It’s the oldest continuously operated inn located in the oldest city in the country, but that doesn’t mean St. Augustine’s St. Francis Inn is dated. It has all the charm of its 18th century roots, with all the amenities of the present day.
Joe and Margaret Finnegan run the 17 room St. Francis Inn. There are 11 rooms and suites in the main building, all of which have private baths, wireless internet and air conditioning. Some have extra amenities like their own courtyard entrance, fireplaces, whirlpools and private decks. The courtyard is a favorite of guests as it is quaint a quiet, with a fenced off swimming pool. The lobby of St. Francis Inn is always welcoming with fresh water, coffee and tea. Each morning there is a lavish breakfast spread that includes at least one entrée, fresh fruit and homemade bread. There’s an evening social hour where guests can mingle over wine, beer, soda and snacks.
The Finnegans also added an unusual touch which is very popular – dessert hour. Acknowledging that St. Augustine offers a wonderful choice of restaurants within walking distance, they encourage guests to go out to eat and then come back to enjoy some sweet treats back at the inn, like blueberry pie, Devilish Chocolate Bundt Cake, Turtlicicious Trifle or freshly baked cookies. Joe Finnegan is quick to say, “We pride ourselves on ‘added value.’ We believe in adding the little things that make the guests’ stay more enjoyable. Food and beverage is a big thing here. “Their chef, Gary, maintains a blog so you can sometimes get a peak at one he’s cooking (and also read about the inn’s specials).
Within a couple of short blocks of the inn, you will find restaurants, shops, and historical spots, like the
the Lightner Museum, The Oldest House, or the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, which the St. Francis Inn will give you free admission to. If you don’t want to walk, or wish to visit some of the sites further away, you can leave your car in the lot the inn supplies free for guests and take the Old Town Trolley around to the sites.
While staying at the St. Francis, you have complimentary use of bicycles and beach access, which includes towels and a refrigerator at their area of the beach. If you’d like to stay in and relax, there is a lending library of DVDs in the sitting room for guest use.
If you are looking for a bit more privacy, Joe and Margaret Finnegan also own a two bedroom, two bath cottage right on St. Augustine beach, which they rent out to families, couples and those looking for a more spacious getaway. For more information on the beach house or St. Francis Inn, visit their website.