St. Augustine is a lovely destination. There’s so much to do and see, you can easily fill your itinerary. Or, you can seize some industrial-strength chilling out on the beaches or pool sides. There’s also the Imax® Theater, villas and courses of the Grande Villas at World Golf Village resort. The town is also packed with terrific restaurants if your idea of a good time revolves around food and drink.
But if you get a little restless or just want a change of scenery, you’re a short drive from Daytona Beach and the City of Jacksonville. Day trips to either (or both) locations can serve as a brief getaway from your getaway.
St. Augustine to Daytona Beach
Best known for the annual namesake race, Daytona Beach is a great year-round destination. In fact, you might want to check out the Bluegreen resorts while you’re there, or those in nearby Ormond Beach.
The Daytona International Speedway and the Motorsports Hall of Fame are both open for tours and the beautiful Peabody Auditorium presents a full calendar of shows, recitals and concerts. Want to shop? The Daytona Flea & Farmers Market is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 5, rain or shine, and Tanger Outlets offers brand-name goods from major retailers at bargain prices.
Want to catch a bite on the ocean? Ocean Deck serves up food, drinks and live music on three decks. They even provide a live webcam if you want to check out the coast. On a sultry day, what’s better than sitting at a beachside spot with an umbrella drink, nibbling on some seafood? Crabby Joe’s, on the Sunglow Fishing Pier, is an ideal place to dine and drink — or try to catch your own dinner.
If it’s not too hot and you’re up to it, hiking is a great way to see the area. Volusia County provides a good choice of hiking programs. More adventurous? You might want to try jet skiing or hang gliding.
And if you’re a history buff, you can explore the area’s rich African-American heritage.
St. Augustine to Jacksonville
Jacksonville, to the north on I-95, is (believe it or not) the largest city in the contiguous 48 states. Though it’s in the northern part of the state, about 25 miles from Georgia, it’s the most “southern” big city in terms of culture and tradition in Florida. A diverse metropolis with deep history and modern development, Jacksonville is also a center for the arts and commerce. And its beaches are among the nicest in the country.
Jacksonville is made up of more than 500 neighborhoods within the city’s 840 square miles. Downtown Jacksonville, which holds the Stadium District (aka the Sports Complex), is home to the NFL Jaguars’ EverBank Field (on the site of the old Gator Bowl), the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Metropolitan Park and the Greater Jacksonville Fair and Expo Center. Like many cities, Jacksonville is enjoying a downtown renaissance, especially in the area along the St. Johns River. Shops and businesses attracted by the lower living costs have sprung up. Likes its New York borough namesake, Brooklyn has become a popular destination for dining, with new restaurants opening almost daily.
For outdoors fun, Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the country as well as a variety of zoos and wildlife preserves. For educational and cultural diversions, try The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, historical Kingsley Plantation or The Florida Theatre, with its ongoing schedule of concerts and plays.
With Bluegreen’s Explorer offer, make Grande Villas at World Golf Village your homebase for a week and go road tripping from there. You’ll never run out of things to do!
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