Welcome to the Pink Door!

We're thrilled that you chose our newly renovated end-of-the-19th-century home for your stay in Saint Augustine. While you are ultimately in charge of your time here, we want to do everything possible to help make your stay memorable so you will tell your friends, want to come back, and of course write a wonderful review!

This guide tells you a few things about the house (some essential, some not) and also offers suggestions for your time in Saint Augustine, activities, and restaurants that we as locals have found interesting and would want to know about if we were visiting. There are lots of links to get you to more information.

First Things First

You probably read that we offer a free bottle of wine from Saint Augustine's own San Sebastian Winery. So please choose the wine will be waiting for you when you arrive. You'll find descriptions of all of their wines here, and more about visiting the winery below. We offer the following: Vintners Red, Vintners White, Rosa, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay. The two "Vintners" are on the sweet side, Rosa less so. 

About the House

We'll share more once you get here. These are just things that might affect how you plan and prepare for your trip.

  • Check-in is at 4PM. If you are arriving earlier and want us to notify you if the house is available sooner, just let us know. Check-out is at 11AM.
  • If you’re arriving late, there's tea, coffee, creamer, and sweeteners for your first morning.
  • You will find six beach towels in the back bedroom, bottom dresser drawer, plus six beach chairs and two umbrellas hanging on the back porch.
  • We, your hosts, live across the street in the yellow house. Stop by or call/text if you need anything. 904 699-8489

There's more about the house farther down, but let's get into things to do and where to eat first!

    Things to Do in the Area

    This is not an attempt to duplicate what you can easily find on TripAdvisor and other sites/guides. Just some suggestions from locals, in no particular order, which also reflect feedback we've received from other guests.

    • Dolphin Cruise – there are several but this one is definitely great and probably less expensive. We’ve done it and our kids went back for more. Saw plenty of dolphins.
    • Christmas Shop – just down the street to San Marco (A1A), then a little to the right on the other side. All Christmas all the time. Our grandkids love it. There’s a “major award” in the upstairs window.
    • Fort Matanzas – there’s a free short ferry ride across a river to the small fort. Haven’t done it yet (have seen it from kayaks) but surely some good local history is conveyed. And it’s free. 30 minutes away; perhaps a good choice before or after activities in Saint Augustine Beach/Anastasia
    • Amphitheatre Farmers Market – Saturday mornings 8:30-12:30, over toward St. Augustine Beach; maybe go there and then on to the beach
    • Saint Augustine Distillery – We want to do it soon but our kids have and liked it. Free samples.
    • Alligator Farm – Really a smaller zoo with a focus on reptiles but also lots of birds and some mammals. There's a children's play area. Less walking and more shade than most larger zoos. FYI if you are a member of another Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) zoo you should get in for half price.
    • World Golf Hall of Fame - The PGA is headquartered here in NE Florida and their hall of fame is in Saint Augustine, although you'll have to drive as it's about 25 minutes up I-95. Murray Brothers' Caddyshack restaurant is there and worth trying if you make the trip.
    • San Sebastian Winery – take a free tour, tasting wines along the way. You end up on the roof, where there’s a bar, a restaurant with lunch-type foods and appetizers, and often live music. Highly recommended and your free bottle of wine is from San Sebastian. Old Town Trolley stop #12
    • Castillo de San Marcos - Just 0.7 miles away, we think the best way to walk there is to cross San Marco Avenue then turn right on Water Street, which brings you to the north side of the fort - a larger grassy area. Then walk along the water on the back side of the fort. The sure-footed can even walk on the sea wall. Since the Castillo is managed by the National Parks Service, you will get in free if you have a National Parks Pass. If you don't have one, are 62 or older, and think you'll ever go to another park, you might consider buying one now for long-term savings (we did).

    The last two ideas are pretty slow-paced so children and teens looking for action may get a little restless, however both offer plenty of room to run around.

    • Fountain of Youth – took us almost 6 years to check it out, but we liked it. A large area, mostly outdoors, with displays and demonstrations about the early indigenous culture of the area and the first Spanish settlers. Old Town Trolley stop #22
    • Fort Mose – some interesting local history. Very casual and nobody knows about it.

    Getting Around

    First of all: unless you flew into Daytona or are coming from farther south in Florida, you'll be coming south on US-1. Turn left at Cincinnati Avenue! New traffic patterns have left turns onto Rohde blocked (we are very happy about this). Then take your first right (Loring) and next right (Rohde) and 42 Rohde is the 3rd house on the left. If you accidentally shoot past Cincinnati.. ouch, we would turn left on Castillo (the next light) then a quick left onto Riberia, then right onto Grove, left on Loring, then left onto Rohde.

    Definitely do not drive downtown unless someone in your party has trouble walking or tires very easily. There'is no reason to deal with the parking if you don't have to!

    If you’ll be around for a few days, you might consider starting your first day early with the Old Town Trolley which has its stop #2 close by on Castillo Drive. Walk to the east end of Rohde then go right 2 blocks to Castillo. Cross then go right; the stop is on Castillo just before the parking garage. First trolley leaves that stop at 9:07AM, but verify here in case it changes. It costs about $32 but you can get on and off all day and also hear about Saint Augustine. Suggestion: Catch it at stop #2 and ride all the way to the last stop (#22, Fountain Of Youth). You’ll see all of Saint Augustine and learn about the history and attractions. Visit the Fountain, then take the trolley back to wherever you want. Remember, you can get on and off all day. To return home from the Fountain, go back to stop #2. To return home from downtown without going all the way back to the Fountain of Youth, get off at stop #19.


    Eating Out

    Again, we are not attempting to replace the many popular lists. Just our own ideas and experiences and those of some of our guests.

    Breakfast

    • The Blue Hen – most famous breakfast spot here and it actually is very good. Go early to avoid lines. Too far for most to walk.
    • Mary’s Harborview Cafe – small local joint that we liked. 16 Avenida Menendez (walkable, toward downtown)
    • Beachside Diner – St. Augustine Beach (7 miles). Good for breakfast or brunch. 50s décor; kid-friendly; generous portions
    • Georgie’s Diner – 100 Malaga Street. Also for lunch but our best experiences have been breakfasts. A real old-style diner. Large portions. Map says 0.7 miles - feels longer but once there it's an easy walk east on King St. toward downtown.
    • Island Donuts – a previous guest went nuts over this place. Suggestion: take the beach chairs (and an umbrella since the sun is low to the east in the morning) pick up donuts and walk out onto St. Augustine beach to enjoy them.

    Lunch (or Dinner)

    • One Twenty Three Burgers on King Street – better burgers, in our opinion, than many higher-priced options. Good fries. They have some parking of their own.
    • Burrito Works on St. George Street – nothing fancy and a good value lunch. The original is at St. Aug beach but we prefer this one. Recommend the “UFO”
    • Smokin’ D’s BBQ – about ¼ mile back up US-1 on the other side, so go past and do a yoo-ey. Bring home or sit outside at their picnic tables (a bit breezy at times). You can walk there if you are OK crossing US-1 and walking just under 1/2 mile each way.
    • De Léon Latin Cocina – between Zaxby’s and Smokin’ D’s on US-1 (an easy walk, just be careful crossing US-1). Colombia-inspired food; not sure we saw any other gringos when we went (a good sign!).
    • Osprey Tacos - over the Bridge of Lions on Anastasia Island. Similar "specialty taco" places are Taco Libre just north on US-1 on the right before you get to SR-16, and Mojo's Tacos (2 locations).
    • Juniper Market – Very close-by. Walk to San Marco/A1A, hang a right and you are there.


    Dinner (or Lunch)

    • Saint Augustine Fish Camp - nice restaurant on Riberia Street. Not walkable. Inside and outside seating right on the San Sebasitan River.
    • The Raintree – right here in Uptown and an easy walk to San Marco/A1A, then left 3 blocks. We’ve only had the excellent prime rib (Friday and Saturday and only while it lasts) but the entire menu looks great although definitely high end.
    • Cap’s on the Water – this is a really nice seafood restaurant overlooking the intracoastal. Go left after the big bridge to Vilano then look for their sign on the left after about 1-1/2 miles. Guest after guest reports they love Cap’s!
    • Harry’s - if you can get a seat outside on the patio. Live music, good crabcakes. Unless you don't mind long waits, go early.
    • Collage – newer, haven’t been there yet but friends have raved about it. Expensive... but maybe for a special celebration (same for Michael's below). Walkable but you MUST have reservations.
    • Mango-Mango’s - A1A Beach and A Street in Saint Augustine Beach. A Street ends at the beach a short walk from the restaurant. Easy to bring beach chairs, buy dinner, and then eat on the beach. We’ve done it!
    • The Reef – Seafood and other fare; fine for lunch or dinner. Eat inside or outside overlooking the ocean. Follow A1A north over the bridge to Vilano and turn left, then it’s oceanside just over 2 miles north.
    • Woodpeckers Backyard BBQ – drive a bit (21 miles!) and have a unique BBQ experience out in the country. Google Maps has it right: 4930 State Road 13 N, St. Augustine, FL. If after 1PM, call first to make sure they haven’t run out: 904-531-5670. Expect to wait at peak times.
    • Safe Harbor Crescent Beach - We just discovered this one. It's connected to Safe Harbor up in Mayport (wonderful). We split a plate with grilled shrimp, scallops, and snapper. All wonderful - the snapper was more like eating a tender steak than a piece of fish. Google Maps says 21 minutes away - may take longer if you go the Bridge of Lions route, especially if the drawbridge is up. But we're definitely going back! Very casual dress; seemed to be mostly locals. Limited parking but there's a huge public parking area right next to it.
    • OC White's - A great choice for the downtown area but away from the bustle of St. George Street. Previous guests appreciated the recommendation. Good crab cakes.
    • OK, this last one, Michael’s at 25 Cuna Street, is expensive but our kids took us there and it had some amazing food. The pork chop really does deserve the reviews you can find' – it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Sandy had the ribeye and found it to be too fatty. So get the pork chop! Walkable but probably need a reservation.

    Dessert

    Everything here is walkable.

    • The Saint Augustine Scoop – mentioned first because this local ice cream shop is an easy walk to San Marco/A1A, then left 2 blocks. A great place to take the kiddos. Tell Tessa that Steve and Sandy sent you. Open 1-9PM; closed Tuesdays. You'll find 10%-off coupons on a shelf near the coffee.
    • Columbia Restaurant on St. George Street – Probably belongs in the lunch/dinner lists as well. Definitely a Saint Augustine tradition, known for its "1905 Salad" and Cuban fare in general, but the bread pudding is to die for, and definitely large enough to share. Go for coffee and split a bread pudding.
    • Bar Harbor Cheesecake Company – next to Potter’s Wax Museum. Get a sampling of 3 (out of 40) gourmet cheesecakes for $5. You can also go for a charcuterie board dinner then have the cheesecakes.
    • Luli’s Cupcakes - people into cupcakes love this. Here in Uptown - walk east to San Marco Blvd then left 1-1/2 blocks

    Potentially Useful Web Sites

    Visit Saint Augustine Trip Advisor
    Historic City News Weather Underground

     

    Food Shopping

    Note: Due to construction and traffic in general, we don’t recommend going south from here on US-1 or coming back the same way from about 10AM-6PM. Focus your food shopping on Publix at Vilano Beach or Winn-Dixie a mile or so north on US-1.

    • Publix Cobblestone Village (11-12 min) – lots of other stores and restaurants in that area but US-1 can get pretty backed up in either direction between about 11AM and 6PM. Turn right on 312 then left at the next light.
    • Publix Vilano Beach (7-8 min) – just be careful as the bridge back over the intracoastal can get backed up.

    WHEN RETURNING FROM VILANO IN GENERAL... when you turn right at the roundabout that gets you onto San Marco Avenue, get into the leftmost turn lane. The middle one is for getting over to US-1. You want to come down San Marco.

    • Winn Dixie – about 7 min. either way on US-1 (Publix is definitely nicer)
    • ALDI – About 8 min south (left) on US-1. It’s on the right but you can’t see it until you are right there. Turn right just after Moe’s and PNC Bank.
    • Diane’s Natural Market: south (left) on US-1 about 8 minutes, on the left just after Tijuana Flats
    • WAL-MART: south (left) on US-1 about a mile past 312 where Publix Cobblestone is.

    Recommendation – do your food shopping early the day after you arrive. Publix opens at 7AM.

    Going to the Beach

    You have two main options: Vilano Beach or Saint Augustine Beach

    You can be at Vilano in as little as 5 minutes. There’s a Publix nearby if you need to pick up “Pub Subs,” other food, drinks, or lotion. Take Rohde down to San Marco/A1A and turn left. Once you get to the light and roundabout just past Dunkin Donuts go right/east. At the light past the bridge, you can go left less than a mile to Surfside Park (which has parking and bathrooms) on the right or to multiple other parking areas on the left with beach access across A1A. OR go right after the bridge, then left, to the main Vilano Beach area. At this location one can drive onto the beach, which you may or may not like (can't drive on at Surfside). Parking is limited, so go early.

    Saint Augustine Beach is farther, but it’s a wider beach and there’s a splashpad for kids; it’s right where the pier is – plenty of parking (it fills up, but people are constantly arriving and leaving).

    ABOUT DRIVING TO AND FROM ANASTASIA ISLAND - During daylight hours The Bridge of Lions opens every half hour (here's the exact schedule). It's still the best route if going to Osprey Tacos or the Alligator Farm but for Saint Augustine Beach, 312 may be better during high-traffic times as when the bridge goes up you may be waiting for 10 minutes or more.

    PS – It’s common to find ancient shark teeth on the local beaches (10,000 years old or so we’ve read). They are usually black and shiny. If in the water and still attached to a fish, do not attempt collection...

     

    Getting Here by Air

    Most people fly into JAX but although Daytona Beach is a few more miles, it's probably the same amount of time to get here and definitely less prone to traffic issues. This map shows the distances. But fewer flight options and sometimes more expensive.

    Obviously many people fly into Orlando (MCO) which is about 2-1/4 hours away by car. Gainesville is closer but always expensive.

    Every few years a 2nd-tier airline decides to fly into Saint Augustine airport, which is very close by. Then they leave. A few years ago it was Frontier. Right now it's Elite Airways, with non-stop service between Saint Augustine (UST) and both Newark and Portland, Maine. We always want to save money too (for example, one of us tried taking Amtrak out of Palatka - just 29 miles away), however one of our guests from NJ had a horrible experience with Elite. Flight delayed repeatedly, then cancelled until the next day. Spent the night in a hotel in Newark - don't believe the airline covered it.

    When You Leave

    • Checkout is at 11 AM
    • Remove dirty sheets from the beds and leave them outside the laundry
    • Leave used towels on the bathroom floor
    • Do not start the laundry before you leave
    • If there are dirty dishes, please start the dishwasher before you leave
    • If you leave on a Monday or Thursday, PLEASE put the trash (Mon) or recycling (Thu) outside the back gate by 9AM so the next guest isn't dealing with what you left behind. Thank you! If dragging those big bins across the yard is physically impossible for you, please tell us and we'll handle it.

    House Rules

    • Please use coasters when placing drink containers on wooden furniture
    • Don’t let anyone sit or stand on the large granite island or countertop, or place hot or heavy items on them
    • No pets, parties, or events, and things need to be reasonably quiet by 10-11PM out of respect for our neighbors
    • If you bring children, please watch them and ensure that items in the house do not get broken or damaged. TV controllers, coasters, etc. are not toys, and many items are from our family homes. We want you to enjoy them but will seek damages if lost or broken.
    • Please do not eat in bed. It is very difficult and at times impossible to remove stains from pillows, pillow shams, and bedspreads.
    • Bedspreads are for decoration - use blankets for extra warmth
    • More “house rules” within the listing online. Please read them.

    More about the House

    • There’s a medium-size charcoal grill on the patio. To use half of it (about enough space for 5-7 burgers at a time), we recommend picking up the 4-lb size of Match Light charcoal (no lighter fluid needed). For twice that, get the 8-lb bag.
    • The fire extinguisher is just inside the back door. All sleeping rooms have (required) escape plans posted, although it’s difficult to imagine who would need them in this house!
    • The WiFi network is PinkDoor; the password is posted on the pink slip of paper in the hallway cubby.
    • We have a small combination safe fastened to the floor for anyone who wants to lock up small valuables when they go out and about. If you want to use it, ask us for the combination once you arrive.

    Trash and Recycling

    • Trash and recycling pickups are outside the BACK gate, in the alley BEHIND the house
    • Trash is Monday, recycling is Thursday. Both pick up between 9AM and 10AM
    • Don't worry about either if you've stayed for 2 nights or less
    • Otherwise, if either of the large bins beside the back porch are more than 1/3 full, please roll them out for the required pickup.

    Entertainment

    • There is a 70-inch TV in the living room. It's a Roku TV, so if you have Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. you can log in to your services. The Netflix account is ours but has a Guest account which you are free to use.
    • In the Roku menu there is a "Live TV" option. Channels 4.1 through 47.3 are local channels from our antenna on the roof. The higher channels are all over the map but there might be a few of interest. Roku provides those.
    • There are about 20 DVDs in the hallway cubbie, as well as an HDMI cable that is already connected to the TV).
    • For local movies, check out Epic Theatres on 112 Theatre Drive, about 12 minutes away. All movies are $6 on Tuesdays.


    About Your Hosts

    Steve and Sandy Jacoby have lived in Saint Augustine since 2015. Steve was born in Jacksonville but mostly grew up in New Jersey. Sandy is from Pittsburgh but mostly grew up in Venezuela and Wilmington, Delaware. Along the way we spent considerable time in South Carolina, Ohio, and Chicago.

    In 2012 we started a 501(c) (3) non-profit, Sheep Not Goats, to help people in Nicaragua, the poorest country in Latin America. We built a farm and have focused on providing employment in a small and very poor town called Malpaisillo.

    More recently, Sandy taught women there to knit beautiful baby blankets that we sell here in the US, returning all the profits to the knitters. This venture is called Sheep Dreamzzz and is the reason all the information is a sheepdreamzzz.org. We invite you to check out these amazing handmade blankets and lovey security blankets and hope you will consider them the next time you plan to give a baby gift. Our site is sheepdreamzzz.org and we’d be happy to show you some blankets in-person. Just ask!