Free Activities to Do In St Augustine, Florida

Of course living in St Johns County, I know that there are local attractions that St. Johns County residents are always admitted FREE of charge with a valid ID. Never fear though! Even if you don’t live here, you will find free admission to many of other sights that you can enjoy when you visit St Augustine.

Music by the Sea is Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the pavilion at the St. Augustine Beach Pier; which features a wide variety of music including jazz, blues, classic rock, pop, reggae, disco and country. More information at: www.sabca.org.

Concerts in the Plaza takes place Thursdays at 7 p.m.  in the gazebo of the Plaza de la Constitucion in downtown St. Augustine. More information at: www.ConcertsInThePlaza.com.

Free Summer Movies are abounding! Every Wednesday June to August at Movies by the Bay in downtown St. Augustine More information at: www.facebook.com/saintaugustineripleys. My wonderful husband works at Ripley’s so I’m happy for the perks.

The Art Galleries of St. Augustine located in St Augustine, is an association of the many diverse and eclectic art galleries. Every month, Art Galleries of St. Augustine brings the art community together for the First Friday Art Walk. During this time, gallery owners open their doors and invite you in to meet the artists, view their work, enjoy a little food, drink, and conversation. The walk winds around the historic downtown area, highlighting the Art Galleries of St. Augustine Member Galleries. More information at: www.artgalleriesofstaugustine.org.

Fort Matanzas National Monument guarded St. Augustine’s southern river approach. The story of Fort Matanzas has been closely interwoven with that of the city of St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos. Built as an outpost fort in 1740-1742, it was to defend the Matanzas Inlet and to alert St. Augustine of British or other enemies coming up from the south. Fort Matanzas is now a reminder of the early Spanish empire in the New World. 

All areas of the park are free of charge including the ferry to the fort. However, you must stop in the Fort Matanzas Visitor Center (not the St. Augustine city Visitor Center) to get your free boarding pass for the ferry. Family members of all ages must have a pass to board the ferry.

On August 21, 2017, the United States will see a rare occurrence – a total solar eclipse. While we are just outside the “path of totality,” St. Augustine residents and visitors will be able to see about 90% of sun being covered by the moon’s shadow. Rangers and volunteers at Fort Matanzas National Monument have several activities planned to commemorate this exciting astronomical event. We will be there! More information at: www.nps.gov/foma/.

St. Augustine Distillery tours are first-come, first-serve at the distillery and tours are every 30 minutes. Housed in a renovated ice manufacturing plant from the 1900’s,you will observe as they mix, mash, cook and distill small batch vodka, rum, gin and whiskey and then taste their small batch spirits for yourself in their tasting room. Despite the fact that their tours are geared towards adults, children are definitely welcome. They just won’t be able to taste the dis spirits up until they turn 21. More information at: staugustinedistillery.com.

San Sebastian Winery is just a few blocks from downtown historic St. Augustine. Its Wine Shop presents an array of distinctive wine accessories and gift items. Children are welcome, yet tasting wine is offered to adults of 21 years and over with a valid I.D. More information at: www.sansebastianwinery.com.

The Beaches are my favorite. Admission is free to all St. Augustine and St. Johns County beaches. You will find free parking and a short walk to the beach. There is a fee to drive and park on some beaches. Our favorite is Vilano Beach. We always see a friendly group of porpoises that hang around the inlet side. More information at: www.sjcfl.us/Beaches.

If you haven’t enjoyed St. Augustine yet, you don’t know what you are missing!

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Our Four Legged Children- The Cat Edition

At the moment, we have four cats and two dogs. Growing up, there always were cats and dogs in our home. Even though I am allergic to them, I still would not give them up.

The queen of our home is Cupcake. Cupcake is a 16 year old Tuxedo. She was given to me as a runt. I had another cat at the time named Sammie, a Cow Cat, who took her under his wing, or paw. They were inseparable. He passed away when he was 10 and she was 7.

 

 

 

When I bought my house, I adopted Midnight. She was a 3-year-old Black long-haired. I gravitate to black cats because no one wants them. She was such a mellow cat. Sad to say, she passed away last year.

The year after I adopted Midnight, I went into our local pet store and they had kittens for adoptions. My mind was made up not to adopt another cat. It was not going to happen. I would not even look in that direction. The woman there asked me if I would like a kitten. I told her no and tried to get away. Then she said, “But look, Sammy likes you. He’s trying to get to you.” You guessed it. Another cat was coming home with me. I felt that Sammie was telling me I needed another.

 

Later that same year, I adopted Spencer and Princess Anna. My daughter wanted a cat of her own for her birthday. It had to be an orange tabby she saw online. Sad to say, it was gone when I got to the pet store, but I saw Spencer. She fell in love with him. While we were there, there was another kitten, just hiding. I thought she was adorable. A long-haired brown tabby. I was told she was a feral kitten and difficult for anyone to adopt. Challenge accepted. I took her with me. She seemed so regal as if she knew I would cater to her.

I call Sammy, Spencer and Princess Anna the youngsters. Cupcake was 8 when they arrived on the scene and she wasn’t having any of their antics. Now, they are 8 years old. I wonder how they will be when and if I get a pair of kittens. My thought is you don’t get one kitten unless you have a cat that will put up with them. Get them in pairs so they have each other to play with.

Looking to adopt? My motto is “Adopt don’t Shop.”

This is the site I used to find my furry kids.

 

 

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The Top 7 of My Bucket List

Unbelievably, seven years ago I really did not have a “bucket list” per se. My goals were to buy a house, make sure my children (all five of them) graduated and write full time. I thought that was all I wanted.

All of that changed once I met my husband. He came to the U.S. 1981 from Poland. After we married, he said he wanted to go to Poland and see his dad. Ziggy, hadn’t been back since he left, so he really wanted to go. However, there was one problem. I was terrified of flying. The last time that I had been on a plane, I was probably 10. Dread filled me until it was time to leave. That was six years ago.

Now, all I want to do is travel and since I’ve beaten my fear of flying, I have more to conquer. The top seven on my list are:

1.Travel to Romania. I have always loved vampires. I have all the old black and white Dracula movies as well as Nosferatu.

2 &3. Go to Scotland as well as Ireland. I have had a fascination with their culture since Elementary school. I would go into a clover field during recess, looking for a four-leaf clover. Yes, I did find a couple. I remember seeing something in a book about the Isle of Skye one day in Junior High. Before the class was over, I wrote a song about it. My husband wants to go to England, so I see us combining that.

4.Learn to swim. I can swim under water, but I have to come up to breath eventually. Sorry, no gills here.

5.Scuba dive. Living in Florida, you would think I would have been started this. I have one small problem. I am terrified of fish. Alive or dead, I am scared to death. But I’m not afraid of sharks. If I could pet them and not worry about them biting my hand off, I would.

6.Learn to surf. Yes, something else with the beach, but hey, this is Florida!

7.What goes with surfing? Paddle boarding. Being able to swim on top of the water is an absolute prerequisite.

Since my children are grown, sticking close to the house is no longer necessary. Now it’s just putting in the time request off. We’re good for this year and with our fingers crossed, Ziggy and I can get down to working on the list.

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