St. Augustine, Florida
Facts About St. Augustine
St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city, also holds the distinction of being one of the nation's most charming. Known as the "Ancient City," Saint Augustine is located between North East and Central East Florida and is convenient to Jacksonville, Orlando, and Daytona airports.
North Florida boasts a year-round mild climate perfect for strolling Saint Augustine's delightful historic district, with its cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, bars, unique shops and bed-and-breakfast inns. Experience the beauty of an early morning that slowly comes alive with locals and tourists setting out on foot to explore significant landmarks such as:
Castillo de San Marcos
Throughout its history, the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument has been closely intertwined with the city and the neighboring structures which served as the city's outer defenses - Fort Mose to the north and Fort Matanzas to the south. The Castillo and the town serve as outstanding reminders of the might of the early Spanish empire in the New World. Given the architectural details, it's hardly surprising that Castillo de San Marcos actually took 23 years to build (from 1672 to 1695). Fabricated of coquina, 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.
Built 1740-1742, represents a well-preserved masonry watchtower fort built by the Span ish. By providing a perch to observe 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.
Celebrating 40 years of providing educational excellence, Flagler College offers 20 majors and 26 minors in selected studies emphasizing liberal arts, education, and business. Located in what was once Henry Flagler's first St. Augustine hotel, the Ponce de Leon, the college operates tours for both visitors and prospective students. With the recent purchase of the Florida East Coast Railway building west of town, the new student center on Sevilla Street, and expansions of the art building and galleries, Flagler College is continually expanding both its presence in town and opportunities for its students.
History buffs will adore the many museums in the area. The Lightner Museum is among the most unique, featuring an intriguing array of items, from shrunken heads and mummies to stunning collections of stained glass and crystal. When it opened its doors in 1889, Henry Flagler's Alcazar Hotel delighted guests with its gigantic indoor pool and retractable roof, casino, spa, and movie theater. O.C. Lightner jumped at the opportunity to live in the hotel when it became available for purchase and house his unique collections here.