It’s the oldest continually-occupied city in the country, but its rich history is just one of many reasons you should consider making a visit to St. Augustine, Florida. It’s certainly not going anywhere, but why wait to experience the magic?
Step back in time at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, which was built between 1672 and 1695 as a strategic military post. You’re free to wander around the fort as you please, or enjoy a ranger-led tour to learn about its long and storied past. The beautiful Spanish-style architecture of small liberal arts institution Flagler College is enough to make anyone reconsider going back to school!
Before that happens, you might need to pay a visit to the Fountain of Youth, where you can sip the supposedly de-aging H2O right from Ponce de Leon’s Spring of Eternal Hope. The nearby Lightner Museum is home to all sorts of local treasures, including musical instruments and apparel, from various time periods.
Shops and Restaurants
You’ll find tons of quaint, funky cafes and antique, souvenir, and clothing boutiques scattered throughout the historic district, also known as the Old City. Pop into The Spanish Bakery for one of their famous empanadas, baked fresh daily. Crucial Coffee serves up all sorts of caffeinated libations — like a Snickers cappuccino — in a tiny shack-like space.
While there’s not much space to enjoy your beverage inside, the adjacent courtyard has plenty of room to sit and sip in the sun. And if you’ve never dined in a swimming pool, you’re in for a treat at Cafe Alcazar. Housed in the former swimming pool of an old hotel, this popular eatery serves up lunch and dinner in the most unique space in town. Or, step it up a notch with the locally-sourced cuisine at area favorite The Floridian, which also offers several vegetarian menu items. Finish it all off with a scoop of gelato at Cafe del Hidalgo!
Beach and Recreation
Whether you want to sunbathe on the sand, attempt a water sports adventure, or play a round of world-class golf, St. Augustine has got you covered. Soak up the rays on Vilano, North, or St. Augustine Beach, or hit the links at World Golf Village. There are also several fishing charters, kayak adventure companies, and ecotour companies that can provide the perfect day on the water for you with some advance planning.