de Cuba Romero is a freelance writer who
has been based in Puerto Rico, Florida and
New York. Her work has appeared in Caribbean
Travel & Life, Latitudes, National Parks
and other publications. Natalia definitely
knows her "sun destinations" very well.
She recently wrote to us about one of her
this Orlando-based travel writer, there
is nowhere in Florida I'd rather go for
a quick getaway -- be it with my husband,
my best girlfriends, my mom or on my very
own -- than the oldest city in the continental
United States, the historical yet small
hip city of St. Augustine.
adore this little place...
has everything for a meaty holiday
that fulfills your educational,
entertainment and relaxation needs.
St. Augustine has a beautifully
preserved town center with buildings
dating back to the early 1500s,
craft stores, restaurants ranging
from serviceable to upscale elegant,
a location by the sea, a glorious
lighthouse with a spectacular
view, a barrier island for beach
lounging, a winery, a microbrewery
and more than 20 charming B&Bs.
the city's Spanish roots...
in 1565 by Spanish colonialists, St.
Augustine was taken over by the British
under the treaty of Paris in 1763.
After 20 years the Spanish got it
back and the city retains a distinctly
Iberic flair. Descendants of the original
Spanish settlers still live and work
in the city. With historic centers
like the Spanish Quarter Village where
real blacksmiths pound iron into the
authentic nails used in the city's
restoration, to the Oldest Wooden
Schoolhouse in America, to old restored
St. Augustine Village -- this city
and its residents celebrate the past
with great cheer.
can expect excellent in-town transportation
-- in fact, local trolleys will pick
you up and drop you off at locations
all over town for one payment per
day. With St. Augustine's pedestrian
streets and friendly services, Senior
JourneyWomen and their friends and
daughters will find it the perfect
backdrop for a memorable Girls-Only
and breakfasts I know and love...
of my favourite guesthouses is
Carriage Way, run by
the father and son team of Bill and
Larry Johnson. This B&B was voted
one of the three "Best Bed and
Breakfasts in Florida 2001" by
Florida Monthly. Located at 70 Cuna
Street in the historic zone, the 1883
inn includes many bathrooms with footed
tubs, four-poster beds and cut glass
bottles of sherry with thimble-sized
glasses in every room. Bill tells
us that because of the many single
women travelling together, they have
rooms available with two double beds,
so you can share a room without having
to share a bed.
does all the cooking -- his hearty
quiches and blueberry French toast
are absolutely delicious. Vegetarians
can let him know about food preferences
ahead of time and he will try to accommodate
your needs. The Johnsons also have
an 1885 cottage available that sleeps
six and includes a fridge and a microwave.
Rates for double occupancy range from
$85-$190. (Carriage Way, 904-829-2467)
Dining out in town? While St. Augustine
is pretty safe and quiet for walking
home after dinner, these gentlemen
can make arrangements to walk you
home if you like. How's that for female-friendliness?
de Solana is another wonderful
B&B in a house built by Manuel Solana
-- one of the ancestors of the oldest
family in St. Augustine. Each day
they host an Evening Social Hour (5:30-6:30pm
daily), allowing a delightful opportunity
to meet other guests and share stories
about your visit, over a glass of
wine or beer and a great selection
of tasty treats. Perfect for the solo
Journeywoman! Website: www.casadesolana.com.
for a big splurge? The
Monica Hotel is much more
upscale -- listed on the National
Registry of Historic Places and recipient
of the much coveted AAA Four-Diamond
Award. Built in 1888, this 135-room
hotel has recently been restored to
it's original Moroccan-style glory
and is located on the main square
at Cordova Street. There is much more
information about their accommodations
(no two rooms are alike) at their