Historic Saint Augustine - the charm of Europe with the climate of Florida.
In 1565, King Phillip II named Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Spain's most experienced admiral, as governor of Florida and he arrived off the coast on August 28, the Feast Day of St. Augustine. The historic city is the oldest permanent European settlement on the North American continent - founded fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock.
Soon after, Spain authorized the building of a stone fort, the Castillo de San Marcos, to protect the city. The fort took twenty-three years to build, still stands today and has never fallen to enemy attack.
In 1885, Henry Flagler (co-founder of the Standard Oil Company with John D. Rockefeller) began the popularization of the city as a winter resort and playground for the rich. He constructed two lavish hotels, the beautiful Alcazar and the Ponce de Leon - his masterpiece -, as well as the town's train depot, hospital, city hall, and several churches.
North Beach and Anastasia Island were explored and quickly became popular destinations. The St. Augustine Golf Club operated a golf course on the grounds of the fort and yacht racing became another popular winter pastime.
The old city has become an international tourist destination with fascinated visitors strolling the quaint cobblestone streets, exploring art galleries and boutiques and enjoying the many restaurants and taverns.For more history and details of current events, click HERE*