Welcome to the third chapter of my USA Miss VV Around The World series! When planning the trip, we knew we wanted to go to Orlando and New Orleans but weren’t too sure of what else. After some research we settled on a 5 night road trip between the two cities, staying in smaller historical towns. Definitely a highlight of our trip!
After hunting down some vintage stores in Orlando (catch up here), we headed for St Augustine around midday.
St Augustine is only about 2 hours drive from Orlando but we decided that for the last half we would take the longer coastal route.
We got off the main freeway just past Daytona Beach and drove the rest of the way on the historical A1A which was much more interesting. We saw some beautiful homes, lots of lovely beaches and were really glad we made the decision to not stay on the boring freeway.
We arrived in St Augustine and checked into our adorable accommodation – The Cozy Inn. The owner kindly gave us lots of pointers of things to see and places to eat and was our first experience of that true southern hospitality- she was so kind and so sweet.
After unpacking and reading through a few brochures, we called for a ‘Hopper’ which is a company who drives golf carts around the town and for $3 each would take us into the historical district.
We weren’t staying far, only a 5-10 minute drive depending on traffic but the hopper was a great idea so we didn’t have to worry about parking or drinking. We were dropped off at the old city gates and made our way down St George Street which is the main pedestrian street in the historic part of town. Founded in 1565 by the Spanish, there was a lot of history to be seen although unfortunately a lot of tacky souvenir stores too.
We took our time making our way down before heading to Harry’s for dinner which was one of the places we had been recommended to try.
Apparently everyone else had been recommended to go there too as it was crazy busy! But we had our heart set on one of the tables on the balcony overlooking the water so we sat at the bar for a hour drinking cocktails until a table became available.
The meal was delicious and the view just beautiful. We both love seafood and there was so much on offer on the menu. Matt ranked our meal there as one of the best he’s ever had which is quite something. We were really high on life that night, so excited to be in beautiful St Augustine… I’m sure the strong cocktails helped too!
I wanted to go over to St Augustine beach and the Lighthouse first so after a Starbucks stop, we walked along the Pier, watching the fishermen and resident Pelicans.
Coming from such a coastal city (and country really, you are never far from the sea in NZ), where I see and drive over the ocean every single day, it occurred to me that this was the first time we had seen the ocean since flying into the USA just under 2 weeks beforehand. It’s very calming and relaxing looking out and seeing nothing but water.
Next, we drove to the Lighthouse which is apparently haunted but we didn’t feel any ghostly presence!
The climb up the stairs was a big one, I had sore calf muscles for days. The old cast iron was beautiful and the view from the top was wonderful since it was such a sunny day.
The Keeper’s house right next to the lighthouse was equally as stunning and inside was a small museum dedicated to the history of the lighthouse.
We started driving back to the main side of town but spotted a antique stop on the way so of course we had to stop! It was full of so many treasures, especially glassware and crockery.
There was another vintage shop that I’d spotted while on the hopper the day before so we went back there and discovered even more antique shops nearby. Most of it was pretty expensive and there wasn’t a huge amount of clothing but goodness there ways some amazing bakelite too be found!
The vintage shop I’d spotted called ‘Cool and Collected’ I had quite a bit of success in. They had some beautiful bags, I bought a white wicker one with lucite and another golden lucite clutch.
After lunch at the pizza place nearby, we decided to drive around for a little bit and just take St Augustine all in since it was our only day there. Even the residential areas were great sightseeing for us, the houses were just beautiful.
Later that day we got the hopper into the historical district once again and went to dinner at O. C. White’s which had live music and a pretty outdoor courtyard. The food didn’t quite live up to Harry’s but it was still very tasty.
Time for us to leave St Augustine and drive to Savannah, Georgia. Again, this wasn’t too far of a drive, it took us about 3.5 hours since we diverted off the main highway for a little bit and stopped a few times.
On the way there, we saw a big billboard for a antique shop so stopped there and had a lovely chat to the owners who were very curious about New Zealand. They told us about a new Antique Mall in Savannah called Picker Joe’s so we decided that would be our first stop when arriving since we would be a little early for check in at our accommodation. It must sound like we are completely obsessed with vintage and antiques but to be honest, a lot of the time we wouldn’t buy anything, we just loved to look at everything so full of history.
Picker Joe’s was a great Antique Mall! For those of your that aren’t familiar with the concept (I wasn’t either as we don’t have them in New Zealand that I know of), a Antique Mall is usually a very large store that has divided areas where sellers will set up their wares for sale (consignment) but they don’t need to actually be there. It’s really fabulous as it means you get a good range of items and sellers will usually have a one thing they focus on i.e jewellery, clothing, furniture etc.
I bought a pretty yellow floral vintage necklace and then we wandered down the block where there was yet another Antique Mall! This one was also fabulous and had a amazing bakelite selection that made me cry a little bit on the inside at the prices…
As we drove to our accommodation, we also checked out a antique store that was in a great big old house… Mainly because we wanted to go inside the house! It was beautiful, so well preserved, had that delightful old creak in the floorboards and there was a sweet golden retriever who I got to cuddle. I found a gorgeous vintage hat that was in nearly mint condition which I knew I had to have despite the difficulties it would present with packing.
We found our accommodation, the Mcmillan Inn and were greeted by the oh-so welcoming Melissa. She showed us around the Inn and we couldn’t have been more excited. The decor and furniture was incredible and since it was a B&B, there was lovely little touches like freshly made peach tea and lemonade in the fridge, bread and peanut butter for sandwiches, bowls of lollies and home baked cupcakes!
Melissa showed us to our room and I got even more excited! It was a total dream, just spectacular and I was in love! Even the bathroom was fantastic, with a clawfoot tub and curtain!
We settled ourselves in before deciding to go for a walk. Just down the road was Forsyth Park and we wandered down Bull Street which runs between the end of the park and the bottom of town, stopping every once and while to look at the many antique shops.
There was one good one in particular that had a few beautiful pieces of clothing but alas, nothing was my size. I wish I’d take photos of all the beautiful vintage pieces I’ve found on my travels that I will have bought in a instant had they fit me.
That night since it was such a beautiful evening, we ate takeaways in the courtyard downstairs at the Inn and watched ‘The Garden of Good and Evil’ since it was all filmed in Savannah.
Our only full day in Savannah so we wanted to make the most of it! The morning started with a delicious cooked breakfast from Melissa around the big table in the opulent dining room and then we left the Inn to get on the hop on/hop off trolley tour of the city.
It was a great crash course on the history of Savannah and a lot easier than walking it all. Half way through the tour, we decided to hop off down at the river. We had a drink and sat right by the Savannah river and a big boat that Matt wanted to look at.
After a little bit more wandering, we got back on the next trolley which took us further west along the river and decided to get out again at the Maritime Museum. Not exactly my first choice but Matt being a boat builder, he was very interested and goodness knows I drag him through enough vintage shops!
Back on the Trolley, by this time it was past lunchtime and we were getting hungry. We took a gamble and got out at the top of Forsyth Park, hoping there would be cafe’s or shops nearby that we could pick something up to eat in the park. There was really on one place, a expensive deli where nothing took Matt’s fancy (and when he’s hungry, you can’t argue haha!), so we wandered down the left hand side of Forsyth Park so we could look at all the stunning big houses, visited Future on Forsyth (a vintage clothing shop) and walked down Bull St until we found somewhere with burgers that would satisfy Matt.
After a little rest back at the Inn (my feet were killing me!), we headed out again taking a slightly different route and looking at shops as we went. Eventually we were hungry again and had dinner but saved room for dessert! We really wanted to try Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlour which has been there since 1919 and has a real retro vibe to it- even the servers had cute retro uniforms!
We decided we would share a Sundae and settled on two flavours- ‘Chocolate Chewies and Cream’ and ‘Caramel Swirl’. It was FREAKING amazing, such delicious ice cream and even the chocolate sauce tasted a million time better than the standard sauce you seem to get at ice cream parlours.
After that, we were totally stuffed, I really didn’t want to have to walk the 20 minutes or so to get back to the Inn so we jumped one of the bicycle powered PediCab’s and had the nicest young guy who was really interesting to chat to for the short ride.
Off on the road again, heading towards New Orleans but since it’s over a 9 hour drive, we planned to stay the night in Pensacola to break up the trip.
We left Savannah after breakfast, saying goodbye to our wonderful host Melissa- I really didn’t want to leave her beautiful establishment and I had fallen in love with Savannah! It was definitely my favourite city we visited on this trip and I kept thinking about what it would be like to live there… I think we will most definitely try to visit again one day and stay for longer!
The drive to Pensacola wasn’t particularly interesting, the interstates are lined with tall trees on either side so it gets rather monotonous. I tried to convince Matt that we could go on one of the older freeways which would be potentially more exciting but he didn’t want to prolong the drive any more than necessary- which was fair enough since I wasn’t brave enough to share an of the driving. I think if you were going to take the scenic route on road trips, you’ve got to have a lot more time and stops in between.
Anyway, we arrived in Pensacola at 5.30 or 6.30pm, I can’t remember because we got super confused by driving though a 1 hour timezone change! In New Zealand, there is nowhere you can drive that will be in a different timezone so we weren’t expecting it.
After settling in and having a look around the Penscacola Victorian Bed and Breakfast where we were staying, we did a little driving around the city, found dinner and settled in the night. Matt was pretty tired from the big drive so we had a early night (after catching up on Game of Thrones!) in preparation for more driving the next day and our arrival in New Orleans!
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Categories: Miss VV Around The World