Every summer, my family and I take a week's vacation to somewhere out of town (usually south). Past trips have included Gulf Shores, Disney World, and Universal Studios to name a few. This time around we loaded up the minivan and made our way to the oldest city in America, St. Augustine, Florida.

This vacation was different from others in that we had no plans. There was no rush to get to a theme park to spend the day waiting in lines, or paying an $12.50 on a hamburger and drink. All we knew going in was we had a beach house rental we found on VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner), and that was it.

St. Augustine actually wasn't even our first choice. My wife asked around on Facebook for places to go and several people suggested Tybee Island just outside Savannah on the coast of Georgia. When our search came up empty for a place to stay during the date range we were looking at, I pulled up Google Maps on my phone, zoomed in on Tybee Island, and started scrolling down the coast until I stumbled on a place that sounded interesting. Hello, St. Augustine!

Technically we stayed on Vilano Beach, roughly a five minute drive northeast of St. Augustine — and it was glorious!

(Google Maps)

Even though we had a few neighbors to each side of us, the beach was never crowded (and sometimes we were the only ones out there). We came and went as we pleased, and if we forgot something, or the kids tired of the sand and waves, the house was literally a few steps through the sand.

While we did spend quite a bit of time chilling on the beach, we did venture out into town a couple of times, visiting the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoo, as well as the Old Towne Shopping District. And of course, we had to stop at a 7-Eleven to get Slurpees!

Take a look through the photo gallery below to see what we saw.