Why Every Visitor Should Take A Trolley Tour of St. Augustine

Trolley Tour of St. Augustine

Our Nation’s oldest city offers an array of activities and amazing sights! From a historical district to sunshine-filled beaches, there’s a ton of things to do for every guest. If you’re like any visitor to our amazing area, you’ll want to jam as much as possible into the time you’re here in beautiful St. Augustine. An excellent way to familiarize yourself with the area and get oriented with your surroundings, is to take advantage of St. Augustine’s trolley tours.

There are two main trolley tours that service the St. Augustine historic district. Old Town Trolley Tours and Red Train Tours. What’s the difference you might ask? Some folks say that the Red Train Tours are cute because they look like a train and are easier to access for those that need their step into the trolley to be closer to the ground. The Old Town Trolley Tours are said to have a slightly higher step and look more like an actual trolley. They both have their different styled tours, example: the Red Train tour also has a ghost tour which is the black train you see that runs in the evening. So if you want to see some ghosts, give it a try. They also have various packages and perks. Old Town Trolley also has a ghost tour as well, but looks like a type of bus and they too offer different packages. It is best to visit their website to see which style serves you best.

By using this convenient service, you’ll cover more ground than you’d be able to on foot, in a shorter amount of time. With unlimited hop on and off privileges once you purchase your seat, you’ll be able to enjoy over a hundred points of interest along the route. The fully narrated tours offer insight into the history and charm of the area, as well as suggest additional activities for later. Each touring company has drop-offs and pick-ups at each marked stop, approximately every fifteen minutes. Be sure to look at the sign and make sure you are at the service stop of the provider you chose and not their competitor. For those of us with fur babies, there are several services offering pet friendly tours .

One of my favorite things about the trolley tours is that every tour guide has their own historical fact or unknown history that they like to share. It was one of the tour guides that told me where to find the tile that looks like Henry Flagler at Flagler College, and the story about the love tree across from Mojo’s BBQ. So pay attention to what they have to say, you never know what you might learn.

Some great points of interest along the stops are the St. Augustine History Museum, the Old Jail, Potter’s Wax Museum, the Old Drug Store, the Spanish Military Hospital, and the infamous Fountain of Youth.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting our area during a holiday celebration, the trolley tours often add theme experiences, enhancing the tour with fun-filled, holiday related activities. During Halloween, you can participate in a hauntingly fun-filled ghost tour. During the months of November and December, tours of Nights of Lights can be experienced.

The trolley tours will enhance your vacationing experience throughout our area. This easy, fun, and affordable portion of your vacation just might become your most favorite memory! So, book your stay with us here at Beacher’s Lodge, reserve your trolley tour, and prepare to have a wonderful vacation enjoying our heritage and culture in beautiful St. Augustine, Florida!

What To Expect During the Nights of Lights

Nights of Lights

Every year, St. Augustine becomes more vibrant with our annual Nights of Lights celebration! If you’ve not yet had the opportunity to enjoy Nights of Lights, it’s time to set a few days aside, book a stay with us at Beachers Lodge, and prepare yourself for a memorable holiday experience! Amazing dining, sensational tours, endless entertainment, as our annual holiday event will keep you busy for several days! There are sights to see, places to eat, stores to shop, and amazing architecture to enjoy! The entire downtown area comes alive with the holiday spirit and offers ample opportunities to make joyous memories! Did you know we have been voted as one of the Top Ten Places to See Holiday Lights?

From mid-November to the end of January, the historical downtown area of St. Augustine becomes a hub of holiday lights, music, and activities. Over three million lights shine throughout our downtown area, lining walkways, trimming trees, and enhancing the beauty of historic buildings. Stores and restaurants remain open later into the evening hours, giving you the opportunity to dine and shop under the holiday lights. There are several tours available for your enjoyment and transportation. You’re able to take in the sights on foot or by train, trolley, boat, helicopter, or horse-drawn carriages. Some of the local attractions offer hot chocolate and cool glasses with their tours. Check out their websites to find which fits your style.

We recommend an invigorating walk or viewing the magic via horse-drawn carriage rides, after experiencing one of the many amazing restaurants in the area. Grab a cup of coffee, and leisurely stroll through the Plaza de la Constitucion, and savor the lights, the Christmas tree, the music, and the company of your friends and/or family.

The Nights of Lights Celebration celebrates a Spanish Holiday Custom of placing candles in windows of your home to welcome the Christmas Holiday Season and to invite guests into their home. Our city commemorates this joyous holiday by lighting up the downtown area and turning it into what appears to be a “winter wonderland” of joyous celebrations. I use this term loosely as it is by far not winter-like conditions in our neck of the woods.

Enjoy holiday songs as they reverberate throughout the entire area, offering the opportunity to sing or dance along. Candlelight tours offer a romantic walk, offering a more spiritual feeling to your holidays. There is even an ugly Christmas sweater pub crawl for those that love a great pub crawl.

Have you heard of our Christmas light bandit, who will sneak in and switch out a white bulb for a colored one! As you meander around downtown, keep your eyes peeled for the occasional colored bulb (usually red) and the sneaky elf trying to switch it out for another one!

So, go ahead and book your stay with us, pack your flip-flops and a hoodie, put your family and friends in the car, and head on down to downtown St. Augustine. Don’t forget your camera! The Nights of Lights will create memories that will be with you forever. No need to say “cheese,” as the atmosphere gives you a special feeling that makes you want to smile the whole time you’re here.

Roof & Stucco Work

While the shock of Hurricane Irma is beginning to subside, we are still working on roof repair from the damage she left behind.  As of 11/29/17, most of our roof work has been completed and we have had very little complaints from any noise.  We are currently waiting for the trim to be installed. Before that can happen, we must have stucco repaired along the roof line – we are hoping that will start as soon as December 4th, but if not, certainly by December 11th.  There will be a lift in operation.  There will be workers on property between the hours of 8am and 6pm, Monday through Friday.  The majority of the work will be happening over rooms 420 – 401, however we do expect some work to take place on the north section a little later in the project.    We apologize for any inconvenience, as this work is a necessity.  If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call and we will let you know anything we know here at the front desk.  1-800-527-8849 or 904-471-8849.

Crescent Beach Warning Flags and What They Mean

Crescent Beach Warning Flags

We have guests from all over the United States come stay with us and many of them don’t know what our beach flags mean. There’s always a sign that explains what they mean but not all notice it. I can’t tell you how many times I am asked what the flag means, and I am always happy to answer as I want all of our guests to stay safe at all times.

When you see double red flags that means the beach is closed to the public. You might be asking why. Most of the time it is because we have a horrible storm out there or an environmental issue that is presumed to be unsafe. Officials only close the beach when absolutely necessary.

One red flag means that the surf is high and or strong currents. Even if you are an excellent swimmer it is still advised to stay out. Rip currents and under toes can take out even the strongest of swimmers. The main people that you will see in the water during a red flag are our local surfers. They never want to miss out on a chance to experience some tubular surf.

The yellow flag. This means moderate surf and/or currents. If you are not a strong swimmer it is advised to enjoy the rays and sand between your toes instead of going for a swim. The water is usually extremely chopping during a yellow flag and the chance of strong currents developing is likely. Again you’ll probably catch a few surfers trying to hang 10 on a yellow flag day.

When you see a green flag that is a great thing. This means the waters are calm and more ideal for taking a dip and enjoying. No matter the color of the beach flag you must always use caution when playing with mother nature.

Purple flag means dangerous marine life. Usually this sign is used the most during peak jellyfish season. Nobody enjoys a jellyfish sting so the flag is used to prevent people from being harmed from various dangerous marine life.

Now you might be asking, “what if I don’t see any beach signs?” The absence of beach flags on Crescent Beach doesn’t mean it is safe or dangerous. It just means that you need to err on the side of caution. If the water is choppy or wind is strong then you will want to treat it as a yellow flag or higher. We must all use caution and keep our wits about us when playing in mother nature’s paradise.

October in St. Augustine is Amazing

October in St. Augustine

Nothing says pumpkin spice and everything nice in St. Augustine like cool Autumn months. To be completely honest fall weather in St. Augustine isn’t much different than summer weather; it’s just a tad cooler and the nights are fantastic!!!!

In St. Augustine we always tend to have some sort of fun event or festival but October has some of the best! In October we have a little bit of everything to celebrate. From harvest mazes to Halloween ghost tours. I’ve taken the liberty of sharing my top three October annual events with you here:

  • Origins of Halloween and Haunted Pub Crawl – is available the month of October. If you are into finding ghosts and learning about the history of Halloween with a complimentary cocktail, than this tour is a must for you. The tour takes place in the historic district. You can learn more here.
  • Corn Maze at Sykes and Cooper Farms – Whether you have kiddos or not, this event is pure good old fashion fun. This corn maze changes every year and offers clean honest fun for people of all ages. They have hayrides, viewing of farm animals and games like sack races! To find out more about this local favorite click here.
  • St. Augustine Greek Festival- This festival lasts about a week and varies each year. If you like Greek food and everything Greek then this is a must for you. They have homemade Greek foods to try and items to purchase as well as traditional Greek music and dancing. I have found this festival to be a ton of fun! To see dates click here.

Of course we have more events like the farmers market every Wednesday morning at the St. Augustine pier and various festivals that celebrate children, history, wine, etc. It really depends on what you are used to. Do you want to know what my favorite event of all is in October?

Nightly walks on the beach at Beacher’s Lodge and listening to the peaceful sounds of Crescent Beach. The moon is full, the water is lapping on the beach creating a nighttime lullaby as the cool breeze whisks across your face and tickles your toes. Doesn’t that just sound amazing?

Of course if you come visit St. Augustine in October you know there are plenty of tours, events and venues that have a ghost story or two; but you won’t hear of one here. If you are into strange occurrences or looking to be frightened download the ghost finder app on your phone and just walk around the historic district at night. You will either find it comical or frightening.

Here’s another fun October tip that you will only hear about from a true local. As you know St. Augustine was primarily built by Henry Flagler. What was once the famous Flagler hotel is now home to many college students and is now called Flagler College. Go to the entrance of the college and in the foyer there to the left of the door you will see that one of the small tiles looks like it has an imprint of Mr. Flagler himself. Many thought it was a myth, but it is true! I have seen it with my own eyes.

I hope to see many of your visit us in October so you too can enjoy fall in paradise.

Back to Business as Usual

We are grateful to report that the property is back to business as usual! Visitors are enjoying the pool and beach.  The rooms were basically untouched by the storm.  We will have a roof repair in the upcoming month, still yet to be determined but we encourage coming to enjoy Beacher’s Lodge.  Cable, phones and internet for the property has been restored.  Stay with us and enjoy over 100 restaurants that are ready to welcome you in the St. Augustine area.  Great music festivals and opportunities to enjoy abound, so come visit and show your support for our nations oldest city!

We have Power & the Pool!

Power was restored several days ago and our team is working hard to welcome you back to a restored Beachers Lodge.  As of today, 9/16, our pool is open and ready for enjoyment.  The pool will be open daily from 8am until dusk (half an hour before sunset).  We are still without phones, cable and internet, so we hope that Comcast is working as hard as our team is to get things back up and running.  All calls to our main number 904-471-8849 are being routed to cell phones, so please be patient with us in phone communications.  Currently, the north end elevator is down for repairs, but our south end elevator is working.  We are inviting guest to come back to the beach, with so much going on these past few weeks, it might be just what you need to unplug, step away from the news and enjoy the beauty that’s all around us.

Currently Without Power & Phones

As of 9/12/17 We are waiting for power to be restored to start welcoming guests back to the property.  Our phones are also down.  Many rooms look like they made it through without any damage.  It may be a while for our pool and property to be back in working order.  You can follow us on facebook for updates, or check back with us when we get the power and phones in working order.  Email any questions to:  reservations@beacherslodge.com

Crescent Beach Mandatory Evacuation

St. Johns County has issued a mandatory evacuation for the barrier island for 6am on Saturday, September 9th.  Our offices will be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  We will not be able to return to the island until we have been cleared by the county for re-entry.  We hope that will be on Tuesday, but at this point we will just have to wait and see.  This island will be without water and probably without power, so move inland and stay safe!

Take a Trip to World Golf Village

World Golf Village

Every now and then Florida experiences a rainy day and I am often asked, “What would you do on a rainy day?” Personally, I like going to World Golf Village. Side note: I’m going to tell you a little Florida secret – we rarely have rainy days, but plenty of sunny showers, so they don’t normally last very long.

So what if you don’t like golfing? That’s ok, it’s still fun! I have a good friend that is not into golfing at all, she’d much rather go fishing in the Matanzas, but likes going to the World Golf Village for a few fun activities for those that would rather fish than golf. Of course if you love golfing, this is a must do while visiting us at Beacher’s Lodge.

The IMAX Theater at the World Golf Hall of Fame is a must for a rainy day!!! Not only is the screen massive but it features 3D projection!!!! 3D experiences are always cool and the kids love it!!! The seating and atmosphere are very comfortable and inviting. I highly recommend you watch a movie here whether you have kiddos or not.

World Golf Hall of Fame is more interesting that you might think. Remember that friend that I told you about that is not an avid golfer, well she loves the section of the hall fame that displays golfers good luck charms! You’d be amazed at what is on display. For instance my favorite part is the Trophy Tower where the display the “Perfect Swing,” an art installation that displays 162 hand-crafted crystals!!! It is truly breathtaking and a sight to be seen!  In addition to being a fan of the “Perfect Swing.” I am a fan of Bob Hope. The tribute to him at World Golf Hall of Fame is something to take note.

While enjoying your day at World Golf Village you have to eat at Caddyshack!!!! Owned by the Murray Bros, as in Bill Murray. The Murray Brothers named the restaurant after Bill Murray’s movie, Caddyshack, and decided that St. Augustine’s World Golf Village was the appropriate place for their first restaurant of many. Bring an appetite as the portions are quite large!

I have told you everything to do there if you are not a huge golf fan. But, if you are a fan of the golfing game, than the possibilities are endless. You could spend hours in the museum or on the golf course. Want to work on your golf game? Then the PGA Tour Academy is just what you are looking for. They have state of the art training programs with some good instructors. They have different levels of packages, from beginners to private bookings. You name it, they thought of a package for it.

In a nutshell World Golf Village is a golfer’s dream come true.