge of Lions

The Bridge of Lions

Bird from the bridge

A boat seen from the bridge

Then we went toward Fort Matanzas
The Fort Matanzas

The Fort Matanzas

Then we zigzagged through the historical town of St Augustine

Peace flag in St Augustine Shop in St Augustine An other shop in st Augustine Shop sign in St Augustine

… until we got to the impressive Flagler College. This school has been established inside what was previously a luxury hotel. I’ll let you imagine how it is inside…. (spoiler: Titanic meets the Sorbonne)

Street sign in St Augustine Flagler College Sign

Front of Flagler College

Flagler College

From the school, you can have a look at the Lightner Museum
Lightner Museum

Lightner Museum

The ocean on the way from St Augustine back to Ponte Vedra

The ocean on the way from St Augustine back to Ponte Vedra

Best places to stay in St Augustine FL

Here are some of the best places to stay in St Augustine FL for every budgets:

Best place to stay in St Augustine for backpackers: Discovery Yoga Center Hostel in downtown St Augustine. There are private rooms with private or shared bathroom, and male-only & female-only dormitories. On top of that, you get 1 free yoga lesson with your booking! | Check reviews and availability on Booking.com

Best place to stay in St Augustine for budget road trippers: The Budget Inn motel is perfect for a stop in the historic town of St Augustine on a road trip. It’s only a 2min drive away from the center, and has free wifi. | Check reviews and prices on Booking.com.

Best Bed & Breakfast for couples to stay in St Augustine: At Journey’s End B&B is the best B&B you can get in St Augustine. It’s absolutely perfect for couples, with an excellent location in the heart of the historical town, and raving reviews. Each room is themed after famous explorers and you can lounge on the shared deck and enjoy some complimentary drinks. Enjoy! | Check reviews and availability on Booking.com

Best luxury 4* hotel to stay in St Augustine FL; The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens is the best luxury hotel you can find in the heart of the historic town of St Augustine. With a heated outdoor pool and gorgeous rooms (including a microwave, which we always enjoy!), The Collector also offers the use of bicycles and organizes tours of the city. | Check reviews and prices on Booking.com

Evening of day 1: The ocean at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra 

Finally, the ocean!!! The water was incredibly hot, hotter than Alice or I had ever experienced!! It kind of felt as if we were in a hot bath, so it was a bit weird!
Simone and Regina on the beach

Simone and Regina on the beach

Alice and Simone in the ocean Alice and Simone having fun in the water Ponte Vedra beach

After a little while, we relocated to the pool of the Sawgrass Marriott Resort where I did laps and the girls had a cocktail by the side of the pool.

Total American Beach Club experience !! 

Simone swimming Alice and Simone in the swimming pool Simone and Alice in the pool
When Regina’s husband Judd arrived, we had dinner at the cabana beach club, where we talked about the current socio-economic-political situation.

Where to stay in Ponte Vedra & Jacksonville

While we have stayed in Ponte Vedra with family, there are great places to stay in Ponte Vedra. Only… if you don’t have a tight budget, or if you can grab a discount. Otherwise check below for our chosen affordable hotel in Jacksonville.

Hotels & resorts in Ponte Vedra Beach

The Lodge and Club is a gorgeous 4* resort with fabulous beach location in Ponte Vedra. With a sauna, a sauna, an outdoor pool, a private beach and a kids club, it’s hard to find a more dreamy place to stay at. Hold your breath, because there’s also a golf court! | Check reviews and availability on HotelsCombined

The Hilton Garden Inn is a 3* hotel conveniently located in Ponte Vedra. It’s great for couples and surrounded with beautiful beaches and golf courts. It includes a 24h convenience store, a fitness center, and an outdoor swimming pool. | Check reviews and prices on Booking.com

Affordable hotel in Jacksonville

2* budget hotel in Jacksonville: The Candlewood Suites Jacksonville is close to the main attractions and a short drive away from the beaches. It’s super comfortable, and makes it easy to keep a tight budget thanks to the equipped kitchen featured in every room: no need to have expensive meals in restaurants, you can do some groceries and eat in! | Check reviews and availability on Booking.com

Day 2: Rest, work, and diner in Ponte Vedra

I wrote down on our travel notebook that all I could remember about that day was the beach. Alice nicely circled this part, and wrote below it that it was ‘great because we didn’t go to the beach that day‘. UUUUUH……… Instead, she pointed out that I got a haircut and napped while she worked (at least, that’s what she says she did!)
At night, we had dinner at Palm Valley Outdoors Bar & Grill, a very cool place under a bridge. It was a nice location, by the water, where people swam and had fun.

Calm diner by the water

The place where we had diner Romantic photo by the pier

Goodnight Ponte Vedra

Back at home, we realized we had not scheduled and booked anything for our trip after New Orleans
Our plan was initially to go from there to Las Vegas for a night or two, before flying to California. But now, so close to the date of leaving, it had gotten more expensive (and we got more broke) so we tried to understand what to do….

Day 3: The last day of ocean in Florida until we get to California!

I went swimming in the ocean and run, while Alice did an aqua-fitness class with Regina at the beach resort (she was the youngest by far, that was hilarious). Basically, we spent the day under the sun, riding waves, that was a very good day.
Simone by the pool Simone getting ready to swim Simone drinking by the pool
With Regina we did some grocery shopping, and come dinner time I made a risotto.
The cousins cooking together!

The cousins cooking together!

Simone and Regina cooking a risotto

A good part of the evening was again spent by checking out how and where to go after New Orleans.
Hours of hair-pulling later, we agreed to forget about Las Vegas and take the fastest cheapest way to get to California. So we booked a Greyhound from New Orleans to Houston, and a flight from Houston to San Diego.

Good bye Florida!

3 days in Florida | St. Augustine Florida | Ponte Vedra, Florida | Places to visit in St Augustine | Where to stay in St Augustine

3 days in Florida | Exploring St Augustine | Ponte Vedra | #Florida #StAugustine #flaggers

Spending a day in St Augustine Florida USA - What to do in Saint Augustine FL | Places to visit in FloridaSt Augustine & Ponte Vedra visit in Florida USA | Things to do in Florida in 3 days

St Augustine Florida Pinterest Image

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Viviane Feeney 19 January 2017 - 2 h 24 min

Hello from Australia 🙂
What was your favourite part of this trip between Charleston & Jacksonville? Was it swimming laps in the pool while the girls drank cocktails? I think that was my favourite one to read.
Keep on blogging & traveling, you’re doing well!

Alice & Simone 19 January 2017 - 22 h 45 min

Hi Viviane, my favourite part of this trip was absolutely playing in the ocean and doing laps in the pool, and , here is my Italian part coming out, COOKING! I love to cook and having the possibility to do it made me very very happy!
Thanks and keep on following us, lots and lots more is coming!

Gemma 19 January 2017 - 4 h 07 min

I like the way you incorporated your playlist! We can listen and imagine we’re on the journey 🙂

Alice & Simone 19 January 2017 - 22 h 51 min

Hi Gemma, I think music is very important when travelling, it opens your mind and helps you appreciate in a more “intimate” way your journey.
Thanks i really appreciate your comment.

Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke 19 January 2017 - 5 h 47 min

wow, how fun is that to take the Greyhound!! Love the beautiful buildings in St Augustine, I’ve never been to that part of Florida!

Alice & Simone 19 January 2017 - 23 h 06 min

Hi Kristen, busses are indeed a great way to cross countries! I would always suggest Megabus, period!
St. Augustine it’s a beautiful place, if you have the chance to go there…..GO!

Rimsha 19 January 2017 - 8 h 44 min

Looks like you guys had a great time! I’d love to visit – it looks like such a beautiful place in your photos 🙂

Alice & Simone 19 January 2017 - 23 h 10 min

Hi Rimsha, We had a great time there , i would go back right now!
Great food , lots of sun and the ocean , our perfect way of life!

Ro @ The Travel Captain 19 January 2017 - 9 h 10 min

great photos. appreciate the music play list for context. especially liked the architecture on some of those buildings.

Alice & Simone 19 January 2017 - 23 h 19 min

Thanks Ro, we were very lucky to have a new camera to take picture, it would’ve not be the same with a smartphone!
In my opinion music is very important on a road trip, it makes it even better if possible!

Ioanna 19 January 2017 - 18 h 15 min

Hi Alice! I’ve never been to Florida, although I did travel a bit around the US.
I must say that this Floger College is seriously impressive! I wish I could go and see what it’s like inside!
A nice introduction to the place, thanks!

Alice & Simone 19 January 2017 - 22 h 36 min

Hi Ionna! Flagler College was definitely an impressive place! You’re welcome, I’m glad you liked it! -Alice.

Shannalyn 20 January 2017 - 2 h 45 min

Great read! It sounded like a wonderful trip. I’ve been to a few different places in Florida, but if you get to travel to St. Augustine. There’s a pirate convention that’s there every year, which I always thought would be fun time to visit. out of curiosity, what camera are you using? I’m looking at getting a new one.

Aubrie 20 January 2017 - 3 h 32 min

To be honest, I’ve only been to Orlando so it was cool to see a new area I didn’t know about! I would love to visit that area. Great pictures!

Alice Cardy 20 January 2017 - 23 h 24 min

Thank you Aubrie, I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 We’ve never been to Orlando!

Theresa 21 January 2017 - 10 h 27 min

What an amazing coincidence, and what a fantastic trip! It looks like you’ll are having an amazing time, and really taking advantage of the warm southern weather.

Anna 21 January 2017 - 10 h 40 min

Great post and super informative! Loved all the photos

Cali 25 January 2017 - 16 h 27 min

Seems like such a fun trip!

Carmen Baguio 25 January 2017 - 18 h 40 min

It’s been a couple of years since I was last at St. Augustine, and I have never been to Jacksonville. Was there much visible damage from last fall’s hurricane? Pinning this!

Meg 25 January 2017 - 23 h 49 min

Looks like you guys are really enjoying Florida! It’s great to be there this time of year and always great to see family. Keep on traveling!

Meghan 26 January 2017 - 20 h 20 min

Looks like a really relaxing and fun weekend. I love the beach!


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