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Penny Farthing Inn, St. Augustine, Florida

Penny Farthing Inn (St. Augustine, Florida)

Penny Farthing Inn, St. Augustine, Florida

The bird’s eye view of the inn from your private balcony.

When I checked in to the Penny Farthing Inn, I was assigned the Treehouse, a secluded room nestled into the boughs of a 350-year-old cedar tree and accessed via a private outdoor staircase. It’s one of the inn’s nine unique rooms, with period antiques and a sitting nook with a fireplace and stained-glass windows. My private little balcony, complete with a rocking chair, was a delightful spot to sit outside and gaze at the rest of the inn.

This welcoming Victorian bed and breakfast was built as a private residence in 1893. At some point, it was repurposed as an inn, named after the penny farthing, an early type of bicycle, popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with a huge front wheel and tiny rear wheel. Look for images of it scattered around the inn—on the signage out front, for example, and a metal one hanging on the wall. Painted a cheerful yellow with white and blue-gray trim, its multiple porches, balconies, and staircases keep it visually lively.

Penny Farthing Inn, St. Augustine, Florida

Relax in the very Victorian parlor.

The off-street parking makes it easy to abandon your car for your entire stay and walk to the offbeat museums, fine restaurants, and historic district of St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, founded in 1565. And if you return later in the afternoon, you can head to the dining room, the scene for daily appetizers, desserts, and wines, and then pick up one of the many DVDs to watch in your room.

At night, you can relax in the comfortable, very Victorian parlor beside the fireplace while listening to classical music and chatting with fellow travelers before meeting up with them again the next day over breakfast on the covered porch. That wonderful morning meal could be, for instance, orange juice, scrambled eggs, a ham and cheese croissant, and Hungarian potatoes, or perhaps sausage quiche, a biscuit, and fresh strawberries and pineapples. It’s a leisurely way to ease into your day and soak in the charms of this lovely inn.

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