St. Augustine represents the site of the oldest continuously occupied
European and African American settlements in the United States. Part of
Ponce de León's 1513 claim to La Florida, St. Augustine was the
site of a Spanish military base established in 1565 by Don Pedro Menéndez
de Avilés. By the latter 17th century, St. Augustine began growing
around the Castillo de San Marcos,
the large stone fortress constructed to guard the city, and became the
seat of Spanish power in Florida. During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries,
free blacks and slaves found Florida a haven--the Spanish Crown granted
refuge to blacks if they embraced Catholicism.
Today St. Augustine's historic district retains the distinctive plan
typical of a 16th century Spanish Colonial walled town. The colonial buildings
in the district date from 1703 to 1821 period. Among the most noted buildings
in the district are the Plaza de la Constitución, the colonial community's
focal point (King Street), the Oldest House, a traditional Spanish Colonial
residence built circa 1706 and the oldest surviving residence in St. Augustine
(14 St. Francis Street), the Basilica Cathedral of St. Augustine, which
incorporates the 1797 parish church and is one of the oldest Catholic religious
buildings in the U.S. (36 Cathedral Place), the 1883 Villa Zorayda, an
exotic Moorish Revival residence with courtyards and towers (King Street),
and the Gothic Revival style Stanbury Cottage (St. George Street).
Over the last century St. Augusine has hosted many of the nation's luminaries.
In 1885, railroad tycoon and former Standard Oil partner Henry Morrison
Flagler moved Florida's resorts to a new level with his 540-room Ponce
de León Hotel in St. Augustine. The first of three Flagler hotels
in the city, the Ponce de León combined exotic Spanish Renaissance
and Moorish architectural features with innovative poured concrete construction.
Whisked south in their private cars on Flagler's Florida East Coast Railroad,
notables such as the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Morgans made St. Augustine
their winter home.
Highest July through early September, and in December and January; lowest
from the middle of September through early December.
The boundaries of St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District are Orange
Street, San Marcos Street, the Matanzas River, St. Francis Street and Cordova
CLIMATE, RECOMMENDED CLOTHING
Summers are hot and humid with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. In
winter, freezing temperatures are infrequent with cool, damp, and windy
conditions common. Light, loose fitting clothing is recommended in Spring,
Summer, and Fall; layered clothing is recommended for Winter, with good
walking shoes. Insect repellent is also recommend.
Visitors traveling East-West on I-10 should take I-295 or I-95 south
and take the exit for St. Augustine's Historic Downtown. Those traveling
North-South on I-95, US 1, or A1A should take measures to also make their
way into the downtown of St. Augustine
This map was created using MapQuest
Access by I-95, US 1, A1A, and numerous state routes; nearby Jacksonville
and Daytona are served by international airports.
FACILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES
St. Augustine has many local restaurants, retail and grocery
stores within walking or short driving distance
There are a number of options available to experience St. Augustine
attractions. Various walking , bus, and horse and buggy tours are available.
A good place to start is to visit the St. Augustine and St. Johns County
Visitor Information Center, located at 10 Castillo Drive.
The St. Augustine Historical Society is located in the "Oldest
House" (the Gonazlez-Alvarez House) at 14 St. Francis Street.
The house is a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public.
Blessing of the Fleet is held on the bayfront in St Augustine on Palm
Anniversary of the Founding of St Augustine is held on the grounds of
the Mission of Nombre de Dios, 904-247-4242.
Grand Illumination is a colorful display in St Augustine, 904-829-5681.
ADJACENT VISITOR ACTIVITIES
Castillo de San Marcos; Fort
Mose; Fort Matanzas.
For more information contact the St. Augustine and St. Johns County
Visitor Information Center, located at 10 Castillo Drive. Open daily 8:30
a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (904) 825-1000.
On the World Wide Web, more information on historic sites and other
attractions can be found at Old