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The beautiful coastal city of St. Augustine is home to pristine beaches and centuries of history, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience. Read on for the top reasons to visit St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States.
St. Augustine is brimming with nearly 500 years of history. For those who wish to see it all and soak in as much of the city’s fascinating heritage as possible, a ride on the Old Town Trolley is a definite must do. The Old Town Trolley Tour takes you to all of the most important historic sights while allowing you to get off as often as you wish and spend as long as you want at each stop. There are 100 different points of interest on this comprehensive sightseeing tour including the Fountain of Youth, the City Gates, the Spanish Quarter, historic St. George Street, Castillo de San Marcos, Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church, Grace United Methodist Church and so much more.
A St. Augustine vacation has to include a day or two at one or more of the city’s beautiful beaches. There are various beaches to explore, each with its own majesty and personality. Crescent Beach offers a long, wide stretch of soft white sand, while Anastasia State Park provides a plethora of activities and adventure including swimming, windsurfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing and more. There are many more exquisite beaches in the area including South Ponte Vedra Beach, Vilano Beach, St. Augustine Beach and North Beach.
One of the most significant historical structures in St. Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos is an awe-inspiring sight perched on the coast of the city. This massive fort was constructed by the Spanish between the years 1672 and 1695 and is the oldest masonry fortress in the United States. Constructed out of coquina, a form of limestone that was common in the area, the Castillo was used to protect the city from foreign invasions by sea. Today, visitors can tour the fort, walk through the hallways, see the walls that withstood many battles, witness canon firings and historical re-enactments and learn about the intriguing past of this imposing fortress.
Henry Flagler made his mark in St. Augustine as he did in many cities throughout Florida. It was his vision to create magnificent hotels that would draw in tourists from around the country to Florida. His influence remains throughout the city, including the Ponce de Leon Hotel, now Flagler College, and several other buildings such as the Lightner Museum and the City Hall complex. Flagler, who was more than a visionary, worked his way from poverty to prosperity, ambitiously developing the Florida East Coast Railroad, building churches and more.
Today, a visit to St. Augustine treats you to a view of his extraordinary talents and golden touch. You can also visit the Memorial Presbyterian Church and Mausoleum where Flagler, his wife, daughter and granddaughter are buried.
It is Florida after all! So if you need a reason to visit the gorgeous city of St. Augustine, how about the fact that the weather is nearly perfect all year round? During summer, you’ll enjoy warm and wonderful days for beach trips and for winter the weather is ideal for golf, relaxing, and touring the famous attractions.
Although Florida is known for having luxurious golf resorts throughout the state, you can only find the World Golf Village and Hall of Fame in St. Augustine. The museum has 2 golf courses nearby which offer impeccable conditions and challenges around every corner. In addition to the World Golf Village, you’ll also find 10 other golf courses in the immediate vicinity and over 50 within 50 miles of St. Augustine including the world-renowned TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.