Are you noticing things around St. Augustine seem to be slowly getting back to normal? While the pandemic and precautions are still part of our everyday lives, an overwhelming majority of St. Johns County students are back in school and for most of us that looks like a slight return to normalcy, bus routes in the morning and afternoon, and fewer crowds in our favorite spots. Let’s get out in our great city and safely enjoy the best that St. Augustine has to offer. Grab your bags Moms, Dads, Grandparents, and empty nesters! It’s time to act like a tourist and hit Davidson Realty’s Top 3 Places to Visit in St. Augustine! While it was very difficult for us to narrow it down to just three, our Davidson Realty team focused on a few that aren’t often found on everyone’s list like Leisure Group Travel Magazine and U.S. News & Travel.

St. Augustine Distillery 

As Americans seemed to experience the great hunt for toilet paper and hand sanitizer, one local St. Augustine company stepped up in a big way to help with the shortage of hand sanitizer across the First Coast. The St. Augustine Distillery is located in the historic district of St. Augustine in an old ice plant. Known for their vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey, you can find their labels on the shelves of local liquor stores. But you can also take a free tour of the distillery while also enjoying a sampling of their spirits. The St. Augustine Distillery is operating under CDC guidelines and accommodating tours every 30 minutes with no reservations but on a first-come-first-serve basis. Open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 6 pm, St. Augustine Distillery is a place we highly recommend touring and enjoying a cocktail.

Trolley Tours

With a couple to choose from (and we don’t want to single either one out) we highly encourage you to hop aboard one of the trolley tours in this historic St. Augustine area. Even in the hottest of temperatures, the movement along the bank and through the streets of downtown provides a breeze and a little bit of relaxation as you get a St. Augustine History 101 tour and learn about Ponce de Leon and the early settlers. The Trolley Tours are also a great way to navigate some ideal and popular dining spots. Hop on and hop off as you view the beautiful buildings, experience the historic charm, and enjoy the ride. 

Vilano Beach

With so many beautiful choices of sandy beaches in St. Johns County, our Davidson Realty team selected Vilano Beach as one of our favorite places to visit. It’s important to know the history of Vilano Beach to fully appreciate why it’s one of our favorites. The prestige of this beautiful stretch of shoreline dates back to the late 1800s when Henry Flagler would host his millionaire friends at Vilano Beach. A quaint little beach village, Vilano offers some of the area’s most charming restaurants, shopping, and plenty of rentals to enjoy a “staycation” in your own backyard. Vilano Beach offers a casual, laid back atmosphere, beautiful natural surroundings, and some of the best sunset views. Pack up the car because Vilano Beach also allows four-wheel drive vehicles on the beach making it so convenient to spend a day on the sand.

With so many options to choose from that include the Castillo de San Marcos, the Lightner Museum, the St. Augustine Lighthouse and so much more, sometimes it’s fun to tour the road less traveled. We encourage you to tour our Top 3 Places to Visit in St. Augustine, maybe for the first time but likely for a repeat visit, and let us know what you think!

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The National Park Service will present a special day of boat tours and cannon firings on Saturday, August 4, at Fort Matanzas National Monument on Rattlesnake Island.

The tours are free and include a ferry ride to the fort, a tour and cannon firing at the end. British Navy re-enactors in full regalia will speak about the life of an 18th century British sailor and the 276-year-old fort’s role in St. Augustine’s storied past.

The tours are hourly beginning at 10 a.m. The day’s final tour begins at 3 p.m.

Stop by the Fort Matanzas Visitor Center (8635 A1A South, about 15 miles south of St. Augustine) to pick up free boarding passes prior to each tour.

Plan to arrive early as space on each tour is limitedand boarding passes are issued for the next available fort tour on a first come, first served basis (no reservations). Tours are about 45 minutes and subject to weather.

Learn more about the fort by visiting For additional information, call 904-471-0116 or visit them on Facebook at

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Serenata Beach Club is a private beach club located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, conveniently situated between the Jacksonville Beaches and St. Augustine. Davidson Realty’s marketing team recently took a tour of the newly renovated facilities at Serenata Beach Club with Membership Director Jen Jones and got all the scoop on what’s happening at the club.

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So many of us consider our dogs to be part of the family. In fact, almost 40% of U.S. households own at least one dog (American Veterinary Medical Association, 2012) and we are more and more likely to include our pooch in family vacations, events, and even our weddings. So, it is only fitting that our community has created ways to include our furry friends in everyday activities.

Thanks to sites like, an online dog travel directory, it is easier than ever to find hotels, restaurants, and attractions that are pet friendly. Thanks to St. Augustine’s fantastic weather and reputation as a tourist destination, businesses have opened their doors to the millions of Americans who travel with their dogs. Here are just some of those local businesses.

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Calling all World Golf Village neighbors, businesses, teachers and friends…The Davidson Cares Travel Raffle is back! Get your tickets for the chance to win the trip of your dreams. The winner of the Travel Raffle will receive $2500 for travel, including transportation, accommodations and entertainment for the trip of your family’s choice. Whether it be skiing in Aspen, a Disney cruise, visiting out-of-town family or even Mardi Gras, the $2500 price can be applied to your own personal travel plans.

The Davidson Cares Travel Raffle offers all our WGV friends a chance to win a $2500 trip towards travel, while supporting our schools at the same time! The raffle is conducted by Davidson Cares, Davidson Realty’s charitable foundation, which supports our neighborhood schools, including Mill Creek Elementary, Wards Creek Elementary, Palencia Elementary and Pacetti Bay Middle School. All proceeds will benefit those four schools.

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Buon Appetito New York

Posted by: Rick Pariani in Travel

4There may be no better way to experience the food and culture of the original neighborhoods of Manhattan – than to indulge in tour led by Foods of New York Tours.

Foods of New York Tours was established in 1999 and by many critical accounts is the ultimate food and cultural experience – not only in Manhattan, but throughout the country. The tours truly go off-the-beaten-path and will keep bringing you back to the neighborhoods over and over, to discover and explore more of their authentic character.

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Posted by: Rick Pariani in Local Events, Travel, WGV Events

Vacation_Car_Clipart-3LGMost visitors to our region recognize its natural beauty – and its relation to the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Johns River. Ours is a distinctly out-door place where recreation comes easily.

Fishing, beachcombing, surfing, hiking, biking, boating and golfing are the activities that first come to mind. But, our opportunities and choices for recreation and entertainment are world-class. Coupled with our wonderful-winter-weather and comfortable fall and spring days – the months from November through May afford uniquely memorable, motoring events.

In close proximity and easily accessed, you can satisfy your diverse interests every weekend.

Start with a visit to the Turkey Rod Run, at least once – even if you aren’t shopping for a weekend special. This show and sale is the premier east coast car event and swap meet, staged throughout the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend inside the Daytona International Speedway.  Thousands of cars are displayed for both competition and sale and virtually every part you need for restoration and customizing is available. This is the place for you to buy that car of your youth or dreams.

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