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A parent's guide to Family Weekend

Sep 19, 2022
by Anna Boone

Time until Flagler’s 2022 Family Weekend is ticking away, and we’ve got the pointers to get you prepared.

For most of you, it’s probably been more than a month since you’ve seen your student. Family Weekend is the perfect opportunity to enjoy quality time with them while getting a better idea of what Flagler has going on this academic year.

From lodging options and restaurant recs, to key programming and activities to fill free time, here’s everything you need to know ahead of Family Weekend:


Places to Stay

You don’t have to look far from campus if you’re trying to save some money on your stay. Hotels like Holiday Inn, The Ponce, Days Inn, Villa Victor or Double Tree have good rates and are all within a couple miles of campus. St. Augustine also has a swath of motels that are often even easier on your wallet. Look into rooms at Scottish Inns, Economy Inn, Historic Inn, Anastasia Inn and The Lion Inn

To immerse yourself in the charm of St. Augustine, you might want to stay somewhere that matches the vibe of our historic downtown. Near campus, every corner you turn you’ll find a charming bed & breakfast. Poke around at B&B options like Casa de Sueños, Agustin Inn, Carriage Way Inn, 44 Spanish Street Inn  and Cedar House Inn.

For a luxurious experience seeped in history, book a room in Casa Monica. This ornate resort was built in 1888, neighbors the Lightner Museum and is just across the street from campus.


Navigating programming

The College has a lengthy itinerary of activities planned to keep you and your student busy all weekend.

Consider signing up to attend one of more than 20 featured classes open to families Friday to get a sense of what your student’s coursework, professors and academic rigor might be like. Be sure to ask your student if any of their classes are included in the list of featured classes for the day.

If your student is tied up Friday afternoon in class or with a campus activity, the Parents Leadership Council Meeting Friday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. is an ideal activity for you to attend without them. Parents will get a chance to hear directly from administration about key initiatives on campus, provide feedback and ask questions. Members of the PLC will also be attending events throughout the weekend to answer any questions you may have.

Your student probably makes the best “tour guide” in your mind. But you can go a step further by joining them on one of the various College-organized tours scheduled for the weekend.

Spots for the legacy historic tours, private charter boat tours, craft beverage and coffee tasting tours are filled up, so be sure to take advantage of any that you or your student reserved a place on. Sign-ups for trolley tours, which pick-up and drop-off conveniently in front of the Ringhaver Student Center, are still open if you’re looking for a relaxing way get acquainted with the town.

If you are looking to get a taste of Flagler’s small but mighty athletics department, put the men’s soccer game and tailgate on your schedule Saturday. Located in the athletics complex parking lot, the tailgate will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and feature food trucks, beverage tents, a mega obstacle course, caricature artist, photo booth and Lewis the Lion meet and greet. The match, against Young Harris College, will start at the end of the tailgate at 1 p.m.


Where to eat

For a quick bite between activities, ask your student to take you to the dining hall, which was featured in a recent Architectural Digest story as one of the 15 “most beautiful dining halls across the world.” Keep in mind that you will have to pay the door rate, $11.75 for lunch and $12.25 for dinner.

You might also want to take advantage of your visit as a time to venture off-campus and enjoy St. Augustine’s impressive restaurant scene. You can hit the familiar tourist favorites like Columbia Restaurant or Harry’s, but it’s worth trying out some of the culinary gems St. Augustine has to offer:

Llama Restaurant- modern Peruvian food, Ice Plant Bar- farm to table faire and specialty cocktails, Preserved- elevated southern cuisine and The Floridian- modern southern grub with vegetarian options, are just a few spots in town worth making the reservation for.


Things to do in free time

During Family Weekend, you might find yourself with awkward stretches of time to fill between activities. Take this free time as an opportunity to explore parts of the area that maybe your student hasn’t even checked out yet.

Support the Flagler family stopping in at some of the numerous alumni-owned businesses in town: enjoy some indoor bouldering at Stone Climbing off of 207, stop in for a class at Serenity yoga studio, relax with afternoon tea at The Chatsworth Publick House or listen to some jazz at Stogies cigar bar and listening room.

Some cliché St. Augustine activities are worth putting on your docket, even if your student has done it before. Whether you’re in it for the scare, paranormal activity or the gimmick, ghost tours are an undeniably fun characteristic of this town. And there are plenty of them to sign up for, here are just a few.

It’s also always worth heading down to the Castillo de San Marcos around sunset to people watch, admire the waterfront views and decompress after a long day.


Finding Parking

Parking will be available on campus with a “Family Weekend” parking pass. An email will go out to everyone who has registered for Family Weekend with the parking pass pdf. attached for you to print at home and bring to campus. While on campus, place this pass on the dashboard of your vehicle for permitted parking in the Lewis Parking Lots, Campus Service Building Northern Lot and the FEC Parking Garage.  Look at this map ahead of your visit to get a better idea of our parking locations on campus and other suggested parking locations downtown.  

If you’ve purchased premier parking during the tailgating event, an email will be sent to you with the parking pass pdf. attached. You can also print this pass at home and bring it with you to the tailgate.  

For a more extensive guide to parking off-campus in downtown St. Augustine, check out some of these online resources:

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