USA Today – Escape from Orlando: Day trips worth the drive


Many travelers flock to the 449-year-old city of St. Augustine purely for its rich history. However, it’s more than that. Start the day in the heart of the historic district, where the aroma of pastries and fresh bread fills the air thanks to the Bunnery Bakery and Cafe, which serves chocolate croissants and cinnamon rolls. Make a beeline for the boutiques along King Street, where you’ll find unique jewelry, handmade soaps and personalized stationery. And save time for some general lounging, too: There are 43 miles of beaches.

For a quick history lesson, visit Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, which used to protect St. Augustinians from invading British troops. From there, you can peek across the bay at the palatial Anastasia Island mansions. Nearby, Cousteau’s Waffle & Milkshake Bar serves waffles topped with s’mores and key-lime-pie milkshakes.

Then, join the Augustine Haunted Pub Tour for a spooky storytelling excursion through downtown. End the night at Ice Plant Bar, a former ice plant dating back to the early 1900s. The mixologists pay close attention to the art of ice harvesting as well as local ingredients, which make for pretty tasty cocktails.

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