Distinctive Destinations: St. Augustine
St. Augustine Historic Landmarks
Visit the historic city of St. Augustine, FL
Founded in 1565 by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States in the United States. It predates the English colonization of Jamestown (1607) by 42 years and the Pilgrims' landing at Plymouth Rock (1620) by 55 years.
St. Augustine is often referred to as the "Nation's Oldest City". The city’s oldest resident is the "Old Senator" live oak tree, which is over 600 years old. St. Augustine is located within the central part of what is referred to as Florida’s Historic Coast. Florida's Historic Coast is located on the northeast coast of Florida and encompasses the entirety of St. Johns County including St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches.
Visitors will see why this historic town is one of the top places to vacation as they stroll along the brick-lined streets in the city with centuries-old buildings, horse-drawn carriages, and hidden courtyards. St. Augustine and the surrounding communities have plenty of opportunities to explore. Take advantage of these amazing opportunities to explore historical venues. Find yourself next to centuries-old architecture while capturing the historic charm of St. George Street. Take a guided tour of the town or explore on your own.
Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park
The Fountain of Youth Archeological Park is the site of the first Spanish settlement in the New World. The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park is a 15-acre waterfront historical attraction. This park is designed to educate visitors on the first Spanish settlers who arrived in the 1600s and the native Timucuans who were here to greet them with a variety of shows and reenactments. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Built in 1672 to defend Spanish Florida and the Atlantic trade route, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument preserves the oldest masonry fortification in the continental United States. Explore over 300 years of Florida history as you make your way through this remarkable fortress.
St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum serves as a scenic and educational maritime museum. Those who visit will discover St. Augustine's maritime past as they learn about the history of the lighthouse. Standing 165 feet above sea level, this lighthouse overlooks Matanzas Bay and the Atlantic Ocean from Anastasia Island. Those who visit can climb the 219 steps to the top of the St. Augustine Lighthouse for a sensational view of the city and ocean. Experience life at a light station and learn how the lighthouse served to protect our coast in World War II.
Historic Tours of Flagler College highlight the architectural heritage of the former Hotel Ponce de Leon, listed as a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture. Built by railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler in 1888, the Ponce (Hotel Ponce de Leon) is considered one of the most exclusive resorts of its day.
Guests will begin their tour by exploring the courtyard while learning of the hotel's Spanish Renaissance architecture and of the techniques and innovations used to construct Henry Flagler's vision. Gaze upon handcrafted Austrian crystal chandeliers, original hotel furniture and art, as well as personal photos and mementos from Henry Flagler and his family.
Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum
The Governor’s House Cultural Center and Museum is in the heart of downtown St. Augustine, located between King Street and St. George Street overlooking the historic Plaza de la Constitución. Historically known as Government House, this building has a long and fascinating history as the site has been home to several government offices since 1598. The Government House was used as a courthouse and momentarily as the Capitol building of the new Territory of Florida in 1821 when Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
Managed by the University of Florida since 2010, it is now called the Governor's House Cultural Center and Museum. The Governor's House Cultural Center and Museum features a newly updated lobby which serves as a museum space including multiple exhibits.