St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is an exquisite town that is known for its old world charm, art, and eventful history. It is known as The United State of America’s “Oldest City”. It is located on the Northeastern Coast of Florida approximately 40 miles Southeast of Jacksonville and it is the county seat there. St. Augustine is set between 2 saltwater rivers and they are, The San Sebastian (West) and The Matanzas (East) Rivers. Surrounded by a blend of old and new you can walk through 4 centuries of history on the narrow, colonial sidewalks with a sunny, clear, blue sky above and beautiful, green trees at your side.
On September 8, 1565, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles who was searching for The Fountain of Youth arrived on the land and claimed it to be Spanish Territory. He named it San Agustin. Initially, he found the area on August 28,1565 and this day is known as “Feast Day”. Some even say this is the first Thanksgiving. However you see it, the history is definitely there and it truly comes alive! On Feast Day there are celebrations of the city’s patron saint, feasts, and festivals.
Along with Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles followed over 800 settlers, possibly as many as 1,000. Most of the settlers were soldiers, tradespeople, and slaves that were set free. A year later, however, in order for the Spanish to keep authority, he destroyed the French Colony and named the area St. Augustine. There were several struggles this town endured including vicious invasions of pirates, hurricanes, being burnt to the ground several times and a vast amount of warfare and bloodshed . For about 20 years England owned this territory, then the Spanish took it back over and since 1821 St. Augustine has been a part of the United States. There are several original landmarks of the Spanish Power that are available to visit and those who travel there benefit from an immense amount of knowledge about this territory and the History of The United States.
Fort Menendez Offers Fun For The Entire Family
Fort Menendez is an attraction the entire family can enjoy. It offers living history activities that are fun and educational. Visitors receive a map and are allowed to roam the grounds freely to explore. Around every corner is a unique museum where guests will find different characters from the past.
St. Augustine's Fountain of Youth
One of the of the main attractions is The Fountain of Youth. This is what Don Pedro Menendez De Aviles was searching for on his ventures. The area is now an Archaeological Park that is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. It is pet-friendly, quiet and peaceful. As you stroll down the sidewalks you are surrounded by fresh cut, green grass, platforms with historical information engraved on them, gorgeous palm trees, The First Mission Church of Nombre de Dios is there, statues, flags and a pavilion where events like weddings can be held. You can also view pleasant waters that surround the area and really have a beautiful day!
There are several tours by trolley available that are filled with entertainment, excellent dining and delightful stories you’ll hear as you roll through this quaint area with cobblestone sidewalks and friendly, outgoing locals. As well as ghost tours where you might be haunted by some soldiers or a prisoner! There are quite a few different ghost tours to choose from if you are up for a little thrill and excitement. They even have one that gives you their tour in a hearse! There is a famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not, they offer their guests complimentary parking and some discounts. There is also a place called Marineland Dolphin Adventures where you can watch an exciting show or have your own fun swimming and interacting with the dolphins. Great fun!
The town has some spectacular museums that have a variety of historical walkthroughs and the area is full of some really nice fine dining restaurants, art galleries, surf schools, sailing, golf, and even helicopter rides! There is a place called “The Devil’s Elbow” that has waterfront cottages to stay at and they have been known to be a great fishing spot for over 50 years. The rentals have a heated pool, bicycle paths and more for the family.
St. Augustine is well known for Flagler College, which is a school for Liberal Art Students. It is an excellent educational facility with colored stain glass windows around it. People visiting the town are amazed by the grand formation of the building. In 1888 a gorgeous luxury hotel was built there and called Hotel Ponce de Leon. In later years Lawrence Lewis Jr. had a vision for the hotel to become a school. He was related to Henry Flagler who was partners with John D. Rockefeller in the oil business. Henry Flagler and John D. Rockefeller helped Mr. Lewis reconstruct the hotel and the college was founded in 1968. Today, U. S. News and World Report say, this is one of the “best regional colleges in the South”. A dream come true.
There is also a sizeable amount of history behind the fact that the Headquarters for The Florida State National Guard that is located in St. Augustine. This is a component of the United States Army. When the land was claimed by the Spanish, they ran a militia in 1565 initially to fight off the French. The French tried to take over the territory at Fort Caroline which is now known as Jacksonville, Florida. Really interesting and valuable information.
St. Augustine also has it’s own outdoor amphitheatre that holds live concerts regularly. They offer free parking and a shuttle service for their music fans. They are also known to have clean restrooms, an indoor ATM, a variety of good food and drinks and every seat is spectacular for viewing your band.
There is a lot of shopping in St. Augustine as they have over 85 premium outlets selling brand named items. Great parks and forests to visit and the beaches there are truly breathtaking. All of the worries and stress of the world disappear as you walk through the glistening sunlight you can feel the warmth of the golden sand trickling between your toes and you will see the big blue ocean that opens up a whole new world with its gigantic waves that come crashing up onto the cliffs leaving shiny seashells to collect. Truly something for everyone. Several million people visit there and it is well worth their time. Wake up and start the day with a hearty breakfast and a gorgeous sunrise, then venture out for a busy day filled with fun, laughter, and shopping. In the evening enjoy the fine dining and some jazz music, while watching a warm and sleek beautiful red-hued sunset.