Hi, Adventurers!

East Coast Contessa luxury travel blogger

I’m Alex, the author behind East Coast Contessa, a U.S. based luxury travel and lifestyle blog. Born in coastal Maine and raised in Kentucky, I’m a warm-weather enthusiast and seeker of hidden-gems who left the office for the world in 2018. I’m an avid swimmer and beach-goer, a trained journalist, a former expat, and a serious food (and coffee) aficionado! In my nearly seven year journey of world exploration, I’ve visited 49 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

It may also come as no surprise that I love to put pen to paper. You may have even seen some of my work in Thrive Global, Trivago Magazine, and Stylecaster, along the way! What I love most about travel is its ability to connect me with cultures and people. To simultaneous push me out of my comfort zone all while broadening my desire to explore even further. I’m so glad you found your way here, and I hope that what you read in these pages sparks your own sense of exploration and wanderlust within. 

I’ll see you out there,



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Places you need to see in St. Augustine, FL: Part 3!

✦ Downtown St. Augustine. The greater downtown area is full of amazing restaurants, parks, and historic buildings. The best way to explore it is on foot or via an @oldtowntrolley ride! The hop-on hop-off rides include narration and take you to some of the town’s most popular spots.
✦ @flaglercollege. You can explore the grounds or take a tour of the interior to learn about its rich history and incredible Spanish Renaissance architecture! The Ponce de Leon Hall is a National Historic Landmark.
✦ This quiet coastal community is known for a Sandy shoreline, a fishing pier, and some of the most beautiful sunsets in St. Augustine! The beach is surrounded by great hotels, casual cafes, shops, and a Nature Boardwalk. It’s also a great spot to search for pre-historic shark teeth! 
✦ @whetstonechocolates9045. What began in 1967 as a small fudge shop is now a 10,000 square foot factory that has worked with Nestle, Hershey, and M&M Mars. Chocolate lovers can take a 45 minute guided tour of the facilities that includes multiple samplings and expert narration. Don’t forget to buy some of their chocolate seashells!

I fit a lot into my three day schedule during my visit there, but if you want to see even more at a leisurely pace, I would recommend spending 4 or even 5 days there. 

Did my reels series inspire you to visit @floridashistoriccoast? Let me know below! 🇺🇸

#FloridaHistoricCoast #ViajaStAugustine #staugustine #staugustineflorida #visitflorida #roamflorida #usatravels #exploretheusa #visittheusa #southerncharm #southernliving #femmetravel #dametraveler #historicplaces #beautifultown #floridatravel #usapassion
If you were looking for a sign to visit @ireland.explores, this is it!🍀🇮🇪

Last year, I spent St. Patrick’s Day on a road trip through Ireland with @aworldofdresses and it’s been one of my favorite adventures to date. Below, I share some of the best locations to visit while there as shown in the reel above {SAVE this for future planning!} 

📍 @cliffsofmoher.ie 
📍 @irishnationalstudandgardens. This horse breeding facility is the center of the Irish horse racing industry, and the only stud farm in Ireland open to the public. It’s home to a beautiful Japanese garden, an interactive exhibit, and a charming cafe. Explore the gardens and stables, then grab a platter of Irish smoked salmon and freshly-baked brown bread for lunch.
📍 Furbogh Beach. This small rocky beach is close to Galway. It’s especially beautiful at sunset and has a a coastal walk, a pub, and seafood restaurant at the end of it. 
📍Dunmore Head. A must-see on the Slea Head Drive, it’s the westernmost promontory of the Dingle Peninsula and offers incredible views.
📍Dunquin Pier. A short drive from Dunmore Head is Dunquin Pier. A narrow road winds its way down to the pier framed by scenery and huge cliffs.
📍 Trinity College Old Library. One of Dublin’s most popular attractions, the library is home to the Book of Kells, a illuminated manuscript made by monks around 800AD.
📍 @jameslongsdingle. One of the best spots for breakfast in Dingle, get the Full Irish Breakfast + an Irish coffee with extra whip!
🌈 The last frame is one of the prettiest rainbows I’ve ever seen! Frequent showers followed by periods of sun make them quite common.

Have you experienced the magic of Ireland yet? Let me know in the comments, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
#irelanddaily #irelandtravel #discoverireland #ireland☘️ #irelandlove #stpatricksday2023 #irelandexploring #exploreireland #luckoftheirish🍀 #visitireland #visitdublin #bestofireland #tourismireland @visitgalway @visitdublin @tourismireland #dreamingtravel
There are so many reasons why St. Augustine, Florida is an amazing destination to visit any time of year. From pristine beaches to top-rated museums and restaurants, it’s easy to see why it was named “Best Small Town in the South” by @southernlivingmag! Since I couldn’t fit everything I loved about it in part 1 of my @floridashistoriccoast reel, here’s part 2!

1. St. Augustine Lighthouse. Built between 1871 and 1874, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum covers 500 years of maritime history. The Nation’s Oldest Port is 219 steps to the top (165 feet) with a spectacular view of the harbor and St Augustine. 
2. Lightner Museum. The former Gilded Age resort hotel of Hotel Alcazar, the Lightner Museum is now an immersive experience of art, architecture, history, and design. The 1887 Spanish Renaissance Revival style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 
3. San Sebastian Winery. Founded in 1996, San Sebastian Winery is housed in one of Henry Flagler’s old East Coast Railway buildings. They offer facility tours, live music, self guided complimentary wine tastings, a gift shop, and a local cuisine at their roof deck restaurant, The Cellar Upstairs. Be sure to try their sangria recipe!

There are even more amazing things to do and see around @viajasanagustin, so keep an eye out for my final series (part 3) and check out my highlight badge in the meantime.

Have I inspired you to visit St. Augustine? Let me know in the comments 🇺🇸 #hosted
#viajastaugustine #floridahistoriccoast #visitflorida #roamflorida #staugustine #staugustinefl #floridatravel #usatravels #visittheusa #exploretheusa #dametravelers #dametraveler #journeysofgirls #thedreamytravels #womenstravel @visitflorida
Do you know where the oldest city in the U.S. is located? 

The answer: St. Augustine, Florida! 🇺🇸 Founded in 1565, @floridashistoriccoast is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in America. It’s full of incredible history, locally owned boutique shops, and an amazing food scene! Here’s part one of my recommendations of things to do, see, and eat while there:

1. @villazoraydamuseum. This guilded age Museum and mansion built in 1883 has architecture that resembles the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain.
2. @asadolife. Asado Life provides the most unique outdoor dining experience in St. Augustine. You’ll enjoy a four course meal with a Live Fire Grilling Experience as you watch fish and shrimp boats glide past on the San Sebastian River. 
3. Castillo de San Marcos. This National Monument is the oldest masonry fort in the United States and the only standing 17th century military construction. You can pay to take a tour inside or just enjoy the park grounds surrounding it.
4. @columbiarestaurant. With a few locations throughout Florida, Columbia serves award winning Spanish/Cuban cuisine. You’ll eat in lavish dining rooms decorated with hand painted tiles, art works, and Spanish-style fountains. It’s also @michelinguide recommended! 

SAVE and follow for part 2 ✨

Have I convinced you to visit @viajasanagustin yet?
#floridahistoriccoast #floridahistory #viajastaugustin #staugustine #staugustinefl #staugustineflorida #visittheusa #visitthestates #exploretheusa #usatravel #roamflorida #floridatrip #journeysofgirls #thedreamytravels #womenwhoexplore #floridavibes #staugustinebuzz
Are you new to travel and want to travel safer? Then you’ll want to check out the new travel safety app, @ozziapp.
Using data and sources that are verified and trusted by the U.S. Government Intelligence and Defense teams, @ozziapp monitors the world 24/7 for incidents that could disrupt your travel plans.
An easy-to-use ratings system and real-time alerts provide insight to potential threats from nine categories: Security, Health, Legal, Culture, Environment, Political, Entry/Exit Border Control, Financial, and Infrastructure. 
@ozziapp covers the simpler side of travel, too. From passport and entry requirements to transportation guides and customs, you can manage your trips and gain access to safer travel all in one place!

Tap the link in my bio and select “OZZI Travel Safety” to use code ECC23 at checkout. After checkout, download “OZZI Travel Safety” via the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store then login. Safe travels! 
#OZZITravelSafety #safetravels #safetravel #travelsafetytips #traveltips101 #traveltips #travelapps #safetytips #bestapps #traveltools #femaletraveller #femmetravel #ozziapp
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