Top 10 Places to Visit in St.Augustine, FL
Last week I had the absolute pleasure in visiting the gorgeous St.Augustine, FL. Being a Florida native, I had no idea that St.Augustine is the oldest city in the United States and it felt great to know that this city is right here in Florida. Our amazing host’s from Florida’s Historic Coast made me feel so welcomed and they showed us an awesome time and I secretly did not want to leave.
St.Augustine has an endless list of things to do and I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 great places to visit while you’re in St.Augustine…
1. Castillo de San Marcos
This is where you need to be to learn the real history of St.Augustine. This massive fortress took more than 20 years to build from 1672-1695. It helped protect Spain’s treasure fleets from the English and pirates. It is the oldest masonry fort in the United States and was designated as America’s first national monument. www.nps.gov/casa
2. Colonial Quarter
At Colonial Quarter, take a captivating journey through centuries of St.Augustine, brought to breathtaking life at the Colonial Quarter-St.Augustine’s revitalized signature attraction in the heart of the historic district. www.colonialquarter.com
3. Barnacle Bill’s Downtown
After some touring, our host’s took us to where the local’s eat. Their fresh seafood beats any chain restaurant that I’ve experienced. Make sure to order the Minorcan Clam Chowder that is made with Datil pepper- a pepper only grown in the greater St.Augustine area. And don’t forget to indulge in the fried shrimp that is coated with flour and cornmeal. YUMMERS! www.barnaclebills.com
4. Mission Nombre de Dios/Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche
Known as “The Most Sacred Acre” in the United States, it is the site of the founding of Florida by Spanish colonists. It’s also the setting for the first Catholic mass performed in what is now the United States. Great Cross is the second tallest in the Western Hemisphere. www.missionandshrine.org
5. Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
Commemorating the founding of La Florida by Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon and his legendary search for the Fountain of Youth, archaeologists have discovered that it is the actual site of the original Spanish settlement in St. Augustine of 1565. Make sure to drink a cup or 2 when you visit this spring! www.fountainofyouthflorida.com
6. Michael’s Tasting Room
I had the pleasure to meet Chef Michael Lugo and he was such a joy! His cuisine is incredibly tasty with a Spanish flare and I just loved how he walked around and greeted everyone. This is one restaurant that you MUST try! www.tastetapas.com
7. La Herencia on Aviles
Aviles Street is the oldest public street in the country dating back to 1570. It was originally called Hospital Street because of the Spanish military hospital there. So it was only right that we started our morning at La Herencia where the menu has the best Cuban cuisine.
8. Cathedral Basilica
“America’s First Parish” was founded in St.Augustine and continues today as the Cathedral Basilica serving the many families who call the Cathedral Parish their spiritual home and the thousands of visitors who come. www.thefirstparish.org
9. St.Augustine Lighthouse
Would you believe I conquered my fear of heights by climbing 219 steps up in the St.Augustine Lighthouse?! As the oldest maritime port, the lighthouse stands watch over the oldest city with stunning views from the top. In the picture you see the workers repainting the lighthouse because they are gearing up for the 450th celebration in September! www.staugustinelighthouse.com
10. Flagler College
Once the Hotel Ponce De Leon, built by railroad and Standard Oil magnate Henry Flagler in 1888, it was one of America’s most impressive resorts. The success of the hotel marked the beginning of the thriving tourism industry in Florida. www.legacy.flagler.edu/tours
As I stated previously, St.Augustine doesn’t stop at this list of 10. Please visit www.floridashistoriccoast.com to read about the history, the culture and much more on St.Augustine, FL.
Also St.Augustine will be celebrating their 450th birthday on September 8, 2015. For more information visit www.staugustine-450.com/st-augustines-450th-anniversary-celebration
I was invited to go on a press trip to St.Augustine. They provided my travel, food, hotel and activities while I was there. And all my opinions and excitement are my own.