Last week I shared the 1st part of our St. Trip with you. Click to read that>>>>St. Simons Island Trip-Part 1
Today’s post covers the 2nd half of the trip from Wednesday through Saturday when we head home.
So after a pretty tiring day in Savannah, on Wednesday we decided to stick around St. Simons. Rob and I ventured out while the boys stayed back at the condo. We stopped by Gascoigne Bluff Park. As you can see this is another gorgeous spot with Live Oaks and Spanish Moss. What you don’t see in the pic is the 9 hole Disc Golf Course.
From there just down the street we wanted to check out Epworth By the Sea (100 Arthur J Moore Dr, St Simons, GA 31522), which is a world renowned, conference and retreat center owned by the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. It is just a gorgeous place right on the Gascoigne Bluff. More than 200 years after Rev. John and Charles Wesley labored on St. Simons, South Georgia Methodists agreed that this was the perfect location for a conference and retreat center.
While we were near the ocean, we knew we wanted to get some fresh shrimp and make at least 1 of our favorite shrimp dishes. We ended up at Jackie’s Seafood Market in Brunswick, GA. We had stopped at the seafood market in St. Simons but they were outrageous and only took cash.
Our next road trip on the itinerary was St. Augustine Florida, which is about a 2 hour drive from St. Simons. We pre-purchased tickets for the Trolley Tour, which starts at the Old City Jail. However, since we were crossing over into Florida we had to stop at a COVID checkpoint. They had people asking what state you were traveling from. Apparently if you said you were traveling from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Louisiana you have to fill out a bunch of paperwork and they were asking those folks to self-isolate once they reached their Florida destination. (Florida 1-95 checkpoint still in place) So that was a first!
The Trolley Tour takes you around to all the major spots, while giving you history and info about each location. You are able to get off at as many locations, walk around, check it out, and either get back on where you left off or jump ahead to a future stop. We got off at the #4 City Gates and explored on our own through #5 Colonial Quarter, but walked back to where we got off at stop #4 so we could hear about #5.
We got off at #8, which was the churches. St. Augustine being the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the contiguous United States dating back to 1565 has so much history. The churches there are magnificent. We really enjoyed walking around the grounds of those, but due to COVID they were not open to see inside.
We ate lunch at Taberna del Caballo (37 St George St, St Augustine, FL 32084), which is located near the Colonial Quarters. Really good tacos!
After lunch we explored stop #11 St. Augustine Distillery, which has a very short tour and free samples!
From there we hit stop #12 San Sebastian Winery, which is also free. Not really a tour, just lots of free wine tasting circled around a stand up bar area.
Stop #13 at Whetstones Chocolate Factory is not free ($8/person), but they were booked for the day.
We stopped at Mission of Nombre de Dios and just looked at the burial grounds there, we were getting tired and it was really hot so we didn’t explore inside any. We walked to the last stop #22 Fountain of Youth. This is another paid attraction, that Rob and I decided we need to come back and do first thing in the morning when its not so hot and crowded.
This is the famous Magnolia Avenue that has a magnificent Oak canopy. Just an absolutely beautiful street.
On our way back to St. Simons we stopped in Jacksonville, where we ate at Marco Polo Chinese Restaurant & Mongolian BBQ (3000 Dunn Ave Suite 14, Jacksonville, FL 32218). As I’ve mentioned before we love going to Mongolian grills, where you fill your bowls with raw meat and veggies and pour different sauces in. Then you bring it to a big open grill where a cook cooks it right there in front of you. Drew had eaten here last year when he was in town and said it was really good.
Before dinner we all sat in the car in a Dollar General parking lot while Rob (and the rest of us) listened to a Zoom Meeting for our Boy Scout Council. Gotta love when ‘real’ life interferes with vacation!
We hit some Jacksonville highlights before heading back to home base. Friendship Fountain, Memorial Park, TIAA Bank Field, and VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, and driving by to see the Owl statue at Jacksonville Public Library, as well as a few of their murals.
Friday was our last full day of vacation, so it was just a chill day around town. Rob and I made the Low Country Boil on a Pan recipe for lunch. We went back to visit the Moore Methodist Museum at Epworth By the Sea because it was closed on Wednesday when were there because of COVID.
The Golden Ray that I’ve mentioned in my Part 1 post. The Sea Captain who was pointing out things as we rode around gave us lots of interesting details about what happened causing this ship to capsize.
The next day was clean, pack, and drive home day. Such a bummer! After cleaning and packing and turning in our condo keys, we walked around downtown and ate lunch 1 more time at Iguana’s. Here’s my meal. So good!
It was nice to get away during COVID and we discovered a place we really like and would love to go back to in St. Simon’s. Any one else ventured away from home during this pandemic?