Founded decades before the 16th-century English settlements of the Northeast and flush with long-standing edifices of Spanish colonial architecture, few cities in the United States are as deeply steeped in history as St. Augustine, Florida. To walk its narrow brick streets, past gorgeous lime-washed facades and across the stately Plaza de la Constitucion, is to stroll through more than 400 years of stories. If you’re eager to explore those stories—and experience all the best of modern St. Augustine—there’s no better way than to place yourself right in the center of it all at the St. Francis Inn. Built in 1791 and operating as a public inn since 1845, the St. Francis has welcomed guests to its beautiful gardens and exquisite suites for generations and still remains the quintessential bed and breakfast for all that St. Augustine has to offer.
A Storied History
Centuries of history are alive and well on the streets of St. Augustine, and the St. Francis Inn puts you right on the Historic District’s main thoroughfare. The inn has stood steadfast at the intersection of St. George and St. Francis Streets for over 200 years, placing it within comfortable walking distance of all of the ancient city’s enduring attractions.
Just one block away from the inn’s threshold is the aptly named “Oldest House,” St. Augustine’s longest-standing home. Erected in 1723, the residence-turned-museum is a timeworn showcase of the changing cultural and architectural influences of the city’s past. A casual stroll up brick-lined St. George takes you straight into the Plaza de la Constitucion, the city’s palm-fringed central square since 1537, where visitors and locals shop and lunch in view of the venerable Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine and the river-spanning Bridge of Lions. Short jaunts off the main plaza offer deeper dives into yesteryear, from tours within the fortified stone walls of the Castillo de San Marcos to exhibits displaying curated collections of Victorian-era artifacts at the Lightner Museum.
St. Augustine may bear signs of its age-old heritage at every turn, but the city is anything but stuck in the past—and there’s more than enough contemporary culture going on within reach of the St. Francis Inn to keep you delighted in the present.
Lining the downtown plaza and tucked away on charming side streets, stucco-clad establishments from cozy art galleries to chic modern boutiques vie for your patronage, while local eateries offer up fresh seafood and live music in the evenings. Find late-night thrills of several varieties in town—drinks and dancing a few blocks away at Prohibition Kitchen, or a spectre-hunting ghost tour through darkened alleyways and shadowed dwellings.
On the brighter side of things, outdoor adventure lies all about in the northeast corner of the Sunshine State. Cross dunes on horseback at Anastasia State Park, head out on the Matanzas for a relaxing day of river fishing, or hit local links for a round of golf. Spectacular beaches stretch up and down the coastline, but guests at the St. Francis Inn have a special experience in store at nearby St. Augustine beach. The St. Francis Inn’s Beach Cottage sits just steps from the sand, providing guests the use of shared facilities—parking spaces, chairs, an outdoor shower, and more—while they enjoy 14 miles of sunbaked sand at one of Florida’s most beautiful beaches.
Make Yourself at Home
Back at the St. Francis Inn, the list of creature comforts enriching your stay goes on. The historic inn features 19 private suites across four buildings—seventeen rooms at the main property, and two secluded accommodations at the unique 1854 house just a few blocks away—all boasting a melange of amenities. Each room features spacious king or queen beds with en-suite bathrooms, and various ensembles of clawfoot or jetted tubs, fireplaces, and garden and town views.
Each morning, guests at the St. Francis Inn enjoy a buffet breakfast, with an extended brunch on weekends, wherever they prefer: in the privacy of their comfortable suite, out on the balcony, or in the award-winning tropical gardens of the shaded courtyard. Daily treats continue into the later hours—daily social hours with snacks and libations in the afternoon, and desserts and s’mores around the courtyard fire pit each evening.
Meet the Innkeepers
Joe and Margaret Finnegan have proudly welcomed guests to their St. Francis Inn since 1985. As educators, their careers had taken them up and down the East Coast, as far north as Connecticut and—with Joe as headmaster at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind—south to St. Augustine, Florida. When their careers took them back north to Pennsylvania, they took holidays to return to the city they had fallen in love with. They caught wind of the sale of the St. Francis Inn while on Thanksgiving vacation in 1984 and secured their footing in St. Augustine within a year.
Since then, Joe and Margaret have renovated the St. Francis Inn into an award-winning bed & breakfast, priding themselves on genuine hospitality and an outstanding staff—all while raising a succeeding generation of hospitality professionals in their own family.
St. Francis Inn is a member of the bnbfinder Diamond Collection and accepts bnbfinder bed and breakfast Gift Cards. The bnbfinder Diamond Collection is an exclusive group of professionally inspected and/or highly rated luxury bed and breakfasts and inns. Each member of the bnbfinder Diamond Collection is required to have passed a professional inspection from a third-party industry-recognized inspection agency or achieved a high traveler review rating consecutively for each of the past three years.
Members of this program offer guests exceptional experiences and levels of service in line with today’s discerning travelers’ highest expectations. bnbfinder invites you to peruse each of our Diamond Collection members. Remember to be sure and tell the innkeeper you found them via the bnbfinder Diamond Collection!