The Best Vacation for Self Care is a B&B
If you follow us on social media, you’ll see that we often say that #vacationsareessential. We truly believe that. Taking a vacation, seeing new things, forgetting your routine–that kind of self care is critical to your overall health and happiness. (Not to mention the happiness of the people around you). So if you’re unsure how to pamper yourself, we are here to help.
When a guest recently asked us about self care opportunities in St. Augustine, we started making a list. And we quickly realized–St. Augustine really is a great place to be pampered, and focus on yourself! Our little town has so many great opportunities to slow down and take care of you. Here are 10 ways to pamper yourself, reset your mood, and forget the stress of your life at home:
1. Spend time in nature. There’s nothing quite like sitting quietly and watching water–whether it’s the still and sparkly water of Matanzas Bay across from the inn (pictured at left), or the rhythm of the waves crashing on one of St. Augustine’s 42 miles of shoreline it is sure to be meditative. Ask us about our favorite quiet beaches on Anastasia Island (across the Bridge of Lions), or stay right on the ocean in one of our very private beach cottages in Vilano. No matter where you decide to sit and watch the water, you’ll soon come to reap the benefits of an extra dose of Vitamin Sea.
2. Exercise more. St. Augustine was built in a time when people walked everywhere, and our narrow streets are still more conducive to walking than they are to driving. Park your car when you get into town (we have reserved parking spaces in a private lot for all of our guests), and set off on foot to explore. If you’re the kind of person who prefers to have a destination, download the GPS My City app and follow the seven walking tours they’ve laid out. You also are welcome to use our complimentary bikes–just ask to borrow them and a helmet and enjoy the town from two wheels. Finally, get in your steps by climbing actual steps–219 of them, in fact, from the bottom of the St. Augustine lighthouse to the top. When you reach the summit, you’ll enjoy a great breeze and some of the best views of St. Augustine, the Intracoastal Waterway, and Anastasia Island.
3. Eat healthy. People don’t normally associate staying at a bed and breakfast with health food (and we do have some pretty amazing ‘treat yourself’ food, like our famous french toast), but we also offer a healthy start plate every morning as an option. It includes fresh cut fruit, greek yogurt, walnuts, and honey. You also can get oatmeal, fruit cups, yogurt, and if you just want 2 scrambled eggs one morning, just ask!
Having a smaller breakfast means you can try even more of the great restaurants in St. Augustine. A few healthy ones include Present Moment Café, featuring raw and vegan fare in West St. Augustine (a short drive from the inn), and the Floridian on Spanish Street, which has some of our favorite salads anywhere (the Southern Belle, with peaches and local honey, is my favorite right now). We also have some really fresh, healthy food trucks, including Crave near the marina, and Big Island Bowls on Anastasia Island. There are picnic tables at both trucks, but if you’d like to bring your lunch back to the inn, we will be happy to set you up in our gazebo so you can get a little more time watching the water.
4. Indulge in a hobby. When is the last time you spent time doing something you really love? Something that isn’t on a to-do list, something that you don’t HAVE to do. Vacation is the time to kick start your hobby. Read a book on one of our porches (reading email doesn’t count), knit while sitting in a porch swing, or paint one of the beautiful scenes in our town. Don’t have a hobby? Take a painting class at Painting with a Twist, make your own soap at Antoinette’s Bath House…if there’s something you’ve always wanted to try, call us and we will help you find a place to do it.
5. Take care of your body. Everyone always says that you have to take care of your body because it’s the only one you get, but a lot of us (raising my own hand here) act as if we have a spare in the upstairs closet. We carry too many things at one time, we look down at our phones for hours every day, we wear shoes that look cute but throw our entire body out of alignment. Reset your muscles with a relaxing massage–right in your room! We can do a single massage or a couples massage–because what’s the point of having just one person chilled out?
To detoxify the rest of your body, schedule a visit to St. Augustine’s downtown salt spa. If you’re not familiar with the benefits of salt, you can read more about it here. But in a nutshell: many people believe that salt therapy can help your respiratory system, which affects so many other systems in your body. Salt Spa St. Augustine knows everything about salt–and offers several ways to reap the benefits. Enjoy an hour in their Himalayan salt cave–a room completely covered with salt, and set at a soothing 69 degrees and 60% humidity. Want to spend the whole day at the spa? We have some great day spas in St. Augustine–some of our favorites are Debbie’s Day Spa & Salon, Norma Sherry & Co., and the Fountain of Youth Spa & Laser Center.
6. Slow down/Be deliberate. Do you ever feel like your brain is on overdrive…just racing from one thought to another? That’s a good sign that you need to slow down. Take a walk on the beach, go to the rookery (behind the Alligator Farm) and listen to the birds, watch the clouds from the lawn in front of the fort.
Some of my favorite things to do to slow down? First, I like to take a nap in our hammock or spend some time on our porch swings. The swaying helps me reset my heart rate, and I love the feeling of the sun on my face (ask us to borrow sunscreen if you didn’t bring it!)
Second, I like to walk to the courtyard of the Lightner Museum and enjoy the beautiful flowers there, and sit for a spell on one of their benches. The courtyard has benches all along its perimeter, plus a beautiful stone bridge over the water. And they play classical music all day! My favorite part? Feeding the koi in the courtyard’s pond…so be sure to bring along quarters to buy some fish food!
7. Namaste. If you’re not good at slowing down, perhaps a structured yoga class with a yogi will help you turn off the outside world. 8 Limbs Yoga recently opened a downtown studio at 218 Riberia Street. For classes and private sessions visit 8LimbsYogaandBoutique.com–they are a great way to focus on your physical *and* your spiritual wellness.
8. Connect more. If you’re planning a St. Augustine getaway, why not invite some of your favorite people? Many of our guests bring friends because there are so many great places to congregate at our inn. You can meet for breakfast, share laughs over happy hour, hang out in our gazebo telling stories. There are comfy sofas on our upstairs deck (yes, you can take your happy hour goodies up there), and lots of chairs all around the inn. If you’re looking for big laughs together, hit comedy night at the Corazon Theater every second Friday of the month. You know what they say–laughter is the best medicine!
9. Try something new. Vacation is a great time to break your routine, and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Zip line over the alligators at Alligator Farm, learn to paddleboard, take a ride in a biplane. St. Augustine has so many unique adventures–have you gone swimming with the dolphins at MarineLand? Have you played the Old Course at St. Andrews? (You don’t have to go to Scotland–you can play that and other courses around the world at the World Golf Hall of Fame Golf Simulator). Have you dreamed of being a pirate? Seriously, if you want to try something new, just ask us for suggestions!
10. Get some sleep! It sounds basic, but it’s absolutely critical–your body can not rejuvenate if you don’t get some rest. So as you plan your St. Augustine getaway, don’t overschedule yourself…let yourself sleep in, take a nap in the afternoon, go to bed early. It’s not being lazy–it’s being smart, and making an investment in your future health.
Want more suggestions? Call (904) 824-4301 or email us at email@example.com to start planning your St. Augustine trip–we’re happy to help put together a stay that’s perfect for you! And once you’re here, share your favorite pampering moments with us on social…just use the hashtag #vacationsareessential.