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Historic St. Augustine, Florida

Updated on September 10, 2020
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I love beautiful scenery and the changes of the season offer us some scenes of beauty and I love to travel. Learn from travel experience.

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés


History of St. Augustine

St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest American city, which was founded by the Spanish in 1565. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés was an explorer who planned the first transoceanic trip from Spain. He successfully landed in St. Augustine in 1565, which resulted in a Spanish settlement called La Florida. He was the first governor of Florida.

The Castillo De San Marcos, designed by Ignacio Daza, is the oldest and the largest masonry fort in the U,S. Ponce de Leon searched for the fountain of youth, and this resulted in the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. This is a beautiful park with unusual birds and historical items, but I will say the fountain of youth has not worked for me.

When the Treaty of Paris was signed on 10 February 1763, by Great Britain, Spain and France, it followed a victory for Great Britain in the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French Indian War). This clearly marked the British dominance outside of Europe for Great Britain. My many times great grandfather fought in that war.

Spain formally signed the Adams-One Treaty in 1819, which ceded Florida to the U.S. At this time the fort was renamed Fort Marion, and it was declared a national monument. The original name was restored in 1924, and by then the 20.48 acres were turned over to the United States National Park Service.

The fort was used for prisoners, such as the Seminole Indians that included the famous war chief Osceola. I have toured this fort, and the incarceration must have been miserable, and a sad part of our history. Cheyenne ad Plains tribes were also imprisoned, and this is the beginning of an art form, known as Ledger Art.

Castillo De San Marcos


Inlet Chart and Problems

The inlets off the Atlantic Ocean are dangerous, and over the centuries many ships have sunk.The St. Augustine Lighthouse explores the water, and they have found several old ships that are often centuries old. They cannot bring up the ships as shortly after they are on land the wood shrinks and the boats fall apart. They have a wealth of history available. The lighthouse is a place you can visit.

St. Augustine Inlets

Best Beaches In St. Augustine To Visit On Vacation

Historical School


Current Attractions - St. Augustine

The Castillo De San Marcos fort, the oldest house and the oldest schoolhouse are all available for a tour. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is a 4,000 seat amphitheater located on A1A and has wonderful entertainment frequently.

The Lightner Museum is so interesting with their antiquities primarily from the American Gilded Age, and it is located in the historic Hotel Alazar building. The building is a Spanish Renaissance Revival style, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The St. Augustine Distillery is located in the historic ice plant, and you may watch handcrafted small batches of super premium spirits. If you want to see strange and possibly shocking things, then you should visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

The lighthouse is located at the north end of Anastasia island, and it was built in 1781, and in 1784. It privately aids navigation, and it is an active working lighthouse. There is also a Spanish Military Hospital Museum that has the Second Spanish Period medical practices displayed.

The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park has been existence for 75 years, and it is a very interesting place to visit.

Ponce de Leon searched for the fountain of youth and as a result there is a beautiful park full of historical crafts and exoctic birds. I did not have any result from drinking the water.

Fountain of Youth Park Archaeological Park


St. Augustine Lighthouse


St. Augustine Festivals

There are numerous festivals throughout the year, which features artists, great music, family activities and great food. The bulk of the festivals occur at 25 West Castille Drive (Francis Field). There is typically more than 2 festivals each month, particularly in the spring and fall of the year.

Listed below are just a few examples:

  1. The “Seafood Lions Festival” includes arts and craft, a kids zone and live music, which occurs from Fri, Mar 22, 3 PM to Sun, Mar 24, 5 PM at Francis Field.
  2. On April 28th, there is a “A Taste of St. Augustine”, which gives vacationers a taste of the popular foodOn April 5th, there is the 24th “Annual Rhythm & Ribs Festival”, which offers fantastic bar-be-que, good music and many fun activities for families.
  3. A “Family Fun Feast” on April 27th gives families a chance to enjoy jumperamas, crafts activities, costumed characters, and a team obstacle challenge course.
  4. One of the St. Augustine Music Festivals occurs on June 20th, which offer six classical music concerts and many are performed by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

Walking Tour of Historic St. Augustine

In Summary

St. Augustine is a delightful place to visit. The historical landmarks are interesting and informative. There are shopping outlet stores, novelty shops and great restaurants. It is hard to go wrong when you visit the oldest city in the United States.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Pamela Oglesby


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