St. Augustine: The ‘Ancient City’ Definitely Worth A Visit!
Quiz Question: What do Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, and Leonardo DiCaprio all have in common? Yes, they’re all highly successful actors, and they all live in St. Augustine, a very popular tourist city located in north-eastern Florida in the United States.
Also referred to as the Sunshine State because of its warm sub-tropical climate and abundant sunshine, Florida is home to St. Augustine, the oldest continuously-occupied city in the United States.
About St. Augustine
St. Augustine lies on the north-east coast of Florida, just over a 2-hour drive from Walt Disney World. Founded by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain in 1565, St. Augustine is renowned for its gorgeous beaches, like St. Augustine Beach and Crescent Beach, and of course its Spanish colonial architecture. Today, St. Augustine is commonly referred to as the ‘Nation’s Oldest City’; a 17th-century Spanish stone fortress known as the Castillo de San Marcos is just one of the highlights of a visit to St. Augustine.
Four Centuries of History
The rich heritage of St. Augustine makes both the city itself and its surroundings a rare and distinctive getaway for visitors from all over the world. With centuries of fascinating history, historically St. Augustine owes much to the Spanish, English, Greeks, Native Americans and African Americans. History buffs love the Moorish-style and Spanish colonial architecture, not to mention the many museums and landmarks like Ponce de Leon’s “Fountain of Youth’ and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. St. Augustine has been home to a range of cultures, all of which have been carefully preserved through the historical sites in and around the city.
So Much to See and Do!
55-years prior to the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock, St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish as a colonial outpost, and while the city definitely has a European feel about it today, it also has a distinct American vibe. Tourists can explore the 144-block Historic District either by bike or on foot, enjoy a delicious butter pecan milkshake, or head to the 17th island green at nearby Ponte Vedra Beach, where the best golfers in the world will tee-off for the upcoming Player’s Championship.
St Augustine itself is an amazing, living history museum where one can take a step back in time and explore the earliest days of our nation. There are several museums in the city, including the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, the Lightner Museum, and the Government House Museum. You’ll love the artifacts and collections on display, but you’ll also be amazed at the historic buildings themselves.
Both the southern section of St Augustine and the Spanish Quarter Restoration will immediately transport you back to an old-world atmosphere of stone houses, narrow, shaded streets, and carved-wood balconies. Houses and gardens have a strong Spanish influence, as do the gorgeous hotels built by Henry Morrison Flagler, the oil baron, in the days when he planned for St Augustine to become the American Riviera.