St. Augustine, Florida - Oldest City In America, Established 1565

The Ponce de Leon Hotel, St. Augustine, Florida, 1902

Source

First, Oldest, Most

The State of Florida is full of surprises and a lot of the "first", 'biggest", and "only one left" attractions in the USA and the world.

For instance, small herds of scrub cattle are still found in the interior of Central Florida, not far from the 39th Greatest Place to Stand in the USA (www.StoodThere.com) - Kennedy Space Center. Not only that, but the Everglades as a whole is the largest wetlands in the world.

Florida is also the site of the oldest communities settled by the Spanish and French in the New World in the 1500s, long before the British and Germans came aboard.

Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. | Source

Great Places to Take Photos

St. Augustine is one of these oldest communities, and ranks as the 37th Greatest Place to Stand in the top one hundred determined by StoodThere.com in a 2009 readers' poll. The city enjoys this status because of its Spanish fort called Castillo de San Marcos (Castle of Saint Mark).

This site is officially known in the national park system as the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. St. Augustine is the first walled city to have been built in North America and its 450th Anniversary of founding is in 2015, with a year-long celebration planned.

The fortress seen in the image below was renamed for my favorite American Revolutionary war hero, Francis Marion - the Swamp Fox - from 1821 - 1942, as Fort Marion. However, it was then returned to its original name and retains that name to this day.

At Augustine City Gates

Castillo de San Marcos stands to the right in the background.
Castillo de San Marcos stands to the right in the background. | Source

Uncanny Attractions

Amusingly, old meets new in the fact that very nearby the old fort stands Ripley's Believe it or Not Odditorium. How's that for commercial entertainment meeting history? Some of Ripley's findings have serious historical connections as well as entertainment value (I used to read all the Ripley's graphic novels and books as a kid).

Ripley's in St. Augustine opened a pirate's room in the museum and called it Predators of the Sea and it's quite exciting! Authentic costumes - some worn by skeletons - model ships, photographs and etchings, histories, torture devices, and all manner of piratey things that you might not expect. The Ripley museum itself is in a refurbished haunted hotel in which Robert Ripley used to stay on Florida visits.

Another nice find is Anastasia State Park just across the water of Mantanzas Bay from Downtown St. Augustine. It is a about 5 miles in length of undeveloped seahore and woodlands area with beaches and camping that allows for pets. The St. Augustine Lighthouse is nearby and interesting to visit. St. Augustine Beach, Butler Beach, and Crescent Beach are to the south of this area. Beaches and preserves continue down the coast on Highway A1A.

Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve
Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve | Source

The Bridge of Lions

Part of a National Scenic Byway, the bridge leads to Anastasia State Park.
Part of a National Scenic Byway, the bridge leads to Anastasia State Park. | Source
show route and directions
A markerCastillo de San Marcos, FL -
Castillo de San Marcos, 1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084-3252, USA
[get directions]

B markerFort Mantanzas, FL -
Fort Matanzas National Monument, 8635 A1A S, St Augustine, FL 32080, USA
[get directions]

C markerAnastasia State Park, FL -
Anastasia State Park, 300 Anastasia Park Rd, St Augustine, FL 32080, USA
[get directions]

Fort Mantanzas (Fort Slaughters) in St. Augustine is a second National Monument commemorating Spanish rule of this area, but also the Spanish killing of 250 or more Fench Huguenots at the site. Florida has been governed by several political entities, including Spain and France.

The Houses of St. Augustine, 1565-1821 (Florida Sand Dollar Books)
The Houses of St. Augustine, 1565-1821 (Florida Sand Dollar Books)

The local historical society preserves the oldest house in the city, which is open for tours.

 
More of the Bridge of Lions
More of the Bridge of Lions | Source

Business and Job Market - Success and Increases

Jobs increased significantly 2012 - 2015.
Jobs increased significantly 2012 - 2015. | Source

Business and Job Market

Over 5,500 open jobs were posted for the metro area i mid-August 2015, up from 4,900 job openings posted in March 2014, and up from 3,000 jobs listed during March 2011. This is a significant consistent increase, with the highest demand jobs listed below.

Most Frequently Listed Hot Jobs

  1. Truck Drivers with CDL
  2. Sales Managers, Salespeople, and Cashiers
  3. Occupational Therapists, Assistants, and Aides - Includes travel professionals; both full-time and part-time positions available; home care and hospital settings.
  4. Physical Therapists and Assistants - includes travel nurses and other travel professionals.
  5. Pharmacists
  6. Family Practice Physicians
  7. Pizza Hut Crew Positions
  8. Optometrists
  9. Public Health Officers
  10. Ob/Gyn and ER Registered Nurses
  11. Internal Medicine Physicians
  12. District Managers


Leading Job Posters

  1. Adventist Health System and Flagler Hospital - Flagler is a famous name in Florida, the name of the man that brought the railroads to the state. A county is also named for him.
  2. HCA - Healthcare agency.
  3. Home Depot
  4. Everbank
  5. Appleone - staffing
  6. Kangaroo Express
  7. Michaels Arts & Crafts
  8. Swedish Medical Center
  9. Taco Bell / Pizza Hut
  10. BTG, Inc. - healthcare consulting
  11. Winn-Dixie supermarkets and Bi-Lo Gas (tied)
  12. Almost Family - Home health services
  13. Sapphire Technologies
  14. PETCO; Staples, other
  15. Johnson & Johnson - healthcare


Anticipated Employment Growth Through 2018

Fastest growing jobs are expected to be in the following titles:

  1. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  2. Home Health Aides (HHAs)
  3. Physicians Assistants – Includes Nurse Practitioners as PAs
  4. Electrician’s Helpers
  5. Cost Estimators – construction
  6. Plumbers, Plumber’s Helpers and related
  7. Personal Financial Advisors
  8. Construction Laborers and Supervisors
  9. Mobile Heavy Equipment Mechanics
  10. Pharmacy Technicians - In fact, health technologies are offering increasing numbers of jobs overall.

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Education and Training Opportunities

  • Flagler College - Located in the former Ponce de Leon Hotel built by Flagler, the railroad magnet, it was founded as co-ed in 1971 (it was a women's college previously). The school offers at least 20 majors (BA, BFA, and Business Administration) and 25 minors and Flagler is a residential college in which faculty and students live on campus and work on community projects as well as academics. The school has won several awards for academics and is recognized for a very successful Study Broad program involving several nations. Athletics include NCAA Division II.

Sunrise at Castillo de San Marcos

Source

© 2011 Patty Inglish

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Comments 3 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

If I ever get in the mood to fly again, I think I will visit St. Augustine. Thanks for the info. A friend of mine went their recently and loved it.


raakachi profile image

raakachi 5 years ago from Madurai / Tamilnadu / India

Very nice one! i love it!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

A beautiful and interesting place. Thank you for sharing.

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