Updated: November 27, 2021
Take a peek around St. Augustine. It’s such a treasure! This charming city is simply full of surprises like cool concerts under the trees and breezy restaurants with sparkling lights.
Welcome to the nation’s oldest city. Sweet shops, pizza joints, and sangria bars, oh my! You can’t count the number of places for a romantic toast around here. The Castillo de San Marcos is one of the most unique monuments in our national park system. It’s the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. and one of only two in the world built out of an unusual form of limestone called coquina. Just over the stately Bridge of Lions, you’ll find bohemian Anastasia Island with its beautiful coastlines, expansive beaches, and rolling waves.
This castle is seriously awesome. It’s a citadel, which means it’s like a star-shaped formation. This would have been important to protect from pirates like I said. Sir Francis Drake did come here, raiding all the gold ships that came from Mexico and Panama from Peru. This would have been a really important spot pinching off those shipments of gold treasure as they were headed to the Old World. What a view. It’s so cool, honestly. As a historian and a history nerd, pretty incredible. It’s a little bit late for coffee, but, honestly, this could be the cutest coffee shop I’ve ever seen in my life.
A jaunt at the lighthouse steps, all 219 of them, is rewarded with a majestic view of both sea and shore. And the Maritime Museum down below hosts a bevy of cool archaeological finds with enough technology to keep the kids enthralled. Seafood is a staple in most restaurants here, and you can never miss with a scrumptious shrimp dish. Open air spots like Sunset Grille on A1A are favorites of both visitors and locals alike.
This beautiful and diverse area of Northeast Florida is full of personality. Plan a visit when you’re looking for history, culture, and a few days of magic.
Augustine, Florida, is the oldest, continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States of America. It’s a beautiful place with a crazy story that goes something like this…..
As we all know, in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean. But on his second voyage, he came with a conquistador named Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon became the governor of Puerto Rico. The problem was that position was promised to Columbus’ son. So he set off on a quest for new lands in the name of glory, gold, and god, and supposedly the fountain of youth.
But instead of the fountain of youth, he discovered this land, which he called La Florida and well as the gulf stream, an ocean current that cut two weeks off the return voyage to Spain, making Florida crucial in protecting Spanish gold and treasure from pirates. But St Augustine wasn’t founded until 1565 when the Spanish returned only to find other Europeans, French Protestants known as Heugonots.
When they refused to convert or kneel to the Catholic king of Spain, they were slaughtered, making the blue waters run red, giving the name to the bay in front of St Augustine, La Bahia de las Matanzas, or the Bay of Slaughter. St Augustine became the capital of Spanish Florida for 200 years, during which time it was raided by the feared pirate, Sir Francis Drake, before being seceded to the English, then the Americans, making it the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the United States of America.[/expand]