Cities of Interest in Florida – St Augustine

Finding St.Augustine is quite easy. Just head East from Orlando toward I95 on the Atlantic coast and go North (toward Jacksonville). Go for about 40 miles and then turn off onto SR1 and keep going North for about 20 miles. Then just follow the signs to St.Augustine.

St. Augustine is the USA’s oldest city, founded on August 29 1565 which was also the feast day of St. Augustine. It is also considered to be one of the most charming and quaint cities in Florida. St. Augustine has a beautiful historic district with cobblestone streets, cafes, bars, unique shops and bed and breakfast hotels.

Shopping in St. Augustine just could not be easier. If you have a passion for antiques, hand crafted gifts, blown glass, arts and crafts, fine arts, or handmade chocolates, and if you are shopping for clothes, shoes, or household goods, or perhaps finding unique and unusual gifts from around the world, St. Augustine has it all.

Just relax and enjoy strolling along the historic downtown streets. Stop whenever you like and have a meal at one of the many fine restaurants or bars.

Antique Market – a beautifully restored 1930s feed and general store. The Antique Market, is a premier importer of antiques from England, Europe and Asia. The Market’s proprietors specialize in antiques from England, Scotland and Wales and lead purchasing tours every year throughout England. It is well known for its fine selection of quality antiques.

Aviles Street – is located in the heart of St. Augustine’s historic pedestrian only district. It offers a splendid mix of shopping by way of interesting stores, boutiques, a rt galleries and souvenir shops. In addition, Aviles Street is dotted with pleasant cafes and historic homes.

Cobblestone Village Shopping Mall – presents a fresh clean feel, as it is a recent addition to the St. Augustine shopping scene. The are 8 anchor stores plus 20 additional retailers fur nish shoppers with a varied selection including favourites such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Pier 1 and Bealls.

St. George Street – is one of St. Augustine’s most popular shopping districts. It wends its way through several brick-lined blocks of the city’s center. Along this car free thoroughfare you’ll discover independent retailers offering home accents, jewelry, books, pottery, clothing and more. St. George Street affords the perfect environment to soak up the old cities ambiance.

Whetstone Chocolates – you just cannot experience St. Augustine without visiting Whetstone Chocolates, the city’s signature chocolate manufacturer for nearly 40 years. In fact, Whetstone is Florida’s only chocolate producer and is known throughout the state for its high quality. Indulge your senses by taking a self-guided tour of the chocolate making facility and stopping by the store to purchase some delectable sweets.

There are also many places to visit and explore as follows:

Castillo de San Marcos – took 23 years to build (from 1672 to 1695). Made from coquina which is a virtually indestructible limestone comprised of broken sea shells and coral, the walls of the fortress remained impenetrable through 300 years of enemy shelling and pounding by violent storms.

Fort Matanzas – was built between 1740-1742 and is a very well preserves masonry watchtower. It provided a high point to help the Spanish view any enemy vessels approaching from the South. The fort played a strategic role in warning St. Augustine of potential enemy advancements from the south via the Matanzas River.

Lightner Museum – is housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, built by railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler, and features an intriguing array of items from shrunken heads and mummies to stunning collections of stained glass and crystal. It was opened in 1889.

Old City Helicopters – a tour of St. Augustine from the best seat in the house, from a helicopter! St. Augustine Haunted Pub Tour – this tour takes you on a storytelling excursion through downtown.

Hearse Ride Ghost Tour – taking a ride in a hearse is a must BEFORE you die!

Red Train Tours and Discount Attraction Tickets – “The way to see St. Augustine!”

Adventure Landing – is the perfect place for family fun! Birthday parties, celebrations, or even just a day of fun! Mega Arcade.

Old Jail – built by Henry Flagler in 1891, the jail was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1987. The Old Jail served as the county jail until 1953.

Colonial Spanish quarter – is a living history museum depicting the life of Spanish Soldiers and their families in 1740 St. Augustine.

Dow Museum of Historic Houses – on one city block, you will discover over 400 years of history. Hidden among beautiful courtyards are 9 historic houses original to the site.

Father O’Reilly House Museum – built prior to 1763, this Spanish colonial house belonged to Father Miguel O’Reilly, who came to the parish when the Spaniards returned to rule in 1784.

Fiesta Falls Mini Golf – is an 18-hole miniature golf course right next to La Fiesta Inn at the beach.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not – The original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum features fun interactive galleries, mind boggling facts, and unique oddities and curiosities.

Flagler College – Flagler College is a combination of the past and present. The Ponce de Leon hotel, originally built by Henry Morrison Flagler in 1887, now serves as a residence hall for students.

Marineland – swim with the dolphins and let your dreams come true.

Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse – let your first lesson in history begin at the Oldest Wooden School House! Built prior to 1763, the school remains as it was over two centuries ago.

St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum – climb 219 steps up the lighthouse to find a breathtaking view of St. Augustine from 165 feet above sea level.

Spanish Military Hospital Museum – see what a hospital looked like 250 years ago. See the tools surgeons used and the medicines people took.

Potters wax museum – America’s first Wax Museum invites you to experien ce over 160 figures from History to Hollywood! These life-like figures seem to come to life as you study them.

There are many golf courses and tennis resorts located in the area. Ponte Vedra is home of The Players Association (PGA ) and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). It is a 20 minute drive from the Downtown historic district.

The city also has around 43 miles of beautifully clean beaches. Some allow vehicles, some allow dogs and some just people. Some of the beaches produce abundant shelling opportunities, while others are covered only in luxurious fine, golden sand.

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