The Ultimate St Augustine Date Night Adventure with TripAdvisor

2/03/2017

Looking for an epic date night in North Florida? If you're craving adventure, romance, and and a foodie destination worth waiting in line for, then I have a plan for you. Recently David and I broke out of our usual date night mold and tried something new. After some thorough research on TripAdvisor, we come up with an itenerary that got our taste buds tingling, and our adrenaline rushing. 

The scenic drive down A1A is always a great starter for any date night. Miles of pristine beaches, preserved marshland, and blue skies stretch before you as your stressors begin to melt away. Believe it or not, our travels rarely take us to St Augustine these days, though it is a mere 40 min drive from our home in Jacksonville Beach. The foodie scene has literally exploded in the last five years, and these days you can throw a stone and find a notable dining spot within reach. Putting TripAdvisor's mission to help travelers "Know Better. Book Better. and Go Better." to the test, we got to "Know St Augustine even Better" by taking advantage of hundreds of reviews visitors contributed to pretty much every destination in the region.
Amy West and David West take a selfie in front of the St Augustine Distillery
Grabbing a kiss from my date outside the St Augustine Distillery.
Earrings from 7 Charming Sisters 
Ready for some excitement, we booked the babysitter and took off down South. Our first destination? The Ice Plant bar. Located in the same building as the popular St Augustine Distillery. Sadly, we didn't plan enough time to tour before our airborne adventure. If we had planned correctly, this date night would have reached even more epic heights. The tour is free and open 7 days a week. It also includes a free tasting at the end, so if you plan this itenerary, be sure to include this 30 minutes in.

Drinks and Small Plates at the Ice Plant

menu for The Ice Plant
Our visit to the Ice Plant was relaxed and low key. We arrived close to 4pm and waited about five minutes for a free spot at the bar. Upon inspection of the menu David opted for his favorite (an Old Fashioned), and I voted for the Vodka based Sugar Ray cocktail rich in grapefruit and lemony goodness. For a snack we ordered the cheese plate, complete with house made Pimiento Cheese. 
The Sugar Ray cocktail at the Ice Plant in St Augustine
The Sugar Ray cocktail at the Ice Plant

David West enjoying an Old Fashioned at the Ice Plant in St Augustine
David enjoying his Old Fashioned
If you read this blog enough or have seen my segments on TV, you will know I'm a huge fan (and kind of picky) when it comes to Pimiento Cheese. Ice Plant impressed me with it's creamy take on this Southern classic and it paired nicely with my tart cocktail. David was notably fascinated by the perfect ice in his Old Fashioned, a signature of the Ice Plant's heritage and location in Florida's original Ice Plant factory. We didn't stay long enough to enjoy a meal, but the farm to table menu promised grass fed beef, garden raised veggies, and plenty of down home tasty dishes.
This Southern style cheese board will fill you up.
Cheese board at The Ice Plant
Sunset Tour With 
Old City Helicopters of St Augustine

Amy West flying with Old City Helicopters of St Augustine
Pure Joy. I live for adventure. 
When researching on TripAdvisor just what kind of adventure we wanted to dive into on our date night, I stumbled across Old City Helicopters of St Augustine. With tours starting at $69 I found their prices to be reasonable, and their ratings to be exceptional. When I happened upon the Sunset tour option, I knew I'd found exactly what I was looking for.
Amy West capturing the stunning sunset over St Augustine
Sharing our journey with our social followers


True to it's promise to help me "Book Better", I was able to quickly grab our tickets for the weekend of my choice directly from TripAdvisor's website. You might be surprised to learn that not only can you book hotels, but you can also book tons of exciting adventures with TripAdvisor and feel safer and more reassured because their first hand reviews are right at your fingertips! You know exactly what kind of business you are dealing with, and what to expect on your trip so you can "Go Better".   

Interior shot of helicopter in flight
This was my first helicopter trip and I was excited to get going. Our pilot Dave was extremely warm and friendly and put our nerves at ease. He explained the safety procedures, and what exactly we should expect during the flight.
Aerial view of ocean off the shores of St Augustine
The expanse of the Atlantic Ocean as far as the eye can see
The helicopter had plenty of windows for taking in the expanse of the sky, and aerial views of our nation's Oldest City.
Interior Shot of helicopter flying over St Augustine
Taking in the miles of pristine coastland
First we set off down the beach and took in the expanse of the ocean and the pristine beaches. I was so happy we opted for the sunset tour because the sky was on fire! I've lived near St Augustine most of my life and have visited often but I had never seen the city this beautiful.

The St Augustine Lighthouse
Viewing the St Augustine Lighthouse from the air
Dave did a great job filling us in on some of the history of the area, and pointing out all the popular landmarks. We flew over the Lighthouse, Alligator Farm, Bridge of Lions, the Intracoastal waterway, and downtown St. Augustine itself. I'm not a fan of heights but I never felt in danger at all. We had a particularly windy day which we were told made the ride rougher than usual, but it didn't feel rough to me. Dave explained that helicopters are designed to compensate for shifts in wind, so generally you can expect a very smooth ride. We arrived back at the airport after our twenty minute tour was complete, but I could have swore we spent more like forty minutes in flight. It was an exhilarating experience that my husband David and I enjoyed thoroughly. The evening was both romantic and got the adrenaline rushing. It was the perfect date night experience, and one made even better with the help of TripAdvisor.
The Intracoastal waterway near St Augustine

So what are you waiting for? It's your turn to experience your next epic date night. Not sure this experience is for you? Think out of the box with TripAdvisor and ensure your travels are the best they can be. 

Until Then...

Enjoy the Journey!

xo- Amy West

Enjoy the romance of St Augustine at sunset
Views of the Intracoastal waterway at sunset

*This blog was created in collaboration with TripAdvisor, however the words and opinions expressed are my own. 
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Copyright © Amy West Travel. All rights reserved. Photography by Journey Productions Media.

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