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Questions about Cocoa beach and St. Augustine.


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We are staying at the Doubletree Oceanfront in Cocoa beach the night before the cruise. So far I have us trying fishlips, ron jons and of course the beach, but what else could we do in the area?

 

After the cruise we are staying at the St. augustine vilano beach hampton inn. I have never stayed in this area so any suggestions for restaurants or sights to see would be appreciated.

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We vacation in St Augustine once a month during the summer months, and we love the area. As far as restaurants, I'd recommend Saltwater Cowboys, Florida Cracker Cafe (check out Savannah Sweets right next door) and I've heard good things about The Oasis. If you're younger, the White Lion is also a good bar at night. Scarlett O'Hara's seems to be popular, but I find it highly overrated. Be sure to grab lunch at Cruiser's Grill, too.

 

San Sebastian Winery is a good place to check out if you're into wine. We buy their wine by the case now, because we loved it on our first trip.

 

The beaches are usually not very crowded, which is also another good thing.

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After the cruise we are staying at the St. augustine vilano beach hampton inn. I have never stayed in this area so any suggestions for restaurants or sights to see would be appreciated.

 

Here are my restaurant recommendations, based solely on my personal preferences... and 22 years of enjoying their cuisine:

 

For Lunch

 

Café Alcazar (25 Granada St, Saint Augustine, FL 32084-4387) is a true hidden gem…and is definitely off the main tourist path. It is a small restaurant located in what was once the deep end of the world's largest indoor swimming pool, now the Lightener Museum building. The food is quite good (I love their curried chicken salad.) and the atmosphere is absolutely unique and very conducive to conversation. They don't take reservations and only serve lunch. If you have trouble finding them, you can phone them at 904-825-9948. Check out their Trip Advisor reviews: http://*******.com/5qlvrq

http://www.thecafealcazar.com/

 

For Dinner

 

Old City House http://www.oldcityhouse.com/

Outstanding breakfasts and dinners. Located just steps away from the Casa Monica.

 

The Raintree http://www.raintreerestaurant.com/

 

The Reef http://www.thereefstaugustine.com/index.html?

The food is very good, and the ocean views are even better. Be sure to arrive before sunset (or for Sunday brunch) for best views. Request a window table when making your reservation.

 

Saltwater Cowboys

(My personal favorite for ambiance and value combined)

http://www.saltwatercowboys.com/

 

Gypsy Cab Co. http://www.gypsycab.com/

 

Creekside Dinery http://www.creeksidedinery.com/

 

Le Pavillion http://www.lepav.com/

 

Purple Olive http://www.purple-olive.com

 

Casa Maya

This tiny restaurant offers fresh, organic ingredients to make the most delicious Mayan dishes.

 

17 Hypolita St

St Augustine, FL32084

(904) 217-3039

 

And, for a special treat...you should try Collage http://www.collagestaug.com/ It is strictly a special occasion restaurant, but if you like good service, warm & relaxing ambiance and a creative, eclectic menu, this restaurant is a wonderful experience. They do everything right!

 

 

Honorable mention

 

O'Steens

(Perhaps the best shrimp in town. ZERO ambiance, no reservations, reasonable prices)

 

http://*******.com/2qtxgd

 

 

You'll notice that I did not mention the Columbia restaurant. IMO, their food is good, but not as good as any of the other restaurants I have mentioned.

 

Also, it is somewhat of a tourist trap and one of about 6-8 other Columbia's around the state. This may qualify them as a chain restaurant. I know a lot of people eat there, but the other restaurants I have given you are all better.

 

Now, what to see? Here are some links you can go through.

http://www.staugustine.com/visit/

http://www.visitflorida.com/St_Augustine

http://www.getaway4florida.com/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/destinations/florida/st-augustine/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/destinations/florida/st-augustine/orl-pg-st-augustine-pictures,0,7332212.photogallery

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Here are my restaurant recommendations, based solely on my personal preferences... and 22 years of enjoying their cuisine:

 

Creekside Dinery http://www.creeksidedinery.com/

 

 

Creekside is an absolute favorite in my family and we often drive 1.5 hrs just to visit there. If you go, highly recommend the plank fish which is cooked on a cedar plank in the oven and topped with a mayo/mustard based sauce with breadcrumbs. I've been trying for years to get their secret recipe! (Just talking about it, I want to plan another visit there soon, so yummy!)

 

 

For things in the Port Canaveral area... you might want to also check out Grills (near Fish Lips), they have a good lunch and breakfast menu. If you're into the local brewery scene, there's Cocoa Beach Brewing Company (tends to be a hangout of the local aerospace workers).

Edited by Sailorgirl32489
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Here are my restaurant recommendations, based solely on my personal preferences... and 22 years of enjoying their cuisine:

 

For Lunch

 

Café Alcazar (25 Granada St, Saint Augustine, FL 32084-4387) is a true hidden gem…and is definitely off the main tourist path. It is a small restaurant located in what was once the deep end of the world's largest indoor swimming pool, now the Lightener Museum building. The food is quite good (I love their curried chicken salad.) and the atmosphere is absolutely unique and very conducive to conversation. They don't take reservations and only serve lunch. If you have trouble finding them, you can phone them at 904-825-9948. Check out their Trip Advisor reviews: http://*******.com/5qlvrq

http://www.thecafealcazar.com/

 

For Dinner

 

Old City House http://www.oldcityhouse.com/

Outstanding breakfasts and dinners. Located just steps away from the Casa Monica.

 

The Raintree http://www.raintreerestaurant.com/

 

The Reef http://www.thereefstaugustine.com/index.html?

The food is very good, and the ocean views are even better. Be sure to arrive before sunset (or for Sunday brunch) for best views. Request a window table when making your reservation.

 

Saltwater Cowboys

(My personal favorite for ambiance and value combined)

http://www.saltwatercowboys.com/

 

Gypsy Cab Co. http://www.gypsycab.com/

 

Creekside Dinery http://www.creeksidedinery.com/

 

Le Pavillion http://www.lepav.com/

 

Purple Olive http://www.purple-olive.com

 

Casa Maya

This tiny restaurant offers fresh, organic ingredients to make the most delicious Mayan dishes.

 

17 Hypolita St

St Augustine, FL32084

(904) 217-3039

 

And, for a special treat...you should try Collage http://www.collagestaug.com/ It is strictly a special occasion restaurant, but if you like good service, warm & relaxing ambiance and a creative, eclectic menu, this restaurant is a wonderful experience. They do everything right!

 

 

Honorable mention

 

O'Steens

(Perhaps the best shrimp in town. ZERO ambiance, no reservations, reasonable prices)

 

http://*******.com/2qtxgd

 

 

You'll notice that I did not mention the Columbia restaurant. IMO, their food is good, but not as good as any of the other restaurants I have mentioned.

 

Also, it is somewhat of a tourist trap and one of about 6-8 other Columbia's around the state. This may qualify them as a chain restaurant. I know a lot of people eat there, but the other restaurants I have given you are all better.

 

Now, what to see? Here are some links you can go through.

http://www.staugustine.com/visit/

http://www.visitflorida.com/St_Augustine

http://www.getaway4florida.com/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/destinations/florida/st-augustine/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/destinations/florida/st-augustine/orl-pg-st-augustine-pictures,0,7332212.photogallery

 

Vic kind of nailed it! :D We live in Ponte Vedra, just about 15 minutes from St. Augustine, and spend a fair amount of time there.

 

Le Pavilion was a pleasant surprise; we ended up there when we went for Nights of Lights along with everyone else in the world ;) and couldn't get in anywhere. Le Pav is a little outside of the main tourist area, and was excellent. Cafe Alcazar is next on our list of paces to eat, keep in mind they're only open for lunch.

 

I'd also recommend St. Augustine Gold Tours, we went with Peter when some family was in town and he was very informative and entertaining. He also has a smaller vehicle than some of the trolley type tours, so he can get onto narrower streets and tighter spaces. http://www.staugustinegoldtours.com/

 

Have fun in St. Aug! It's one of our favorite parts of living here, what a great place.

Edited by mspink98
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The Cocoa Beach pier might be interesting

 

oh cool!, I love piers. Most of the beaches I go to do not have any. I will add this to the list as well. thank you :)!

 

 

As you know, it is the oldest city in the U.S. There are so many wonderful things to see there that you will probably need at least 2-3 days.

 

I wish I could get that much more time off work but the two weeks I am taking is already stretching it lol.

 

 

We vacation in St Augustine once a month during the summer months, and we love the area. As far as restaurants, I'd recommend Saltwater Cowboys, Florida Cracker Cafe (check out Savannah Sweets right next door) and I've heard good things about The Oasis. If you're younger, the White Lion is also a good bar at night. Scarlett O'Hara's seems to be popular, but I find it highly overrated. Be sure to grab lunch at Cruiser's Grill, too.

 

San Sebastian Winery is a good place to check out if you're into wine. We buy their wine by the case now, because we loved it on our first trip.

 

The beaches are usually not very crowded, which is also another good thing.

 

thank you for all the info!, we will be having a mixed group. My parents are in their late 40's early 50's, me and my bf in our late 20's early 30's and my sister the baby still in her youthful early twenties so it's good to have options all of us could do or break off into groups. I will let my sister know about White lion she enjoys the bar scene :rolleyes: . I am so happy about you mentioning the beach isnt so crowded I love the feeling of having the ocean and sand to myself XP.

 

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Here are my restaurant recommendations, based solely on my personal preferences... and 22 years of enjoying their cuisine:

 

For Lunch

 

Café Alcazar (25 Granada St, Saint Augustine, FL 32084-4387) is a true hidden gem…and is definitely off the main tourist path. It is a small restaurant located in what was once the deep end of the world's largest indoor swimming pool, now the Lightener Museum building. The food is quite good (I love their curried chicken salad.) and the atmosphere is absolutely unique and very conducive to conversation. They don't take reservations and only serve lunch. If you have trouble finding them, you can phone them at 904-825-9948. Check out their Trip Advisor reviews: http://*******.com/5qlvrq

http://www.thecafealcazar.com/

 

For Dinner

 

Old City House http://www.oldcityhouse.com/

Outstanding breakfasts and dinners. Located just steps away from the Casa Monica.

 

The Raintree http://www.raintreerestaurant.com/

 

The Reef http://www.thereefstaugustine.com/index.html?

The food is very good, and the ocean views are even better. Be sure to arrive before sunset (or for Sunday brunch) for best views. Request a window table when making your reservation.

 

Saltwater Cowboys

(My personal favorite for ambiance and value combined)

http://www.saltwatercowboys.com/

 

Gypsy Cab Co. http://www.gypsycab.com/

 

Creekside Dinery http://www.creeksidedinery.com/

 

Le Pavillion http://www.lepav.com/

 

Purple Olive http://www.purple-olive.com

 

Casa Maya

This tiny restaurant offers fresh, organic ingredients to make the most delicious Mayan dishes.

 

17 Hypolita St

St Augustine, FL32084

(904) 217-3039

 

And, for a special treat...you should try Collage http://www.collagestaug.com/ It is strictly a special occasion restaurant, but if you like good service, warm & relaxing ambiance and a creative, eclectic menu, this restaurant is a wonderful experience. They do everything right!

 

 

Honorable mention

 

O'Steens

(Perhaps the best shrimp in town. ZERO ambiance, no reservations, reasonable prices)

 

http://*******.com/2qtxgd

 

 

You'll notice that I did not mention the Columbia restaurant. IMO, their food is good, but not as good as any of the other restaurants I have mentioned.

 

Also, it is somewhat of a tourist trap and one of about 6-8 other Columbia's around the state. This may qualify them as a chain restaurant. I know a lot of people eat there, but the other restaurants I have given you are all better.

 

Now, what to see? Here are some links you can go through.

http://www.staugustine.com/visit/

http://www.visitflorida.com/St_Augustine

http://www.getaway4florida.com/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/trave.../st-augustine/

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/trave...2.photogallery

 

wow! thank you so much! I have checked out some of the restaurants and the reef looks so good as does saltwater cowboys. choices choices lol.

thank you also for all the links and just all the information and personal thought. I do appreciate it :)

 

Creekside is an absolute favorite in my family and we often drive 1.5 hrs just to visit there. If you go, highly recommend the plank fish which is cooked on a cedar plank in the oven and topped with a mayo/mustard based sauce with breadcrumbs. I've been trying for years to get their secret recipe! (Just talking about it, I want to plan another visit there soon, so yummy!)

 

 

For things in the Port Canaveral area... you might want to also check out Grills (near Fish Lips), they have a good lunch and breakfast menu. If you're into the local brewery scene, there's Cocoa Beach Brewing Company (tends to be a hangout of the local aerospace workers).

 

lol you all are now killing me with restaurants XP I now have three I would love to try out :( I wish I was there longer.

 

I just checked out grills and I think fishlips may have a bit of competition their prices are not bad at all neither are the reviews. thank you for mentioning them!

Vic kind of nailed it! :D We live in Ponte Vedra, just about 15 minutes from St. Augustine, and spend a fair amount of time there.

 

Le Pavilion was a pleasant surprise; we ended up there when we went for Nights of Lights along with everyone else in the world ;) and couldn't get in anywhere. Le Pav is a little outside of the main tourist area, and was excellent. Cafe Alcazar is next on our list of paces to eat, keep in mind they're only open for lunch.

 

I'd also recommend St. Augustine Gold Tours, we went with Peter when some family was in town and he was very informative and entertaining. He also has a smaller vehicle than some of the trolley type tours, so he can get onto narrower streets and tighter spaces. http://www.staugustinegoldtours.com/

 

Have fun in St. Aug! It's one of our favorite parts of living here, what a great place.

 

Thank you for the information about the tours. I hadn't thought about doing one but now it's an option for us.

 

 

I have only 125 days to come up with all the plans to make this a great vacation and anniversary for my parents. So I truly thank you all for all your input.

Edited by Rainbowfalls
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Don't think anyone else has mentioned it yet, but in St. Aug another popular attraction worth checking out is the Castillo de San Marcos (old Spanish fort) which is right off the river. There's a pedestrian street right next to it (St. George Street) and it has lots of little shops. Favorites over there are Kilwins fudge shop and Crucial Coffee - they have frozen hot chocolate.

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Close to where you'll be staying, just north of Vilano on A1A, is Cap's on the water. It's on the Intracoastal so you can sit on the deck and watch boats go by. Really good fried shrimp!

The Reef is on the beach and every table has a view of the dunes and the beach. Their Fried Green Tomatoes are delish!

The Castillo is a part of the National Parks system. If you have a Golden Eagle pass it's free. It's the real thing: a Spanish fort. Nombre de Dios Shrine has a very old cemetery and is right on the marshes of the Inlet where the Spaniards first came ashore. The Visitors' Info Center is at 10 S Castillo, about a block north of the fort. They have parking garage convenient for the fort and St George St.

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Harry's is wonderful, and they have very good non-seafood offerings also, which is sometimes helpful. I love seafood, especially shrimp, especially from around here because it's usually local. BUT! I had a chicken and artichoke dish at Harry's that made me so happy it's going to be hard to get anything else. I tried others' fish dishes and they were also great, but that chicken lives on in my dreams. :)

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