We had a few cloudy days while in Flagler Beach but of course the temperatures were mostly warm so we made several more treks to the beach to pick up a bit of trash while strolling to check out shells and birds. We are beginning to see some of the migrant birds heading south as several flocks of ducks and sandhills have been spotted.
We slipped off to revisit St. Augustine just before we had to leave the area. St. Augustine is really a nice city to walk around in with all of its history and shops. It is also the” oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States” founded in 1565. With such sights as the Castillo de San Marcos (the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States), the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine, the architecture of Flagler College and interesting smaller unknown buildings such as the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse it is truly a great day trip.
Just south of St. Augustine is another place we wanted to revisit which was Fort Matanzas National Monument. Amazing this place still provides a free ferry ride from the visitor’s center over to the fort. All that is needied is a quick check in at the visitor's center where a ranger provides tickets for the ferry. It is a short ride over but the reward is Fort Matanzas, a fort built to guard St. Augustine’s southern river approach during the colonial wars. Pretty cool to be able to explore a fort that was originalyl built in 1742.
During the Spanish occupation of the fort there was a slaughter of French troops on the beach by the fort and apparently Mantanzas is Spanish for slaughter. Anyway the origional cannons have been refurbished and the interior had several windows offering great views of the channel. The real treat was navigating up a narrow ladder to the rooftop area which offered panoramic views all the way to the ocean. Really a fun tour.
We also made a few forays out to explore other sites in nearby towns such as Ormand Beach and Daytona. We visited the Casements and Rockefeller Gardens in Ormand Beach which was the wealthy family's former summer retreat which they donated to the city of Ormand Beach who turned it into a great park. We also played a little disc golf, hiked a few trails and checked out Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and its very interesting buildings.
We also had to go by the huge Daytona International Speedway which interestingly enough happened to be hosting a large RV show. We did not attend the show and opted instead to visit Rock Bottom Brewery across the street for some cold beer. Rock Bottom is always a fun stop and we first discovered them in San Diego. We like the app they have which offers specials and perks so we look for them in every big city we visit.
We have really enjoyed our stay so close to the beach to be able to enjoy the fabulous sunrises and the easy access to the beach. Nearly every evening was spent at a fantastic happy hour at the Oceanside Beach Bar & Grill sitting on the upstairs patio watching the surf… Life is good….
NOTE: We are now at Wickham Park outside of Melbourne, Florida…