Google+

Cupid is Calling: Lover’s Wanted for St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches

Gabriel Hernandez and Catalina de Valdes were the first two people to officially record their love for each in St. Augustine – they were married here on January 24, 1594. More than 400 years later, romance continues to be a major attraction in the oldest city, along the surf-kissed sands of St. Augustine Beach and at the luxurious resorts of Ponte Vedra. With Valentine’s Day, star-spangled nights, great dining and cozy accommodations, February is the perfect month to find romance in this unique Florida destination.

For example:

St.Augustine Chocolate Tour: Step aboard an Old Town Trolley and be whisked away on a decadent tour drenched in chocolate delights. Each Saturday and Sunday from Feb. 6 thru Feb. 28, the One and Only St. Augustine Chocolate Tour departs at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. from the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 27 San Marco Avenue. Each trolley stop is guaranteed to delight chocolate lovers of all ages – enjoy a chocolate confection at the Hilton Bayfront’s Aviles Restaurant – sample a special chocolate fondue at the historic Casa Monica Hotel – taste exquisite creations while you learn the “art” of artisan chocolates at Claude’s Chocolates – further your chocolate studies with a lesson from St. Augustine’s original Chocolate Family, Whetstones Chocolates, and experience their chocolate fountain – and for the grand finale, indulge in an entire chocolate buffet of sinfully-good pastries at the award-winning Raintree Restaurant. Tickets for the chocolaty tour are $60 (Valentine’s Day gift certificates available.) For more information, call 904.829.3800.

The Love Tree: Looking for a lasting romance? Seal the deal with a kiss in front of St. Augustine’s legendary Love Tree. A slender palm tree wrapped in the loving embrace of a stately live oak, the Love Tree promises to insure love will last forever for any couple who kiss in its presence. Located at 6 Cordova Street, just south of the courtyard between the Historic Downtown Parking Facility and the Visitor Center, the chance at romantic immortality comes at an attractive price – it’s free!

Horse-drawn Carriages: Experience the romance of an earlier time with a horse-drawn carriage tour of the oldest city. The clip-clop of horses’ hooves on the ancient, brick-paved streets of St. Augustine and the leisurely view of authentic Spanish Renaissance architecture bring the romance of Old Spain to happy couples. These memorable tours depart throughout the day and evening from the bay front along Avenida Menendez. The cost of a narrated, 45-minute tour for two or four people is $85. Carriage rides are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 904.826.1982 or click HERE.

Couples Massage: Together, enjoy the pleasures of a relaxing massage in beautiful Ponte Vedra Beach at the luxurious and Zen-inspired Spa at Sawgrass or the opulent Spa at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. In St. Augustine, Small Indulgences European day spa offers couples massage treatments in a historical Victorian home setting. All offer Valentine’s Day specials for the month of February.

Weddings: For generations, this special area of northeast Florida has served as the setting for memorable weddings that are the starting pointing for enduring romance. From elegant Ponte Vedra resorts and a beautiful cathedral, to fun-filled weddings on the beach, the destination offers dozens of intriguing and distinctive venues. The best place to begin plans for a fairy-tale wedding is located HERE where you can find a detailed listing for every wedding need.

Romance and Fertility? For those who want to celebrate their romance with pregnancy, February is the ideal time to visit St. Augustine. Just back from a three-year world tour, Ripley’s Famous Fertility Statues will be on display through February 21 at the original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum. More than 2,000 women have reported that they became pregnant shortly after touching the wooden statutes. Many of the women had been told my doctors that they would never conceive. On display in the lobby of the museum at 19 San Marco Avenue, would-be parents are invited to come in and touch them for FREE during regular business. For more information, call 904.824.1606.or click HERE.

Horseback Riding On The Beach: Create a signature scene from your own romantic epic with a special horseback ride at the edge of the sea. For an unforgettable ride along Vilano Beach just north of St. Augustine, call Country Carriages at 904.826.1982.

Noche de Gala: On February 27, travel back in time to experience a romantic 16th century masked ball celebrating the 491stbirthday of St. Augustine’s founder don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés – portrayed in unbelievably authentic detail by Chaz Mena, an award-winning actor of stage, film and television (NBC’s Law and Order and Third Watch). Guests will be escorted to the festivities at the Lightner Museum by re-enactors in period clothing. A cocktail reception and dinner will be followed by dancing to contemporary tunes in the museum’s beautiful ballroom. Attire is 16th century costume or black tie. Admission is $185 per person for the gala or $50 per person for the cocktail reception. Proceeds benefit the City of St. Augustine’s historic preservation efforts. Reservations are a must. For more information, call 904.825.5033.

The Proposal?: Culminate your romantic February in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches with a trip to the most popular spot for wedding proposals in all of northeast Florida – the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse! On February 28, a special sunset/moonrise viewing event, complete with champagne toast and light refreshments, will take place atop the lighthouse tower. The event takes place from 6 until 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and reservations are required. For more information, call 904.829.0745.

Dining and Lodging: From intimate cafes to seaside restaurants and from cozy bed and breakfasts inns to elegant resorts, St. Augustine Ponte Vedra and The Beaches offers accommodations and dining options to meet any taste and budget. For full details, including Hot Deals on a wide variety of accommodations and attractions, check with the Visitors & Convention Bureau or call 1.800.653.2489 to receive a free, full-color, 64-page guide to planning your visit.

Entertainment

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

  The Bounce Back Film Review by Kam Williams Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp   Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, "The Bounce Back." Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he's been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs. Since Terry believes that "Image is everything," he's concerned that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman By Craig Lamb You are a waterfowler hunting solo with your prized retriever. Getting to the blind takes a four-wheel drive to pull through mud holes and keep on the two-track. Behind your truck is that aluminum jon boat. Launching that beast alone is a real hassle. Get it launched and you spend more time loading all the gear, a dog and yourself. All of the above is part of the fun, maybe, of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman By Craig Lamb You are a waterfowler hunting solo with your prized retriever. Getting to the blind takes a four-wheel drive to pull through mud holes and keep on the two-track. Behind your truck is that aluminum jon boat. Launching that beast alone is a real hassle. Get it launched and you spend more time loading all the gear, a dog and yourself. All of the above is part of the fun, maybe, of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Charity Begins at Home

  Charity Begins at Home by Amy Lignor   Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]