Nestled along Florida's First Coast, St. Augustine, Florida is the United States oldest city with year-round mild temperatures and sun-kissed skies. The city is renowned for its delightful historic district with cobblestone streets, unique shops, quaint cafes and homey bed and breakfast inns.
St. Augustine is steeped in history from the early Spanish era. Its most popular landmarks include Castillo de San Marcos, Lightner Museum, Flagler College and Fort Matanzas. The Castillo de San Marcos embodies the struggles of the colonial era, and its monument site stretches over 20 acres. The architecture is unique, and it is an excellent example of the 17th century bastion system of fortification. Many historic events took place behind the walls of this impressive stalwart, including the capture of Seminole tribe leader Chief Osceola. Fort Matanzas was constructed in 1740 and was a masonry watchtower fort for the Spanish. Its high perch allowed the soldiers to see enemy advancements from the Matanzas River.
The city has a wide array of fine museums and is a haven for history buffs. The Lightner Museum offers an intriguing collection items, from mummies and shrunken heads to dazzling collections of 19th century Victorian crystal and Tiffany stained glass. At the Fort Menendez Museum, visitors can explore the village of Seloy where native Timucua Indians lived. There are an array of amazing antiques, including old weapons, tools and musical instruments. Guests can even make their own artifacts.
Not only known for its educational excellence, Flagler College is laden with Spanish architecture from the 18th century. Along the campus well-kept gardens and towering palms, visitors can take tours of its impressive architecture and art galleries. The college sits on the site of Henry Flagler’s first St. Augustine hotel.
St. Augustine boasts gorgeous beaches that stretch from Vilano Beach to Crescent Beach. Visitors can cross the Intracoastal Waterway and take in the beautiful Florida beaches at the barrier islands. Along the coastline, the beaches are very close to local restaurants and just a minute's walk. There are idyllic state parks, and Anastasia State Park is one of the most popular. The park offers canoeing, kayaking, fishing and white sands for basking in the sun.
At night, tourists can enjoy a carriage ride through the quaint streets of St. Augustine or do some window-shopping on St. George Street. For a real thrill, there are ghost tours to the narrow alleys and old buildings like the Old Jail. Night or day, there are always plenty of fun adventures in St. Augustine.