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Shopping and nightlife in St. Augustine

The winding streets of the historic district are home to dozens of and stocked full of original paintings, sculptures, bric-a-brac, fine furnishings, china, and other treasures.
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The winding streets of the historic district are home to dozens of antiques stores and galleries stocked full of original paintings, sculptures, bric-a-brac, fine furnishings, china, and other treasures. Brick-lined Aviles Street, a block from the river, has an especially good mix of shops for browsing, as does St. George Street south of the visitor center and the Uptown area on San Marco Avenue a few blocks north of the center. The Alcazar Courtyard Shops, at the Lightner Museum (tel. 904/824-2874), have a good selection of antiques. Check at the visitor center for lists of art galleries and antiques shops; or contact the Antique Dealers Association of St. Augustine, 60 Cuna St., St. Augustine, FL 32084 (no phone).

Experience chocolate heaven at Whetstone Chocolates, 2 Coke Rd. (Fla. 312), between U.S. 1 and the Mickler O'Connell Bridge (tel. 904/825-1700). Free self-guided tours of the store and factory usually take place Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but call ahead to confirm the schedule. Whetstone has a retail outlet at 42 St. George St., in the historic district.

Outlet shoppers will find plenty of good hunting 7 miles northwest of downtown on Fla. 16, on the west side of I-95, in the St. Augustine Outlet Mall (tel. 904/825-1555;; and at the enclosed, air-conditioned Belz Factory Outlet World, on the east side of the interstate (tel. 904/826-1311; Both malls are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Especially on weekends, the Old Town is full of strollers and partiers making the rounds of dozens of bars, clubs, and restaurants. For up-to-date details on what's happening in town, check the local daily, the St. Augustine Record (, or the irreverent Folio Weekly ( Another nighttime activity is taking one of the many ghost tours.

The best-looking and rowdiest crowd in town can be found at the A1A Ale Works. Twenty-something hipsters and middle-aged partiers mingle at this handsome New Orleans-style microbrewery and restaurant. You'll find live music Thursday through Saturday downstairs at the bar, on a crowded window-front stage -- usually light rock and R&B tunes.

Ann O'Malley's, 23 Orange St., near the Old City Gate (tel. 904/825-4040), is an Irish pub that's open until 1 a.m. Besides the selection of ales, stouts, and drafts, this is one of the only spots in town where you can grab a late-night bite.

Also popular with locals, Mill Top Tavern, 19 1/2 St. George St., at the Fort (tel. 904/829-2329), is a warm and rustic tavern housed in a 19th-century mill building (the water wheel is still outside). Weather permitting, it's an open-air space. There's music here every day from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.

At Scarlett O'Hara's, 70 Hypolita St., at Cordova Street (tel. 904/824-6535;, a catacomb of cozy rooms with working fireplaces in a rambling, 19th-century wood-frame house is the setting for everything from DJs and karaoke to live music. Sporting events are aired on a large-screen TV.

Across the river, the Gypsy Bar & Grill, part of the Gypsy Cab Co. restaurant, 828 Anastasia Blvd. (tel. 904/824-8244), often has live music as well as a comedy club next door.

For more on what to see and do in St. Augustine, Florida, visit our complete guide online at

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