There are dozens of attractions, points of interest and pleasant locales –- many free of charge –- located within the city of St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine is primarily known for its historical charms. Read on for a brief guide and description of three locations of particular worth for visitors and lovers of history as well as some background information on this unique place.
St. Augustine, famously known as the “oldest city in America”, is genuinely bursting with history, culture and picturesque charm. Located in northeast Florida and very close to miles of pristine beaches, this area is the place where Juan Ponce De Leon, world-famous Spanish explorer and fabled seeker of the fountain of youth, is said to have sighted what was to become known as the Sunshine State all the way back in 1513.
Approximately 50 years further along on the timeline of the Age of Exploration, in 1565, a Spanish admiral officially founded the city, naming it after the saint whose feast day fell on the weary Spanish sailors’ first sight of land.
For hundreds of years, St. Augustine was the capital of Spanish Florida. This city saw many triumphs and tragedies and changed national hands several times. Today, it stands as not only a wonderful getaway location for just about anyone but as a living, breathing monument to the intrepid, indomitable and persistent spirit of humankind.
An amazing and worthy must-see on any visitor’s itinerary is the Castillo de San Marcos. The Castillo is the continental U.S.’s oldest masonry fort as well as a National Monument. It exudes interesting history within its once-strategic, now convenient and always beautiful location within the historical district. The views and potential camera shots are amazing. It’s no wonder why the Castillo de San Marcos serves as the historical focal point of the district and a prime jumping off point for discovering the city’s unique historical character.
Another fascinating site to visit is Flagler College, named after Henry Morrison Flagler, a 19th-century industrialist, railroad magnate, and partner of John. D. Rockefeller. The centerpiece of the Flagler College campus is Ponce de Leon Hall, at one time a Gilded Age luxury hotel called the Hotel Ponce de Leon built by Flagler. This enchanting and historically resonant building served as one of Florida’s most masterful examples of the Spanish Renaissance building style and can be seen today through daily guided tours.
For an experience to learn some fascinating and less well-known history, visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. The climb to the top is well worth it for the exceptional views. Daily tours are on offer to learn more about the history of this place and the people who made their stories here. These people collectively made St. Augustine one of the most interesting and enriching places to visit in America.
While St. Augustine’s historical attractions may give you a look inside the city’s history, your trip isn’t complete without a stay in one of St. Augustine’s historic accommodations. The Victorian House Bed & Breakfast was built in 1895 and features gorgeous Victorian architecture and period furnishings. When you stay here, you’ll also be within walking distance to attractions in St. Augustine’s Old Town district.