st. augustine for gentlemen of the road aka mumford weekend
st. Augustine is the oldest continuously inhabited city in America. That's right, the oldest city in America, before there was that historical path through Boston, before those small towns up north where they do historical re-enactments of battles, before electricty and the Liberty Bell and all that good ol' fashioned Americana stuff - there was Florida. Even back then, the people of Florida were concerned with staying young and beautiful, and they were totally hip to the organic, all-natural movement. They knew what was up with that Fountain of Youth idea.
St. Augustine is beautiful and historical and only a few hours past Disney World. St. Augustine is very, very nice. Book a weekend and enjoy a couple days of overwhelmingly cuteness, craft beer, open air bars, friendly people and plenty of history.
This past weekend I made the drive up early on a Friday morning for the final stop on the Gentlemen of the Road tour. Mumford was headlining and they had to cancel their big stage spot at Bonnaroo (click here for a full travel guide on a much, much longer festival road trip) so we were doubly stoaked to soak up a folky sing-a-long good time. Other acts included Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, The Vaccines, The Walkmen, Tao and the Get Down Stay Down, Half Moon Run, Those Darlins and more. Fun. was supposed to go on right before Mumford on Saturday, but they had to cancel and there was an pretty steller back-up act by the name of John Fogerty. A real rock legend, Fogerty jammed hard with The Vaccines and Mumford as his band and we got to witness one of those really special festival moments when you know you're watching something that was unplanned and everyone is having a really, really great time making music together. It was a baby festival by Bonnaroo standards, but still the biggest thing to hit St. Augustine since Ponce De Leon.
The city was fully decked out in mustaches, the GOTR insignia. The lighthouse wore a mustache, every door in the city had a "Welcom Mumford" sign and there were mustaches galore. It was like a mustache Christmas, everyone was in the spirit and the spirit was everywhere.
The festival was only Friday night and Saturday all day, so we had a bit of time to do some Yelping and exploring, but we'll have to go back to really soak it all up.
Here's a break-down of our 2.5 day trip to America's Oldest City:
We arrived and hit JP Henley's a craft brew pub with a very solid selection of beer. An honest waitress wearing beer bottle cap earrings told us that the local brew wasn't great so I went with my fall beer go-to - a pumpkin ale. This is where we first found out that people in St. Augustine are really, really into pulled pork. If there's one thing on the menu anywhere you go it's pulled pork. Much, much worse things could happen in life.
JP Henley's 10 Marine Street
With a little time to spare before the rest of the caravan made it up to meet us, we took advantage of some of the local kitsch. Old timey photos! The British destroyed all the really old architecture (the city dates back to the 1500's) but the Downtown area is still chock full of amazing, gawk-worthy buildings from the First Spanish Colonial Period (1565-1764). Flagler College is an absolutely beautiful sight. The whole city kind of feels Haunted Mansion-esque, except that it's all real.
Finally - the festival! The single-stage set-up made it nice and easy to manage. The grounds were right in Downtown and there was a shuttle system set-up. We casually caught some music and then jammed the eff out during Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. If this band is only cutesy YouTube videos of "Home" to you, you must must must look into their live show which is a trippy, culty, feel good, party. After the concert people divided up and hit the town for more alcoholic beverages and the much beloved pulled pork sandwiches.
Examples of the signage around the city. It. Was. Everwhere. Cute overload. I loved it.
We rented a beach apartment on Crescent Beach for our group of thirteen and I think that every single one of us was in shock about how crazy beautiful this sandy beach was. Next time, I'd like to stay in Downtown but will definitely commit to a full beach day. It's the perfect way to start Saturday morning after a sweaty time on Friday night.
an old friend of the boys from Miami, Andres Guardiola, moved to St. Augustine for college and stayed there. We can understand why after having visited. He runs this food truck, called Crave and they serve very delicious, very healthy food that we know we would frequent weekly if it was around here. We hung out, had some beers with him and raved about the homemade hummus which was just what we all needed after Bloody Mary's for breakfast and beers on the road. If you're ever in St. Augustine, go to Crave - you won't regret it and you'll come home craving it.
131 King Street, @cravefoodtruckstaugustine
Local Heroes provided a much needed break before heading back into the sweltering heat for concert day 2. Even the diviest Old Florida spots in St. Augustine had craft beer and cheap mixed drinks ($3!) and of course, pulled pork.
11 Spanish Street
John Fogerty, Mumford and more on Saturday night. I can't get into the details of the live show but lets just say that everyone woke up with scratchy throats the next morning from a heck of a lot of singing along and they played "Come Together" with The Vaccines.
I sought out Amistad after reading online that they carried some fair-trade towels that I wanted. It turns out that the whole store was a fair trade marketplace with everything from Tunisian ceramics to good luck pig figurines. It was on a block with very cute shopping, so we explored a bit and also found a great vintage store and a well-priced and very cute boutique.
67 San Marco Ave