White caps rush the shore, breaking right before they hit. The ocean reflects the blue light from the bright skies above and disappears into the distance on the horizon. An ancient fort guards the beach, standing strong after centuries of watching over the coast. Cannons sit, unused and unmanned for decades. Seagulls fly overhead, releasing an ear piercing squawk every time they fly overhead. Children run along the beach as older couples enjoy the soft sound of the waves crashing. It is a serene scene, reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting. Welcome to St. Augustine.
St Augustine is the oldest city on the Continental United States. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, it was named “San Agustín“, as it was first sighted from the sea eleven days earlier on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine. The town is dripping with historical things to do. Hours can be spent simply walking around the town. There is a (comically so) slight pirate theme that draws tourists in, but with just a little bit of a closer look, the culture starts to permeate through.
Some of the crown jewels of the town lie in the ancient ruins that dot the city. An old fort guards the bay, making sure no pirates will come in to town looking to plunder. Locals will tell you that it would swallow cannonballs on a regular basis. Old churches and cathedrals pop up every couple of blocks. The influence of the Catholics from Spain is undeniable, so much, that there is a shrine in the middle of the city that holds bones from 18 different catholic saints. And the crown jewel (imho) is the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse that would light the shores and lead the cities supplies to safety in the dark, moonless nights.
If more touristy attractions are your thing, there are multiple museums that beg you to walk in as you explore the streets. An old schoolhouse is open for you to view the form of punishment children used to go through. The culmination of that tour is a dungeon located underneath a staircase. Did JK Rowling tour here before creating Harry Potter’s childhood home? I’d like to think so. You can also search for Ponce de Leons Fountain of youth if you’re feeling a little old.
St Augustine Supercharger
2700 FL-16, St. Augustine, FL 32092