A small city on the coast of Northern Florida, just a short distance outside of Jacksonville, Saint Augustine stands apart as one of those coastal destinations in the US which has a decidedly old-world feel to it. Perhaps it’s the Spanish-style architecture, or perhaps it’s the historic streets that hearken back to the time when legends say the city was founded by Ponce de Leon on his search for the Fountain of Youth, or perhaps it is the fact that Saint Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the US. Regardless, Saint Augustine is one of those places that lures people in with old-world charm, breathtaking views of the coast, and its majestic bay.
The main charm of Saint Augustine lies in its historical buildings and streets, dating back centuries—some of the oldest in the nation. From places like the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum to the Saint Augustine Lighthouse and Museum or the Fort Mose Historic State Park just two miles outside of town, this is a place to experience some of the lesser-known history of the US. There are festivals throughout the year, ranging from the Night of Lights in December to the Spring and Fall Arts and Crafts Festival in April and November—ongoing for 70 years—to the Great Chowder Debate in November or the weekly concerts in the Downtown Plaza during the summer months. There are plenty of eateries, plenty of coastal sights, and plenty of shops to visit while you are walking about. This is the perfect place for enjoying a relaxing holiday away from the mass hordes of tourists at the beaches, a chance to experience a Spanish-style vacation without actually having to travel across the pond to Spain.
North Florida boasts a year-round mild climate perfect for strolling Saint Augustine's delightful historic district, with its cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, bars, unique shops and bed-and-breakfast inns. Experience the beauty of an early morning that slowly comes alive with locals and tourists. Hop aboard the Old Town Trolley, or explore by foot the many significant landmarks, sights and sounds of this great, historic city. If you dare, stick around into the evening for one of the many ghost and cemetery tours that take place at night time.