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St Augustine - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Florida

If you’re looking to visit somewhere different in Florida when you’re staying in Orlando. I can fully recommend visiting St Augustine. This city is the The Nation’ s Oldest City was founded in 1565. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States. St Augustine is a 2 hour drive north from Orlando and located on the Atlantic coast just below Jacksonville.

St Augustine having been founded by the Spanish in 1565 is steeped in history, there are many places to visit but I have compiled a list of recommendations that are well worth seeing.

First of all there is the Castillo de San Marcos which is St. Augustine’ s most historically significant structure, a fort constructed by the Spanish between 1672 and 1695. There’ s no doubt the Castillo de San Marcos is the most impressive of all the historical landmarks in St. Augustine. Thousands of visitors flock here to see this unique structure and learn about it’ s colorful history. It has recently undergone a $3 million construction project to renovate and stabilize the oldest masonry fort in the country. Contractors repaired cracks in the fort’ s coquina walls and replaced the concrete gun deck to prevent further deterioration.

Next I would pay a visit to some of the historic churches that St Augustine has to offer. The architecture is fascinating and the most impressive were built by a man named Henry Flagler. Flagler had a hand in the construction of Grace United Methodist Church, Memorial Presbyterian Church and the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine.

St Augustine has some fascinating land marks and museums, I can fully recommend that you visit the Lightner Museum, Located in the former Alcazar Hotel, houses collections of legendary hobbyist and antiques collector Otis Lightner. Another one is the Lighthouse Museum, The St. Augustine Lighthouse is located on Anastasia Island east of the city across the Bridge of Lions. It includes the lightkeeper’ s house and the 19th century lighthouse.

The St Augustine sightseeing trains are a must to see the city. The Red Trains are the city’ s best narrated, educational train ride tour through America’ s oldest city, offering over 20 convenient stops along the way. This is quite a joy as you learn so much ands you can just hop off and then hop back on at your own leisure.

St Augustine also has some great restaurants and if you like Italian food then the Amici Restaurant is a must. They serve just the best pasta and Italian meatballs you’re ever likely to taste. Another favorite of mine is the Santa Maria Restaurant, the location is ideal, surrounded by water and overlooking scenic Matanzas Bay and the Bridge of Lions. They serve just the best Seafood, very fresh and well prepared.

So if your idea of Florida is theme parks and beaches then think again, St Augustine is really special place and I will be visiting the city again very soon.

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