St. Augustine is known for its rich history, from Castillo de San Marcos to Flagler College. But key landmarks from our nation’s past aren’t the only attractions the 449-year-old city has to offer. Leave the kids with the babysitter and explore America’s first permanent European settlement while sampling fine wine, spirits and cuisine.
Here are a few of St. Augustine’s venues where you can savor the finer things in life, some at no cost:
St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival
From September 9-13, 2014, the Third Annual St. Augustine Spanish Wine Festival celebrates not only the wines of the region, but the city’s deep Spanish roots. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample the finest spirits. Located downtown, this wine festival is full of special events, including a Grand Tasting that incorporates 125 Spanish wines and Batalla de Vino, the country’s largest wine fight (think food fight, but with wine and squirt guns). The majority of ticket-sale proceeds goes to charitable causes, including THE PLAYERS Championship Boys & Girls Club, EPIC Behavioral Healthcare, and Fresh Starts in the Culinary Arts. Learn more at spanishwinefestival.com.
San Sebastian Winery
You don’t have to go to Napa Valley to experience fine wine. Learn about the history and art of winemaking in the 18,000-square-foot wine production area, then tour the Barrel Room and taste San Sebastian Premium Wines. You’ll also receive an education in the five S's of wine tasting, the San Sebastian way. Free tours are offered daily. Visit sansebastianwinery.com for details.
St. Augustine Distillery
Housed inside the Historic FP&L Ice Plant, Florida’s first commercial block ice manufacturing facility, the St. Augustine Distillery focuses on making high-quality, small-batch spirits. Using local ingredients, the distillers mix, mash, cook and distill using local ingredients and lots of love. Guests are encouraged to tour the renovated 100-year-old facility and taste Florida’s only small-batch bourbon and vodka distilled from 100-percent Florida-farmed sugar cane. Learn more at staugustinedistillery.com.
Whether it’s a romantic getaway or a staycation, you can also make a whole vacation out of tasting, with several tour packages available through Tasting Tours. From carriage rides to walking tours, patrons can sample food and wine at several venues with these fun guided tours. Packages available include:
Vittles and Vino VIP Carriage Tour
Corks and Forks Walking Tour
Wine About Town Tour
Beer About Town
These are just a few of the “tasty attractions” St. Augustine and Northeast Florida have to offer.
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