There was barely enough time for the flight attendants to do beverage service on my way to St. Augustine, Florida, last weekend… but I’m not complaining. The coastal Florida destination is one I wanted to get to quickly. Upon landing at Jacksonville International Airport, I quickly discovered St. Augustine is only a short drive away and has ample meeting and event spaces for corporate groups. To my surprise, the coastal city turned 451 years old in August, making it the oldest in the United States, with plenty of historical charm along narrow, palm tree-lined cobblestone streets. While there are many ways to explore charming St. Augustine, these three experiences stood out in particular.
1. Teleport to Spain at Casa Monica Resort & Spa.
The valet entrance to this AAA Four Diamond hotel feels like a well-kept secret, tucked off of King Street through big wooden doors with a Model T parked outside its Flagler Ballroom. The historic property built in the late 1880s exudes Spanish and Moroccan charm, and no two of its 138 rooms are alike. Though strikingly different from other Kessler Collection hotels, the Casa Monica makes it clear its owner, Richard Kessler, has a thing for good wine, music and art—a common theme I found throughout my stay. My favorite paintings were in the azure, new-this-year Poseidon Spa, but you’ll also find an on-site art gallery (accommodates up to 30 people for receptions) full of even more impressive pieces.