St. Augustine Getaway
Join us and experience the Florida history of Spanish colonialism, swashbuckling pirates, Henry Flagler and the Gilded Age.
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Trip Package Will Include:
Luxury Bus Transportation • Block of Rooms at the Historic Casa Monica Hotel • Organized Morning Tours & Trolley Tour • Dinner with a St. Augustine History Speaker • Nights of Lights by trolley • Lunch in the Historic Alcazar Hotel Pool • Learn About Henry Flagler at Flagler College Tour • Lightner Museum • Historic Fort Castillo de San Marcos • Spanish Military Hospital Museum
Afternoons Free To Explore On Your Own:
St. Augustine Lighthouse • Historic Churches • St. Augustine Distillery • Walking Tours • Fountain of Youth • Ghost Tours
Highlights Trip Package
Historic Casa Monica Hotel
Lodging for this getaway will be at the historic Casa Monica Resort and Spa where a block of rooms is being held for us. From ornate chandeliers to exquisite tapestries and extraordinary art galleries, the Casa Monica will immerse you in the rich history and storied secrets of the famed Florida hotel. Originally built in 1888, this iconic hotel is nestled in the heart of St. Augustine’s Historic District and within walking distance to popular destinations such as Flagler College and the Castillo de San Marcos. The hotel will provide breakfast each morning.
Unique Cocktail Party & Private Dinner
There will be opening cocktail party at the historic Casa Monica the night of our arrival with a guest speaker. Another evening, we will enjoy a private dinner at a historic location where a speaker will talk about Henry Flagler and history of the area.
Flagler College Tour
Learn about Henry M. Flagler, Standard Oil co-founder, railroad tycoon and Florida’s “Father of Tourism.” The centerpiece of Flagler College is the Ponce de Leon Hotel which was built by Flagler is 1888. It was the most luxurious hotel in the country at that time. The hotel was built during the gilded age and features Tiffany stained glass windows, a 68-foot domed ceiling, Edison electricity, and of course, ghosts. Well, mostly a few guests are said to have stuck around. In St. Augustine - one of the oldest cities in the United States - no historic building is complete without a ghost or two. Among those said to haunt the hotel are Flagler’s mentally ill wife, Ida Alice, who stares at a panel wall that used to display a portrait of her husband, a suicidal mistress of Flagler’s - said to dangle from a chandelier on the fourth floor of the girls' dormitory, a lady in blue, a mischievous little boy, and of course, Flagler himself, who strolls the corridors and surprises students from time to time
We will take a short walk to the Lightner Museum in the former Alcazar Hotel, which was also built by Henry Morgan Flagler in 1888. Today it is the home to one of the best collections of fine and decorative 19th century art in the country. The hotel was at the peak of its popularity during the 1890’s. More than 25,000 guests visited the Alcazar during those early winter seasons. For the pleasure of the guests, there was the world’s largest indoor swimming pool at the time, the grand ballroom, sulfur baths, a steam room, massage parlor, a gymnasium, a bowling alley, archery ranges, tennis courts and a bicycle academy.
Lunch In A Historic Pool
For a unique dining experience, we will have lunch at the famous Café Alcazar, which is located directly behind the Lightner Museum. This elegant eatery is located in the former indoor swimming pool of the Alcazar Hotel – minus the water of course! At the time it was built in 1889 it was the largest indoor pool in the world.
Nights of Lights
One evening before dinner we will take a trolley ride to view the Nights of Lights, which National Geographic calls the most impressive holiday lights display in the world. The Annual Nights of Lights dazzles the city as some three million lights adorn every corner of the historic district from November through the end of January. The city of St. Augustine has been celebrating this event for 26 years. Nights of Lights in St. Augustine traces its origins back to the traditional Spanish practice of displaying a white candle in the window during the Christmas holidays.
Castillo de San Marcos
We will visit the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Construction took place from 1672-1695 when Florida was under Spanish rule. We will also visit the Spanish Military Hospital and learn about the early Spanish colonial medical practices and how the Colonial herbs have become the basis for many modern-day medicines.
Spanish Military Hospital Museum
We will tour the Spanish Military Hospital and learn about early Spanish colonial medical practices and
how the Colonial herbs have become the basis for many modern-day medicines.
Private Trolley Tour
Climb aboard for a one-of-a-kind tour of St. Augustine’s Historic District as docents describe
the buildings of the past and share local legends.
Historic Religious Sites
Religious sites of a variety of denominations can be found in St. Augustine, and many come with a lengthy history of the early settlers who founded them. Some came here in hopes of a better life, looking to establish their own beliefs freely. Others came to proclaim the faith in far off lands and serve the people. Sites like the Methodist church, Jewish temple, Greek Orthodox shrine and the Catholic Cathedral Basilica which dates back to the late 1700s, offer a glimpse into the lives of these early pioneers. Tour these religious sites and get a feel for their devotion and dedication to St. Augustine. Through establishing religious sites each denomination found a home in the New World and therefore added to the rich history of this city.
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum
The 165 feet tall working lighthouse is the "front porch light" for the nation's oldest port. Yes, weather permitting, you can climb the 219 steps and walk out on the observation deck and look into the lens room.
St. Augustine Distillery
Located in the old ice plant built in the early 1900’s. Rum, gin, vodka and bourbon are distilled in the building and they offer free tastings.
In St. Augustine - one of the oldest cities in the United States - no historic building is complete without a ghost or two. Learn about mysterious hauntings that have plagued the old city for centuries.
There’s many walking tours to choose from, either guided or self-guided, for a history-filled experience.