The Story of St. Augustine
10.6.10 03:17 PM
St. Augustine's rich history and cultural diversity have helped shaped a dynamic city for both residents and visitors alike. It’s unique mix of both the Old and the New is what beckons visitors to come explore and is what has always brought them back.
The story of St. Augustine is the foundation of sightseeing tours via tram, trolley, horse-drawn carriage, walking tour or cruise boat. History comes to life here, where on any given day, you will find guides dressed in old-world costumes, weaving you through the sites of the town.
Some of St. Augustine's most popular landmarks include the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a living history museum which interprets life in colonial, St. Augustine circa 1740; the Fountain of Youth Discovery Park, where it is said Ponce de Leon sought everlasting youth and the Mission of Nombre de Dios, where Pedro Menendez de Aviles first set foot on Florida’s shore in 1565. Still other landmarks include the Ponce de Leon and Alcazar Hotels built by Standard Oil magnate, Henry Flagler in the late 19th Century. Today those grand Victorian structures house Flagler College, St. Augustine City Hall and Lightner Museum. The original 1888 Casa Monica Hotel has been restored into a luxury hotel and provides world-class accommodations in downtown St. Augustine. The city has more than 50 attractions, historic sites and points of interest.
Accommodations are plentiful and range from splendid resorts to charming bed and breakfast inns. Dozens of unique restaurants are sprinkled throughout St. Augustine, ranging from quaint cafes to four-star rated dining establishments, with many restaurants serving as attractions themselves.
Shopping in St. Augustine is a buyer's delight with boutiques, unique gift shops, antique stores and museums waiting to be discovered on nearly every downtown street. On the outskirts are shopping malls and retail centers, including miles of outlet shopping at The St. Augustine Premium Outlets and the Belz Factory Outlet World, both at I-95 and S.R. 16. New to St. Augustine is the Cobblestone Village located on S.R. 312. With its wide array of restaurants and specialty shops, it is a shopping experience not to be missed.
Strolling through the back roads of downtown St. Augustine offers a glimpse of what life must have been like so many years ago. Many homes are registered on the National Register of Historic Places, while many other modern homes adopt the Old Florida style of their neighbors. Whether looking to buy or rent in St. Augustine, you will most certainly find something to suit your taste.
-St Johns County Chamber of Commerce